Greinke sharp, but bullpen unravels vs. Crew

D-backs sit 1 1/2 games behind Milwaukee for 2nd Wild Card spot

July 21st, 2019

PHOENIX -- The D-backs were six outs away from being tied for the second National League Wild Card spot Saturday night when things turned ugly for them.

The Brewers scored three runs in the eighth and three more in the ninth for an 8-3 win.

So, instead of being tied for a Wild Card spot, the D-backs found themselves 1 1/2 games behind Milwaukee and a game behind both the Cardinals and Phillies.

“Probably one of the more frustrating games that we’ve had this year,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said.

It was the second tough loss in three games to the Brewers with both of the losses the result of struggles by relievers that had previously pitched well.

Thursday night, it was Yoan Lopez, arguably the team’s most consistent reliever, who gave up three runs in the eighth of a 4-1 loss.

Saturday night, it was who could not get the job done after had tossed seven masterful innings while the D-backs built a 3-2 lead.

“You can’t put your finger on it,” Lovullo said. “I know these guys are grinding and getting the job done most of the time, and when they don’t do it, it spoils you, right? That’s the nature of the beast. When you make a couple of mistakes and there’s some hiccups that get hit around, it’s going to change the outcome of the game. The two guys [Lopez and Chafin] are very tough-minded. I know they’re going to find a good way to turn the page and make sure they’re ready for tomorrow.”

Chafin came into the game having allowed three runs in his last 12 appearances with two of the runs coming in one outing against the Rockies.

Over that stretch he had struck out 12 and not issued a walk.

Things went sideways quickly on him, though, when Christian Yelich hit a tapper to his right that he couldn’t catch cleanly for an infield single to start the eighth.

“That’s one of those things where you just react to it,” Chafin said. “You try to make the play and by the time it hits your glove you realize, ‘Dang, I should have let that go, because it would have been an easy out.’ It’s all part of it. I should have been able to pitch through that.”

Chafin then jumped ahead of Ryan Braun 0-2 before throwing four straight balls.

“I mean it was a quality at-bat, I guess,” Chafin said. “Obviously, walks usually always come back to bite you. I mean, yeah. It was frustrating. The whole thing was frustrating. But it is what it is.”

That brought Mike Moustakas to the plate and he hit a 2-0 fastball on the outside corner the opposite way into the bleachers in left for a three-run homer.

“Right where I wanted it,” Chafin said. “I wanted to go heater down and away. He just went with it. He beat me on that pitch.”

And, as it turned out, in the game.