Given how the first two games back from the All-Star Break turned out for the Diamondbacks, I was a bit worried going into tonight’s game about which version of our team, and specifically our pitching staff, was going to show up tonight. In retrospect, my worries were clearly overblown.
Jon Jay reached to lead off the game by getting himself plunked on the thigh by Cubs spot starter Luke Farrell on a slider he didn’t really try to get out of the way of. Fine, though...whatever works. Paul Goldschmidt followed that with a well-hit line drive to left that looked and sounded as if it might leave the yard, but which died in the wind blowing in from left. No matter, though...Peralta and Pollock followed with back-to-back singles, with Pollock’s scoring Jay for the first run. Jake Lamb, He Who Continues to Slump, nevertheless made a productive second out with a sacrifice fly to center that scored Peralta. Ketel Marte and Daniel Descalso followed with two-out singles. The big knock of the inning, though, was Jeff Mathis’s two-run double to left. Patrick Corbin struck out to end the frame. 5-0 DBACKS
The top of the second was kinder to Farrell, as he only faced four batters and only gave up one hit. That hit, however, was Goldy’s 22nd dinger of the season. Given how the wind had killed his line drive to left in the first, he decided to go opposite field in the second, and that worked out just fine. 6-0 DBACKS
Meanwhile, Patrick Corbin looked like the pitcher he was back in April, as he faced the minimum through the first three innings, only needing 33 pitches to get through the Cubs’ lineup, and only 60 to get through five. The sixth inning was the only inning where he really had to work, as he gave up a leadoff double to Cubs right fielder Ian Happ, followed by a single to pinch-hitter Jason Heyward, who was batting in the pitcher’s spot. Facing the top of the Cubs’ order for the third time, though, netted him a fielder’s choice out (that scored Happ, the only blemish on Patrick’s night), a K and a grounder to shut the Cubs back down. 6-1 DBACKS
And that was pretty much it. Corbin wound up going seven innings, and Jorge De La Rosa and Matt Koch closed it out with a clean inning of relief each. We also tacked on one last run in the bottom of the eighth, on a Jeff Mathis walk, and then this truly impressive at-bat from Nick Ahmed, who was pinch-hitting for Corbin.
7-1 DBACKS, and that was how it finished up. Second day in a row we got a long, strong outing from a Diamondbacks starter, and enough offense to make the lead stand up without needing to depend unduly on the bullpen.
BELLS AND WHISTLES
Jake: Patrick Corbin (+14.1 WPA pitching)
Elwood: AJ Pollock (+11.9 WPA)
The Bluesmobile: Jeff Mathis (+10.5 WPA)
In the Gameday Thread, 17 commenters accounted for 380 comments overall. Present for tonight’s festivities were: AzDbackfanInDc, DeadManG, Fangdango, GuruB, Jack Sommers, Jim McLennan, Makakilo, Michael McDermott, MrMrrbi, Rockkstarr12, The so-called Beautiful, TortugaCub, coldblueAZ, david.munter, hotclaws, smartplays, and suroeste.
There were a couple of Sedona Red comments in the thread, but they seemed to center not on the game but on fairly hilarious speculative teasing of DC about his domicile. Game-related CoTN, however, goes to DC himself, because he wrote in ten words what is essentially the entire story of this game:
Tomorrow’s game features the return of Clay Buchholz, so here’s hoping he’s as good for us as he was before his brief trip to the DL. Like today, 5:10 start time. Go Diamondbacks!