God, I really don’t want to write this recap. I don’t want to remember this game. It was a rough one. Also, I thought after the first six innings that I’d be writing about plate discipline, and climbing happily onto my pitch-count-per-inning hobby horse. But no. No no no.
Patrick Corbin seemed to have some trouble in the even numbered innings, starting with the 2nd giving up two two-out runs to the bottom of the Brewers’ order on a double to Brewers catcher Manny Pina, a single to Jonathan Villar that shot just under Daniel Descalso’s glove, and was followed by a full-count double to Orlando Arcia. Those were the Brewers’ sixth, seventh and eighth batters in tonight’s order (keep that in mind, it’s a theme, perhaps a motif, for this evening’s contest). Corbin had previously struck out the previous four batters, incidentally. 2-0 Milwaukee.
Corbin ran into trouble again in the top of the 4th, walking Brewers third baseman and cleanup hitter Travis Shaw on five pitches to lead off the inning, and then surrendering an infield single to left fielder (for the time being) Hernan Perez. That was nervous-making. Patrick settled down after that, though, and got out of the inning with on a flyout to right and two swinging strikeouts—Corbin’s slider was sick tonight, really.
You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned the Diamondbacks offense yet, and that’s because they hadn’t really put in an appearance yet. In the third, John Ryan Murphy, who had a really good game both at the plate tonight as well as behind it (cf. sick slider, above), drew a six-pitch walk in a nice at bat against Brewers starter Junior Guerra, but that had been it.
That changed in the bottom of the 4th, when Daniel Descalso led off the inning with a four-pitch walk from Guerra. Next, Goldschimdt shot a single out to right field with a smart defensive swing on a 2-2 count, one of three examples of good, hard contact he made at the plate tonight. Pollock advanced Scals to third with a long fly ball to right-center that came pretty close to winding up in the pool area. No dice, though, sadly. Happily, however, Steven Souza Jr. came to the plate and promptly ripped a very convincing double down the left field line to drive in my namesake and allow Goldy to advance to third. Marte then drew a seven-pitch walk on a very nice at bat. Ahmed sacrificed Goldy home with a deep fly ball to center, but that was it, as Murphy flied out to right to end the inning. 2-2 TIE.
Here’s Souza’s hit, via Fox Sports AZ Twitter:
And that’s about all we need to say about the offense, because while they scattered three more hits and a base on balls over the last five frames, it was pretty much void. Marte singled to center in the 6th to extend his hit streak to six games, which is a good sign, and Souza singled up the middle in the 8th against terrifying Brewers reliever Josh Hader, which is also a good sign. John Ryan Murphy also singled off Hader in the 7th, which left him 1 for 3 on the day with a walk and which means that I think maybe we need to consider making him our everyday starting catcher going forward. Just saying.
Anyway, that’s the end of the good news. Patrick Corbin, at ninety or so pitches, came out to start the 7th, promptly gave up singles to Pina and Villar (there are those names again), and got the hook. Pina had advanced to third on the Villar single, and Yoshi Hirano came in from the bullpen and got Arcia to hit a weak grounder to third that Descalso charged and collected cleanly, throwing Pina out on a close play at the plate. Daniel’s third or fourth nice defensive play of the ballgame, by the by. Anyway.
The Brewers brought Christian Yelich in to pinch hit for Guerra—he’d been sitting against Corbin because apparently Yelich doesn’t hit lefties well. So Hirano got yanked in favor of Andrew Chafin, which ended about as well as one might have expected if one has been paying attention recently. One pitch, a single to left that drove in Villar and allowed Arcia to advance to third, and Chafin was yanked as well. In came Jimmy Sherfy, who did his job, though he gave up a leadoff walk to Cain. Domingo Santiago, the Brewers right fielder, flew out to Souza in right, which allowed Arcia to tag and score. Another flyout, this time to left, and the inning was finally over. 4-2 Brewers.
The aforementioned Josh Hader came out for the seventh and made quick work of our boys after Murphy’s leadoff single, and make short work of us in the eighth as well, despite the two-out Souza single. For our side, Fernando Salas came out to pitch the 8th and lulled us into a false sense of security by retiring the Brewers in order on ten pitches, including two Ks.
And then came the fateful 9th. Jonathan Villar drew a full count against Salas, who had come out for this inning as well, and deposited a sixth-pitch meatball into the left field bleachers. Ferny seemed to bounce back for a bit after that, striking out Arcia on four pitches. Yelich, who had stayed in the game, necessitating some sort of outfield shuffle for the Brewers fielders that I didn’t even bother to figure out on my scoresheet, stroked a single, followed by Salas striking out Cain on four pitches.
The pitcher’s spot came up, and one Taylor Saladino came to the plate to pinch hit for Hader. He launched the third pitch of the at bat into center, a tailing fly ball that was drifting toward left. A.J. Pollock dived for the ball but missed, and it rolled to the wall. Peralta was backing him up on the play, but by the time Peralta had thrown the ball in to Ahmed, the cutoff man, Saladino was already around third and motoring toward home. Goldy intercepted Ahmed’s throw to the plate, and while his relay to Murphy was pretty spot on. Too late, two run inside-the-park home run for Saladino (fun fact: that was the first ITP home run by a Diamondback’s opponent at Chase since 2007).
Aaand here’s a gif of the play:
Here's A.J. Pollock rolling his wrist on that diving attempt. pic.twitter.com/o3b71leJuB— Nick Piecoro (@nickpiecoro) May 15, 2018
7-2 Brewers, and worse than that, Pollock stayed on the ground for a long time after his diving catch attempt, and came up holding his
right left hand. Trainers came out, manipulated his right left thumb a bit, and eventually led him off the field. It came out during the postgame show that the initial diagnosis is a thumb sprain, and AJ will be getting a second evaluation tomorrow. Fingers crossed, but it doesn’t seem like it’s looking good.
We went down in order in the bottom of the 9th, and that’s all she wrote. Ugh.
Bells and Whistles
Thirty total commenters and 487 comments in the Gameday Thread tonight, which is about what one might expect from a largely demoralized Snake Pit fan base right now. Present and accounted for were BamaPHX, BigSmarty, BobDolio, Brandon Winchester, DORRITO, Dcarbajal, DeadManG, DesertRock, Diamondhacks, GuruB, Jackwriter, Jim McLennan, Johnneu, Makakilo, Michael McDermott, MrMrrbi, Oscar Goldman, ShirtOffYourBack, Sprankton, Xerostomia, asteroid, gamepass, hotclaws, leo7630, megnetic, ol Pete, onedotfive, shoewizard, since_98, smartplays. Jackwriter and Michael McDermott led the way with 79 comments apiece.
No comment of the night, I don’t think, because I’ve already spent enough time steeped in the sadness of this game and there was no conclusive winner in terms of upvotes. So that’s all, kids. Better luck tomorrow, and let’s all keep AJ and his thumb in our thoughts and prayers.