Diamondbacks 9, Phillies 2: The Bats Awaken

Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

However, I find your lack of early-inning patience at the plate...disturbing.

Star Wars Day at Chase Field wound up being a rousing success, with a somewhat shaky Robbie Ray getting the win with 6 1/3 innings of 2-run ball. The offense started slowly, but the bats did wake up to the tune of 9 runs on 12 hits, with the bottom of the order (!) leading the way with 4 runs, 7 hits and a walk from the 7th, 8th, and 9th spots in the order.

This game started quietly enough, with both teams going in order in the first inning. The second inning featured sloppy fielding from both teams as well as some shaky control from Robbie Ray. Ray walked the clean-up hitter, Tommy Joseph on four pitches to start the frame. One out later, Owings just plain missed a fairly routine grounder to short, winning himself an E-6 for the second game in a row. A wild pitch by Ray allowed the runners to advance to second and third, which led to an intentional walk to Cameron Rupp, the Philles' #8 hitter. Happily, though, Ray struck out pitcher Ben Lively to end the threat.

In the bottom of the second, the error bug bit Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera on a Chris Owings fly ball to the warning track that Herrera, like Owings himself a half-inning before, just plain missed. Owings wound up on third base, and was driven in by a Brandon Drury groundout three pitches later. Daniel Descalso followed with his first single of the ball game, but Hermann flied out to center to end the inning. 1-0 Diamondbacks

The third inning passed uneventfully with the Diamondbacks retired in order and Ray pitching around a single and a walk to retire the Phillies.

At this point I'd like to mention that the Diamondbacks TV broadcast team frequently talks about how great the team is at having patient at bats and seeing lots of pitches the first time through the order, even when they're not getting hits. This was certainly not the case today, as the first nine batters saw all of 30 pitches from Ben Lively. Granted, Lively was throwing strikes, and encouraging the D-Backs to put the ball in play, but still. I was not impressed, and was beginning to feat that today would be a repeat of last night's performance.

Ray seemed to be settling down a bit in the top of the fourth, retiring the first two batters he faced and not using up too many pitches doing it. Then he gave up a five-pitch walk to Rupp, who reached base without having to hit the ball for the second time in two plate appearances. But, again, the pitcher was coming up. What's the worst that could happen? A first pitch shot into the pool area is what did happen, sadly. 2-1 Phillies

Our bats began to stir, though, in the bottom of the frame, as Goldy and Lamb reached on back-to-back leadoff singles. Owings tried to bunt for a hit and nearly beat it out, but a strong throw from third baseman Maikel Franco just beat him to the bag. He did, however, advance the runners, so good things came out of it. Drury then batted in his second run of the night with another groundout that drove in Goldy to tie the game and advanced Lamb to third. Sadly, Descalso also grounded out, ending the inning. 2-2 TIED

Ray had a 1-2-3 fifth, thanks to Chris Hermann throwing out Freddy Galvis, who tried to steal second after a one-out single. In the bottom of the fifth, also, Ray got his own back against Lively, hitting a long double to right center with one out, and coming in to score thanks to David Peralta's two-out single. 3-2 Diamondbacks

The Phillies went down in order again in the top of the sixth, again thanks to baserunning mistakes by the Phillies. In this instance, Herrera reached on a two-out single to right, and then broke for second base before Ray had actually released his pitch. Easy pickoff, Ray to Goldschmidt to Drury. And then, in the home half, the Diamondbacks finally broke it open.

Jake Lamb reached down to launch a low offering from Lively up and over the right field fence for a solo dinger, which is always a nice thing to see. Owings followed by ripping a hanging breaking ball into the left field corner for a stand-up double. Drury then grounded out to third, his third such out in as many at bats, but that was enough to chase Ben Lively, especially with five left-handed batters coming up. Replacing him was a young left-handed reliever named Hoby Milner in his first major league appearance ever, apparently. It did not go well for him. Descalso singled, advancing Owings to third. Hermann singled, driving Owings in. Robby Ray came to the plate, despite already being at 94 pitches for the game, and did his damnedest to bunt. Instead, Milner walked him, loading the bases. The ever-dependable Gregor Blanco kindly lined out to first, because of course he did. Then Milner proceeded to hit David Peralta in the back of his calf, forcing in Descalso from third. Then Goldy, on his x-Wing bobblehead night, came up, with two outs and the bases loaded, aaaaand....grounded out to shortstop to end the inning. Sad, but we'd widened our lead. 6-2 Diamondbacks

Robbie Ray came out to start the seventh, retired Cameron Rupp (finally) and then gave up a single, a hit-by-pitch (possibly in retaliation, but I doubt it...I think he was just running on fumes), and another single to load the bases. His night ended there, leaving him with a line of 6.1 IP, 2ER, 6H, 5K, 4BB. A surprisingly wild Archie Bradley and His Beard got the second out on a dicey force play at home, followed by a strikeout to end the inning.

The D-Backs put up another three-spot in the seventh, thanks to a Drury walk, another Descalso single, a Hermann double and a pinch-hit double by Nick Ahmed, coming off the bench to hit for Bradley. Amusingly, the three consecutive hits came off another hapless Phillies lefty who'd been brought in to face our Murderers' Row (NOT) of left-handed bats at the bottom of tonight's lineup. 9-2 Diamondbacks

And that was the end of it, really. Chafin retired the side in order in the 8th, the D-Backs went quietly in their half of the frame, and Silvino Bracho somehow managed to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth. The Force, you might say, was with us.

Source: FanGraphs

Darth Vader: Jake Lamb (14.7%)

Darth Maul: David Peralta (14.1%), Archie Bradley (12.1%)

Darth Plagueis: Gregor Blanco (-11.1%)

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