Suddenly, D-backs hitting stride with LA on deck

June 3rd, 2019

PHOENIX -- The D-backs were all smiles Sunday afternoon following their 7-1 win over the Mets at Chase Field.

The win was the second straight for the D-backs, who took two of three against the Mets and hope they have some momentum for a three-game series against the first-place Dodgers that begins Monday.

The mood was in stark contrast to how things looked midway through Saturday’s game.

In that one, Arizona trailed 4-0 and was being dominated by New York ace Jacob deGrom. It sure felt like the D-backs were on their way to their sixth straight loss.

“I’m not going to lie,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “In the fifth inning [Saturday], I was under the bench sucking my thumb. I didn’t know what to do. I was like, ‘Where are we going? This is just not working and we’re not playing our type of baseball.’ I was getting really frustrated.”

The D-backs rallied to win that game, and that seemed to carry over into Sunday when they jumped on Mets starter Steven Matz in the first inning.

led off with a homer that went 482 feet, tying the Rangers' Nomar Mazara for the longest homer hit this season, according to Statcast.

Arizona starter said he is not surprised by anything that Marte does.

“That guy’s unbelievable,” Kelly said of the 25-year-old center fielder, who is hitting .280/.331/.534. “That was probably one of the hardest home runs I’ve ever seen in my life. That ball was absolutely smoked. Every day you come in and you never know what you’re going to get, but you know you’re going to get good things. Watching him go about his business from the left and right side of the plate, it doesn’t matter, whoever is facing him definitely has to acknowledge how good of a hitter he is.”

Kelly (5-6) was impressive in his own right, allowing just one run while scattering six hits in 7 2/3 innings and striking out 10 to help rest a tired D-backs bullpen.

“I thought everything was built around what Merrill Kelly did today,” Lovullo said. “He stood on the mound and established his fastball, and I felt his fastball presence from the dugout and I’m sure the hitters felt that as well. He was just on the attack and he started mixing some good secondary stuff.”

So in a span of 24 hours, the D-backs went from a team that looked to be “flatlining,” to use Lovullo’s term, to a team that is riding a little bit of a hot streak heading into the three-game set with the Dodgers.

The last time these two teams met was the season-opening series in Los Angeles, when the Dodgers took two of three.

“We know the Dodgers are marching in here and we’re super excited about that,” Lovullo said. “We’re playing much better baseball than we were last week, and I think a lot of guys stepped up and established a couple of things: That we’re OK and that we’re playing good baseball the way we want to and we’re ready for the next series.”