Record: 84-62. Pace: 93-69. Change on 2016: +22.
It was a night of some milestones at Chase Field, as the team delivered a much needed win over their wild-card rivals from Colorado. The victory stopped the visitors winning streak at six games, and also clinched the season series for Arizona. As discussed in the preview, this means if there’s a tie between us and them at the end of the season for the wild-card spots, the game would be played in Phoenix. Patrick Corbin pitched very well tonight, giving up one run over 6.2 innings. But perhaps the best news was strong nights for our struggling pair, Jake Lamb and A.J. Pollock, who combined for five hits and six RBI. The offense could really use them continuing to hit, down the stretch.
The top of the first saw Corbin start with a strikeout, then benefit from a lovely play, deep in shortstop hole, by Ketel Marte to retire D.J. “No Shift This Time” LeMahieu. A two-out walk to Nolan Arenado was acceptable, since no damage resulted. The D-backs wasted no time against German Marquez. Eight pitches in, Arizona had three hits and the lead, David Peralta’s lead-off double having come around to score on a welcome single up the middle by Jake Lamb - his 100th RBI for the season. Paul Goldschmidt then also singled, putting two on with one out, but a web gem on the visiting shortstop side got the force on Lamb, and Daniel Descalso also grounded out.
Corbin got a 1-2-3 second inning with a pair of K’s, and A.J. Pollock led off the inning with a gift bloop single - which he promptly gave back, getting picked off, despite Torey Lovullo’s protestations of a balk. That was unfortunate, as Corbin then singled with two outs, and Peralta notched his second hit of the evening, roping one into the left-center gap and all the way to the wall. It was enough for Corbin to score from first, standing up, and the Diamondbacks had a 2-0 lead after two innings, with Marquez already up to 40 pitches.
I could almost copy-paste much of the above and recycle it for the third inning: another hitless frame for Corbin, and another run for the Diamondbacks. The latter came courtesy of those D-BFF’s, Goldschmidt and Martinez, who got back-to-back doubles with one out in the inning. This was Goldy’s one thousandth hit as a member of the Diamondbacks (a mark only otherwise reached by Luis Gonzalez), and kept Martinez’s rate of an RBI per game: it was his 48th run driven in, in his 48th game for Arizona.
One streak did end in the fourth. as Corbin allowed a harmless two-out double to Trevor Story, the first hit given up. However, the D-backs were able to get their customary run, again scored by Corbin. He legged out an infield hit with one out, and Marte followed with a two-out single. Corbin alertly advanced to third on a ball in the dirt, but Lamb rendered it moot with an RBI double, scoring Patrick [He became the first Diamondbacks pitcher with two hits and two runs in the same game, since Dan Haren on May 1, 2010] That ended Marquez’s night: shame Jason Statham’s birthday was yesterday, not tonight, as I could have made some “ze Germans” comments...
Normal service was resumed in the fifth, with no hits for the Rockies and a run for the Diamondbacks. Colorado did get a runner to third, reaching on a Descalso error, then advancing on a groundout and a wild pitch, but Corbin got a K for the third out. Martinez walked to lead off the Arizona half of the frame, and came all the way around to score on Pollock’s second hit of the night, making it 5-0 for the home side. Corbin’s shutout ended in the sixth, on a LeMahieu homer, and the next two batters reached base for Colorado, but Patrick buckled down and avoided further damage.
‘Arizona couldn’t score in their half of the sixth, and Corbin wasn’t quite able to get through the seventh. He allowed a two-out single to a pinch-hitter, and that was the end of his night, at 106 pitches. It was everything the team could have asked for, and was very much needed. He held Colorado to one run on four hits, with two walks (both to Arenado) and seven strikeouts, spotting his slider well, and building everything else off that. Andrew Chafin, the Diamondbacks’ CBOOGY (Charlie Blackmon One Out Guy) came on and... yes, for the third time this series, retired Charlie Blackmon, to keep the score at 5-1 as the crowd of 26,714 stretched at Chase Field.
Of course, a four-run lead with six outs to go, hardly seemed safe after the unpleasant events of Saturday. Here to help was A.J. Pollock. After a Martinez walk and Descalso single, Pollock swatted his 10th HR of the year, just over the fence into the D-backs bullpen - where Archie Bradley caught it on the fly (above). Considering Pollock had only two hits over the previous six games, tonight was a very welcome return to form, and that homer bullpen-proofed the lead. Jimmie Sherfy had a very impressive eighth, retiring the Rockies in order; T.J. McFarland didn’t impress in the ninth, and Bradley had to get the final two outs, with one of the inherited runners scoring.
Arizona pounded out 16 hits, the most since they got 20 against the same opponent, at Coors Field on June 21. Pollock had three, and as well as Corbin’s pair, there were two-hit nights for Peralta, Lamb and Goldschmidt. The win reduces our magic number for home-field advantage by THREE, for the season series reasons explained above - a tie is no longer good enough for Colorado. There’s some uncertainty about our post-season magic number: the D-backs pointed out on Twitter that, because of the games between the Cubs, Brewers and Cardinals, our magic number is technically less than it seems. They say nine: not sure if that’s over the Brewers or Cardinals though.
Click here for details, at Fangraphs.com
Willie Wonka: Patrick Corbin, +26.4%
Charlie: David Peralta, +13.6%
Augustus Gloop: Daniel Descalso, +5.8%
A happy Gameday Thread! Throughout! Who knew it could be possible? Present were: BenSharp, DesertWeagle, Diamondhacks, GuruB, Jackwriter, Jim McLennan, JoeCB1991, JoelPre, LamparT, Makakilo, Michael McDermott, MikeMono, MrMrrbi, Oldenschoole, PaulGoldsmith, SongBird, TylerO, asteroid, coldblueAZ, edbigghead, hotclaws, onedotfive, rustynails77, samath, since_98 and smartplays. Comment of the night to Michael, for describing the play shown above:
Series finale - and, in all likelihood, the last game between these two teams at Chase until the wild-card game - tomorrow afternoon at Chase, so pack a lunch. Zack Godley starts for us, and it’s a 12:40pm first pitch.