PHOENIX — The disappointment was still fresh from their 7-5 loss to the Giants when the D-backs players entered the home clubhouse at Chase Field on Wednesday.
First baseman Christian Walker felt it was the time to say something to his teammates.
Yes, this was a game they should have won, but he told them not to let it take away from the fact that they took two of three games in the series against a team that won 17 of 19 against them last year.
“I think that was an awesome series,” Walker said. “That’s a really good team. We played them tough and obviously took the series. It sucks not to get the sweep there — obviously you want to win every game — but being fair that’s a heck of a series. We played hard, put up a lot of runs, answered when we needed to answer. Just kind of ran out of innings at the end. But just really, really proud of the team and I think if we can maintain that energy and that pace of play, I think it’s going to be a really fun rest of the season.”
The D-backs beat the Giants 8-3 on Monday and 6-2 on Tuesday and were going for their first sweep of the Giants since 2019 and their first home sweep of them since 2017.
But while the D-backs were unable to do much offensively in innings three through eight, the Giants continued to chip away.
D-backs lefty Joe Mantiply, who has been one of the league’s best relievers this year, had some unexpected struggles, allowing a bunt single to Austin Slater and a two-run homer to Darin Ruf in the eighth.
Things got worse for the D-backs in the ninth with closer Mark Melancon only available in a save situation. The Giants scored three times off Mantiply and Sean Poppen to take a 7-4 lead.
“It sucks,” said Mantiply, who came into the game with a 1.13 ERA. “I let the team down there in that situation.”
When the D-backs went to Mantiply, Giants manager Gabe Kapler countered with his two big right-handed bats off the bench — Slater and Ruf.
D-backs manager Torey Lovullo knew Kapler would do that, but he had confidence in Mantiply.
“I was betting on my guy,” Lovullo said. “And I will bet on him again. For sure.”
The D-backs open a four-game series against the Rockies at Chase Field on Thursday before heading on the road to face the Giants and Padres for three games each.
As they do that, Walker wants them to remember the first two games against the Giants and not the one that got away.
“We just took two of three from a really good squad that have a lot of spotlights on them; they’re expected to do big things this year,” Walker said. “And you know, we were right there with them. We had a chance to win it there. It could have been three in a row but you know it doesn’t always have to be, ‘Aww, man, we lost.’ I feel like if we maintain [this level of play] and keep our foot on the gas pedal, we’re going to be in really good shape.”