Kelly's offense can't halt D-backs' road woes 

June 15th, 2021

Under ordinary circumstances, the D-backs' 5-2 loss to the Giants on Monday night would not have been a big deal. Just one of 162 games over the course of a long summer.

But these are not normal circumstances for the D-backs, who are creeping closer and closer to making the kind of history a team wants to avoid at all costs.

The loss was the 11th in a row for Arizona and its 20th consecutive defeat away from home.

No team has lost as many as 20 straight road games since the 1963 New York Mets, who went on to tie the 1943 Philadelphia A's for the Major League record at 22.

The 1916 Philadelphia A's also dropped 20 straight on the road, a mark the D-backs matched Monday.

"We're grinding right now," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "I don't know where it's at, what's been happening, or the reasons, but we're working hard to figure that out. I know one thing, we didn't come up here to San Francisco to get our [butt] kicked four games in a row. I know I didn't. I know the coaches didn't and I know for darn sure the players didn't. So we'll get after it tomorrow."

The D-backs' last road win came on April 25 when Madison Bumgarner threw a seven-inning no-hitter as part of a doubleheader sweep of the Braves.

"I don't think anybody's really ever gone through something like this and it's challenging us," D-backs catcher said. "It really is. And the biggest thing for us going forward is we've got to take it one step at a time. We can't look ahead, can't look behind. We've got to be present. And all I know is tonight we didn't get it done. But there's another one tomorrow, so we're going to set our sights on tomorrow and continue to keep working hard and get through it."

It isn't just the road that has been a problem for the D-backs. They've dropped 25 of their last 27 and 34 of 39.

When a streak like that gets going, the weight of each loss can feel greater. That's something they are working hard to avoid letting creep into their minds.

"I mean, if you start thinking that way, then we're going to be in a worse spot," Kelly said. "The only way you're going to get out of this is you got to keep going. And if you continue to look at the past, and sulk on that, it's just going to continue to get worse and worse. We're doing a pretty good job of staying present every single day. This game there's a lot of failure. And you can't run from it, you have to embrace it and continue to move forward and you know we're doing that, and it's tough. Don't get me wrong, it's tough, but we're going to continue to keep fighting."

Kelly was a bright spot for the D-backs, driving home both of their runs with a double in the fourth that scored Christian Walker and a solo homer in the sixth.

After missing 11 games with an injured toe, Kelly had struggled to recapture his timing at the plate. Heading into Monday's game, he was hitting just .143 in 60 plate appearances since returning to action.

After a rough 2020 season, Kelly focused on developing a consistent routine that he hoped would help him avoid prolonged slumps. It's what has guided him the last three-plus weeks.

"Just focusing on what I can control, my process, those two or three things that I do day in and day out," Kelly said. "And just continue to be good at that and know that the results will come over the course of a long season."