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Philadelphia Phillies 5, Arizona Diamondbacks 3: Failure to Launch

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The Diamondbacks had an opportunity to bust this game wide open in the 4th, and scratch across runs in the 9th, but could not come up with timely hits to secure a win.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Record: 16-7. Pace: 113-49. Change on 2017: +2

The rain stayed away from Citizens Bank Park tonight allowing for a showdown between former Cy Young award winners Zack Greinke and Jake Arrieta. Neither pitcher was exceptionally dominant, but Greinke ultimately made one more mistake than Arrieta over this contest.

Zack gave up a loud double to Cesar Hernandez in right field to open up the Phillies’ half of the 1st. He was able to make it all the way to third base when Jarrod Dyson had difficulty getting the ball back into the infield. Carlos Santana drove Hernandez in with a ground out to Paul Goldschmidt at first base to give the Phillies an early 1-0 lead. That score held until the top of the 3rd inning. Dyson led off the inning reaching base with a soft infield single. Mr. Zoombiya was off running on the pitch when Jeff Mathis hit a single to left field, so Dyson reached third base with ease. That put runners on the corners with no outs. After dispatching Greinke with a strikeout, Arrieta surrendered a sacrifice fly to David Peralta allowing Dyson to score and tie the game at 1 apiece, but that would be all the D’backs could manage in their half of the 3rd.

Philadelphia wasted no time retaking the lead in the bottom of the 3rd with back to back singles from Hernandez and Santana to begin the inning. Odubel Herrera hit a sacrifice fly to A.J. Pollock in center field, allowing the third run of the game to score, all of which had done so without a base hit. Goldy cut the throw off from Pollock catching Santana in a rundown between first and second providing two outs on that play. Greinke struck out Rhys Hoskins looking for his fifth strikeout in the game ending the inning.

Arizona’s best opportunity to take a commanding lead in the game came in the 4th inning. Goldy led off reaching first base on an error from third basemen Maikel Franco, and Pollock took the very next pitch to shallow left field for a single. From there it appeared the D’backs were going to run away with it because Arrieta walked the next two batters, Daniel Descalso and Chris Owings, tying the game a 2. Dyson attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt which was a questionable decision considering Arrieta was struggling to get outs that inning. The attempt landed just in front of Arrieta who charged and made a diving toss beating Pollock to home for the first out of the inning. As soon as the attempted rally began it was over when Jeff Mathis grounded into a double play on the first pitch he saw. Both Dyson and Mathis gave the Phillies three outs in the inning on only three pitches total.

Goldy made a strong case for including reaching base on an error into on base percentage doing so for a second time to lead off an inning, this time in the 6th. He hustled all the way down the line and slid awkwardly into first base to beat a high throw from the shortstop J.P. Crawford. For the second night in a row, he stole second successfully and advanced to third when the throw from home plate sailed into center field. Descalso drove Goldy in with another sacrifice fly to give the D’backs a 3-2 lead. Remarkably, all five runs combined by both teams to that point were driven in without a base hit. Again, the D’backs managed only one run in the inning.

Greinke’s worst inning of the night came in the bottom of the 6th. Santana just barely missed a home run on a deep fly to right field to begin the inning. The hit bounced just off the railing below where it would have been ruled a home run, forcing him to stop at second base. Herrera followed with a walk to bring up the dangerous Hoskins to the plate with two on and no outs. It appeared that Greinke might have been able to work out of the jam when he struck Hoskins out for the second time that evening. However, he made his biggest mistake of the night to Aaron Altherr by leaving a hanging slider middle-middle, and it was promptly deposited over the center field wall for a three run jack. Greinke’s night was finished after 6 innings pitched allowing 9 hits, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts, and 5 earned runs. This evening demonstrated again that an offering from him over the middle of the plate has a strong chance of being taken yard, and that he is living around the edges of the plate with diminished velocity. Blah blah blah.

Andrew Chafin and Fernando Salas combined to throw two innings of scoreless relief facing the minimum six batters, with the latter inducing a double play in order to do so, giving the D’backs a chance to get back into the game. Hector Neris came in for the save opportunity for Philadelphia in the 9th and was slightly erratic. He retired Descalso looking at a called third strike to begin the inning. After a five pitch walk to Owings, Neris fell behind to Dyson 3-1. Dyson fouled the next two pitches off to make the count full, and then struck out leaving the Diamondbacks down to their final out. Alex Avila was called in to pinch hit for Mathis, and drew a six pitch walk himself to bring the go ahead run to the plate. Pinch hitter John Ryan Murphy looked at the first four pitches of the at bat to drive the count to 3-1. He hit a deep fly to left center field, but it was caught near the warning track to seal the 5-3 victory for Philadelphia. Another closely contested loss for the good guys.

Snake Stars

☆☆: Ketel Marte, 2-for-4, strong play at shortstop in the 7th

☆: Chris Owings, 2 walks, one with the bases loaded

04/25/2018, D’backs 3 vs. Phillies 5
Fangraphs

Philly cheese steak: Chris Owings, +14%

Subway sandwich: Zack Greinke, -36.7%

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I better be on your good side for this one DC...

CoTN. Seriously guys and gals it is fricking baseball, and the Diamondbacks have been darn good at it this month. DC’s comments mirror David Peralta’s post game comments. Losing is part of the game. Arizona has been competitive in most contests this season without Jake Lamb and Steven Souza Jr. Tomorrow is another in a long season.