MLB: D-backs, 23 losses in a row on the road and establish a new historical record

The goal for Thursday’s series finale against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park was the same as every game: to win. But the Arizona D-backs they knew what was at stake. History was at stake. Lose and stand alone. One last chance.

As the game progressed, reality began to settle. Try as the D-backs tried, there would be no miraculous comeback. There would be no way to erase a six-race deficit. No, Arizona couldn’t avoid her date with the story:

With a 23rd consecutive loss outside Arizona, a 10-3 flop, the D-backs have outshined the 1943 Philadelphia Athletics and 1963 New York Mets in the most consecutive trips on the road.

In the midst of this streak, there has been the feeling that the team is out of sync, an idea that Venezuelan veteran Asdrúbal Cabrera pointed out after the defeat on Wednesday night. There have been games with a strong offense and bad pitching. There have been games where the opposite was true. Then of course there have been games where neither team performed well. That was the case on Thursday afternoon.

Zac Gallen, who made his first appearance since May 7, was unable to play the stopper role, although it would have been unfair to hold him to that expectation given he was returning from injury. Even if Gallen pushed, he probably wouldn’t pitch more than four innings thanks to a pitch count.

Unfortunately for Arizona, Gallen didn’t push in his limited time. The Giants marked him with four runs in 2 2/3 innings, taking advantage of errors in the middle of the zone. Gallen’s two wildpitch pitches and hitter served to reinforce that he was still working his way back.

The responsibility of winning, then, fell on the offense. The D-backs have proven capable of putting up lopsided numbers, but Giants ace Kevin Gausman kept them in check. Until the seventh inning, Gallen had the team’s only hit.

Arizona showed some fighting in the seventh inning, going through two runs against Gausman, but in a cruel part of fate, San Francisco got runs in the bottom half. One step forward, one step back.

So, here are the D-backs. They now hold the record for the most consecutive road losses in major league history. By the time they fly to San Diego next week, it will be two months since they won out of Chase Field. This stretch has been an outlier in every sense of the word.

The injuries haven’t helped. Gallen just got back after missing a month. Madison Bumgarner, who scored the team’s last road win on April 24 when he pitched a seven-inning no-hitter at Atlanta, hasn’t pitched in two weeks. Luke Weaver hasn’t shot since mid-May. Kole Calhoun has not played since the end of April. That little bit of context is important. Lovullo, however, will not make excuses.

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At some point, the D-backs will win again on the road. This streak will end. Gallen hinted that this type of drift is an anomaly similar to winning 30 in a row. Eventually, the law of large numbers will have a say. Until then, the D-backs will return home to Arizona, hoping to rediscover the plan to win baseball.