PHOENIX -- For the first five weeks of the season, the D-backs could do little wrong.They overcame key injuries and slow offensive starts by some regulars to run out to the best record in the National League.The last week, though, has not been nearly as kind as the D-backs have
PHOENIX -- For the first five weeks of the season, the D-backs could do little wrong.
They overcame key injuries and slow offensive starts by some regulars to run out to the best record in the National League.
The last week, though, has not been nearly as kind as the D-backs have dropped five in a row, including a 6-4 loss Sunday night that gave the Nationals a sweep of the four-game series at Chase Field.
"Tough little stretch for us," D-backs infielder Daniel Descalso said. "That's a good team over there. We saw some good pitching from them and sometimes we didn't capitalize on some opportunities we had, but that's part of the game. You're going to have those stretches during the year and it's our job to fight our way out of it."
The schedule offers the D-backs little in the way of rest as the Brewers, who are in first place in the NL Central and just took three of four from the Rockies at Coors Field, come to town Monday to open a three-game series.
"It's been a tough, grinding time," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "That's what this game is. That's what it does to you. It challenges you. This is when we've got to stick together. This is when we've got to believe in one another, we've got to keep pounding and fighting and grinding away at all the things that we remember we can do."
There were positive signs from Sunday's game.
After being held to a total of three runs over the first three games of the series, the D-backs rallied from a 4-1 deficit to score three runs in the seventh to tie the game.
It had been 37 innings since Arizona had last scored more than one run in an inning.
"Offensively, it was a good seventh inning," Lovullo said. "It gave me that old feeling again. Yeah, the good old days, you know, of 10 days ago, of seven to 10 days ago, when we were hitting the ball and doing the things we can do."
In their run to a Wild Card berth last year, the D-backs lost five straight games on only one occasion, but given their success in 2017 and their start to this year, they have confidence that things will turn soon.
"I wouldn't have even called it adversity," said reliever Archie Bradley, who gave up the go-ahead two-run homer to Mark Reynolds in the eighth. "We've lost five in a row and we're still in the second week of May. We have four and a half months of baseball left. We have a long way to go. No one in here is panicking."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Rare hiccup for Archie: Bradley has been the D-backs' most reliable reliever over the past two seasons, so it was "startling" in Lovullo's words to see Bradley give up the two-run homer to Reynolds in the eighth, which proved to be the difference in the game.
It was the second homer of the game for Reynolds. The first came off a Zack Godley curveball and the one against Bradley was a fastball.
"I wanted it down and away," Bradley said. "It was more middle than I wanted it to be. At the same time, I'm just trying to challenge the guy. I'm not going to shy away from what I've been doing. It's easy to sit here and overthink stuff and say, 'You should have thrown this, you should have thrown that.' The guy just beat me. Really, that's all it is. Frustrating. A little comeback there and hopefully come in and shut down the eighth and go into the ninth and win a ballgame, but it didn't happen."
HE SAID IT
"When he's hot, he's very good. He's a good hitter. You can't make mistakes to him. You can see what happens to him when he squares up a ball. It was a good day for him. It was a good day and he was the difference between a potential win for us and a loss." -- Lovullo, on Reynolds
The D-backs open a three-game series against the Brewers on Monday night at Chase Field. Patrick Corbin will get the start for the D-backs and he is 4-0 with a 1.32 ERA in five starts at Chase Field this year. Corbin allowed just one run on three hits over five innings in his last start against the Dodgers, but did not get a decision. First pitch is set for 6:40 p.m. MST.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.