MadBum sharp but 'pen falters in tough loss

D-backs look to ‘keep moving forward’ after reaching dreaded benchmark

September 18th, 2021

HOUSTON -- They've known it was coming for a while now, and there was nothing they could do to avoid it. Still, the 100th loss of the season was a difficult one for the D-backs to swallow Friday night, especially the way it happened. 

Maybe it was fitting, though, given what a strange and frustrating season it's been for everyone in the organization. 

Closer Tyler Clippard hit Chas McCormick with a pitch with the bases loaded in the 10th inning as the Astros walked off with a 4-3 win at Minute Maid Park.

The D-backs got a great pitching performance from Madison Bumgarner. They tied the game at 2 in the eighth and then took a 3-2 lead in the top of the 10th, only to watch it slip away on a pair of walks, a single and, of course, the hit by pitch. 

"It’s like I just bit into an onion," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said.

The D-backs are 47-100 with 15 games left to play, including three-game sets with the Dodgers and Giants, two more games against the Astros, four against the first-place Braves and three with the Rockies.

It's just the second time in franchise history that the D-backs have dropped 100 games in a season, as they hope to not match the 2004 team which finished 51-111. 

"That’s something I’ve never done," Bumgarner said of being on a team that lost 100 games. "But obviously, we’ve seen it coming. We’ve been on pace to blow past that for quite some time. Unfortunately, it’s not a surprise. That’s not something that anybody was eager to see happen."

Bumgarner did his best to help push it off for another night when he allowed just one hit over seven innings. 

Unfortunately for Bumgarner, that one hit was a two-run homer by Jose Altuve in the sixth inning that gave the Astros a 2-1 lead. 

Bumgarner signed a five-year, $85 million deal with the D-backs prior to the 2020 season, believing that Arizona was on the verge of being a playoff team. But after going 14-12 in April, the D-backs went 5-24 in May and 3-24 in June to fall out of the race.

"I’m not much into the [preseason predictions] that come out," Bumgarner said. "But they just flashed them up on TV a couple days ago and they didn’t give us a winning season, but we were supposed to be third in the division, a good bit ahead of the Giants and the Rockies both, which unfortunately, [it didn’t end up] that way. A lot of stuff has happened to put us in the situation we’re in. I still don’t feel like we’re that far off from having a good team. I’ve said that before. There’s not a huge gap between the best team and the worst team, I don’t think." 

Whether that proves to be the case with the D-backs will be answered next year. For now, the D-backs will try to limit their losses over the next two weeks. 

"We’ve got to understand that we’re in this position and not feel sorry for ourselves and keep moving forward and try to have a good day tomorrow," Lovullo said.