Record: 30-42. Pace: 68-94. Change on 2013/2010/2004: -9/+2/+3.
The Diamondbacks avoided the sweep while delivering tacos to the Arizona faithful in a 6-3 win over Beckett and the Dodgers. Thanks to a solid but short start from Arroyo (who threw in the towel after 5 innings with continued discomfort in his elbow) and not-toooo-terrible pitching from Oliver, Marshall, Ziegler and Reed, the heart of the Dback order was able to manufacture a much-needed victory. Goldy attempted to bolster his all-star campaign resume by scoring twice, going 1-for-3 with a solo-shot and a walk while Montero and Hill both went 2-for-4. Beckett gave up 4 runs over 7 innings of work but the Dbacks really put this one to bed in the 9th tacking on 2 runs on another opposite field home run from Montero and an abysmal performance from Dodger reliever Chris Perez.
One thing I like about watching day games is getting to see what everybody does to protect their eyes from the sun – which would, in fact, be a factor on this beautiful day in the ravine. Accordingly, I can’t quite make up my mind as to who has the worst sunglasses, Gibby or Don Mattingly. Gibby’s look like something a suburban Arizona mom would’ve worn in 2003 and Don’s look like he’s on his way to a posh LA cookout hosted by robots, for robots. When your team is 14 games back in Mid-June these are the things you think about during a game.
The game started off as you might expect: Beckett easily struck out Didi then Parra grounded out to Gonzalez at first. "This is going to be a long game" I thought to myself. Then Goldschmidt happened all over a 2-2 fastball. The dude now has 8 HRs and 23 RBIs in 26 games at Dodger Stadium. For the love of God get this man in the All-Star Game. HE LEADS THE MAJORS IN DOUBLES AND TOTAL BASES AND HAS THE FIFTH BEST OPS IN THE NL.
Then Miggy struckout.
Bottom of the First: Arroyo got Gordon and Ramirez to groundout and fly-out respectively, followed by a Puig single. The best possible thing that can happen after a Puig single is Puig getting thrown out stealing second. That’s what happened. Awesome. Also worth mentioning here is the fact that Hanley Ramirez hit a COLOSSAL foul to left that literally went over the top of the foul pole. It was ruled foul, reviewed, and the call was confirmed.
By the second inning, Beckett was cruising through the Dback lineup. Hill flied out to left, Prado was out at first, swinging at the first pitch, and Peralta hit straight to short and was thrown out at first. Since Puig was thrown out to end the first while Gonzalez was at the plate, Gonzalez got to work a consecutive at-bat against Arroyo to start the second. This likely played to his advantage as he drew a lead-off walk. Kemp advanced the runner with 2-3 dinker and Van Slyke got aboard sneaking one under the glove of Didi at short. With runners on first and third, Romak hits to Hill’s left hand side forcing him to concede the run and get the easy out at first. Tie game.
The third inning saw Beckett and Arroyo retiring their respective opponents sides in order. Beckett, feeling especially groovy at this point (top of the fourth), retires Parra, Goldy, and Montero in order AGAIN with a little help from Montero swinging on the first pitch. Bottom of the fourth got a bit interesting with Puig reaching 1st as Goldy dropped an infield fly after losing it in the sun. Kemp would advance Puig with a one out single. Puig would tag on a Van Slyke pop up to center but Arroyo would strand both runners getting Romak to pop up to end the inning.
I’ll add here that I really like watching Peralta play. In the fifth, he single handedly manufactured a run. After a two-out double, he earns his first career stolen base by stealing third on Beckett and scores on a wild pitch with Cody Ross at the plate. Speaking of Cody Ross, Cody followed up Peralta’s run with a single…but was gunned down by Puig trying to stretch it into a double.
In the fifth, Beckett continued the series trend of Dodger pitchers getting hits with a single of his own but Prado would later end the inning with a beautiful play to first off a shallow dinker to third from Ramirez. To everyone’s surprise, Pacheco led off the 6th in the pitcher’s spot. Clearly something must not have felt right to Arroyo because he was cruising right along. As everyone wondered about Bronson, Pacheco flied out and Beckett earned his 5th and 6th strikeouts on Didi and Parra. Perez took the mound in the sixth and performed beautifully, striking out Gonzalez and only allowing a two-out single to Kemp who would be left stranded on a Van Slyke pop-up to end the inning.
Goldy started off the 7th with what looked like his second homerun of the game. However, the monster fly was caught at the warning track by Kemp. Montero followed it up with a grounder to Dee Gordon’s left hand side. Gonzalez initially broke toward the ball so there was no way he could make it back to cover 1st. Becket got caught flat-footed watching the play and left Dee Gordon trying to beat Montero to 1st. Montero made it aboard safely. As Brenly and Berthiaume got some chuckles over the unlikely scenario of Montero beating Dee Gordon anywhere, ever – Montero shut them up, advancing all the way to third with some heads up base running on Hill’s subsequent single. To cap it off, Prado lucked out by shooting a zinger through the errant paws of Dee Gordon, scoring both Montero and Hill.
In the bottom of the 7th, Oliver Perez quizzically returns to the mound to face Romak, Butera, and the pitcher’s spot. Romak gets aboard on an error by Didi, followed by a walk to Butera. At this point, I literally wrote on my scorecard ‘Why is Perez still in the game?" Next, Justin Turner walks up, pinch-hitting for Beckett, and hits an RBI double. Both runners might have scored had Dodger third base coach, Lorenzo Bundy not given Butera a stop sign halfway down the third-base line. Butera slid to a stop and turned back to get to third. At the same time, Didi catches the relay throw from center and makes a heads up throw to third to nab Butera. Gibby, who is still not convinced that Perez is done, allows him to bean the next batter, Dee Gordon in the side. Thankfully, Gibby came-to and put in Marshall who stranded the runners striking out Ramirez and getting Puig to fly-out. Am I the only one that thinks Gibby leaves his pitchers in too long?
Maholm came in and retired the 8th inning Dbacks in order. Ziegler who would come in to do the same, was not so lucky - continuing an extended period of shaky pitching. After allowing a leadoff single to Gonzalez, Ziegler walked Kemp. Van Slyke followed with a grounder to Prado who tagged third for the force and made an ill-advised and terribly executed throw to first that sailed past Goldy allowing Kemp to advance to third. Facing characteristic Dback collapse, Ziegler worked his yester-year double play magic to escape certain catastrophe.
Struggling reliever Chris Perez took the mound in the 9th for the Dodgers allowing a lead off walk to Goldy. Montero followed it up with a two run blast to the opposite field to make it 6-2. The Dbacks threatened again with a Hill Single, Prado walk, and a pinch hit single from Owings. This sequence forced Mattingly to burn another bullpen arm, calling in Jamey Wright to strand the runners with groundouts from Campana and Gregorious.
Addison Reed came in for the unconvincing save. Butera flied out to right and Andre Ethier got things going with a pinch hit single that Parra nearly made a web gem diving play for. Dee Gordon would advance the runner and Ethier scored on a Ramirez double. Fittingly, Reed got Puig to fly-out to right to end the game. While we avoided the sweep, it provides little consolation. This was the kind of win that leaves you asking even more questions, in a season full of answers you’d rather not hear.
What the heck happened to Arroyo? Is 19 years of consecutive starts finally getting to him? What kind of sick joke is it that Arroyo would hurt his elbow as the Dbacks look to trade him to a contending team, conceivably loading the Dbacks with more Cody Ross style dead weight? Is KT a witch? Cody Ross..really? REALLY? Why are Ziegler and Reed having off years? What kind of world is it that Goldy MIGHT NOT make it to the All-Star Game? But maybe most importantly, ‘If I was a millionaire, would my friends tell me if my sunglasses looked stupid?’
Bells and whistles
[Click to enlarge, at fangraphs.com]
Father Christmas: David Peralta, +15.9%
Father Time: Marshall, +14.5%; Arroyo, +13.7%
Father of Lies: Oliver Perez, -7.9%
A well-spread GDT with eight people getting between 24 and 48. JoeCB1991 led the way ahead of GuruB and AzDbackfanInDc, with the other fathers (and non-fathers!) taking part being: Clefo, DbacksSkins, Diamondhacks, GODSCHMIDT, Jim McLennan, MrMrrbi, PR151, Rockkstarr12, SebSwo, SenSurround, SongBird, TolkienBard, Zavada's Moustache, freeland1787, hotclaws, makattack71, onedotfive, preston.salisbury and txzona. Winner of the Comment of the Day is AzDbackfanInDc, for this thought.
I wanna go outside naked
No more Parra Parra Parra just Win Win Win