PHOENIX -- Arizona probably thought these days were long gone. But after a 5-2 loss to the New York Mets on Wednesday, the Diamondbacks are off to the worst start in franchise history at 4-14. The 1998 expansion team was 5-13.
It has not been hard to pinpoint the problem. The starters made two quality starts three weeks -- 63 pitchers have that many now -- and have an ERA of 7.63, two runs higher than starting staff in the majors.
"Certainly didn't see this coming," Arizona general manager Kevin Towers said. "It's pretty obvious our starting pitching has not been good, and it is going to have to get better for us to make a run at this thing."
Brandon McCarthy, one of two starters who got through six innings more than once, gave up five runs to the Mets. He gave up a home run to Anthony Recker and is tied for the major league lead with six homers allowed.
"I don't know what we're in need of besides playing better baseball," said McCarthy, who has a 7.11 ERA in four starts. "An exorcism or something. We've crossed into that bad side. Obviously morale is low, and you've got a team fighting and doing everything they can to get out of it, but we just can't seem to get out of it really in any sense. Right now we're soul-searching."
The Diamondbacks finished the 0-6 homestand, being swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Mets, and led in only one of the 54 innings played. They trailed 4-0, 5-0, 5-3, 3-2, 9-0 and 2-0 after four innings in each game, and they have been outscored by 48 runs.
The Mets outscored Arizona 21-5 and the Diamondbacks committed five errors in the series.
"We played poorly. We continue to play poorly," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "In the past we've not pitched well, our starters, and today we got a pretty good performance out of Mac. We made mistakes, we ran into an out, we made a couple errors, we were not able to contain guys running the bases and we were unable to throw the ball to first base.
"As hard as they keep fighting, you shoot yourself in the foot, it's tough."
The D-backs are 1-9 at home this season, and 1-11 counting the two designated home games against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Sydney, Australia.
STREAK: Lost six
NEXT: Diamondbacks (LHP Wade Miley, 2-2, 5.04 ERA) at Dodgers (RHP Zack Greinke, 3-0, 2.76 ERA)
--RHP Brandon McCarthy gave up his major league-leading sixth home run in a 5-2 loss to the New York Mets on Wednesday, when he lost his third decision and his ERA dropped to 7.11. "I don't know what we're in need of besides playing better baseball," said McCarthy, after the D-backs dropped their sixth straight to drop to 4-14. "An exorcism or something. We've crossed into that bad side. Right now we're soul-searching."
--OF Cody Ross (hip) is expected to join the team in Los Angeles on Friday for the start of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and when he is activated the D-backs plan to demote a pitcher to get their roster back to the normal composition of 13 position players and 12 pitchers. "I'm not," Gibson said when asked if he planned to keep 13 pitchers, all they have carried all season.
--3B Martin Prado was moved to sixth in the order Wednesday when Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson attempted to get him on track, and the move worked when Prado had three of the D-backs seven hits to break a 1-for-18 skid that included eight strikeouts. "He was feeling for the ball," Gibson said. Prado, hitting .261 with four doubles and four RBIs, opened the season as the cleanup hitter between 1B Paul Goldschmidt and either C Miguel Montero or LF Mark Trumbo, but after a day off last Sunday Prado has hit fifth, second and sixth.
--2B Aaron Hill hit a leadoff home run in the ninth inning to break the New York Mets' shutout Wednesday, his first homer of the season in his 72nd at-bat. He has six hits in his last 36 at-bats.
--1B Paul Goldschmidt, who homered in the ninth inning Wednesday, hit safely in nine of his last 10 games. He has reached base safely in 17 of his last 18 games, and 35 of his last 36 dating to September 2013.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I don't know what we're in need of besides playing better baseball. An exorcism or something. We've crossed into that bad side. Obviously morale is low, and you've got a team fighting and doing everything they can to get out of it, but we just can't seem to get out of it really in any sense. Right now we're soul-searching." -- Arizona RHP Brandon McCarthy, on the Diamondbacks' 4-14 start.
--OF Cody Ross (right hip surgery in August 2013) went on the 15-day disabled list March 19. He began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Reno on April 3, and he could return to the Diamondbacks on April 18.
--RHP Daniel Hudson (Tommy John surgery in June 2013) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 29. He is expected to miss most of the season.
--LHP Matt Reynolds (Tommy John surgery in September 2013) went on the 15-day disabled list March 19. He likely will miss the entire 2014 season.
--RHP David Hernandez (Tommy John surgery in April 2014) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 27, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on April 14. He will miss the entire season.
--LHP Patrick Corbin (Tommy John surgery in March 2014) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 19, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on April 4. He will miss the entire season.
LHP Wade Miley
RHP Brandon McCarthy
RHP Bronson Arroyo
RHP Randall Delgado
RHP Mike Bolsinger
RHP Addison Reed (closer)
RHP J.J. Putz
RHP Brad Ziegler
RHP Josh Collmenter
LHP Oliver Perez
LHP Joe Thatcher
LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith
RHP Trevor Cahill
1B Paul Goldschmidt
2B Aaron Hill
SS Chris Owings
3B Martin Prado
INF Eric Chavez
INF Cliff Pennington
LF Mark Trumbo
CF A.J. Pollock
RF Gerardo Parra
OF Tony Campana
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