Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo on Braden Shipley’s outing and his offense’s struggles vs. Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Braden Shipley gave up three runs in four-plus innings against the Nationals on Thursday afternoon. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his team’s inability to come up with a hit in a key situation on Wednesday night, May 3, 2017. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks lefty Robbie Ray had everything working but still came away with a loss on Wednesday night in D.C., May 3, 2017. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said his pitching staff did well to hold the Nationals to three runs on Tuesday night.
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Taijuan Walker didn’t blame a small strike zone for his abbreviated, 4 2/3-inning outing on Tuesday night.
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss the Rockets’ explosion against the Spurs and a possible pitching implosion for the Diamondbacks.
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Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock speaks about the controversial call that went against him in the 10th inning of Arizona’s win over the Rockies on Sunday. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks’ Daniel Descalso talks about his two-run, walk-off homer to beat the Rockies in the 13th inning on Sunday. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo discusses the team’s strong pitching fueling Arizona’s walk-off win over the Rockies on Sunday. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin talks about his strong, scoreless outing against the Rockies in Sunday’s win. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks closer Fernando Rodney talks about his outing vs. the Rockies, and says he’ll have no trouble bouncing back from his latest setback. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke talks about his start on Saturday night, in which he allowed three earned runs in six-plus innings vs. the Rockies. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller explains his decision to undergo Tommy John surgery, April 29, 2017. (Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports)
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Manager Torey Lovullo, left-hander Robbie Ray and catcher Chris Iannetta react to the loss.
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Chris Owings talks about the first multi-homer game of his career, and how he’s feeling at the plate after homering three times in the past four games.
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Diamondbacks right-hander Taijuan Walker says his fastball was working well for him on Thursday night.
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Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Shelby Miller says he has a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and that Tommy John surgery is an option, April 27, 2017. (Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports)
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Diamondbacks closer Fernando Rodney on Wednesday’s blown save against San Diego.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo reacts to the Padres’ comeback win.
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Wednesday night’s game against the Padres drew the smallest crowd in Diamondbacks history.
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Manager Torey Lovullo, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and left-hander Patrick Corbin react to Tuesday’s win. Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports
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Manager Torey Lovullo, right-hander Zack Greinke and shortstop Chris Owings react to Monday’s home win over the Padres. Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Shelby Miller did not provide many details on his elbow injury on Monday, but he is planning to receive a second opinion on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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D-Backs’ Shelby Miller talks about arm injury suffered during the 6-2 loss to the Dodgers, April 23, 2017. (Scott Bordow/azcentral sports)
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David Peralta talks about the Diamondbacks’ offense and his record-setting four doubles Saturday.
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Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray talks after his team’s 11-5 victory over the Dodgers.
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Manager Torey Lovullo, right-hander Taijuan Walker, shortstop Chris Owings and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt react to the 13-5 win.
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First baseman Paul Goldschmidt says the Diamondbacks couldn’t string together enough hits against the Padres on Thursday night.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his team’s 4-1 loss to the Padres and their 4-6 road trip through San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.
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Manager Torey Lovullo after D-Backs lose series vs. Nationals
Braden Shipley after walking six in loss to Nationals
D-Backs’ Torey Lovullo after loss to Nationals
Diamondbacks’ Robbie Ray strikes out 10 in loss to Nationals
Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ 6-3 win over Nationals
Taijuan Walker on his short start vs. Nationals
Shot Clock: Rockets sizzle, D-Backs fizzle?
A.J. Pollock on controversial play: “You guys saw the replay”
Descalso talks about walk-off home run over Rockies
Lovullo on pitching, more in D-Backs’ wild win
Corbin discusses his scoreless outing vs. Rockies
Fernando Rodney talks about his latest blown save
Zack Greinke after outing vs. Rockies
D-Backs’ Shelby Miller to have Tommy John surgery
Diamondbacks fall 3-1 to Rockies
Chris Owings on his two-homer night
D-Backs’ Taijuan Walker on his 11-strikeout performance vs. Padres
D-Backs’ Shelby Miller considering Tommy John surgery
Fernando Rodney reacts to his blown save against the Padres
Torey Lovullo reacts to Diamondbacks’ ‘heartbreaking’ loss
Diamondbacks attendance hits new low
Diamondbacks pull away from Padres for 9-3 win
Diamondbacks hold on for win over Padres
Shelby Miller on his injury, visit with team doctor
Arizona Diamondbacks’ Shelby Miller discusses arm injury
David Peralta on his record-setting night
Robbie Ray reacts to Saturday’s win over the Dodgers
Diamondbacks use 9-run eighth to overwhelm Dodgers
Paul Goldschmidt on D-Backs’ offense vs. Padres
Manager Torey Lovullo breaks down D-Backs’ loss, road trip
WASHINGTON – The Diamondbacks’ reasoning was hard to debate on Thursday afternoon. Their offense had been shut down, once again struggling in a setting other than Chase Field, but this time they had faced one of the planet’s better pitchers, Max Scherzer, who allowed just two hits, struck out 11 and led the Washington Nationals to a 4-2 victory.
“Really, really good pitching,” Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock said. “I think we wanted to do a little bit better off him, but you do have to tip your cap a little bit.”
But the early-season trend is beginning to look troubling for the Diamondbacks. At home, they are the league’s best-hitting team. On the road, they are the worst. The sample size is small and the numbers could change fast – perhaps as soon as this weekend, when they open a three-game series at hitter-friendly Coors Field – but the season’s first month-plus might also turn out to be a warning sign.
MORE: Scherzer shuts down D-Backs; Nats take series
“I don’t have an answer for you,” Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. “We haven’t done as well on the road. … I think there will be some games where we play well and over the long run that will even itself out.”
Right-hander Braden Shipley struggled to throw strikes in his first audition for the fifth starter’s job, issuing six walks in four-plus innings. He managed to limit the damage to just three runs, but he came away upset with how the day unfolded.
“I’m super frustrated with myself because I don’t think I got beat today; I think I beat myself,” said Shipley, whose manager, Torey Lovullo, did not commit to giving him another start. “As any competitor will tell you, that’s the most frustrating way to lose is when you beat yourself.”
The loss gave the Nationals a series victory, sending the Diamondbacks to consecutive series defeats for the first time this season. They also dropped two out of three to the Rockies, whom they’ll face again this weekend as this challenging, early-season stretch continues.
Their only run on Wednesday came on a Chris Owings solo homer. On Thursday, Goldschmidt and Jake Lamb each clubbed solo homers. Those shots accounted for both of their runs and half of their hits on the day. They went consecutive days without a hit with a runner in scoring position; they were just 2 for 16 in the series in those situations.
They did score six times in Tuesday night’s win, but that performance stands as one of only two times in 13 road games the offense has scored more than four times. The run-scoring distribution is not pretty in those other 11 games: zero runs (once), one run (four times), two runs (twice), three runs (once), four runs (three times).
It’s no secret that Chase Field, where the Diamondbacks own a .301 average and score 6.5 runs per game, is beloved by hitters. And the team’s first trip included three visits to known pitchers’ parks (San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego).
But while the Diamondbacks have faced Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw on the road, they’ve also faced – and were held in check by – Matt Cain, Jhoulys Chacin and Clayton Richard.
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Pollock was asked if leaving Chase Field presents challenging adjustments for hitters. He shook his head. What about the flu-like bug that’s been wreaking havoc on players’ immune systems on both road trips? He shrugged.
Those could be factors, Pollock conceded, but he figured the simplest answer is probably the correct one. He pointed to the calendar.
“It’s just small sample size, I think; we’re a month into the year,” he said. “This is our second road trip. I’m not too concerned about that. I think we’re going to be just fine. We’re in all the games, which is good. We’re not letting games get out of hand. If we keep staying in games, we’ll start winning more on the road.”
Reach Piecoro at (602) 444-8680 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @nickpiecoro.
Diamondbacks at Rockies
When: 5:40 p.m.
Where: Coors Field, Colorado
Pitchers: Diamondbacks RHP Zack Greinke (2-2, 3.19) vs. Rockies RHP German Marquez (0-1, 7.20).
TV/Radio: FSAZ/KTAR-AM (620), KHOV-FM (105.1).
Greinke gave up three runs – each run coming on a solo home run – in six-plus innings against the Rockies last week at Chase Field. SS Trevor Story, 1B Mark Reynolds and PH Alexi Amarista homered off him. … Greinke has eight walks and 40 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings. That’s an improvement in both categories compared to his averages per nine innings last season. … Greinke has a 4.26 ERA in 44 1/3 innings in his career at Coors Field. … Marquez was impressive on Sunday against the Diamondbacks, tossing six scoreless innings, with one walk and eight strikeouts, in a game the Rockies lost 2-0 in extra innings at Chase Field. … Marquez was roughed up in his first start, allowing eight runs in four innings. … He had a 2.70 ERA in 10 innings at Triple-A Albuquerque before joining the rotation.
Saturday: At Colorado, 5:10 p.m., Diamondbacks LHP Patrick Corbin (2-3, 2.29) vs. Rockies LHP Tyler Anderson (1-3, 7.71).
Sunday: At Colorado, 12:10 p.m., Diamondbacks RHP Taijuan Walker (3-1, 4.19) vs. Rockies RHP Tyler Chatwood (2-4, 5.40).
Tuesday: At Chase Field, 6:40 p.m., Diamondbacks TBA vs. Tigers RHP Justin Verlander (2-2, 4.21).
Rockies update: The Rockies took two of three from the Diamondbacks at Chase Field over the weekend, then split the first two games of a three-game series against the Padres at Petco Park. They made a series of moves on Wednesday, bringing LHP Mike Dunn back from the disabled list and optioning RHP Carlos Estevez, and selecting the contract of C Ryan Hanigan to replace C Tony Wolters, who was placed on the seven-day concussion list. The Rockies are averaging 4.7 runs per game, ninth in the National League, and own a 4.52 ERA, which ranks fifth-to-last. As usual, they’re a far better offensive team at Coors Field, where they’re averaging 5.6 runs per game through 13 games, though they’re only 7-6 at home. IF/OF Ian Desmond had a two-homer game on Wednesday, and is 5 for 14 since coming off the DL.