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Arizona Diamondbacks 3, Colorado Rockies 6: Well, that was irritating

A number of thoroughly annoying aspects over the course of tonight’s contest. Where to begin?

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Arizona Diamondbacks Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Record: 50-31. Pace: 100-62. Change on 2016: +14.

Personally, the biggest grievance was taking about 45 minutes to get from the 202/I-10 interchange to 7th Ave, due to “police action” around the downtown tunnel, which led to everyone being shepherded off the highway at Seventh St. Things appear to have kicked off just before we arrived, but it was a slow, slow grind to finally leave the crawl, scurrying along the sidestreets, before rejoining the highway on the other side of the tunnel. We listened to the game on the road; just as we finally pulled into the driveway at SnakePit Towers, Greg Schulte announced the closure and suggest it would be best to avoid the area. #ThanksGubnuh

Not his fault, but it appropriately sums up this game. It seemed designed to push all a Diamondbacks’ fan’s wrong buttons, from the moment Charlie Blackmon ambushed Robbie Ray’s third pitch of the night to give the Rockies an immediate 1-0 lead. If you’d turned the game off there, you’ve have saved yourself a lot of unnecessary annoyance, as the various aspects of the Arizona game failed to gel. They have now lost their third in a row, so I’m sure we’ll have the usual nattering nabobs crawling out of the woodwork, predicting doom, just like they did when we lost three in Miami. Or in Milwaukee and Pittsburgh. Or against Colorado and Detroit. Or LA and San Francisco.

Yet, funnily enough, despite all those times when some people were apparently sure they just weren’t good enough. the D-backs reach the half-way point in the season tied for the best record in franchise history, and solidly in possession of a playoff spot. Let’s perhaps try and avoid the “sky is falling!” claims - especially on a night when A.J. Pollock hit two home-runs in his rehab assignment for the Reno Aces. Not to say that there wasn’t room for improvement in tonight’s performance, because there very clearly was. But we’ve been here before, people. So maybe act like it? I’m pretty sure Torey Lovullo and the team aren’t hyperventilating into paper-bags.

Robbie Ray’s recent struggles continued. I brought it up in the preview, but sadly, it’s worth revisiting it. Here are his numbers over the last three starts, preceded by those from the five before that. It’s almost like two entirely different pitchers:
May 20-June 11: 37.0 IP, 14 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 9 BB, 48 K, 1 HR, 0.24 ERA
June 18-current: 17.2 IP, 19 H, 10 R, 10 ER, 13 BB, 21 K, 5 HR, 5.09 ERA
The strikeouts are there or thereabout. But the control isn’t, and balls are leaving the park at an alarming rate. As well as Blackmon’s, Ray allowed the first career home-run to something called a Raimel Tapia, which looks as if it would require tent-pegs to avoid blowing away in a stiff breeze.

Tonight, the first three Rockies all reached base, though Ray was able to avoid more damage than the one run. He stranded two more in the second inning. But back to back walks leading off the third frame proved to be a significant factor in Ray’s undoing, as both came around to score. Ray settled down thereafter, retiring 11 of the last 12 he faced. Unfortunately, the 12th was the Tapia-shaped thing mentioned above. Just like too many of his starts last year, Ray was inefficient, and ended up throwing 122 pitches in just six innings. For comparison, that’s seven more than he took for a complete game against the Pirates in Pittsburgh on May 30.

Indeed, you have to go back to 2012 to find the last time a D-backs pitcher had that many pitches in an outing. That was Trevor Cahill, who threw 126 in a complete-game effort against the Cubs on September 29. The last to need so many in an outing lasting six innings or less? You’ve got to go all the way back to 2004: the knuckleballer Steve Sparks threw 124 over 5.2 innings against the Padres on April 18. Tonight, Ray went six innings, and was charged with four runs on five hits and five walks with nine strikeouts. I imagine he was stretched so far, because Randall Delgado’s meltdown last night left him unavailable.

Not that Archie Bradley and Rubby Jorge De La Rosa were much better, each giving up runs in the later stages. Bradley’s scoreless streak was ended in the seventh, though he didn’t (according to Greg Schulte - we were on the road) get much help from his defense. Sounded like David Peralta sat back on a ball in the corner, hoping for a ricochet that never happened, and helping lead to a triple. Jake Lamb then bobbled a groundball hit to him, killing any chance of the out at home, and turning it into an RBI groundout. In the eighth, De La Rosa’s wild pitch allowed another run to score, though at least those were the only two relievers used.

832 words into this and I guess I should mention the offense. Jake Lamb had an RBI double in the first (above). Chris Owings had two home-runs, both solo shots, in the fourth and eighth innings. Thank you for coming. Paul Goldschmidt had a rare 0-for-5 with three strikeouts, all three K’s coming on Jon Gray’s slider, which he seemed unable to pick up for some reason. And when I say “rare”, Goldschmidt has had only one other game like that, not reaching base in five at-bats, with 3 or more K’s, in his career: July 26, 2013 versus the Padres. Like I said: this was all very irritating. Put it behind us, and try to do considerably better tomorrow, please.

Click here for details, at
Buster Douglas: Chris Owings, +8.0%
Marvis Frazier: Paul Goldschmidt, -14.4%
Robert Colay: Ray, -13.0%; Herrmann, -11.6%

Cumulus Choir led the comments, just ahead of the recently returned Songbird. All present were: AzDbackfanInDc, BenSharp, BigSmarty, Cumulus Choir, DORRITO, DeadManG, DesertWeagle, Desert_Devil, GuruB, Jim McLennan, JoeCB1991, Joey Lewis, Makakilo, Michael McDermott, MrMrrbi, Oscar Goldman, PaulGoldsmith, SongBird, TylerO, asteroid, coldblueAZ, hotclaws, kilnborn, onedotfive and samath. Comment of the night to DeadManG, in response to one of AzDbackfanInDc’s patented rants:

Tomorrow, Zack Greinke will take the mound for the D-backs. I’m feeling hopeful, but I guess we’ll see. It’s a late start, at 7:10pm. I’m off to enjoy a beer and join my wife for the particular exciting episode of Judge Judy I hear coming from the living-room.