• Torey Lovullo talks loss to Cardinals

    Torey Lovullo talks loss to Cardinals

  • D-Backs GM on Chase Field humidor being pushed back

    D-Backs GM on Chase Field humidor being pushed back

  • Lovullo, Godley reflect on D-Backs' close loss

    Lovullo, Godley reflect on D-Backs’ close loss

  • Tony La Russa reflects on his baseball life

    Tony La Russa reflects on his baseball life

  • Torey Lovullo shares Tomas, Pollock, Ahmed injury updates

    Torey Lovullo shares Tomas, Pollock, Ahmed injury updates

  • Chris Herrmann walks it off for D-Backs

    Chris Herrmann walks it off for D-Backs

  • D-Backs' Torey Lovullo: "They fight until the final out"

    D-Backs’ Torey Lovullo: “They fight until the final out”

  • Chris Herrmann on first career leadoff home run

    Chris Herrmann on first career leadoff home run

  • Zack Greinke on outing vs. Phillies

    Zack Greinke on outing vs. Phillies

  • Torey Lovullo on D-Backs' offensive execution in win

    Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ offensive execution in win

  • Diamondbacks-Phillies recap - June 26

    Diamondbacks-Phillies recap – June 26

  • Diamondbacks walk off Philies in extra innings

    Diamondbacks walk off Philies in extra innings

  • Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Philadelphia Phillies | June 25, 2017

    Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Philadelphia Phillies | June 25, 2017

  • Ray on his outing against the Phillies

    Ray on his outing against the Phillies

  • Torey Lovullo on Diamondbacks' loss to Phillies

    Torey Lovullo on Diamondbacks’ loss to Phillies

  • Lovullo discusses the Diamondbacks' win over the Phillies

    Lovullo discusses the Diamondbacks’ win over the Phillies

  • Torey Lovullo after D-Backs win series vs. Rockies

    Torey Lovullo after D-Backs win series vs. Rockies

  • Paul Goldschmidt on D-Backs' offensive outburst

    Paul Goldschmidt on D-Backs’ offensive outburst

  • Zack Godley on strong outing at Coors Field

    Zack Godley on strong outing at Coors Field

  • D-Backs' Taijuan Walker on win over Rockies

    D-Backs’ Taijuan Walker on win over Rockies

  • Torey Lovullo after blowout win vs. Rockies

    Torey Lovullo after blowout win vs. Rockies

  • Torey Lovullo on decision to stick with Zack Greinke

    Torey Lovullo on decision to stick with Zack Greinke

  • Zack Greinke after loss vs. Rockies

    Zack Greinke after loss vs. Rockies

  • D-Backs suffer tough loss in Denver

    D-Backs suffer tough loss in Denver

  • Shot Clock: D-Backs, Rockies set for showdown

    Shot Clock: D-Backs, Rockies set for showdown

  • Torey Lovullo on Rey Fuentes' go-ahead homer

    Torey Lovullo on Rey Fuentes’ go-ahead homer

  • Rey Fuentes on hitting his first career home run

    Rey Fuentes on hitting his first career home run

  • Robbie Ray on his outing vs. Phillies

    Robbie Ray on his outing vs. Phillies

  • Manager Torey Lovullo after D-Backs' sixth consecutive win

    Manager Torey Lovullo after D-Backs’ sixth consecutive win

  • Jake Lamb on D-Backs' latest win over Phillies

    Jake Lamb on D-Backs’ latest win over Phillies

  • Torey Lovullo talks about his late father's support, guidance

    Torey Lovullo talks about his late father’s support, guidance

  • Torey Lovullo on his father's job in television

    Torey Lovullo on his father’s job in television

  • Torey Lovullo on D-Backs' come-from-behind win over Phillies

    Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ come-from-behind win over Phillies

  • Gregor Blanco discusses his game-tying homer vs. Phillies

    Gregor Blanco discusses his game-tying homer vs. Phillies

  • Patrick Corbin on his performance vs. Phillies

    Patrick Corbin on his performance vs. Phillies

  • Torey Lovullo on D-Backs' latest one-run win

    Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ latest one-run win

  • Taijuan Walker on his first outing back from the disabled list

    Taijuan Walker on his first outing back from the disabled list

  • David Peralta on his go-ahead homer in win over Tigers

    David Peralta on his go-ahead homer in win over Tigers

  • Torey Lovullo after D-Backs' win over Tigers

    Torey Lovullo after D-Backs’ win over Tigers

  • Robbie Ray on D-Backs' win over Brewers

    Robbie Ray on D-Backs’ win over Brewers

  • Paul Goldschmidt on grand slam, offensive outburst

    Paul Goldschmidt on grand slam, offensive outburst

  • Godley on taking advantage of opportunity after D-Backs win

    Godley on taking advantage of opportunity after D-Backs win

  • Torey Lovullo after D-Backs' win over Brewers

    Torey Lovullo after D-Backs’ win over Brewers

  • Randall Delgado on his rough outing against Brewers

    Randall Delgado on his rough outing against Brewers

  • Lovullo on Diamondbacks' loss to Brewers

    Lovullo on Diamondbacks’ loss to Brewers

  • Chris Iannetta on his career-high 7 RBIs vs. Padres

    Chris Iannetta on his career-high 7 RBIs vs. Padres

Rubby De La Rosa was one strike away from escaping the seventh inning unscathed on Thursday afternoon, which means the Diamondbacks were one strike away from handing a lead to Archie Bradley and Fernando Rodney, their dominant late-inning relief duo who have combined to allow one earned run since the start of May.

But De La Rosa left a slider up and Randal Grichuk launched it into the left-field seats, a blast that set the stage not just for one rare occurrence – a Diamondbacks loss – but for a combination of unusual sightings.

The Diamondbacks’ 10-4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at Chase Field was their first blowout defeat in ages, arguably their first in six weeks and perhaps their first at home all season.

It featured not one bullpen meltdown, but two. It marked their second consecutive day with a loss, something that hadn’t happened in 3 1/2 weeks. And it goes down as the Diamondbacks’ first series loss since they dropped three of four to the Miami Marlins at the beginning of the month.

MORE D-BACKS: Bickley:  Diamondbacks creating a fresh buzz

It’s hard to call any of this adversity, not for a team that still owns baseball’s third-best record and sits a comfortable 9 1/2 games up on a playoff spot. It hasn’t even felt so much like the Diamondbacks getting beat. If anything, over the past two days they’ve been unable to overcome an overworked pitching staff that they themselves seemed to create.

Last weekend against the Phillies, the Diamondbacks chose to give reliever Randall Delgado another start, a move they said was about giving everyone in their rotation an extra day of rest but which, oddly, came not long after a stretch when each of their starters had nearly a full week between starts.

More likely, the club was trying to line up its rotation what it viewed as more favorable match-ups against the division rival Rockies and Dodgers, teams they’ll face in consecutive series beginning on Friday night.

Whatever the reason, the decision led to a tired bullpen in recent days, and, ultimately, to a couple of reliever usage moves that contributed to a pair of losses.

In a one-run game on Wednesday night, recently promoted (and since-demoted) right-hander Braden Shipley gave up a run while working on back-to-back days, an unusual assignment for a pitcher who has served primarily as a starter in his professional career. The Diamondbacks wound up losing by a run.

MORE D-BACKS: Moore: As team inevitably cools off, what will be response?

Then on Thursday, after Grichuk’s home run gave the Cardinals a 5-3 lead, the Diamondbacks called upon Delgado to pitch the eighth, giving him the ball on three days’ rest after throwing 75 pitches in a start on Sunday.

Delgado was hammered, allowing five runs – though only one was earned – on four hits and two walks. The inning essentially put the game out of reach, which is saying something as it relates to the Diamondbacks’ offense. Manager Torey Lovullo acknowledged that fatigue might have played a part in Delgado’s poor command.

“We’re playing catch-up a little bit,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “I don’t think it’s necessarily the reason we lost yesterday and today. It just creates some challenges that we overcome as an organization. We have the proper depth and we ask guys to step up in the bullpen to work through it. I think they did.”

Still, the Diamondbacks were in position to win an inning earlier. Leading 3-2, De La Rosa had two outs and the bases empty before Luke Voit lined a double into the left-center field gap. De La Rosa then tried three times to get Matt Carpenter to chase before going ahead with an intentional walk to bring Grichuk to the plate, a strategy that  Lovullo said was by design.

“We talked about it pregame that in certain situations we would rather have the guy on deck beat us (rather than Carpenter),” he said. “Not a very traditional move where you put the go-ahead run on base, but I felt like the matchup, with Rubby and the stuff, was going to be better served for the next hitter. Unfortunately, we didn’t execute a pitch, and he took advantage of it.”

With the count 1-2, De La Rosa left a slider in the strike zone and Grichuk barreled it, connecting for a three-run homer, his third in five games since a return from the minor leagues.

“I think I was putting too much effort into bouncing that pitch,” De La Rosa said. “That’s pretty much what it was. I’ll get it the next time.”

Reach Piecoro at (602) 444-8680 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @nickpiecoro.

MORE D-BACKS: MLB All-Star vote: Goldschmidt has numbers; not the votes

MORE D-BACKS: Chase Field humidor plan pushed back to 2018

MORE D-BACKS: Moore: Tony La Russa watches two teams he once led

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions