Record: 69-67. Pace: 82-80.
NL West: NL Wild Card: Meh.
The Diamondbacks opened the series against the Toronto Blue Jays this afternoon, their last non-NL West opponent until the last series of the season. Esmil Rogers, today's starter, had a 7.66 ERA in the month of August, so of course the D'backs offense would make him look like Cy Young. As Kirk Gibson said post-game, "Sometimes you have to beat Cy Young," but today was not this day.
Martin Prado's one-out single to left in the 2nd inning was the first hit of the game. He was promptly erased when Gerardo Parra hit a weak grounder to second for the inning ending double play. Esmil Rogers faced the minimum through the 6th inning, getting weak grounders and five strikeouts.
Outside of two runs in the 2nd inning by way of a one-out double, an RBI single by Kevin Pillar, and a triple by Anthony Gose that scored Pillar, Brandon McCarthy was pitching just as well. He hit a batter in the 3rd inning and then retired 16 Blue Jays in a row, all the way to the start of the 9th inning. I don't have all of the stats, but the numbers for McCarthy were great - at one point, there were 19 of 22 first pitch strikes, and I believe 15 or 21 outs were recorded with three or fewer pitches. It was an excellent outing. Until the 9th. But we'll get to that.
The Diamondbacks' first chance to score came in the 7th inning. Tony Campana worked a leadoff walk and promptly stole second base. After striking out Adam Eaton and though only 83 pitches, John Gibbons pulled Rogers. The hope of "Anybody But Rogers" was briefly raised, especially when the reliever walked Paul Goldschmidt, but Eric Chavez ground into a double play to end the threat.
In the top of the 9th inning, McCarthy gave up a single to Ryan Goins that was just over the head of Cliff Pennington. The very next pitch was over everybody's head as Edwin Encarnacion hit a no-doubt home run to deep left field, his 35th homer of the year. As Clefo kind of said in the Gameday Thread, it is a little hard to be mad when the home run was that impressive. McCarthy quickly got two groundouts to third (nine of McCarthy's 18 groundouts were to Chavez at third) and a flyout to end the inning, but Arizona was down 4-0 going to the bottom of the 9th.
Pennington led off the bottom of the 9th with a double just off the glove of Brett Lowrie. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by pinch hitter Willie Bloomquist. Pinch hitter A.J. Pollock walked to put two on and there was still nobody out. But after a flyout by Eaton, Paul Goldschmidt ground into a game-ending double play (the fourth DP of the game) to end all our hopes and dreams of a comeback victory. At least it was quick - at 2:17, today's game ties for the second shortest game of the season (and for a long while, it sure felt like we'd be done in under two hours).
Head of the Class: B McCarthy, +7.3% pitching
Teacher's Pet: A. Pollock, +9.7%, for a walk in his only plate appearance in the 9th
Class Bully: E. Chavez, -21.8%
A do-nothing game during the day on a holiday featured a similarly slow gameday thread of 28 people and about 350 comments. Clefo took the gold medal for the day with just 41 posts, with onedotfive and Jim tied for second. All present were AzDbackfanInDc, AzRattler, BulldogsNotZags, CaptainCanuck, Clefo, Dbacks4eva10101, Diamondhacks, Fangdango, FatBoysEatMeat, GODSCHMIDT, GuruB, Jim McLennan, JoeCB1991, RobbieFVK, Rockkstarr12, The so-called Beautiful, Zavada's Moustache, azshadowwalker, blank_38, catbat, cheese1213, hotclaws, kishi, melliemacker, onedotfive, preston.salisbury, snakecharmer, and soco.
Bob Brenly gets an assist for the Comment of the Day for his and Steve Berthiaume's complimentary discussion about the Snakepit.
"If you're a D-backs fan, that's the place to be"
Back to the standard 6:40 start time tomorrow here at Chase Field!