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Arizona Diamondback 0, St. Louis Cardinals 1: The game that didn’t matter

Seeing Robbie Ray struck in the head by a line-drive, rendered tonight’s contest largely irrelevant.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Record: 59-44. Pace: 93-69. Change on 2016: +17.

Of course, we’ve been here before. It was April 2015, when Archie Bradley was hit in the head by a line-drive. Anyone who remembers that will know it was the kind of thing you never want to see again. But it happened once more tonight, with Robbie Ray taking a laser off the back of the head, with one out in the bottom of the second. The ball off the bat of Luke Voit was measured at 108 mph. He crumpled to the ground, and that horrible lump in the throat suddenly arrived. At that moment, whatever else might have happened in the game didn’t matter, and I think everyone held their breath and said a little prayer. There are not many atheists in that situation.

The good news is, after those initially scary moments, Robbie appeared to be... Well, I wouldn’t exactly say “okay,” but I’ll go with “as well as could be expected, given the circumstances.” He wasn’t quite able to make it off the field under his own steam, taking a seat on a cart, but was able to give a thumbs-up to the crowd as he departed. The official word from the team was, “Robbie Ray was alert but was sent to the hospital for further testing.” This is certainly wise, given what happened to Evan Marshall who initially seemed fine, only to suffer a significant issue later. Definitely better to be safe than sorry. Fingers crossed for him to make a full recovery.

Arizona Diamondbacks v St Louis Cardinals
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Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Update. He came back to the ballpark after having his CT scan and getting a few stitches in his laceration, showered and returned to the team’s hotel. He will be placed in concussion protocol, so we may end up needing Anthony Banda to make a spot start. But all told: could have been MUCH worse. Certainly, early predictions from some quarters that the pitcher “is probably done for the year” do not appear to have medical authority behind them...

Ray’s untimely departure, left the team in a hole - even though, in something that was blackly funny, Daniel Descalso caught the ball after it ricocheted off Robbie’s head for the out. Fortunately, it seems likely T.J. McFarland may have locked down the relief pitcher’s spot in our end of season awards for Single-Game Performance of the Year. He hadn’t thrown more than 40 pitches this season, but was stretched to a thoroughly laudable 58 pitches, working 3.2 innings. They would have been scoreless innings too, but for Descalso - a late replacement for Jake Lamb, due to the latter’s fence encounter - booting a ground ball in the sixth, whose creator came around to score.

That turned out to be the sole run either side could score. Which probably reflects worse on the Cardinals than Arizona: as last night showed, we could score a bit more than one unearned run against six innings from the back of the St. Louis bullpen. So much credit, not just to McFarland, but also Rubby De La Rosa and Andrew Chafin. It’s the seventh time in Diamondbacks history the team has lost without allowing an earned run. The last occasion was in August 2014 against Washington, and was a walk-off defeat. But the all-time worst was probably in April 2008 against the Giants, where all five runs allowed in the 5-4 loss were unearned...

The D-backs weren’t able to get much done against Michael Wacha. He faced the minimum up until Chris Owings’s two-out double in the fifth innings, with Arizona only runner, a Paul Goldschmidt walk in the second, being erased by a double-play ball. But their best chances game against the Cardinals’ relievers, only to be let down by that old nemesis, an inability to get a meaningful hit with runners in scoring position. Arizona were 1-for-8 there, and the hit didn’t score anyone. It was an infield hit by Brandon Drury with two outs in the seventh, that gave us runners on the corner, only for SnakePit whipping boy Chris Herrmann to ground out.

The Cardinals wasted their own chance too, putting their first two men on and loading the bases with one out. But Andrew Chafin got a double-play ball, and we opened the eighth with a Ketel Marte single and Descalso double, to put men on second and third with nobody out, and the heart of our line-up coming up. But A.J. Pollock struck out and David Peralta grounded out, with Marte being out at home [there was some of the view that Yadier Molina hadn’t exactly left a path to the plate - so much for the Posey Rule - but it has to be said, Marte was basically dead in the water, the throw beating him by a long way] Paul Goldschmict then K’d and that was that.

But it’s certainly not the kind of loss which I’m going to agonize over. Our pitching continues to be nails - they have allowed one earned run over the last 22 innings of work. That and J.D. Martinez will keep you in a lot of games. This evening, I’m just thankful that things - and, for once, I don’t mean the baseball score - were nowhere near as bad as they could have been.

Click here for details, at
Peter Rabbit: Daniel Descalso, +22.4%
Squirrel Nutkin: Chafin, +13.9%; McFarland, +10.7%
Two Bad Mice: David Peralta, -32.5%
Flopsy Bunnies: Martinez, -20.4%; Herrmann, -14.7%; De La Rosa, -11.0%; Pollock, -10.7%

It’s kinda odd, seeing Descalso on top of the chart, given it was his error which led to the unearned run that cost us the game. But WP doesn’t credit errors to the fielder, it’s a strict batter, pitcher and base-runner metric, which is why De La Rosa ends up tagged in the naughty column. A fraught GDT, it’s safe to say, and rather too much negativity for my tastes, on a night when support seemed more appropriate. Maybe it’s just me.

Present: Anachronistic1, AzDbackfanInDc, AzRattler, BenSharp, BigSmarty, BobDolio, Cumulus Choir, DORRITO, DeadManG, DesertWeagle, Diamondhacks, Gilbertsportsfan, GuruB, Jackwriter, Jim McLennan, JoeCB1991, JustAJ, Keegan Thompson, LamparT, Makakilo, Michael McDermott, MrMrrbi, PaulGoldsmith, Re Tired, Renin, SenSurround, Xerostomia, aldma, asteroid, coldblueAZ, hotclaws, kilnborn, onedotfive, piratedan7, preston.salisbury, smartplays and winger49. Most rec’d comment was my response to a gloomy prediction in the first inning (!), but recappers can’t win, so Comment of the Night to the other red comment, from smartplays, for their response to more gloom.

Guess it’s maybe it’s not just me... Good chance for the Diamondbacks to bounce back tomorrow, with Zack Greinke on the mound. 4:15pm start, Arizona time.