After a game where the team let the victory slip from their fingers, and the local media (and fans) had a field day questioning every move and decision, it’s nice to just get back to work and forget it even happened. I think that’s why I’m drawn to baseball. There’s no dwelling on the bad, just move forward and try your best the next time out. Like Jim posted earlier, Alex Avila will bounce back, and the team needs him to do so if they want to go further than the Divisional series.
Zack Greinke took the mound against the Giants, looking to lower his team-high ERA against a struggling Giants team that’s only scored 4 or more runs 7 out of 17 times this season. On the mound for the opposition was lefty Ty Blach, who like Greinke has been hit or miss this year in his 4 previous starts.
Greinke went to work and was vintage Greinke, getting quick outs even with diminished stuff. Old friend Gregor Blanco popped out on the first pitch of the game, Panik grounded out, and after an Andrew McCutchen double, he induced a Buster Posey ground out to end the inning. Blach matched him in the first, only allowing a walk to Paul Goldschmidt while striking out Peralta and Pollock to shut down the inning.
Greinke saw his first and only trouble in the 2nd, as Brandon Belt picked up where he left off with a moonshot to right field, putting the Giants up early 1-0. A solo homer, no problem for Greinke. He’d go on to only allow a single in the 3rd and a walk in the 6th to Blanco. Partly because of an outstanding play by Chris Owings in the outfield, robbing Panik of an RBI and extra bases. It’s better seen than described. After the game we received word from Nick, who described the injury as follows.
Just a contusion at this point for Chris Owings, Torey Lovullo says. Lovullo said he didn’t hear any mention of a concussion.— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) April 20, 2018
Greinke finished his day going 7 innings, giving up just 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 2 with only 88 pitches to improve to 2-1 on the year. While we all might worry about Zack and his velocity going forward, he’s going to continue to go out there every 5th day and give this team a chance to win every time. It’s easy to point at something and place all the blame on it, but until Zack really struggles, let him do his thing.
With Greinke cruising on the mound, it was time for the offense to deliver something. Anything! They didn’t. Until the 3rd when Jeff Mathis (???) doubled to lead off the inning. Greinke sacrificed him over and Peralta squibbed a single passed a shifted defense to score Mathis, tying this up 1-1. Goldy singled to put runners on the corners, but Pollock struck out to end the threat.
A.J. summoned the strength of his downed friend and uncorked a blast to deep left-center field to lead off the 6th, giving the D-backs a 2-1 lead. Another two out rally brought Greinke up, but he grounded out to third, ending the inning.
The team would put another insurance run on the board, this time by Ketel Marte for his 1st homer of the year, 3-1 D-backs, giving us our final score. The bullpen was superb once again, with Archie Bradley striking out the side and Brad Boxberger working out of a late rally by the Giants to end the game in a brisk 2 hours and 23 minutes.
☆☆☆ - Zack Greinke (7IP, 2Ks, 1ER), +37.0% WPA
☆☆ - Jeff Mathis (2 for 2, 1 2B, 1BB, 1R, 1RBI), +11.9% WPA
☆ - Zack Greinke (0 for 2, 4LOB) -12.5% WPA
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Thanks for stopping by all 32 of you. Our comment leader was Jackwriter, who incredibly included Alex Avila in every comment. Just fine work. Comment of the Thread goes to this brave comment by SonomaComa1999.
The San Diego Padres come to town for the first time in 2018! They are 7-13 and not very good. See ya tomorrow!