PHOENIX -- Filled with optimism after taking two of three games from the Nationals over the weekend, the D-backs took a step backward Monday as they fell, 7-3, to the Phillies at Chase Field.
The D-backs committed three errors that led to a pair of unearned runs, and a wild pitch scored another run.
In short, it was sloppy and a complete reversal of how they played in winning the final two games of their series against the Nationals.
“To be honest with you, I was feeling very good about how we could come out and execute and potentially play a really clean game and do it the right way,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “But we didn’t. When we were looking at it, and the time of the year and the teams that we’re playing, I was feeling pretty good about today. I think everybody was.”
The loss dropped the D-backs back under the .500 mark at 56-57, and they were passed by the Mets, who swept a doubleheader against the Marlins, in the National League Wild Card race. They are now 3 1/2 games behind the Phillies and Nationals, who hold the two Wild Card spots.
“It just was an uncharacteristic game for us,” Lovullo said. “We didn’t play the type of defense, make the plays that we’re used to seeing, that I’m used to seeing us make, and it ended up costing us in a couple of situations. We built some innings offensively and just couldn’t get a big hit to put us over the top.”
The D-backs handed Merrill Kelly a 1-0 lead after one inning, but the right-hander did not appear sharp, allowing a solo homer to Scott Kingery in the second and a pair of runs in the third.
After his teammates got a run back in the third to pull to within 3-2, Kelly turned around and gave up one in the top of the fourth.
Kelly’s line was solid -- four runs allowed (three earned) over six innings -- especially considering he had allowed seven runs in each of his previous two starts.
Still, the D-backs have lost each of Kelly's last seven starts, and the right-hander takes that personally.
“For me, I’m trying to do my job,” Kelly said. “I’m trying to get the team in the win column as much as I can. The fact that I haven’t been able to do that in the last [seven] games, that’s what’s frustrating to me. Obviously, with each game going down the stretch meaning more and more, it’s frustrating. It’s frustrating not being able to go out there and take the ball and keep it rolling. We played the two good games against Washington, so I wanted to keep that rolling, keep that momentum going.”
The D-backs will have the chance to try to get it going again Tuesday against the Phillies with Mike Leake on the mound. Leake was acquired by the D-backs minutes before last week’s Trade Deadline.
“We’ve got to wash it off,” Lovullo said of the loss. “We’ve got to shower off this day and come out tomorrow.”