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For Lovullo, some decisions difficult to shake off

@SteveGilbertMLB
April 12, 2019

PHOENIX -- Sleep did not come easy Thursday night for Torey Lovullo. The D-backs manager spent much of the night going over in his mind the decision he made to leave starting pitcher Zack Godley in the game to face Padres catcher Austin Hedges in the sixth inning. Godley allowed

PHOENIX -- Sleep did not come easy Thursday night for Torey Lovullo.

The D-backs manager spent much of the night going over in his mind the decision he made to leave starting pitcher Zack Godley in the game to face Padres catcher Austin Hedges in the sixth inning.

Godley allowed a leadoff walk and a pair of hits to open the inning. The batter just ahead of Hedges, Fernando Tatis Jr., had driven a sacrifice fly to the warning track in right.

Lovullo stuck with Godley, who allowed a three-run homer that helped cap a five-run inning as the D-backs went on to lose, 7-6.

“That one is on me last night,” Lovullo said of the loss. “I didn’t go to the bullpen when I should have. I lost a little sleep over that last night. I’m not going to lie.”

For Lovullo, it’s a balancing act between wanting to show faith in his starting pitchers and needing to get them out of the game before things spiral out of control.

“I believe in starting pitchers, and I think they have to carry the workload -- and they have over the past couple of years,” Lovullo said. “And they’ve put us in really good positions. However, I need to be a little bit more situationally aware of what’s happening and the pace at which it’s happening, because I can’t let situations get away from our starting pitchers like that.

“Even though I believe in them, I feel like it’s important for me to pay attention to certain cliffs that pitchers or players can fall off of quickly.”

Lovullo wants his players to play with confidence, which he believes will allow them to perform at their best.

It’s with that in mind that the team will sometimes use a walkie-talkie to communicate with the bullpen rather than the bullpen phone, because the ring is so loud that with a small crowd it can be heard by the pitcher on the mound.

“You live and learn, and I think I’ll pay attention to certain things at certain times with certain guys at a certain pitch count,” Lovullo said. “We’ve got to win the baseball game. That’s the bottom line.”

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.