Record: 89-66. Pace: 93-69. Change on 2016: +24.
Jim over the Snake Pit intercom: “Keegan, I’m going to need you to step into the office. Make sure to grab the door behind you.”
Keegan entering the office: “You wanted to see me, boss?”
Would it be too much to ask to recap a win? It’s bad enough J.D. Martinez nearly broke his hand in my first recap. Woe is me. I preemptively signed up for this game feeling it was likely that this would be the night the Diamondbacks clinched a postseason berth. After all, the Diamondbacks clinched their last playoff berth, the National League West Division Title, on this very night 6 long years ago. The fact that I even have the opportunity to type those words this season is enough to make me proud. Unfortunately, the only thing I left this game with was a well put together yet undersized J.D. Martinez commemorative 4 home run shirt. It was limited to the first 10,000 fans through the gate with the only sizes to choose from being medium and extra large. 29,259 in attendance were left without a shirt, and of the 10,000 who are an in-between size, such as myself, were left with either a dress or looking like we shop at the Baby GAP.
The night started out very positive both at Chase Field and due to forces beyond the team’s control. The Pittsburgh Pirates put a quick hurting on the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1st inning. St. Louis initially took the lead in the 1st scoring 2 runs, but the Pirates would answer with 8 of their own en route to a 11-6 win. That surely should have been enough to fire up the Diamondbacks with an opportunity to clinch a Wild Card spot. Taijuan Walker started this game much the same way he began his last in San Francisco. Walker struck out Dee Gordon to begin the contest. He allowed Christian Yelich to reach on a single, but made a strong pickoff move against Yelich to end the inning with no damage. David Peralta led off the bottom half of the frame for Arizona and beat out an infield single, but was erased shortly after when A.J. Pollock grounded into a double play. Paul Goldschmidt and J.D. Martinez both followed with walks. However, Chris Iannetta decided to take the night off after his eventful game last night and grounded out to end the 1st inning after roughly 22 minutes elapsed. Only 3 and a half hours to go...
Walker began the 2nd by allowing a double to Marcell Ozuna, but proceeded to strike out Justin Bour, J.T. Realmuto, Brian Anderson again escaping without any damage. By that point he had already thrown 38 pitches and would not last much longer. Brandon Drury drew first blood with a solo shot to Souvenir City. Jake Lamb hit a sharp liner back to Marlins pitcher Dillon Peters, but the ball ricocheted to shortstop Miguel Rojas who threw Lamb out at first. 1-0 Diamondbacks after the 2nd.
Taijuan Walker has nobody but himself to blame for the debacle that ensued in the 3rd inning. Perhaps he was using his glove to eat popcorn between innings? He surrendered a double to Rojas to begin the inning, and then misplayed two routine soft hit ground balls from Peters and Gordon to follow. Gordon’s speed could have feasibly been a factor in the second error. Giancarlo Stanton came to the plate with two on and no outs, with the score tied at 1, and laced a double past David Peralta in left field to give the Marlins a 3-1 lead. Attribute the lack of altitude to the windows and roof being closed at the time. The bleeding would not stop there as 6 more Marlins would come to the plate for an at bat in that inning. Walker would strikeout Yelich, walk Ozuna, give up a single to Bour, hit Realmuto, and allow Anderson to hit a sacrifice fly. The agony finally came to an end when Rojas popped out after the Marlins were able to bat around.
I wasn’t feeling entirely optimistic at this point, but had not completely abandoned ship after last night’s escapade. With the top of the lineup due to bat, the Diamondbacks would attempt to claw their way back into this game. Peralta walked to reach base for the 2nd time in as many at bats. Pollock would not kill the momentum of the inning this time around with a single to center field. The roof and windows were still closed at this point, but that would prove to be no issue for #MVPaul who absolutely destroyed a 1-2 fastball to left field. The Senior Circuit MVP race between Stanton and Goldschmidt was on full display. The Diamondbacks would fail to take the lead that inning after Martinez, Iannetta, and Drury failed to reach base. Thanks for killing all the momentum, Paul. 5-4 Marlins after 3.
Somehow opening the roof in an inning Stanton was due up third seemed to be a good idea to somebody on the Chase Field staff. Not that he even needs the extra help, but he promptly made the Diamondbacks pay for that poor decision and deposited his 57th home run of the season in the left field bleachers. (Full disclosure I believe that it is likely decided before game time when the roof will be opened and had nothing to do with Stanton coming to the plate.) That gives him the most home runs in a single season since Ryan Howard’s 58 in 2006. No player has hit more than 60 since 2001. Did we mention he has 3 games in Coors Field after this series? It is rewarding to see a player with his talent and such pure, easy power. Walker kept on a-walking and allowed Yelich and Ozuna to reach base on balls. Torey Lovullo finally pulled the plug, and Taijuan’s night was finished after 3 2⁄3 innings pitched. Final game score on MLB.com shows 23 after he gave up 6 hits, 3 walks, 6 runs (3 earned), and struck out 6. He has likely pitched himself out of the postseason rotation with his past 2 starts should the Diamondbacks make it to the NLDS. Silvino Bracho was tasked with mop up duty and let Bour hit a single to score Yelich. Yelich was originally called out at the plate, but the ruling was overturned after a Don Mattingly challenge. I apologize to the employees at America’s Taco Shop for my profanity after that moment. Lamb put up his second solid at bat against a young left hander and hit a line drive single to open the Diamondbacks turn in the frame. Peralta would single him home with 2 outs. 7-5 Marlins after 4 innings of play.
At this point the recap is taking nearly as long to type as the game took to finish. Just Dingers Martinez obliged the fans on his commemorative t-shirt night with an opposite field solo shot just over Stanton’s outstretched glove. The home run gave him the franchise record over Luis Gonzalez for most home runs in a single month for a Diamondbacks player. That, my friends, is how you win a deadline trade. 7-6 Marlins after 5.
Nothing of note in the 6th inning, so we’ll pick this back up in the 7th. J.J. Hoover would be the fifth Arizona pitcher to appear in the game after Walker, Bracho, Shipley, and De La Rosa, and he would fail to even record a single out. Hoover walked Realmuto and Anderson being pulled after allowing another run to score. Rojas hit what appeared was going to be a double play, but Drury could not handle the transfer toss from Ketel Marte and all runners were safe. Apologies again to anyone in attendance who was frightened by my profanity. After an Ichiro Suzuki appearance, Gordon hit a sacrifice fly to score Anderson. David Hernandez, now the seventh Diamondbacks pitcher in the game, retired Stanton to finally end the Marlins side of the 7th. 9-6 Marlins after Arizona failed to score in the 7th.
Unfortunately, Hernandez has performed short of expectations since being reacquired from the Angels and gave up a 2 run homer to Bour who bounced it off the left field fair pole. Miami would score 1 more in the 9th which would be enough to put away Arizona. Can’t really place blame on the offense for this loss. The Arizona pitching staff has allowed 36 runs in the past 4 games, but the offense has scored 34 runs. No playoff berth clinch for the Arizona fan base tonight. No winning recap for myself either. Sigh. The Diamondbacks will make their 2nd attempt Sunday afternoon in the series finale.
Born To Run: Paul Goldschmidt, 19.5%
The River: David Peralta and Jake Lamb, 10.2% and 10.1%
Magic: Taijuan Walker, -42.5%
As noted above, Taijuan Walker is not making a strong case to make a start in the postseason in the final month of the regular season. Paul Goldschmidt continues his conquest to hopefully his first MVP award.
No red comments per the roll call tool, and if you think I’m going to scan through 700+ comments for a COTN at 12:30 AM when I still have Snake Bytes to write tonight, well then I’m going to, “Cut loose like a deuce.”
Total comments 772.
Total commenters 29.
DC had more comments than both #2 Guru and #3 Jackwriter combined.
Roll Call: AzDbackfanInDc, AzRattler, BenSharp, Cumulus Choir, DORRITO, DeadManG, Diamondhacks, Gilbertsportsfan, GuruB, Jackwriter, Jim McLennan, JoeCB1991, JoelPre, Justin27, Makakilo, Michael McDermott, MikeMono, MrMrrbi, Oldenschoole, Oscar Goldman, Steven M. Taylor, asteroid, edbigghead, hotclaws, megnetic, onedotfive, rustynails77, smartplays, soco