Injury added to insult on rough day for D-backs
AUG 11, 2013 7:04p ET
Not only did the D-backs lose 9-5 to the Mets to drop the weekend series, they also lost key contributors Eric Chavez and Cody Ross to injuries.
"Both those guys have been carrying us the last few weeks, so they're going to be missed," first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said.
Chavez, who has been a surprisingly important offensive producer even with one stint on the disabled list already, went back on the DL on Sunday with a left knee strain. Chavez had 11 RBI and two home runs in his last 12 games and 32 RBI in his last 45 games.
Ross had to be carted off the field Sunday and taken for X-rays after tripping while running to first base in the first inning. Those X-rays revealed a dislocated right hip, which was put back in place at a local hospital. Further tests are needed, Gibson said, to determine if Ross will need surgery. Either way, Ross is likely lost for the season.
"I would imagine," Gibson said of the possibility.
Ross was batting .356 with eight extra-base hits and 13 RBI in 17 games since the All-Star break.
"You never want to lose anyone," Goldschmidt said. "It doesn't matter who they are on your team."
In this case, it does matter that the players lost were significant offensive contributors. The D-backs' offense has struggled to hit consistently for much of the season, particularly in the second half. Losing Ross and Chavez will only make doing so more difficult, and that's to say nothing of the leadership lost when two players with substantial postseason experience are taken off the field.
And the personnel losses foreshadowed what was to be a rough day on the field. The D-backs fell into an early hole when the Mets scored four in the first inning. Spot starter Zeke Spruill loaded the bases with two walks before Goldschmidt misplayed a grounder down the line that allowed three runs to score. A double scored the fourth run.
"We had a terrible first inning today," Gibson said. "We battled back, (but) the bullpen was unable to shut them down. We had our own opportunities to come back in the game and didn't get the job done there."
Spruill lasted just three innings and left having allowed five runs (only one earned). His days in the majors are likely numbered, as Trevor Cahill (hip contusion) pitched well in what was expected to be his last rehab start with Triple-A Reno on Sunday.
The bullpen's woes, which seemed to be mostly taken care of in a strong July, continued. Relief efforts had been shaky the past three games, and relievers allowed another four runs Sunday, with Will Harris and Heath Bell each allowing a homer.
"We had a rough series -- the bullpen, a rough series," Gibson said.
The bullpen now has a 7.20 ERA over the past four games, a span in which relievers have pitched 15 innings.
The D-backs entered Sunday 6 1/2 games behind the NL West-leading Dodgers, who had not yet started their game before the D-backs lost to fall to seven games back. Since the All-Star break, the D-backs have won just one series, and that was a two-game set with the Rays to open their current homestand. They have gone 9-11 in that stretch, losing series to the Giants, Padres and Mets, all of whom are below .500.
As daunting as keeping pace or catching the Dodgers already seems, the task appears even tougher now with the bullpen reeling once again and two difference-makers sidelined.
"You lose two guys, both veteran guys -- that's kind of what you rely on this part of the year," Gibson said. "It'll be a tough regroup for us, but we'll have to do so."