Arizona finishes the first month of season with 16 wins
By Barry M. Bloom
PHOENIX -- April concluded in fine fashion for the Arizona Diamondbacks on a walk-off Daniel Descalso two-run homer in the 13th inning for a 2-0 victory over the Rockies. Thus, their 16th win ended the longest scoreless tie in the history of Chase Field, now in its 20th season.
Flying off to Washington for the start of a six-game trip Tuesday night against the rampaging Nationals, the D-backs made it festive, as players dressed in stars and stripes and different combinations of red, white and blue.
"I love dress up day," he said. "I love Halloween. I'd be happy if there were three or four Halloweens throughout the year."
And who could blame him for having a good time the way his first official month has gone as the team's manager?
Lovullo and Descalso were not here last year when a 12-14 month of April gave way to a 11-17 month of May and ultimately a 93-loss season.
It was the first walk-off homer of Descalso's career after the big boys -- David Peralta, Paul Goldschmidt and Jake Lamb -- left five runners stranded in extra innings. Wasn't it fitting that a .178 hitter would end his club's 16-11 month with a bang?
"It was awesome. I was really happy for Descalso there," said A.J. Pollock, whose interference call running the bases took the D-backs out of a big 10th inning. "I'm really happy. The team played great."
These are the kinds of things that happen when a team is playing well. And thus, there's a lot of stuff for fans and players alike to be excited about.
Inclusive of 6 1/3 innings of two-hit, shutout pitching by Patrick Corbin on Sunday, the D-backs starters have allowed three runs or fewer in eight consecutive games. And one of those games was Shelby Miller going down with an elbow injury that has him heading toward Tommy John surgery.
The staff overall struck out 17 Rockies on Sunday, extending its National League record of seven games in a row with 11 or more strikeouts. The Major League record is eight, set by the Indians in September, 2014.
The D-backs are batting .269, fourth overall in the Majors, and have scored 141 runs, which is second behind the Nationals' 170 runs. At home, the D-backs lead the big leagues with a .310 batting average and 110 runs scored.
They bounced back from Saturday night's loss to the Rockies in which closer Fernando Rodney allowed three runs in the ninth. For that matter, they bounced back Thursday to beat the Padres a day after Rodney blew another save.
Had Rodney been better, the D-backs would have ended the month 18-9, but why quibble?
Lovullo boarded the team plane dressed in a blue jacket boasting white stars to bench coach Jerry Narron's red and white stripes. He said it was hard for him to put the first month, his first month as a Major League manager, into perspective.
"I don't know. I wish I had a crystal ball," he said. "We all do. I like where we are every single day. I like the effort we give. I like the focus we have. I like the brotherhood that I'm watching. I like the family that we're turning into.
"When I think about the first month I think about a strong bond inside that clubhouse and that's really exciting to me."