The bottom has fallen out for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who look to halt a 10-game losing streak when they open a four-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night in Phoenix.
The disastrous skid is just four defeats shy of the franchise-worst 14-game slide in 2004.
Arizona’s 15-13 start has been followed by 13 losses in the past 14 games and in 19 of 22.
The Diamondbacks are in last place in the National League West and tied with the Baltimore Orioles for most losses in the majors.
The team’s troubles got worse Wednesday when it squandered a four-run lead and left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning during a 5-4 loss to the San Francisco Giants.
Arizona was leading 4-2 and just four outs away from halting its skid when manager Torey Lovullo called on left-hander Alex Young.
Two batters later, the lead was gone. Pinch hitter Austin Slater hit a two-run tying homer that traveled 460 feet into the second deck in left field. Jason Vosler followed with his first big-league blast to put the Giants ahead.
Arizona was unable to get a clutch hit in the ninth.
“Any mistake that happens, it feels like the end of the world,” Young said after the Diamondbacks remained winless since May 15.
St. Louis dropped two of three against the Chicago White Sox to start a 10-game road trip.
Wednesday’s 4-0 victory over Chicago was overshadowed by the hat incident that led to the ejection of St. Louis manager Mike Shildt.
When right-hander Giovanny Gallegos came in from the bullpen with two on and one out in the seventh inning, the umpiring crew led by Joe West called on Gallegos to change his hat due to a substance on the bill.
That enraged Shildt, who proclaimed that the real cheating by pitchers is being ignored by Major League Baseball.
“This is baseball’s dirty little secret, and it’s the wrong time and the wrong arena to expose it,” Shildt said. “Here’s the deal. First of all, Gio wears the same hat all year. Hats accrue dirt. Hats accrue substances. … Did Gio have some sunscreen at some point in his career to make sure he doesn’t get some kind of melanoma? Possibly. Does he use rosin to help out? Possibly. Are these things that baseball really wants to crack down on? No.”
Meanwhile, Paul Goldschmidt (six homers) has failed to go deep in the last 13 games.
The slugger will be looking to end that drought against his former team. Goldschmidt is 6-for-24 with three homers in six games against Arizona since being traded following the 2019 season.
Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez (3-4, 4.18 ERA) will be on the mound Thursday. He is 3-0 over his past four starts after opening the campaign with four straight losses.
Martinez, 29, received a no-decision against the Chicago Cubs in last Friday’s start when he gave up two runs and four hits over six innings.
Martinez is 3-1 with a 2.51 ERA in 12 appearances (six starts) versus the Diamondbacks. Nick Ahmed is 0-for-11 with four strikeouts against Martinez.
Rookie right-hander Matt Peacock (1-21 4.91) will be on the mound for Arizona.
Peacock, 27, made eight relief appearances to start the season but moved into the rotation due to injuries to Zac Gallen (elbow) and Luke Weaver (shoulder). He gave up three runs and seven hits in five innings while losing to the Miami Marlins on May 12. He gave up one run and four hits over 5 1/3 innings in a no-decision against the Dodgers on May 19.
–Field Level Media