You know, I thought the D-backs played their hearts out this series against a really tough opponent. I’m still in shock at how well they’re playing and each game I just expect it to blow up, but they continue to prove the naysayers wrong. Unfortunately, tonight was just not one of those nights. They got behind early, scratched out some runs, then watched helplessly as the Dodgers continued to do what they do best, score runs and pound you into submission.
The first inning was such a back breaker, with the Dodgers scoring 3 runs with 2 outs. Starting for the D-backs was rookie Anthony Banda, making his 3rd start since replacing Robbie Ray in the starting rotation. He started well, getting a ground ball from Chris Taylor to lead things off. But Corey Seager and Justin Turner smoked singles to put a threat on the board. Cody Bellinger flew out for the 2nd out, but Logan Forsythe fought back down 1-2 to load the bases on a walk bringing up Enrique Hernandez, who smoked a 2 strike curveball for a bases-clearing double 3-0 Dodgers.
After the hiccup in the first, Banda was excellent before being pulled for a pinch-hitter in the 4th, a decision that will surely bring the hottest of takes on the interwebs. But I get it, you have a scoring opportunity and a decent option on the bench in Brandon Drury. But Drury is awful right now, so naturally he struck out on 3 pitches trying to hit the ball to Tempe.
The D-backs played the part of the tortoise, chipping away at the early lead. Marte scored on some small ball antics after a walk with Banda sac bunting and Peralta driving him home. Then J.D. Martinez did what he does best, smashing a dong to right-center for his 7th as a D-back. 3-2 Dodgers after 4.
Unfortunately, Torey Lovullo brought in the unprepared Jake Barrett to face the top of the lineup. I say unprepared because once they decided to pinch-hit Drury struck out in about 30 seconds, giving Barrett about double that to warm up. Chris Taylor took advantage, smashing the first offering to left for a homer. Seager walked, and Bellinger reached on a rushed throwing error by Iannetta, scoring Seager from 1st. Logan Forsythe beat out an infield single to 1st and after a strikeout of Hernandez, Austin Barnes smashed a liner at Ketel Marte, who did everything he could to just knock the ball down. While it saved a run, it also allowed one as well, extending the Dodger lead to 6-2.
The Dodgers again capitalized on poor relief work, grabbing two more runs in the 6th as Justin Turner continued his demolition of Chase Field. 8-2 Dodgers. They would score nothing more the rest of the way, thankfully.
Chris Iannetta homered in the 6th to respond, driving home Daniel Descalso to cut the lead to 8-4. And in the 8th, Ketel Marte drove home J.D Martinez and Descalso in the 8th to cut the lead by two again, 8-6. But that was it. Pollock swung at a first pitch and popped up, Lamb at least took a ball before popping up himself, and Goldy grounded out up the middle to clinch the series loss. Frustrating. Onto the GameGraph.
Ketel Marte was the leader in WPA this night, proving he wasn’t just some throw in from the Mariners with a 14.8%. Jake Barrett is the bumb, with a -23.6% performance. Bummer.
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Mighty fine turnout this night, with 800+ comments coming from 28 of you. Thanks for stopping by.
The Cubs stop by for their last showing at Chase Field in 2017, barring some miracle in the wild card/playoffs. First pitch is scheduled for the normal 6:40pm start. If you’re not going to the game, stop by for what should be a lively chat!