Record; 62-84. Pace: 69-93. Change on 2015: -7.
After a series against the Rockies which felt like it was a Peter Jackson adaptation of an undiscovered Tolkien work, tonight’s contest was Gravity in comparison, coming in at a brisk 2:39. It was the quickest Diamondbacks win at Chase Field since June 11. There has only been one shorter game over that time, and it was the 13-0 mauling by Cincinnati on August 27, which somehow managed to take 2:32, but still felt five hours long. Tonight’s was much more pleasant, and there was something particularly karmic about it, for reasons we’ll get to shortly.
Dodgers’ starter Rich Hill hadn’t allowed a run in his first three starts for Los Angeles, and threw seven perfect innings last time out. After retiring the first five Arizona batters he faced, Kyle Jensen ended both streaks with a very long home-run to center field, which ESPN has estimated at 456 feet. The D-backs then doubled that lead in the third: Tuffy Gosewisch singled, was sacrificed to second by Archie Bradley, then came around to score after Chris Owings dumped a ball into left-center. Meanwhile, Bradley put the lead-off man on in the first, before striking out the side. He then put the first two on in the second, before striking out the side again. In the third, for variety, he put the first two on, and got a double-play to escape again.
After a scoreless fourth, things got interesting in the fifth. Leading off, Hill tried to bunt his way aboard, on a pitch from Bradley which was well inside and off the plate. For some reason, Hill took exception to this, apparently having forgotten that the batter’s ability to call for a pitch’s location was abolished in 1887. As he ran up the line to first, he was yelling at Bradley, with “Throw the ball over the plate! Fuck you!” being the generally-agreed transcript. Bradley, unimpressed, yelled back, and both benches cleared, albeit a gentle pace more in keeping with game 146 of the season. Nothing more happened, though both benches were warned. Bradley had to face Hill in the bottom of the fifth - if it had been me, I’d have tried to bunt, but Archie kept his bat on his shoulder and struck out on four pitches.
Impressively, Hill may not actually be the biggest jackass on the Dodgers. Scott Van Slyke, out for the season after wrist surgery, Tweeted:
then immediately chose to double-down on his douchiness:
@leodee1 he threw at my dude cause he was bunting— ScottVanSlyke (@ScottVanSlick) September 16, 2016
This is so laughably wrong, not least because it credits Archie Bradley with X-Men level reactions, that I genuinely thought this was some kind of parody account. I had to be corrected by Clefo, that no, these are actually the genuine thoughts being expressed by a professional baseball player. Perhaps Brandon McCarthy can pop over to Chez Van Slyke, and provide some lessons on how to Tweet gud.
The Dodgers had got on the board in the fifth after the Hill kerfuffle, but Bradley rebounded back with a very solid sixth inning. taking only nine pitches to retire Los Angeles in order. Arizona then responded with a five-run sixth, and chased Hill to the showers (after another tantrum). Jean Segura walked to lead things off, took second on a passed ball and scored on a Paul Goldschmidt single. One out later, Brandon Drury singled Goldie home. Jensen walked, and Mitch Haniger provided the cherry on the icing of this inning, with a three-run home-run to left, his second of the year. That made the score 7-1 to Arizona before Bradley made the final out, being the ninth D-back to come the plate.
With hindsight, Hale should have pinch-hit for Bradley, as he didn’t retire any of the three batters he faced in the top of the seventh. Los Angeles went single, double, wild pitch, RBI double, and that was the end of Archie. Still, he looked very good, throwing both his fastball and a hammer curve for strikes early on, and probably deserved a somewhat better line. He went six innings, scattering nine hits and two walks, with seven strikeouts - six of those coming in the first two frames. He was also very efficient, taking only 88 pitches to get through 28 batters.
Arizona went more than 11 years without a three-inning save, from Greg Swindell in April 2000 to Zach Duke in July 2011. But Patrick Corbin came in and picked up the second such this week, following in the wake of Matt Koch on Tuesday night. Corbin looked as good as he has for a long time, throwing three perfect innings and striking out four of the nine batters he faced. It was the first perfect three-inning save for Arizona since Swindell’s, and only the third in the National League since 2008. After a bumpy start to his bullpen career, Corbin may have turned it around. Over his last six outings, he has worked 12.1 innings and allowed two earned runs. with 13 strikeouts. I wonder if he may get a shot in the rotation, with Rubby De La Rosa’s status looking increasingly uncertain?
The offense fell short of the standard set in the Colorado series, though seven runs is still pretty good - especially considering the team had only six hits, being outhit by Los Angeles, 9-6. It was certainly a case that shows when you hit being as important as anything: the home team were 4-for-5 with runners in scoring position, while the visitors were 1-for-10. Haniger and Gosewisch each had a hit and a walk for the D-backs, who picked up their fourth straight victory. That gives them a chance tomorrow night, with Zack Greinke on the mound, for their longest winning streak since mid-June, including that four-game sweep in Philadelphia.
[Click for details, at fangraphs.com]
Mount Everest: Archie Bradley, +17.1%
The Mountain: Jensen, +10.5%; Corbin, +10.5%
A mole-hill: Yasmany Tomas, -5.0%
SongBird, asteroid and GuruB led the comment thread, with the others present being: Augdogs, AzRattler, Clefo, Dano_in_Tucson, Diamondhacks, Jim McLennan, MichaelMcD831993, MrMrrbi, Oldenschoole, Xerostomia, coldblueAZ, gamepass, imstillhungry95, onedotfive and preston.salisbury. Clefo’s comment was the most rec’d and can hardly be argued against tonight.
Duck the Fodgers
by Clefo on Sep 15, 2016 | 8:35 PM reply rec (2) flag actions
Same two teams tomorrow night, as discussed above, with Greinke hoping to do a better job of keeping the ball in the park. I dare any of the Dodgers to yell at him...