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Diamondbacks 12, Rockies 7: The Shaw-shank Redemption

“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” Especially at Coors, amIrite?

Arizona Diamondbacks v Colorado Rockies Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Record: 34-29. Pace: 87-75. Change on 2017: -3.

You won’t win many games where your starting pitcher gives up 7+ runs. Since the end of 2011, the Diamondbacks were 5-56 in such contests coming into tonight [the last such being the second game of this year, also against the Rockies]. But you can now make it 6-56, as the team engaged the home outfit in a typically Coorsian slugfest which included six home-runs, three for each side. Matt Koch was victimized early on, but the finest of vintage Paul Goldschmidt kept Arizona in the game with a pair of homers. And the visitors took full advantage of a botch job by beleaguered reliever Bryan Shaw to bat around in the eighth, scoring six runs to pull away.

Let’s start with Goldschmidt, who reached base five times. He homered in the first, a solo shot. He did strike out in the second, though was hosed by a pitch off the inside being called a strike by home-plate umpire Gabe Morales. He homered again in the fourth, this time with two men aboard. He led off the seventh with a single, was intentionally walked in the eighth, and then... got hit by a pitch with two outs in the ninth. I can’t say for sure if the last was intentional, but the optics did not look good, and Goldy certainly wasn’t happy about it. Would have been a move of supreme douchebaggery by the Rockies if so. I’m sure it will be remembered.

We needed all the Goldschmidt we could get, because Matt Koch likely punched his ticket back to Reno whenever Shelby Miller is ready. His weird reverse splits seemed to continue, with Matt being able to handle the left-handed batters well, but getting tattooed by right-handers, serving up too many center-cut pitches. Here are the splits now:
vs. LHP: .182/.248/.336 = .584 OPS
vs. RHP: .339/.382/.643 = 1.026 OPS
Tonight, we was taken deep for a trio of two-run homers. He did get through five innings - one more than Chad Bettis - and wasn’t helped by a Daniel Descalso error, but five earned runs on eight hits and a walk isn’t good, even allowing for Coors.

As a result, even with Goldschmidt’s battering of Chad Bettis, and Nick Ahmed’s solo shot (he has now tied his career high in home-runs at nine, with a mere 99 games left in the season!), the Diamondbacks were 7-5 down. They had got to the soft, flaccid bullpen of the Rockies, but new arm Jeff Hoffman had settled things down for 2.2 innings, leaving the game with that two-run lead intact. Fortunately, he was not able to pitch any longer, and $27 million dollar men Jake McGee and Bryan Shaw were called upon. They combined to retire just three of the dozen men they faced, allowing six hits, two walks and six runs, plus the runner inherited from Hoffman to score.

David Peralta got things started in the seventh, with a double past the despairing dive of Gerardo Parra for an RBI double. But the wheels really fell off in the eighth. John Ryan Murphy opened with a bloop single off the bench, Ketel Marte than hit a comeback to Shaw, which he first booted towards third, and then threw wildly past first, instead of eating the error. Murply scored, tying the game, and Marte ended up on third. Before Shaw left the game, the boos of a thoroughly disgruntled Coors crowd ringing in his ears, Jake Lamb had given Arizona the lead with an RBI single, Peralta drove in two more with a single, and Ahmed added a two-run double. We sent ten to the plate, and scored six.

Credit should also go to the Diamondbacks’ bullpen who pitched four scoreless innings, something not easy to do in Coors. Particularly impressive was Silvino Bracho, who pitched two perfect innings, including a 12-pitch seventh where he struck out Mike Tauchmann, D.J. LeMahieu and Charlie Blackmon. I’m really starting to think Bracho has figured it out, and deserves to stay in the bullpen. He has now pitched 10.1 innings of one-run ball while back and forth on the shuttle from Reno, with a mere three hits allowed and 16 K’s. Archie Bradley needed only eight pitches for the eighth, and Fernando Salas mopped up the last three outs, including a game-ending double-play.

Remember when we were worried about the offense? Over the last 11 games, they have scored 73 runs, the second-most in the majors since the end of the road-trip from batting hell. On this occasion all hail in particular the triumvirate of Goldschmidt, Peralta and Ahmed, who combined to go 10-for-14 with ten RBI. Goldy, the Freight Train and Marte put up a total of +101.4% of Win Probability. This was more than sufficient to negate the -40.2% delivered by Koch - though how much Marte deserves credit, and how much Shaw debit, is open to debate! This is the fourth regulation game in franchise history where three of our hitters have ended up with Win Probabilities of > 30%. The previous entries were:

  • 6-4 @ SDP, May 27, 2001 - Durazo (+30.4%), Dellucci (35.2%), Sanders (37.8%)
  • 10-9 vs. ATL, May 19, 2006 - Counsell (+43.8%), DaVanon (+42.4%), Green (+34.0%)
  • 6-5 vs. SFG, April 2, 2017 - Pollock (+37.6%), Owings (+42.7%), Descalso (+41.6%)

Click here for details, at
Andy Dufresne: Paul Goldschmidt, +38.4%
'Red' Redding: Peralta, +32.5%; Marte, +30.5%; Bracho, +10.3%
Warden Norton: Matt Koch, -40.2%
Captain Byron Hadley: Jon Jay, -10.1%

Jon Jay is still looking for his first hit as a D-back: so far he is 0-for-8 with a walk and five strikeouts, not quite the “hitting machine” we were promised... Still, we are 2-0 with him in the lead-off spot, and that’s what matters! Another solid GDT, with over seven hundred comments on a Saturday night. Those present were: AzCutter, AzDbackfanInDc, BobDolio, DORRITO, GuruB, Jackwriter, Jim McLennan, Joey Lewis, Johnneu, Keegan Thompson, LamparT, Makakilo, Michael McDermott, MikeMono, MrMrrbi, Renin, ShirtOffYourBack, Sprankton, asteroid, coldblueAZ, david.munter, edbigghead, hotclaws, lildbackfan21x, onedotfive, piratedan7, shoewizard and smartplays. shoe wins the thread:

Nice. We watched the early innings at Islands, then returned to SnakePit Towers to watch the rest of the game from the couch. It was a lot more fun after that eighth inning, needless to say! A good day for the D-backs, with the Giants and Dodgers both losing, so we expand the division lead to 2.5 games. Tomorrow, it’s a “house money” game, with the series already in the bag, and a chance at the first sweep on the road of this season. Zack Godley starts for Arizona, so let’s just say that another 12 runs of offense would be very welcome! First pitch is at 12:10pm, Arizona time.