The Diamondbacks played another baseball game on Sunday and with that, there were more opportunities for misery. They weren’t hard to spot.
Josh Rojas appeared to berate himself as he returned to the dugout after a strikeout in the fourth inning. Ketel Marte was less subtle after hitting in the eighth, throwing his bat and slamming his helmet. Christian Walker looked frustrated and baffled after going through Strike 3 in the ninth inning.
Losing 2-0 at American Family Field, the Diamondbacks were swept away in four games by the Milwaukee Brewers. This extended their losing streak on the team record road to 17 games. Overall, this was their 19th loss in their last 21 games and their 28th in their last 33 games.
The Diamondbacks have long passed the point where one should expect wins. They are 20-41. It’s the worst team in baseball. The losses are not, in the broad sense, surprising. But their arrival continues day after day, week after week, from May to June – the relentlessness to be beaten shows up on the faces of the players as they process the results or descend the stairs of the dugout after games.
“Very frustrating,” said Marte, speaking through interpreter Alex Arpiza. “We are losing a lot of games. This is something quite incredible.
They were shutout Sunday for the seventh time this season, beaten by another Brewers right-hander with overpowering stuff. This time it was Corbin Burnes, who has a beard, long hair, and a seemingly untouchable cut fastball, a throw he can throw at over 97 mph with the kind of sideways movement you don’t typically see. than in video games.
On Saturday, it was Brandon Woodruff who held them in check in five innings. One night earlier, it was Freddy Peralta who led the way with 7 1/3 hits.
The Diamondbacks didn’t seem in the mood to over-compliment the Brewers pitchers – at least, that was the sentiment of Marte and manager Torey Lovullo, the two club reps who spoke to reporters after the game. Instead, they focused on themselves.
“We’ve been up against some really good pitchers over the last (week): Jacob deGrom, (Marcus) Stroman, these pitchers here in Milwaukee are very, very good,” said Marte. “We have to focus on ourselves and do the little things, each of us.”
The 17 straight road losses are the biggest since the Pittsburgh Pirates lost 17 in a row in 2010. One more loss would give them the longest streak since 1985, when the Pirates lost 19 in a row. They are still a long way from the all-time record of 22, shared by the Philadelphia Athletics in 1943 and the New York Mets in 1963.
One thing is certain about the Diamondbacks’ upcoming schedule. They won’t lose on Monday. They are extinct. They hope it will give them a chance to regroup and find some perspective after a streak in which they have played 13 days in a row and 33 games in 34 days.
“It’s been a lot of baseball games,” Lovullo said. “For us, getting away from it all, recharging our batteries and taking a break – I believe in balance. At some point tomorrow night, put those gears back in place and get ready to wake up the next morning to play your best baseball game on Tuesday.