Diamondbacks 5, Orioles 4: Just Walk It Off

Norm Hall

What? Losing early? Need a late run to tie it up and another to win? Yawn, easy as pie, just another day in the Diamondbacks season...

Record: 62-57. Pace: 84-78. NL West: -7

The first scoring of the game, surprisingly, came off the Arizona bats. After getting Baltimore to strand two runners in the top of the first, the Diamondbacks came out swinging. A one out double from Martin Prado was the first threat, and after a two out walk to Aaron Hill, Matt Davidson delivered his first RBIs in the major leagues, singling to bring Prado in and give Arizona a 1-0 lead.

Of course, we didn't hold on to that for too long. The second inning seemed to be Patrick Corbin's stumbling block this afternoon. Back to back singles to Taylor Teagarden and Brian Roberts gave the Orioles runners on with one out. A ground out by pitcher Chris Tillman moved them up a base, and then Nick Markakis singled to left field to bring both of them in. Manny Machado followed that up with his eleventh home run of the year, and the Orioles had a 4-1 lead. Dooooooooooom.

Arizona didn't give up, though. Maybe, just maybe, something in the past few days had indicated that they might be able to fight back from it. Didi Gregorius put himself in scoring position with a one out single in the bottom of the second, and came around to score easily when Gerardo Parra tripled off the wall in center field. Parra was stranded there by an inning ending pop up from Prado, but at least we'd cut into the Orioles lead.

The third inning passed quietly, with both pitchers going 1-2-3 through the opposition. The fourth looked like it might hold more trouble for Corbin, with Teagarden and Roberts starting off with back to back singles again. A sacrifice from Tillman advanced the runners to give Baltimore two in scoring position with one out, but Corbin got Markakis and Machado to fly out and strand the runners.

The next few innings went down pretty quietly. Both teams would get one baserunner on- mostly singles for Baltimore, mostly walks for Arizona- but neither team could really do anything to bring them around to score. It wasn't exactly the cleanest game of baseball or the most exciting, but Corbin was at least keeping Arizona in the game. He finished his start off well with the seventh inning, striking out the last two batters he faced to give him seven Ks on the day.

Corbin was replaced in the bottom of the inning with pinch hitter Tony Campana, just flown in from Reno, but his arms didn't seem tired from the way he sped around the bases. A bunt single started off the inning, and after Parra flew out, Campana stole second base and took third on a wild pitch. That meant Campana was perfectly placed for Martin Prado to bring him home with a single to left field. A walk to Goldschmidt gave us the go ahead run on base with one out, but- let's be honest. It was too early to even tie it. Two quick outs meant took us into the eighth inning, down 4-3.

Will Harris went 1-2-3 through the top of the eighth, and then Wil Nieves started the bottom of the inning with a double. Adam Eaton came in as pinch runner and took third on a sacrifice bunt by A.J. Pollock. But the Orioles snagged a line drive from Didi Gregorius and Jason Kubel struck out to end the inning, stranding the tying run ninety feet from home.

Tuffy Gosewisch came in to replace Nieves behind home, with J.J. Putz taking the mound for another 1-2-3 outing. And then we were into the bottom of the ninth, down by one run, against the Orioles closer.

No problem.

A double from Gerardo Parra was the start of things, though that was followed up by a, shall we say, confusing bunt attempt by Martin Prado that didn't advance the runner and had Hill out at first. Goldschmidt was issued an unsurprising intentional walk to set up the potential double play. Then Aaron Hill came to the plate, singling to left field and delivering the almost expected ninth inning rally to tie the game, giving Arizona runners at the corners with one out. They couldn't add the finishing blow in regulation, though, and we were off to extra innings.

Putz was left in for the tenth, confusingly enough, giving up a leadoff single before getting Adam Jones to strike out swinging. He was pulled for Joe Thatcher, who gave up a single to the only batter he faced, before Brad Ziegler came in. He got a ground ball that Gregorius kept from reaching the outfield, but couldn't get an out on. Undeterred, Ziegler did what he does, and got another ground ball to Aaron Hill, who turned a 4-6-3 double play and took us to the bottom of the inning.

Not much of interest came out of the bottom of the tenth, save for Randall Delgado making a pinch hit appearance for Ziegler, and Josh Collmenter was pulled in from the bullpen to pitch in the eleventh. He gave up a one-out single to Brian Roberts, but a double play ball ended that inning quickly. Collmenter was solid out of the bullpen, striking out four batters total in his three innings pitched, and keeping Arizona in the game.

This was good, because the Diamondbacks bats had gone quiet. Between Hill's RBI single in the ninth and Wade Miley's pinch hit line out to end the thirteenth inning, Arizona hadn't had a batter reach. As Heath Bell took the mound in the top of fourteen and went 1-2-3, we were still looking to see who our hero of the day would be.

Fortunately for Arizona, Bud Norris decided to jump start that search a little bit. Normally a starter, called in for relief in the fourteenth inning for Baltimore, Norris struggled with his command at first. Quite a bit, as the first eight pitches he threw missed the strike zone, walking Gerardo Parra and Martin Prado. Paul Goldschmidt had his shot to be the hero, but struck out swinging, but Aaron Hill had his back, slapping a ground ball back up the middle to score Parra from second base and giving Arizona their third straight walkoff win.

Source: FanGraphs

Fantastic: Aaron Hill (+57.6%) Josh Collmenter (+43.4%)
Great: Gerardo Parra (+23.1%), Brad Ziegler (+22.4%), Heath Bell (+14.5%)

Needs Improvement: Didi Gregorius (-24.8%), A.J. Pollock (-23.9%), Matt Davidson (-19.1%),

A lot of win percentage to throw around in a game like that- it's not often you'll see multiple players with swings this big. Dishonorable mention goes to Jason Kubel's -11.4% as a pinch hitter.

Pretty good thread for an afternoon game, traipsing past 500 comments. imstillhungry95 took the lead in the count, approaching triple digits, while onedotfive and azshadowwalker took the next two spots. Also stopping by were 4 Corners Fan, AzDbackfanInDc, BlackedOutInUT, CaptainCanuck, Clefo, Fangdango, FatBoysEatMeat, GODSCHMIDT, GuruB, Jim McLennan, Moranall, TC89, The so-called Beautiful, TolkienBard, Turambar, asteroid, azcougs, cheese1213, coldblueAZ, cole8865, frienetic, hotclaws, jweezynation, kishi, piratedan7, preston.salisbury, rapdawg, rd33, and xmet. Still no green comments, so come on, guys. Geeeez.

An off day tomorrow as the Diamondbacks travel, but I'm pretty sure that's all for the best, given the strain put on our hearts and the bullpen today. So rest up and we're off to Pittsburgh to face the Pirates on Friday night.

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