Record: 43-62. Pace: 66-96. Change on 2015: -8.
It was a rather lengthy top of the first, though not so much due to the D-backs offense, who didn’t get a hit. Dodgers’ starter Bud Norris appeared to tweak his oblique while issuing a five-pitch walk to Jean Segura. Although he stayed in for another batter, that was it, and Los Angeles had to go to their bullpen with one out in the first. An understantably lengthy warm-up for replacement Ross Stripling followed before he could face Paul Goldschmidt. During that at-bat Jean Segura stole second, and took this as the catcher’s throw sailed off the left. Goldschmidt walked, and Segura then scored on a squibber off the bat of Jake Lamb, to give the visitors another quick 1-0 lead.
Good news: Patrick Corbin put up a zero in the bottom half. Bad news: it was far from a shutdown inning. Indeed, it took Corbin 27 pitches, including two walks, and ended on a full-count to Yasiel Puig. He grounded to third and rather than throw to first, Jake Lamb made the dubious decision to beat the runner to the bag. It was close. Very close. Close enough to get the Dodgers to appeal the out call. But, fortunately, not close enough to get the review team in New York to over-turn, so Corbin and the D-backs were out with the lead somehow intact.
Corbin escaped trouble again in the second inning, stranding a lead-off double, with the help of back-to-back strikeouts. But if the seventh inning was the one on Friday where things got weird, it was the fourth this afternoon. It started with a dropped foul-ball by the Dodgers’ 1B, though Goldschmidt couldn’t take advantage. Jake Lamb and Yasmany Tomas singled and with men on the corners and two out, a pitch dropped by catcher Yasmani Grandal fell inside his chest-protector. Never seen that before. The rule is, every base-runner gets a base, but going by Dave Roberts coming out and arguing, he didn’t have a clue. Score one for the D-backs and Chris Owings then singled the runner (now on second) home for another tally, making it 3-0.
Unfortunately, there would be no shutdown inning and no great escape for Corbin in the bottom half. An error by Jake Lamb opened the door for the Dodgers to get on the board and still have the bases loaded with no outs. Pinch-hitter Adrian Gonzalez hit into a run-scoring double-play, but Corbin then gave up a two-out game-tying single. He then committed an even worse gaffe by allowing the Puig to get a two-out RBI double in the fifth inning. Though you could argue Tomas should have got to the ball, rather than it clanking off the end of his glove as he dove for it.
One out into the sixth and it was the end of Corbin’s day. In some ways, it was as good as he has looked for a while - and, the overall line was not helped by his defense. On the other hand, he scattered eight hits, three walks and a hit batter over his 5.1 innings, and a WHIP above two is unimpressive. He did strike out six and only three of the six runs he allowed was earned. Could also have been a bit more efficient - 108 pitches over 5,1 innings isn’t very good - but it was still probably something of an improvement over the rest of his July outings. Certainly not a month Patrick will want to remember, going 0-4 in six attempts with an ERA of 6.30.
He wasn’t helped by Chip Hale’s inexplicable decision to send Dominic Leone in there to protect a one-run lead. Since the start of 2015, Leone has now appeared in 24 major-league games and has an ERA there of 8.17. Today, he allowed both runners inheriter from Corbin to score, as well as two on his own line, courtesy of a three-run homer by Grandal. Which, I guess makes up for the whole chest-protector thing. The Dodgers scored four in the sixth, making it an 8-3 ballgame and flatlining any and all interest for Diamondbacks’ fans the rest of the way. When writing about the bullpen in the preview, I said, “It could be an ugly couple of months for Arizona fans.” I didn’t expect that prediction to come true quite so quickly.
It didn’t get better. Steve Hathaway made his major-league debut in the seventh. The first two got hits. The fourth clubbed another three-run homer. That was the end of Hathaway’s debut, as he became the fifth Diamondback reliever in team history to allow three ER in his first game, while retiring zero or one batters (the others being Ryan Cook, Steve Randolph, Vincente Padilla and Ricky Pickett). When you’re being bailed out by Daniel Hudson, you know things are rough... Actually, maybe the “trade rumor stress” suggestion about Huddy has some merit, as he struck out both batters he faced to end the seventh.
Evan Marshall got his first post-return appearance, having been called up from Reno this morning. He allowed a run before he retired a batter, then a two-run homer. Mercifully, we didn’t have to find anyone for the ninth inning. The Diamondbacks managed a total of three hits, all of them coming in that two-run fourth. Jake Lamb got a hit and a walk and... that was it.
The roll-call and fangraph for this one will have to wait. Mrs. SnakePit is revving up the car, as we have a family dinner. I’ll perhaps get round to adding those [should anyone really care] when we return later in the evening. But maybe not, since trying to find any further enthusiasm for this game - and, indeed, this season, is not going to be easy, to say the least. Otherwise, we’re back to Chase Field tomorrow night, so things can hardly go worse, can they? I mean, it’s not as if we’re facing Stephen Stra...
Oh. Never mind.