I really hate the term “must-win”. All players would tell you they go out every day expecting to win, so when that label gets thrown about by outside forces I can only laugh. Of course, after losing the first two games of the series against the NL West leaders the Dodgers, this last game probably qualified as that dreaded “must-win”. And boy did both pitchers come out ready to go with Rich Hill for the Dodgers and Robbie Ray for the D-backs.
Hill and Ray matched each other throughout the night, with Rich leading the way, carving up Diamondbacks like it was some wacko snake Thanksgiving. He was fantastic, allowing 2 hits through his 7 innings of work. Jake Lamb paid no attention to his poor numbers against left-handed pitching blasting a long drive into the seats in the 5th for a D-backs lead.
Ray was doing his best Randy Johnson impersonation this night, striking out 13 over his 6 innings of work while allowing just a solo-HR to Logan Forsythe in the bottom of the 5th. That wasn’t to say Ray had it quite as easy as Hill, but he worked his way out of trouble when needed. The first inning saw him strike out the first two batters, but a walk, single, and walk loaded the bases for Kike Hernandez, but Robbie worked a ground ball to escape the threat.
He saw problems again in the 6th, allowing a leadoff walk and double to put runners at 2nd and 3rd, but really pitched well, striking out the next three (with an intentional walk sandwiched in there) to end his night. All told he went 6 IP, struck out 13 with 4BB’s. Fabulous performance to keep a struggling offense in the game.
Once Rich Hill left the ballgame, the offense awoke. Jake Lamb homered again to deep left, breaking the tie. Ketel Marte joined in on the fun with an absolute DONG to left field, traveling 440 feet.
Archie Bradley came on in relief and was fan-freakin-tastic. After Chafin allowed a 2-out walk, Bradley struck out Turner on 3 pitches. He returned for the 8th, and worked a scoreless 6-pitch inning.
Weird stuff happened in the 9th, starting with the D-backs on offense. With runners on the corners, Josh Fields bluffed a throw to third but that rule has been around for a while now that fake 3rd to 1sts are now balks, so the Dodgers gifted a run to the D-backs pushing the lead to 4-1.
And then just as quickly as they got the lead, Fernando Rodney absolutely dug that hole deep and died. 20 “pitches” later the Dodgers tied the game. A Puig single, then 4 straight walks,
Corey Seager driving home 2 with a single just passed the outstretched glove of Marte up the middle to tie the game at 4-4. MacFarland came on in relief and instantly gave up a single, giving the Dodgers the win 5-4. Onto the GameGraph.
FERNANDO RODNEY (-90.0%)
I really have no words for how bad Rodney was, or how slow Torey Lovullo was to respond to that poor excuse for pitching. Just awful managing at the end there. One step forward, two steps back.
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Comment of the thread is actually a tweet, so I’ll post it.
Marte hits such a deep bomb that even Berthiaume knew it was gone off the bat.— Jody Oehler (@radiojody) July 7, 2017
D-backs come home for 3 against the Reds before the All-Star game. Stop on by tomorrow for the first game.