Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
The Official Site of the Arizona Diamondbacks

news

D-backs News

Slumping D-backs lose late lead, fall to Mets

Bradley, Chafin can't close it out as club drops 9th game in past 10
MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

NEW YORK -- This one stung.

None of the nine losses the D-backs have experienced over the past 10 games have been pleasant, but Saturday night's 5-4 defeat at the hands at the Mets at Citi Field was particularly bad because of how it transpired.

View Full Game Coverage

NEW YORK -- This one stung.

None of the nine losses the D-backs have experienced over the past 10 games have been pleasant, but Saturday night's 5-4 defeat at the hands at the Mets at Citi Field was particularly bad because of how it transpired.

View Full Game Coverage

The offense had shown signs of life in building a 4-2 lead through seven innings, and with setup man Archie Bradley starting the eighth and closer Brad Boxberger set for the ninth, things looked good.

And then in the blink of an eye, things turned.

Jay Bruce led off the eighth with a single, Devin Mesoraco followed with a two-run homer and suddenly the Mets had tied the game -- and they would go on to win in the ninth.

Two appearances ago, Bradley gave up a tiebreaking two-run homer. That one was by the Nationals' Mark Reynolds.

"This one, given the last week, we really wanted to come in and shut this one down," Bradley said. "Get the ball to Box and get a win and look to win a series tomorrow. We didn't get it done. You can put it on me. I'll take responsibility right now. We've got to keep trucking. We've got to keep fighting."

The D-backs won't have a long time to lick their wounds as they close out the three-game series with a day game Sunday.

"What it shows is Archie is human, and despite what he's going through right now, we're going to fight together as a team, we're going to walk through this together as a team and be ready for tomorrow," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said.

Video: ARI@NYM: Lovullo discusses tough loss to the Mets

A little more than two weeks ago, the D-backs were riding atop the National League West with a comfortable six-game lead.

After Saturday, though, they lead the Rockies by just a half-game and the Giants by three.

"I mean, obviously that loss hurt and it's frustrating," Bradley said. "But no one's freaking out. No one's panicking. We all understand we have a really good team. We have really good players. We have a great coaching staff. Everything we're doing is the same thing we were doing when we were winning games. We're just not executing in those big situations like we were before, tonight being a perfect example. We're preparing. We're ready to go. We're just not seeing the results."

Even after the Mesoraco homer, the D-backs still had a chance, but left-hander Andrew Chafin allowed a double to open the ninth, followed by a bunt single and a game-winning sacrifice fly by Wilmer Flores.

Video: ARI@NYM: Flores smacks a walk-off sacrifice fly

"Strike him out is obviously the main goal there," Chafin said of the Flores at-bat. "I threw a slider that he hit the sac fly on -- it was down but it wasn't down far enough. He was able to stay back on it and get the bat out and put it in play."

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Leaving him out there: The D-backs missed a chance to tack on a run in the eighth when with one out, Chris Owings reached on a bunt single. After Paul Goldschmidt struck out, Owings stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by Mesoraco with Ketel Marte at the plate. But Mets right-hander AJ Ramos struck out Marte to end the inning.

Video: ARI@NYM: Ramos K's Marte to strand a runner at third

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Entering the game, Goldschmidt was hitting just .085 (5-for-59) in May and he was coming off an 0-for-4 performance with four strikeouts Friday night, just the fourth time in his career he had done that. After running the count to 1-1 in the fourth inning against Mets lefty Steven Matz, Goldschmidt hit a 93-mph fastball to left for a homer, his first since April 15.

"It's a nice feeling to see him snap out of it and hit a big home run for us," Lovullo said. "It was a nice sign for him, but I know he's going to say it [only] tied the game. I know that's a very humble Paul, but it was a good pass and he's working hard to get there."

Video: ARI@NYM: Goldschmidt drives a solo home run to left

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Prior to John Ryan Murphy's two-run homer in the fourth, Jarrod Dyson stole second and third base. On the steal of second it looked like he might have been out. Mets manager Mickey Callaway issued a challenge, and after a replay review, it was determined the call would stand, which meant there was not enough visual evidence to confirm or overturn the call. Had the call been reversed, the inning would have been over. Instead, Murphy's homer gave Arizona a 4-2 lead.

Video: ARI@NYM: Dyson swipes second base and the call stands

"That was a weird at-bat because I had a big waiting period in between pitches when the replay happened with Dyson at second base," Murphy said. "Once that call goes our way, Dyson is in scoring position, so my job is to get a base hit if I can. I'm not really thinking homer there, but got into a 3-2 count and had the pitcher on-deck and thought he might go to that changeup, and I got him."

Video: ARI@NYM: Murphy skies a 2-run home run to left-center

UP NEXT
Clay Buchholz will make his first big league start since April 11, 2017, when he gets the ball for his D-backs debut in Sunday afternoon's finale of a three-game set with the Mets at Citi Field. Buchholz began the season with the Royals' Triple-A team in Omaha before opting out of his contract at the beginning of May. The D-backs signed him to a Minor League deal on May 5 and he made two starts for Triple-A Reno, going 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA. Noah Syndergaard will start for the Mets, and first pitch is scheduled for 10:10 a.m. MST.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Archie Bradley, Patrick Corbin, Paul Goldschmidt, John Ryan Murphy

Souza has strained pectoral, but no DL yet

MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

NEW YORK -- An MRI on Steven Souza Jr.'s right pectoral muscle showed a strain and inflammation, but it appears the D-backs outfielder will avoid another stint on the disabled list, at least for now.

Souza left Friday night's game against the Mets with discomfort in his pec area after making a throw in the fifth inning. The veteran had missed the first five weeks of the regular season after straining the pec while diving for a ball on March 21.

View Full Game Coverage

NEW YORK -- An MRI on Steven Souza Jr.'s right pectoral muscle showed a strain and inflammation, but it appears the D-backs outfielder will avoid another stint on the disabled list, at least for now.

Souza left Friday night's game against the Mets with discomfort in his pec area after making a throw in the fifth inning. The veteran had missed the first five weeks of the regular season after straining the pec while diving for a ball on March 21.

View Full Game Coverage

"We had an MRI this morning, obviously there's a little bit of a strain in there," Souza said. "Nothing like it was back in March, but there's something in there and we're just day to day right now."

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said he would not know until just before game time whether Souza would be available to pinch-hit. Lovullo assured the front office that if Souza were not able to pinch-hit, that he was comfortable essentially playing a man down until Monday.

That's when the MRI films will have made their way back to Phoenix and been read by team physician Gary Waslewski, who will give the organization a better idea on a course of action.

"Throwing is the thing that makes it the most uncomfortable," Souza said. "Obviously, when it starts to get completely uncomfortable from throwing, then all areas kind of get affected. The most thing I feel is definitely throwing."

Lovullo said he thought Souza may have irritated the injury during the recent series against the Brewers when he slipped in the outfield and braced himself with his right hand.

Regardless, Souza is beyond frustrated that he is still dealing with the injury.

"I've been injured in the past and I think this is really frustrating for me, because I haven't been able to just get over the hump and just put it behind me," Souza said. "I think any time I've had an injury, I've been able to conquer it and move on and then play the season or whatever part is left. This seems to keep coming back up and not going away, and I feel like the training staff is working really, really hard, the coaching staff is working really hard, and I feel like I'm doing everything that I can to get back to 100 percent and it's just not getting there."

Buchholz ready to go
Clay Buchholz arrived in New York on Saturday from Triple-A Reno and was getting settled in the clubhouse, one day before he is set to start against the Mets.

Buchholz is the latest pitcher to get a chance to replace Robbie Ray in the rotation, joining Kris Medlen and Troy Scribner, both of whom got one start.

"It's a good chance for me to come out and prove that I can still pitch in the big leagues and help this team out," Buchholz said. "It's obviously a really good club they've got here."

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Clay Buchholz, Steven Souza Jr.

Chisholm records 1st multi-HR game

White Sox Jimenez collects season-high 4 hits for Birmingham
MLB.com @MannyOnMLB

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Saturday.

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Saturday.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

The No. 3 overall prospect in baseball had a big day at the plate, as Eloy Jimenez turned in a 4-for-4 performance with two doubles in Double-A Birmingham's 7-2 loss to Montgomery. Jimenez, the No. 1 prospect in a loaded White Sox farm system, is hitting .322/.352/.593 with seven home runs in 29 games this season.

Here are the top prospect performances from the rest of Saturday's Minor League action:

• No. 17 overall prospect Alex Reyes (Cardinals' No. 1) made his third Minor League rehab start as he continues his road back from Tommy John surgery. The 23-year-old right-hander struck out 13 batters over 7 2/3 scoreless innings in Double-A Springfield's 1-0 victory over Northwest Arkansas. Reyes surrendered only one hit and walked three batters.

Watch: Reyes' 13th strikeout

• The No. 47 overall prospect and Braves' No. 5, Ian Anderson tossed 5 2/3 strong innings for Class A Advanced Florida in a scoreless game against Clearwater that was suspended in the sixth inning due to inclement weather. The 20-year-old right-hander gave up two hits, walked three and struck out seven, lowering his season ERA to 3.19 in eight starts.

Video: Top Prospects: Ian Anderson, RHP, Braves

• No. 49 overall prospect Willie Calhoun (Rangers' No. 2) went 3-for-4 with a double and a homer in Triple-A Round Rock's loss to New Orleans. Calhoun is five for his last eight after going hitless in three straight games. He's slashing .273/.335/.410 with four home runs in 42 games this season.

Video: Top Prospects: Willie Calhoun, RHP, Rangers

• Braves' No. 18 prospect Drew Waters drove in three of Class A Rome's six runs in a 6-2 victory over Ashville, going 2-for-4 with a double and a homer, raising his season average to .244. The homer was the 19-year-old center fielder's fourth in 32 games this season.

• Jasrado Chisholm (D-backs' No. 3 prospect) belted two homers and drove in four runs during Class A Kane County's 8-4 win over Peoria. The 20-year-old shortstop had entered the game in a 4-for-33 slump. He's hitting .275/.347/.560 with six homers in 27 games.

Watch: Chisholm knocks second homer

Taylor Widener (D-backs' No. 4 prospect) was dominant in Double-A Jackson's 4-1 victory over Pensacola, striking out 11 over seven innings in which he allowed a run on four hits. The performance brought his ERA for the season down to 2.86 in nine starts at the Double-A level.

Video: Top Prospects: Taylor Widener, RHP, D-backs

Oscar Mercado (Cardinals' No. 10 prospect) went 4-for-5 with a double and an RBI in Triple-A Memphis' 11-4 win over Colorado Springs. The 23-year-old center fielder is six for his last nine, raising his season average from .277 to .304 in the process. He has an .821 OPS with five homers and 10 steals in 37 games this season.

• Cory Abbott (Cubs' No. 28 prospect) turned in six scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts during Class A South Bend's 5-4, 10-inning loss to Fort Wayne. The 22-year-old right-hander walked two and yielded two hits, lowering his ERA to 2.72 over seven starts in his second professional season.

Dennis Santana (Dodgers' No. 10 prospect) made his Triple-A debut Saturday in Oklahoma City's 4-2 victory over Nashville, and was dominant over six scoreless frames that included 11 strikeouts. The right-hander didn't walk a batter and allowed only three hits. In eight starts this season at Double-A Tulsa, the 22-year-old posted a 2.56 ERA.

Watch: Santana gets strikeout No. 11

Justin Williams (Rays' No. 9 prospect) had four hits in five at-bats during Triple-A Durham's 10-7 win over Indianapolis. He doubled twice, homered and drove in three runs. The 22-year-old right fielder is hitting .252/.319/.407 with four home runs in 34 games for the Bulls this season.

Watch: Williams clubs solo homer

Yonathan Daza (Rockies' No. 20 prospect) had a four-hit game of his own in Double-A Hartford's 5-4 loss to Akron, going 4-for-5 with a double. The 24-year-old center fielder is slashing .300/.325/.450 with three homers in 38 games this season.

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

D-backs can't crack deGrom as funk continues

Off disabled list, Lamb hits RBI double in first game since April 2
MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

NEW YORK -- Jacob deGrom on the mound was not a welcome sight for a D-backs team already stuck in an offensive funk.

The D-backs fanned 16 times, including 13 at the hands of deGrom, as they fell, 3-1, to the Mets at Citi Field on Friday night.

View Full Game Coverage

NEW YORK -- Jacob deGrom on the mound was not a welcome sight for a D-backs team already stuck in an offensive funk.

The D-backs fanned 16 times, including 13 at the hands of deGrom, as they fell, 3-1, to the Mets at Citi Field on Friday night.

View Full Game Coverage

The loss was the eighth in the last nine games for the D-backs, who have scored more than two runs just twice over that stretch.

"They're frustrating," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said of his team's at-bats. "I know you've got to give some credit to deGrom. He had good stuff. His ball is taking off in the top of the zone and he had good, late life on both corners. I mean, give some credit where credit is due, but I feel like we're a better offensive team than we've been showing."

Video: ARI@NYM: Godley, Lovullo talk woes in loss to Mets

Arizona was hoping that the return of third baseman Jake Lamb off the disabled list would provide an offensive spark, and in some ways it did, as Lamb accounted for the team's lone run when he doubled home Steven Souza Jr. in the sixth inning.

"I thought it was a great at-bat for him. To basically get off the airplane last night and walk into this environment and have the type of night he did, with that big hit, was a nice sign for us," Lovullo said. "I know he's going to continue to build on that. Hopefully good things are on the horizon."

Souza to have MRI after injuring right pectoral muscle

Video: ARI@NYM: Godley K's deGrom for his 6th strikeout

The D-backs' 24-11 start to the season gave them some cushion in the National League West race, and they have been a confident bunch after last year's run to the top NL Wild Card spot. But after 10 days of struggles, there is certainly some frustration.

"It falls on us as individuals and as a team to find something that works, but it's not as easy as saying, 'We have to do something different,'" veteran infielder Daniel Descalso said. "It takes a commitment and an approach and going out there and executing."

Video: ARI@NYM: Descalso makes catch, call confirmed

The D-backs did have some opportunities against deGrom, but they finished 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

"We hurt," Lovullo said of the struggles. "I hurt with these guys. They hurt individually. We hurt as a group. We know where we've got to get to. We're trying every single day to do our very best. At some point it's going to turn. We're not going to have a 16-strikeout game. We're going to have the type of hitting we expect, with timely hitting and execution. We've got to keep grinding away at it. That's all I know."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Just missed: D-backs right-hander Zack Godley walked Brandon Nimmo to open the first, and Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a grounder to short. Shortstop Ketel Marte fielded the ball and threw to Descalso covering second. The ball hit off Descalso's glove and rather than being out, Nimmo advanced to third. The error would lead to a pair of unearned runs in the first inning, a hole the D-backs never climbed out of.

"I was playing a little bit over in the hole," Descalso said. "On the run to second base, I just didn't put myself in a very good position to take the throw there, kind of getting to the bag at the same time the throw was getting there and just didn't come up with it. But I've got to make that play."

Video: ARI@NYM: Nimmo makes it to third after an error

SOUND SMART
D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts for just the fourth time in his career. The five-time All-Star has struggled at the plate for much of the season, batting just .203.

"I know a lot is swirling around him right now, and it was a tough day for him, a tough night," Lovullo said. "I know he's going to go back to the drawing board tonight. He's going to get back to the basics of what he needs to get back to. There's nobody that teaches himself better than Paul. He's got hitting coaches that are with him every day grinding it out. He will come out the other side, I am very, very certain of that."

Video: ARI@NYM: deGrom deals 13 K's in win vs. D-backs

HE SAID IT
"I think once this thing gets moving in a good direction, you're going to see everybody turn the tide." -- Lovullo, on his team's offensive struggles

UP NEXT
The D-backs will send Patrick Corbin to the mound Saturday at 4:10 p.m. MST at Citi Field as the New York native looks to rebound from his first loss of the year. Corbin took the defeat Monday when he allowed four runs in six innings against the Brewers at Chase Field. In seven career games (six starts) against the Mets, Corbin is 1-3 with a 4.95 ERA. New York will counter with left-hander Steven Matz.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Lamb returns from DL, makes presence felt

D-backs option Walker, Shipley to Triple-A; Buchholz to start Sunday
MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

NEW YORK -- Jake Lamb was all smiles Friday afternoon after being activated from the 10-day disabled list, where he's been since sustaining a sprained right AC joint (shoulder) while diving for a ball April 2.

"It's great to be back here with the guys and just playing baseball again," Lamb said. "I'm ready to go."

View Full Game Coverage

NEW YORK -- Jake Lamb was all smiles Friday afternoon after being activated from the 10-day disabled list, where he's been since sustaining a sprained right AC joint (shoulder) while diving for a ball April 2.

"It's great to be back here with the guys and just playing baseball again," Lamb said. "I'm ready to go."

View Full Game Coverage

Lamb went 1-for-4 with an RBI double in the D-backs' 3-1 loss to the Mets at Citi Field.

"Hopefully, that's something that gets us kick-started," manager Torey Lovullo said. "I know offensively it hasn't been great over the past 10 days. So I just know having an impact bat in there is very relieving to everybody. It's 30 home runs and 100 RBIs that's returning to us. We're excited about that."

Lamb had been close to a return a few weeks back, but was shut down for a bit after experiencing tendinitis in his right elbow. After resuming play in extended spring, the D-backs sent Lamb to Class A Advanced Visalia for three rehab games, where he was 2-for-11 with a pair of doubles.

"I'm going to go out and try to get hits and score runs for the team," Lamb said. "I'm not really looking to do anything crazy. I'm not trying to put too much pressure on myself and hit six home runs tonight. Just going to go out, have fun and try to win a game."

Daniel Descalso had gotten most of the starts at third in Lamb's absence, and he's been one of the few players swinging the bat well, so Lovullo will likely find ways to get his bat in the lineup on a regular basis.

Video: MIL@ARI: Descalso drills 2-run homer to right field

An example was Friday night, when Descalso started at second with regular second baseman Ketel Marte sliding over to shortstop to give Nick Ahmed a day off.

"It gives me a little more versatility with my lineup construction," Lovullo said. "I'm going to try to maximize every situation that I possibly can."

Additionally, the D-backs optioned infielder Christian Walker to Triple-A Reno and reinstated right-hander Braden Shipley (right elbow inflammation) from the 10-day DL before optioning him to Reno. Walker, 27, has appeared in 16 games over two stints with D-backs this season, 14 as a pinch-hitter, batting .125 (2-for-16) with a double, a home run, two RBIs and three walks. Shipley, 26, was recalled from Reno on May 5, and he did not appear in a game with the D-backs before being placed on the disabled list on May 8.

Buchholz for Sunday
Veteran right-hander Clay Buchholz is scheduled to start for the D-backs on Sunday as he becomes the latest to audition for the injured Robbie Ray's spot in the rotation following Kris Medlen and Troy Scribner.

Buchholz was with the Royals' Triple-A affiliate in Omaha to open the year before exercising an out clause in his contract and signing a Minor League deal with the D-backs on May 4.

Buchholz was 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA in a pair of starts for Omaha and 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in two starts for Triple-A Reno. He last appeared in the big leagues last year when he made two starts for the Phillies.

Buchholz has a history with D-backs general manager Mike Hazen and Lovullo dating back to the trio's time together with the Red Sox.

"I think him being able to throw a lot of different pitches in different areas at different speeds is a big plus," Lovullo said. "Obviously, I'm familiar with him. I've spent four years with him. He's up for a lot of challenges. Obviously, he seems like a good candidate for him to come in here and see what he can show us."

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Clay Buchholz, Jake Lamb

Here's how D-backs stack up at quarter mark

MLB.com @AJCassavell

The young season no longer seems so young anymore, as Major League Baseball has reached the one-quarter mark of what's been an often surprising year.

The first month and a half of the 2018 campaign has offered more than its share of twists in the National League West, a division that's been turned upside down -- yet remains completely up for grabs.

The young season no longer seems so young anymore, as Major League Baseball has reached the one-quarter mark of what's been an often surprising year.

The first month and a half of the 2018 campaign has offered more than its share of twists in the National League West, a division that's been turned upside down -- yet remains completely up for grabs.

With the opening quarter of the marathon in the books, here's a breakdown of what we've seen -- and what we might still see -- from the five clubs in the NL West.

D-backs

One thing we learned in the first quarter
The back end of the bullpen is really good. After letting closer Fernando Rodney walk, the D-backs traded for Brad Boxberger, who has blown one save so far. They've used Archie Bradley in the seventh and/or eighth innings depending on when the other team's best hitters are due up. He is following up on last year's outstanding season. Meanwhile Yoshihisa Hirano, who was signed to a two-year, $6 million deal out of Japan this offseason, is looking like a bargain.

One thing we'll be watching in the second quarter
All eyes are on first baseman Paul Goldschmidt right now. The perennial All-Star and MVP candidate has struggled through the season's first quarter. Goldschmidt has gone through tough stretches before, but never anything this prolonged. In his last 52 plate appearances, Goldschmidt has eight walks and five hits, only one for extra bases.

Key stretch: May 28-June 3
The D-backs will return home from a three-city cross-country trip to play two of the NL's rebuilding teams in the Reds and Marlins. They'll need to take advantage of those games, because the schedule gets tougher after that.

Stock watch: Up
They're no longer the unstoppable force they were during the season's first few weeks, having lost seven of eight. But they're first in the NL West, with a couple games to spare.

Video: MIL@ARI: Boxberger freezes Villar to earn the save

Dodgers

One thing we learned in the first quarter
Kenley Jansen needs a normal Spring Training. Management told him to coast after a grueling 2017 season, and he wasn't ready for the start of the year. His velocity is finally returning, but his signature cutter still hasn't regained its nasty late movement. Jansen's calming presence at the back end of games is a must for the Dodgers if they hope to mount a charge on the first-place D-backs.

One thing we'll be watching in the second quarter
Can't they just stay healthy? No one knows how long Clayton Kershaw will be out. Justin Turner is back, but it's still unclear whether he'll hit for the same power after breaking his wrist. Even Walker Buehler's emergence has been mitigated by an injured Hyun-Jin Ryu and a slumping Rich Hill.

Key stretch: June 18-20, 25-28
The Dodgers and Cubs have met in each of the past two NL Championship Series, taking one pennant apiece. They'll play seven times in an 11-day span, beginning June 18 in Chicago.

Stock watch: Down
Everything that went right last year has gone wrong this year. The Dodgers are off to their worst start since moving to Los Angeles.

Video: ARI@LAD: Jansen works a perfect 9th for the save

Giants

One thing we learned in the first quarter
The Giants possess considerably more depth than they did a year ago -- from their bench to Triple-A Sacramento. Big league veterans Nick Hundley, Pablo Sandoval, Gregor Blanco and Kelby Tomlinson have had their share of time in the spotlight again. Meanwhile, Alen Hanson, Mac Williamson and Andrew Suarez have risen from Triple-A to contribute.

One thing we'll be watching in the second quarter
How big of an impact can left-hander Madison Bumgarner make when he returns from his fractured throwing hand? He's due back sometime in June. Bumgarner's spring results suggested he might be poised for another big-time season before he sustained the injury. When he gets back, the Giants should receive an infusion of energy from the anchor of their starting rotation and the symbol of their championship mettle.

Key stretch: June 8-17
The Giants open a 10-game road trip with three in Washington and four in Miami. (They went 1-5 against the Marlins last year.) Then comes a weekend series at Dodger Stadium, which speaks for itself.

Stock watch: Steady
Despite being without a couple of their top starting pitchers, the Giants have managed to hover around .500 for most of the season.

Video: SF@PIT: Hanson hammers a solo home run to right field

Padres

One thing we learned in the first quarter
The Padres might have three new pieces for their future -- three pieces they weren't exactly certain about when the season began. Left-hander Joey Lucchesi, third baseman Christian Villanueva and outfielder Franchy Cordero all rank among the Majors Leagues' best rookies. Their success comes in a somewhat small sample. But the Padres need rotation pieces, they need a long-term third baseman and their outfield of the future certainly isn't set. All three will get the chance to prove themselves further.

One thing we'll be watching in the second quarter
The Padres' outfield is crowded right now -- and that's with Wil Myers and Hunter Renfroe currently on the disabled list. Renfroe is due to begin a rehab assignment Thursday. His return will force the Padres into some decision-making. Cordero, Manuel Margot, Travis Jankowski and Franmil Reyes are all battling for their places. When Myers returns sometime in June, the trade speculation around one or two of those outfielders will heat up.

Video: WSH@SD: Margot rips an RBI double to left in the 4th

Key stretch: May 17-27
How about the current one? The Padres embark on a brutal 10-game road trip in which they'll play three series against three postseason hopefuls. It begins Thursday in Pittsburgh for the opener of a four-game series, then moves to Washington before the Padres finish at the slumping Dodgers.

Stock watch: Down
The Padres signed Eric Hosmer and are only half a game better than they were at this point a year ago. There's a lot of progress still to be made.

Rockies

One thing we learned in the first quarter
The Rockies' strong starting pitching and reliable relievers are enough to keep them in the thick of the NL West race. Jon Gray, Chad Bettis and Kyle Freeland have all been excellent at times. Relievers Adam Ottavino and Wade Davis have been just as good at the back end. The Rockies are 19-4 when scoring first and 19-1 when leading after seven, backing the assertion that pitching carries this club.

Video: LAA@COL: Gray fans 8 over 7 scoreless innings

One thing we'll be watching in the second quarter
The corner outfield should begin to settle. David Dahl is being given every chance to establish himself, while Gerardo Parra and Carlos Gonzalez are still searching for their footing. The Rockies could use a pair of run-producers in the corners, and Raimel Tapia, who has played well at Triple-A Albuquerque, is bucking for his shot.

Key stretch: May 17-23
No time like the present. The Rockies are 16-9 on the road this season, as they embark on a crucial stretch within the division. They'll travel to San Francisco for four games and Los Angeles for three over the next week.

Stock watch: Steady
The Rockies' offense has quite a few holes to fill, but their pitching staff has more than made up for it, and Colorado hasn't been below .500 since April 11.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies

D-backs dress up as favorite 'SNL' characters

Like a lot of teams, the D-backs have gotten in the habit of dressing up in costume whenever they head out on a road trip. Often, the get-ups are related to their destination: swimsuits for a flight to L.A., for example, or astronaut gear in preparation for playing the Astros. With the team set to head for New York City for a three-game set against the Mets this weekend, of course their outfits were Big Apple-appropriate -- and what's more Big Apple than Saturday Night Live?

Koch's stellar run ends as Crew breaks out

Descalso's homer accounts for D-backs' only 2 runs as offensive funk lingers
MLB.com

PHOENIX -- Matt Koch has excelled in place of Taijuan Walker, who is out for the season because of Tommy John surgery. He's given the D-backs more than they could have expected. Prior to Wednesday, he'd faced Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer in consecutive starts, and held his own in all three outings.

But in an 8-2 loss to the Brewers, the right-hander logged the worst start of his young big league career.

View Full Game Coverage

PHOENIX -- Matt Koch has excelled in place of Taijuan Walker, who is out for the season because of Tommy John surgery. He's given the D-backs more than they could have expected. Prior to Wednesday, he'd faced Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer in consecutive starts, and held his own in all three outings.

But in an 8-2 loss to the Brewers, the right-hander logged the worst start of his young big league career.

View Full Game Coverage

"I don't think anything was really working for him today," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said.

In just his eighth Major League start, Koch (2-2) allowed eight earned runs on nine hits over 4 1/3 innings. He walked a batter and didn't have any strikeouts. Before this start, the most earned runs he'd given up in an outing this season was three.

"I just wasn't making pitches when I needed to, and when I made good pitches, they were still in the count," Koch said. "When I made a bad one, they made it hurt."

Video: MIL@ARI: Brewers mash 4 home runs in win vs. D-backs

That was evident as the Brewers tagged Koch for a season-high four homers. Travis Shaw and Domingo Santana went back to back in the first inning to give Milwaukee a 3-0 lead. In the second inning, Christian Yelich blasted a two-run home run, and Tyler Saladino led off the fourth with a solo homer off the batter's eye in center field.

Koch, who is 27 years old and still inexperienced as a big leaguer -- he's made 15 appearances since 2016 -- markets himself as a pitcher who goes for weak contact and lets the defense work behind him.

"When you give up four homers, the defense can't really help you on those," Koch said.

Video: MIL@ARI: Koch gets flyout, D-backs turn double play

The Brewers led, 6-2, when Koch exited the game. Milwaukee added two runs in the fifth that were also credited to Koch.

Meanwhile, the D-backs' only runs came on a Daniel Descalso two-run home run in the first inning. The team had four hits. Lovullo called Wednesday's loss "a dud" and "a little bit of a clunker."

Koch said he's the type of player who will be able to flush a bad performance like this. But he's not the only D-back who will need to do so. Arizona has now lost seven of eight. The club is headed on a three-city road trip that includes New York (Mets), Milwaukee and Oakland.

Video: MIL@ARI: Descalso drills 2-run homer to right field

For the D-backs, breaking out of the funk is a matter of when, not if.

"It's no secret that we're struggling," Descalso said. "There's no sense in shying away from it. Maybe we need to talk about it more, maybe there's some things we can say to help out a teammate or something. But we're going to figure it out. It's not like we're going to be like this for the rest of the season."

Video: MIL@ARI: Ahmed speeds into third for stand-up triple

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
The D-backs were only down 5-2 in the third inning when Jarrod Dyson drew a one-out walk and stole second base with two outs. They could have cut into the lead, but Paul Goldschmidt flied out to end the inning. It followed a recent trend; the D-backs have struggled to string together hits and put runs on the board.

SOUND SMART
The Brewers' Brandon Woodruff took the mound on Wednesday, marking the end of a unique streak for Koch. In his three starts prior to Wednesday, Koch went up against Kershaw, Verlander and Scherzer. He became the first starting pitcher to face three different Cy Young Award winners in a row. When he dueled with Kershaw and Verlander, he became the first pitcher to go against different MVP winners in consecutive starts since the White Sox's Ed Lopat in 1947.

HE SAID IT
"We'll be all right. We've got a group of guys in here, veterans, that have been through this before. No one's panicking. We're going to be OK."-- Koch

"Offensively, we just can't get clicking. There's no mystery to it. I'm not going to sugarcoat it." -- Lovullo

Video: MIL@ARI: Lovullo talks offensive struggles after loss

UP NEXT
The D-backs have an off-day on Thursday before beginning a three-game series in New York against the Mets on Friday. Zack Godley (4-2, 4.08 ERA) will toe the rubber opposite Jacob deGrom (3-0, 1.83), who threw a 45-pitch scoreless first inning before being pulled in his first game back from a disabled list stint (hyperextended right elbow). The series opener at Citi Field will begin at 7:10 p.m. ET.

Justin Toscano is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Matt Koch

Zen in 'Zona: Mindset helping Descalso deliver

Injury updates: Miller, Shipley, Delgado, Lamb
MLB.com

PHOENIX -- D-backs manager Torey Lovullo told a story that could illustrate why Daniel Descalso -- who has excelled in key spots all season -- is mentally prepared for those big moments.

It goes back to Spring Training, when Steven Souza Jr. was hurt on a diving attempt in right field and the team was congregated around him after the play. Chris Owings started the game in the infield, and while Lovullo wanted to get him reps in right field at some point, he didn't anticipate a situation like this.

View Full Game Coverage

PHOENIX -- D-backs manager Torey Lovullo told a story that could illustrate why Daniel Descalso -- who has excelled in key spots all season -- is mentally prepared for those big moments.

It goes back to Spring Training, when Steven Souza Jr. was hurt on a diving attempt in right field and the team was congregated around him after the play. Chris Owings started the game in the infield, and while Lovullo wanted to get him reps in right field at some point, he didn't anticipate a situation like this.

View Full Game Coverage

Lovullo asked Owings if he wanted to move out to right to replace Souza. Owings hesitated. Then Descalso chimed in.

"Hey man, what's the worst you can do? You either make the play or you don't, and 5,000 people either look at you and think you're great, or they think you're a fool," Lovullo recalls Descalso telling Owings. "It doesn't make a difference. Who cares? Just go out there and do it and have fun."

The mindset has served Descalso well.

Descalso's eighth-inning RBI single proved the difference in Tuesday night's 2-1 win over the Brewers. In the D-backs' last victory before that, on May 8 against the Dodgers, Descalso hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the 12th inning. In an eventual loss to the Nationals on May 13, he laced a game-tying RBI double in the late stages of the game.

Video: WSH@ARI: Descalso ties game with a double in the 7th

Descalso acknowledges that part of it may be luck. After all, his spot in the order must come up for him to have an opportunity to make a clutch play. But from there, it's about not letting the moment get too big.

"We're all human in here," he said. "We know the situation that presents itself out there, we know when it's a big spot. Human nature tells you to get excited, and the more you can do to control that and slow the game down, the better chance you're going to give yourself in the box."

Descalso entered Wednesday batting .262, but he's a career .241 hitter. He has good defensive ability and has made standout plays while replacing Jake Lamb at third base, though he has 69 career errors.

The point: He's failed before. He's made outs. He's missed plays. That's why he carries the attitude he does. It comes with experience.

"In baseball, you got to learn how to deal with failure and sometimes, the worst thing that can happen is you make an out, or you make an error," Descalso said. "It's not the end of the world. It's not ideal. You don't want to do that. Baseball isn't a game for players that don't make mistakes. It's a game for guys that learn from those mistakes and get better from it."

Video: ARI@LAD: Descalso hammers clutch 3-run homer in 12th

Injury updates
• Lovullo said Shelby Miller (recovering from Tommy John surgery) will have a limit of four innings and 65 pitches when he pitches in an extended spring training game on Thursday.

Braden Shipley (10-day DL, right elbow inflammation) is scheduled to pitch in extended spring training on Friday.

Randall Delgado (10-day DL, left oblique strain) will throw a bullpen session on Friday.

• Lovullo said he still does not have a target date for Lamb's return.

Justin Toscano is a reporter for MLB.com.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Daniel Descalso

Pollock to miss 4-8 weeks with thumb fracture

D-backs center fielder sustained injury Monday on diving attempt
MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

PHOENIX -- The D-backs learned the magnitude of their latest loss Tuesday when center fielder A.J. Pollock was placed on the 10-day disabled list with an avulsion fracture of his left thumb.

Pollock could be out from four to eight weeks. Christian Walker was called up from Triple-A Reno.

PHOENIX -- The D-backs learned the magnitude of their latest loss Tuesday when center fielder A.J. Pollock was placed on the 10-day disabled list with an avulsion fracture of his left thumb.

Pollock could be out from four to eight weeks. Christian Walker was called up from Triple-A Reno.

"Losing A.J., the way he was playing, is a pretty big blow, but no one is going to feel sorry for us," D-backs general manager Mike Hazen said. "We've got to pick up and move on. We feel bad for A.J. He was in the midst of having a great season and he'll be back to continue that season at some point. But in the interim, we're going to have to figure out how to put the pieces together to cover for him, that spot, and win games."

Pollock was hitting .293/.349/.620 and he led the team in doubles (10), homers (11) and RBIs (33), while topping the National League in slugging percentage (.620).

Pollock injured the thumb with two outs in the ninth inning on Monday night, when he made a diving attempt on Tyler Saladino's fly ball.

Pollock came up short in the dive and then rolled over his left hand. Meanwhile, Saladino circled the bases for an inside-the-park homer.

Video: MIL@ARI: Pollock attempts diving catch, exits game

"It's just a very, very unfortunate situation," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "But once again, it's that next-man-up mentality. We feel that we've created depth here for these situations and it's time for guys to step up and take advantage of some opportunities until A.J. rejoins us."

At least initially, the team plans on platooning the left-handed-hitting Jarrod Dyson and righty Chris Owings in center field.

Dyson has extensive experience in center, while Owings played 49 games there in 2016 after Pollock fractured his elbow just prior to Opening Day.

"It was strongly recommended to me that he would be able to [play center] by several people who have seen him," Lovullo said. "I have never seen him as a center fielder. There's some general familiarity from what he did there in '16, and I signed off on it because I believe in the coaches that were expressing the fact that he could do it. The two of those guys will split time and I know they're more than capable of doing a great job." 

Video: MIL@ARI: D-backs broadcast on Pollock's injury

Walker's best position is first base, but after spending a few weeks in the big leagues earlier this year, he has been playing some left field for Reno.

Lovullo said that while Walker is not a candidate to start in left now, he could see some time there if needed.

As for going outside the organization, Hazen said it is still too early to be discussing trades. That could always change following next month's Draft.

"I think we have enough versatility," Hazen said. "I think we have enough players on our bench that can fill in in more full-time capacities. We'll play matchups how we need to and we'll be OK."

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks, A.J. Pollock

D-backs strike late to edge Brewers, end skid

Descalso delivers key hit after Greinke goes 6 strong
MLB.com

PHOENIX -- The D-backs needed this one. They had lost six straight. A couple of hours before Tuesday night's 2-1 win over the Brewers at Chase Field, they learned that center fielder A.J. Pollock would miss four to eight weeks with a fracture in his left thumb.

The player who pushed them over the edge late was Daniel Descalso, who has come up clutch several times this season. The left-handed Descalso hit an RBI single through the right side off left-hander Boone Logan in the eighth inning, scoring Jarrod Dyson.

View Full Game Coverage

PHOENIX -- The D-backs needed this one. They had lost six straight. A couple of hours before Tuesday night's 2-1 win over the Brewers at Chase Field, they learned that center fielder A.J. Pollock would miss four to eight weeks with a fracture in his left thumb.

The player who pushed them over the edge late was Daniel Descalso, who has come up clutch several times this season. The left-handed Descalso hit an RBI single through the right side off left-hander Boone Logan in the eighth inning, scoring Jarrod Dyson.

View Full Game Coverage

"In the early part of the season, we were able to get that big hit quite a few times," Descalso said. "The last week or so, it's kind of alluded us. So, tonight, we were able to get that big hit."

The D-backs also received a great start from Zack Greinke, who threw six innings of one-run baseball. He struck out five and walked one.

Once Greinke exited, Yoshihisa Hirano, Archie Bradley and Brad Boxberger each pitched a clean inning to finish the job.

Video: MIL@ARI: Boxberger freezes Villar to earn the save

"On a night when we really needed it, obviously with the news of A.J., I think Zack steps up in a big way and gives us six incredible innings and we turn it over to the bullpen," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "It was just the perfect remedy and almost the way you draw it up when you script it in your head."

Video: MIL@ARI: Greinke tosses six innings of one-run ball

Early in the season, the D-backs would put up crooked numbers and bury teams in a hurry. They had signature explosive innings.

But recently, they've scrapped for runs.

Take Tuesday's eighth inning. Jeff Mathis led off with a walk before Dyson -- who is dealing with back tightness -- pinch-ran for him. John Ryan Murphy bunted Dyson over to second before David Peralta's groundout allowed him to reach third.

Descalso delivered the decisive blow, but he didn't scorch the ball. It barely got past a diving Jonathan Villar, who was positioned in shallow right field.

"I want these guys to understand that they're a pretty special offensive group and when everything is clicking, we can put some runs up in a hurry," Lovullo said. "But during this period of time I felt like [small ball] was something that I had to pay close attention to, to help us get some runners in scoring position and put some pressure on the opposition."

Video: MIL@ARI: Lovullo on Descalso, win against Brewers

Before Tuesday, the D-backs' last win came at Dodger Stadium on May 8. Descalso's three-run homer in the 12th inning was the difference. A week later, he helped the team snap a losing streak with the big hit that has escaped it recently.

"Once again, it's Daniel Descalso that steps up in a big moment and delivers a key base hit," Lovullo said. "Left on left, it didn't faze him and helped us win a ballgame."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Murphy, a pinch-hitter, was down to two strikes in the eighth inning. The D-backs called off the bunt sign. But Murphy didn't pull back. He found a way to bunt Dyson over.

"I needed to get Dyson to second base, bottom line," he said. "That was my task at the beginning of the at-bat. I thought that was my best bet to get it done, even with two strikes."

Added Lovullo: "I don't really believe in pinch-bunting to be honest with you, but sometimes you've got to do something a little bit out of the norm or throw out the spray chart a little bit to help us win a game. They executed and they did a good job."

SOUND SMART
Before the D-backs took a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning, their last lead was in Greinke's last start on May 10. They took a 1-0 lead over the Nationals in the fifth inning during that game. Before Tuesday's eighth inning, it had been 47 total frames since they'd held a lead.

"I think every time somebody gets on base you can feel things building up," Lovullo said. "We talked about relaxing, taking relaxed at-bats ... doing all we can to not let the moment get too big that we can't really execute. The guys have been doing that and unfortunately haven't had a big hit."

HE SAID IT
"There are some teams that shift on me, some teams that don't. I'm still trying to figure it out -- all the data is the same, how come some teams are shifting and some teams aren't?" -- Descalso

UP NEXT
The D-backs will send Matt Koch to the mound for the series finale against the Brewers on Wednesday at Chase Field. Koch has excelled in the absence of Taijuan Walker, holding a 2.43 ERA over 33 1/3 innings. The D-backs will face Brandon Woodruff, who gave up seven earned runs in just three innings in his last start at Colorado. First pitch is set for 12:40 p.m. MST.

Justin Toscano is a reporter for MLB.com.

Arizona Diamondbacks