Things looked bleak from the get-go with this one, as the threat of rain made it's presence felt, postponing the start of this one by 30 minutes. That didn't stop Jean Segura from doing what he's been doing, as he stayed hot looking for the franchise record for hits in a season.
Segura led things off with a single, setting the table for the D-backs to strike first and maybe end this thing before the rain had a chance. Chris Owings obliged, moving Segura to 2nd with a single of his own. After an excellent double steal, Goldy was in prime position to get the team on the board and he did, lining a hard grounder into deep shortstop. Espinosa had no shot at home plate, and threw onto first for the first out of the inning and a 1-0 D-backs lead. That was it however, as Castillo and Drury flew out and struck out respectively to strand Owings at 2nd. Still not a bad way to start the game.
Shelby Miller's performance today was what we expected from him after the blockbuster trade brought him over in the off-season. His fastball was explosive, touching 97mph and his curveball had depth, getting a couple swings and misses on the night. The Nationals never truly threatened until the bottom of the 5th, when they used two singles to put a runner into scoring position, but Miller was solid, getting pinch hitter Stephen Drew to ground out to first and Trea Turner to fly out to DEEP right-center field. Granted that ball probably reaches the seats in better weather, but at that point the clouds were just about to burst onto the scene and ruin the day.
With predictions of a long rain delay, which could even push this game to Sunday, it will probably end Shelby's 2016 season. He's credited with a complete game shutout, pitching 5 IP, allowing 5 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5. Since his return to the team in late August, he's pitched to a 3.98 ERA over 31.2 IP. That'll do just fine Shelby.
The offense continued to work Gio Gonzalez throughout all this, and who would you guess started the threat in the 3rd? Oh yeah, Jean Segura, who beat out a single to Gio to lead off the 3rd for his 199th hit on the season. If there's one thing Dave Stewart has gotten right, it is that. Another stolen base for Owings, who advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher put him at 3rd and Castillo walked on 4 straight balls to bring up Brandon Drury. He smashed a double to right, just over the outstretched glove of the RF, scoring Owings and moving Castillo the 3rd. Yasmany Tomas was intentionally walked to bring up Lamb against the lefty, and Gio got his out to end the inning on a sharp grounder to 2nd. Still, it was 2-0 D-backs with a solid Shelby Miller pitching.
With 2 outs, Jean Segura hit it deep in the hole and of course beat it out, giving him 200 hits on the season and 6 away from Luis Gonzalez for the franchise record. And eventually scored after two more singles from Owings and Goldy to give the D-backs their 3-0 lead, which would stick as the teams left the field for a rain delay after 5 complete innings. And that's the final! D-backs Win!
Monsoon Season - Shelby Miller (+25.8%)
Middle of Summer - Mitch Haniger (-12.0%)