Another Facebook game meant I switched to radio to avoid Eric Byrnes at all costs. Other than being a generally loud and obnoxious person, Byrnes just isn’t interesting enough on his own. Now if he had his dog, I might have given him the benefit of the doubt and watched a couple innings but alas, America was stuck with loud yelps and growls from a human.
In every other market and situation, this game made very little than a normal baseball game. But the D-backs had a chance to “make history” by keeping their series win streak alive. Of course, to do that they’d need to beat the Dodgers a 3rd time. Fair or not whatever. They were throwing the 4-0 Patrick Corbin on the mound against Alex Wood who seems to always throw a no-hitter against us. (Future Steven note, he has a 3.20 ERA over 9 starts)
Corbin was strong from the start, grabbing two strikeouts in a clean first inning. Wood allowed a Chris Owings single to lead off the bottom half but struck out the side after that.
Corbin hiccuped and whoops, gave up a solo homer to Austin Barnes, 1-0 Dodgers. He escaped with no further damage.
The D-backs responded as well! Grabbing a run after a Corbin single scored Marte from 2nd after he singled and moved to scoring position after a Mathis walk. Owings grounded out on a 3-0 pitch to end the threat.
After that blemish, Corbin was his normal excellent self cruising through batters like a cold knife through warm butter. He did run into trouble in the 4th and 6th innings, allowing a double in each inning but dodging the scoring chances with weak contact each time.
The D-backs actually took the lead in the 6th, giving Corbin a chance at another victory. Goldschmidt reached on an error and Pollock singled to left to move Goldy up. Steven Souza flew out to right but Marte singled to left and Goldy took a huge gamble in trying to score on the powerful arm of Verdugo. It was close. Too close. And after a replay review the run counted and the D-backs took the lead 2-1.
Of course, all good things must end and the bullpen finally faltered. Chafin was actually good, giving us a scoreless 7th but the Salas/de la Rosa combo was awful. Chris Taylor walked, Chase Utley and Matt Kemp singled to load things up. (Timeout for a sec. This is going to sound like I’m being salty but I’m not. On the Kemp single, Utley blatantly slid into Ahmed at 2nd base while he stretched to make a play on the ball. Seriously Chase are you trying to injure players out there? I’d show a clip but I can’t find it for the life of me.) After the single, Bellinger ripped a ball to dead center where Pollock made a nice play to save a hit but still, a run scored 2-2. A balk from de la Rosa moved both runners up a base and the intentional walk followed to load them. Jorge threw two wild pitches, scoring two more runs and Kyle Farmer deposited a pitch into left to score another run. A double play followed but the damage was done, 5-2 Dodgers.
The D-backs futility with the bat continued, as they went down easily to Ross Stripling and Kenley Jansen to close out the game. Streak ended.
☆☆☆ - Patrick Corbin (6IP, 5Ks, 1ER) +27.5% WPA
☆☆ - Ketel Marte (2 for 3, 2 1B, 1R, 1RBI, 1BB) +19.5% WPA
☆ - Fernando Salas (0.0IP, 3ER, 2H) -35.3% WPA
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The Astros come to town for a pivotal 3-game series starting tomorrow evening. If you can, make it out to a game and support this great team we have. We all know how quickly things can turn around so enjoy it! If you question Lovullo’s bullpen usage take a breath and read shoewizards great article about it.