Pitcher homers, but Diamondbacks blow seven-run lead in loss to Rockies – The Arizona Republic

Nick Piecoro  |  Arizona Republic

If nothing else, the Diamondbacks are making their race to the bottom one for the ages.

Not only do they continue to lose games in astounding fashion — they blew a seven-run lead in their 9-7 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Friday night — they’re doing things no National League team has done in decades.

In falling to 50-110, the Diamondbacks dropped to 56 games back of the first-place San Francisco Giants in the NL West. Since the 1962 Mets finished 60 ½ games out of first place, only one other club has finished as many as 50 games out: the 1998 Florida Marlins, who were 52 back.

And the Diamondbacks are going to finish at least 52 games back of *second* place. They are 54 games back of the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers with two games remaining.

And then there’s this fun fact: In 1969, the National League expanded by two teams, adding the Montreal Expos and San Diego Padres. Both teams lost 110 games. Since then, only two teams have lost so many as 109 games in the National League: the 2004 Diamondbacks and the 2021 Diamondbacks.

Despite it all, the Diamondbacks still haven’t assured themselves of the No. 1 overall pick, though they have a two-game lead on the Baltimore Orioles (52-108) with two games to play. In the event of a tie, the tiebreaker historically has been the previous year’s record. But the Orioles and Diamondbacks both went 25-35 in 2020. It is not clear what the second tiebreaker would be.

Friday night’s loss left manager Torey Lovullo in a foul mood. His offense exploded for seven runs off Rockies starter Jon Gray in the third, an inning that featured a three-run homer from starting pitcher Humberto Castellanos.

Castellanos mostly cruised through the first five innings but was shelled for six runs in the sixth. The inning unraveled on him quickly and was capped by a three-run homer from Sam Hilliard to make it a 7-6 game.

That’s where it stayed until the ninth, when the left-handed-hitting Dom Nuñez connected for game-tying solo shot off lefty Caleb Smith. The Rockies added two more runs off reliever J.B. Wendelken to go ahead for good.

“I’m not doing too good right now; I’m not going to lie about that,” Lovullo said. “It’s the hardest part of sports: When you do a lot right and you still don’t find a way to win a game. We did a lot right to score seven runs, and then we didn’t make that stand up.”

The Diamondbacks had a chance to extend their lead in the eighth. They had first and second with nobody out but struck out in three consecutive at-bats to end the threat.

They also had a potentially costly cross-up in the ninth between Wendelken and catcher Carson Kelly. The pitch, a curveball, wound up in the zone, but Kelly was apparently expecting a fastball and the confusion likely led to the pitch being called a ball. The batter, Charlie Blackmon, wound up walking on a full-count pitch.

“Everybody’s got to be better,” Lovullo said. “Everybody. That’s what I’m thinking right now. You can start with me.”