"Hell is—Arizona Diamondbacks baseball"
—Jean-Paul Sartre, if he had lived a century later
The Reds defeated the Diamondbacks 6-1 behind a Jake Lamb throwing error in the first inning and a Jay Bruce three run homer in the third. Jean Segura scored the lone Diamondbacks run in the first inning on a single by Chris Owings.
If Rob Manfred needs to persuade anyone that there needs to be an increase in pace of play in baseball, forcing them to sit through this game would do the trick. Of course, he’d have to have them taken there in an unregistered cargo plane, and they’d have to watch the game in Thailand.
How bad was it? Imagine, for a moment, Chris Berman. Now imagine Chris Berman having consumed all the greenies Mike Schmidt took in the 70s. By the time Jay Bruce hit his three run home run in the third inning, he already would have been too drained of energy to muster a single "back back back."
Most of this was the fault of the first inning. It was so bad that if it were somehow weaponized, it could be unleashed on ISIS and bring peace to the Middle East tomorrow. It lasted fifty minutes. I watch cricket fairly frequently. 40 minutes is too long for an inning of baseball, by about twenty. Game 4 of the 1993 World Series is the longest nine inning World Series game in history, clocking in at four hours and fourteen minutes. World Series games have longer commercial breaks, and that game also featured 29 runs on 32 hits (and no errors!) with three home runs and 11 pitchers. If the first inning (before the Lamb error) was repeated eight more times, the result would be a 9-0 game lasting over four and a half hours.
The third inning didn’t help, either, as the Diamondbacks stranded a leadoff single, and Ray did his thing where he throws too many pitches, and one went over the fence, and it lasted 25 minutes. But by that point, most people would have been willing to turn in their closest friends just to make it stop, already.
Of course, in some ways, the worst torture is knowing what will happen and yet having to sit through the long process of getting there, anyway. As soon as the Diamondbacks took the lead in the first inning, you knew the game was over. You knew it was over, because the Diamondbacks can’t hold a lead. You knew it was over because as soon as the lead was blown (which took very little time, in this case) the offense would call it a night. It happened yesterday, it happened today (much more slowly) and no one would be surprised if it happens tomorrow. When ahead after the first, second, or third innings, the Diamondbacks have a losing record. Early leads have resulted in defeat more frequently than in victory.
Fortunately for me, the game sped up. Unfortunately for all Diamondbacks fans, it didn’t get any better. Keyvius Sampson had 12 career starts to his name, with an ERA of 6.66 in those 12 starts. He was allowing hitters a triple slash of .307/.378/.486. After allowing two hits and a walk in the first inning, he allowed two hits and a walk in his remaining 3.1 innings before being removed in favor of Michael Lorenzen, who has a career ERA+ of 75. Not a single Diamondback reached against Lorenzen in 2.2 innings.
Robbie Ray actually didn’t pitch badly, at least not by his standards. He allowed the aforementioned three run shot by Jay Bruce in the third, but struck out the side in the second and fourth, and finished with 10 strikeouts to only one walk. Dominic Leone gave up a hit, and Jake Barrett gave up two, in scoreless innings. Daniel Hudson gave up a long at bat and leadoff double to Adam Duvall, but held the Reds scoreless. The pitching wasn’t that bad. The blame for this game lies entirely on the offense, and on Lamb’s throwing struggles.
There is another baseball-like event before a paid audience in Cincinnati tomorrow. Based on the last couple of days, I’m not going to call it a "game" until it proves worthy of the name. If you want to watch it on television, it’s at 10 AM Arizona time. If you don’t watch it, please find the nearest house of worship and pray for those who do.
(Possibly) Not yet contaminated with losing virus: Chris Owings, 9.2%
Patient Zero: Robbie Ray, -36.5% (Special mention to Jake Lamb, -8.3%, but his throwing error was worth -18%, and is not counted in the above)
The thread had more action than the game, I think. 257 comments in total. AzDbackfaninDC led the way with 94 comments, followed, afar off, by GuruB with 29 and MichaelMcD831993 with 15. 18 other poor souls were present, mostly discussing Chris Sale’s failed tailoring endeavors. No comment of the thread, as nothing went red, except for Diamondback faces.