Record: 51-41. Pace: 90-72. Change on 2017: -2.
The D-Backs came into Coors field tonight looking to erase the sour taste of a disappointing 3-7 home stand. In order to do so, the first order of business would be to get going on offense. Having failed to score in the final 12 innings of the 16 inning marathon series finale against the Padres, this did not shape up to be an easy task. Facing off against lefty Tyler Anderson, who pitched back to back 8 inning shutouts vs. the Dodgers and Giants, the D-Backs had their work cut out for them.
With All Star starter Patrick Corbin on the mound, the potential existed for a relatively low scoring game, (for Coors Field)
Things would start off quite well. After a David Peralta ground out, Nick Ahmed would work a patient at bat to a full count, and then drilled the 3-2 pitch into the left field bleachers for a solo homer to get the Dbacks on the board early. Scoreless innings streaks, for both the D Backs and Anderson over.
The broadcast booth was making much of the Rockies vaunted first inning offense, but Patrick wasn’t having it. Working past a 2 out walk to Nolan Arenado, he then abused Trevor Story with 3 straight sliders that had Story twisted up in knots. Strikeout and scoreless 1st for the Rockies.
The D-Backs had a scoring opportunity in the top of the 2nd , after a very patient Ketel Marte walk (couple of good takes) and a Jeff Mathis seeing eye bouncer into center field put runners at 1st and 3rd. But Corbin was unable to help himself, tapping out weakly to Arenado at 3rd.
In the bottom of the 2nd Corbin had to work around a 1 out single by Chris Iannetta and his second walk of the game with Rookie Noel Cuevas up, but retired the pitcher Anderson for the 3rd out to get out of the mini jam. Corbin’s pitch count was up to 42 though after the 27 pitch inning.
Following a 3 up 3 down top of the 3rd for the D-Backs, Corbin would run into some trouble in the bottom half. DJ Lamahieu lined a 106 MPH line drive off Lamb’s glove for a leadoff single. Charlie Blackmon then drilled a double down the right field line to score Lamahieu all the way from first. Arenado walked, Corbins 3rd of the game. Trevor Story struck out again giving hope for limited damage. A nice play on a Desmond topper by Jake Lamb and a flyout to CF by Iannetta ended the threat. However the 2nd straight 27 pitch inning brought Corbin’s pitch count to 69, indicating a short out on tap again for a D Backs starter.
The 4th inning saw both pitchers allow a couple of base runners, but none would cross the plate, and the D-Backs would go 3 up 3 down again in the 5th.
Heading to the bottom of the 5th with 92 pitches, one wondered how far Corbin would get. After Blackmon struck out, Arenado would be credited with a base hit on a ball that went under the glove of Jake Lamb. David Peralta would then lose a line drive in the lights off the bat of Trevor Story to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out and that would end Corbin’s night after a season high 108 pitches to get 13 outs. This would be the 3rd straight game a D-backs starter would fail to go 5 innings, although better defense might have given him the chance to finish off the inning.
Randall Delgado would come on in relief , and induce a weak ground ball towards the gap between 1st and 2nd. Goldy tried to backhand it, but misplayed the ball for an error. Arenado scored and Desmond was safe at first on the play. The run would have scored anyway most likely , but it was a rough defensive inning.
Gerarrdo Parra would send a deep drive to right , however Steven Souza , redeeming the defense somewhat, made a very nice play to snare it at the wall, ending the inning and limiting the damage to one run.
After a scoreless 6th for both teams, which included a 3 up 3 down inning for Delgado, the teams moved on to the pivotal 7th inning and the chance to face the Rockies 100 Million Dollar bullpen. They would not disappoint D-backs fans.
With Jake McGree on to pitch Jeff Mathis worked a walk, Chris Owings came on to pinch hit and knocked a double into the left field corner to give the D-backs 2nd and 3rd with nobody out and the top of the order coming up. This time Crooked numbers were on tap, as David Peralta skied a 445 foot upper deck HR into right (above) to give the DBacks a 4-2 lead. Two Batters later, AJ Pollock hit a long fly ball to dead center that just barely cleared the wall over a leaping Charlie Blackmon.
Archie Bradley would come on to pitch the 7th and Nolan Arenado promptly got one run back for the Rockies with a homerun into the right center field bullpen, cutting the lead to 5-3. Back to back shift beaters into right by Story and Desmond put runners on first and third, but Chris Iannetta would fly out to shallow right, failing to bring the runner home. That would be it for Archie, and on would come Andrew Chafin, who induced a weak groundball by Parra to end the inning.
Chafin would come out and pitch the 8th as well, and have a spotless 3 up 3 down inning.
On to the 9th and the D Backs had a golden chance to add some insurance runs. After an Ahmed double, a wild pitch and a Goldy walk, the D-Backs had runners on first and 3rd and nobody out. AJ Pollock came up and hit a fly ball to Carlos Gonzalez in right. Ahmed would stutter step and feign testing Cargo’s arm, going back to 3rd, but Goldy, perhaps duped by Ahmed’s fake took off for 2nd and was gunned down there. Double Play! Souza would ground out, and the opportunity was wasted.
Would it matter? This is Coors field. Missed chances like that always come back to haunt, don’t they?
Chafin would come out again for the 9th to face the lefty Blackmon, who would single on a sharp line drive to center. With the tying run at the plate, Brad Boxberger would come on, get Arenado and Story to fly out, but then walk Ian Desmond on a ball that looked like it caught the top of the zone. However finally, he would get Iannetta on a ground ball to third, and Jake Lamb would take it the base ahead of Blackmon for the last out of the game.
The offense struggled for a while, Corbin struggled, but limited damage, Archie had a rough night, but the offense finally came around, and Delgado, Chafin, and Boxberger were excellent. Good win tonight, and with the Dodgers losing the division lead will be 1.5 games.
Bells and whistles, by Jim
Click here for details, at Fangraphs.com
A six-pack of not Coors: Brad Boxberger, +23.5%
'Beer: OWings, +16.7%; Chafin, +10.8%; Delgado, +10.4%; Peralta, +10.0%
Coors Light: Jake Lamb, -16.2%
We can pretty much divide the Gameday Thread into two sections: the whiny, complaining one before the Peralta home-run, and the much more cheerful and optimistic version afterward. Present were: $-The Moneyman-$, AzDbackfanInDc, BigSmarty, BobDolio, DORRITO, DeadManG, GuruB, Jackwriter, Jim McLennan, Johnneu, Makakilo, Michael McDermott, MrMrrbi, Rockkstarr12, ShirtOffYourBack, Sprankton, Turambar, asteroid, edbigghead, hotclaws, kilnborn, onedotfive, shoewizard, smartplays and suroeste. Comment of the night to GuruB for his explanation of why Archie Bradley should NOT be the closer.
Good to get that win, with the Giants, Rockies and Dodgers all losing. Tomorrow is a Shelby Miller start, so we need all the breathing room we can get...