Record: 45-27. Pace: 101-61. Change on 2016: +12.
It’s funny what a difference a 10-run inning, the largest in Diamondbacks’ team history away from Phoenix, makes to the atmosphere. After last night’s late-inning loss, the game tonight at Coors Field appeared to begin in similarly irritating fashion. The D-backs stranded a lead-off double in the second inning, and the Rockies responded by going in front - Mark Reynolds hitting a homer that likely wouldn’t have made it out anywhere else. Arizona then put men on second and third with no outs, and Jake Lamb whiffed. You could sense the negativity rising in the Gameday Thread; if Arizona had wasted that opportunity, it’s possible the game could have gone south in a hurry.
But instead, Brandon Drury rode to the rescue, bringing both base-runners in with a double, giving the Diamondbacks the lead. But they were only getting started, on an inning where they sent 14 men to the plate, and poor Daniel Descalso made both the second and third outs [he went 0-for-6 tonight, and hit into a double-play. Shake it off, Daniel. Shake it off...] Here’s that inning, in a format suitable for framing:
- Peralta singled to right.
- Goldschmidt doubled to deep right, Peralta to third.
- Lamb struck out swinging.
- Drury doubled to center, Peralta and Goldschmidt scored. (2-1)
- Descalso grounded out to shortstop.
- Iannetta doubled to deep right, Drury scored. (3-1)
- Ahmed intentionally walked.
- Walker singled to right center, Iannetta scored, Ahmed to second, Ahmed scored on error by center fielder Blackmon. (5-1)
- Blanco walked, Walker to second.
- Peralta singled to left center, Walker scored, Blanco to third. (6-1)
- Goldschmidt singled to center, Blanco scored, Peralta to third. (7-1)
- Lamb doubled to deep center, Peralta and Goldschmidt scored. (9-1)
- Drury singled to center, Lamb scored. (10-1)
- Descalso lined out to second.
Three different Diamondbacks (David Peralta, Paul Goldschmidt and Brandon Drury) had two hits in the inning; Drury had two separate RBI hits there, and also had RBI singles in the sixth and ninth, to finish the night with six RBI on four hits. Goldschmidt had an RBI single in the sixth as well, giving him three hits before he was given the rest of the night off. Peralta reached base five times on four hits and a walk, while Nick Ahmed had a two-run shot in the seventh, his sixth home-run of the year. The final tally was 16 runs on 20 hits for Arizona, both of them season highs. It was the most hits for us in over three years, since 21 on June 6, 2014 - also at Coors Field.
Of course, this is Coors Field. Which is why we got comments in the Gameday Thread like “Walker needs to stop the bleeding here,” when he allowed a couple of runs in the bottom of the fifth ending. That allowed Colorado to pull within... er, seven runs, with four innings to play. Walker and the designated mop-up men, Randall Delgado and T.J. McFarland somehow managed to hold things in check. Though I would not have been surprised to see Fernando Rodney warming up in the bullpen, in order to protect the Diamondbacks’ fragile 12-run lead in the middle of the ninth. Walker ended up going six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and four walks, with eight strikeouts.
That’s the second time this season the Rockies have allowed sixteen runs in their own ballpark, the Nationals have also done so on April 27, in another 16-5 game. But that’s still small beer combined to the glory days of pinball baseball at Coors. Between 1999 and 2002, four different visiting teams scored twenty runs or more, and back in 1995 the Cubs set the record which still stands, beating the Rockies by a margin of 26-7. Somehow, the Diamondbacks scoring only sixteen, seems like they were slacking off in comparison. However, it did tie the record for most runs scored by a visiting team at Coors, by a side hitting fewer than two home-runs.
It certainly made an emphatic statement in the wake of last night, and sets up what should be a very interesting rubber game tomorrow afternoon in Denver. If it comes down to the bullpens, it might well be advantage Arizona, as all three relievers used by Colorado threw at least 30 pitches, and so will probably be unavailable Thursday. With the Dodgers beating up on the Mets again (and, I note, Puig being Puig again), it looks like Los Angeles will take over the lead in the NL West, one-half game in front of Colorado, with Arizona a game further back. I imagine the D-backs will be looking forward to tomorrow’s contest, and hopefully the momentum will continue.
Click here for details, at Fangraphs.com
Hotter than Phoenix: Paul Goldschmidt, +14.4%
Positively toasty: Drury, +12.2%; Walker (batting), +11.7%
Frozen: Daniel Descalso, -9.8%
Not sure when was the last time that our starting pitcher had a better Win Probability at the plate than on the mound... But you can’t complain about a top of the fourth where Arizona’s WP started off at 39.7%, and ended at 97.5%. If it hadn’t been for an excellent defensive play at second, off the timber of Descalso, I suspect the D-backs might still be batting.
asteroid was most active in the GDT, just edging out Michael. The full list of entrants was as follows: Anachronistic1, AzDbackfanInDc, BenSharp, BigSmarty, BobDolio, Cumulus Choir, DORRITO, DbacKid, DeadManG, Diamondhacks, EphBoston, Gilbertsportsfan, GuruB, Jim McLennan, JoeCB1991, Joey Lewis, Keegan Thompson, Makakilo, Michael McDermott, MrMrrbi, PaulGoldsmith, Sprankton, TinySarabia, Xerostomia, Xipooo, asteroid, coldblueAZ, hotclaws, kilnborn, lg451, makattack71, noblevillain, onedotfive, preston.salisbury, since_98, smartplays, soco, thunderpumpkin87 and tommyt_16. Comment of the night to since_98:
And so, on to the finale. That starts at 12:10pm tomorrow, so note the early start. Zack Godley will take the mound for Arizona, as they finish off the road trip with a shot at going 7-1 on it. Really, it seems churlish to complain at this point!