After a 3 game sweep of the San Diego Padres and the acquisitions of Matt Andriese and Eduardo Escobar becoming a larger part of the team, the Diamondbacks began a series against the Texas Rangers. This interleague matchup gave us a lot of fireworks.
In the first inning was uneventful for the opposition as Shin-Soo Choo, Rougned Odor and Elvis Andrus went down in order. For the D-Backs, the bottom of the 1st started with a bang as Jon Jay dropped a triple to right field. Jay was eventually brought in by the newest D-Back, Eduardo Escobar. Goldy walked and A.J. Pollock singled however the inning ended with two strikeouts.
The second, third and fourth innings were rather uneventful as the main action came in the fifth through seventh innings. The fifth began the insanity as two walks led to a bomb being dropped by Shin-Soo Choo as he took a 93.5 mph Four-Seamer on the outer middle half of the plate. Choo sent it to left center which put the Rangers on the board. The D-Backs added three runs of their own. The action started with Jon Jay reaching on a ground ball up the middle and Goldy reached on a force attempt. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Steven Souza Jr took a 77.4 mph curveball on the lower part of the plate to souvenir city. Souza Jr would be my pick for the player that can impact the team the most. J.D. Martinez was the catalyst for the 2017 team, his power was huge. If Souza Jr can do ANYTHING more than what he has done, than you could see a small amount of that J.D. we miss.
The sixth inning was where the Rangers continued their run scoring ways and the absolute madness began. Robbie Ray was relieved by Yoshi Hirano after a walk to Adrian Beltre. Hirano was replaced by Jorge De La Rosa after Jurickson Profar walked and Robinson Chirinos singled which scored Adrian Beltre. Another walk and a Willie Calhoun single to score another run were the only action of the inning. This pushed the lead to 5-4. A pair of two out walks allowed Eduardo Escobar to line a single past Elvis Andrus for the single run of the inning.
I couldn’t write a proper wrap up if I did not talk about the blackout. As half of the lights went off, I could only imagine how much the storm affected the stadium in general. The lights weren’t off for long however the song choice was intriguing to some.
Exclusive behind the scenes video at Chase Field. pic.twitter.com/wcyiPzaEbO— Dave Burns (@Burnsy987) July 31, 2018
Matt Andriese entered the game with the hope holding the tie and maintaining some hope for the D-Back faithful. Boy that hope did not last long. On the first pitch, Odor dropped a missile about half way up the first level. It was a beautiful swing that was 100% a no doubter. The wheels came off after that as the Elvis Andrus doubled with Adrian Beltre moving Andrus over on a dinky ground ball. Jurickson Profar lined a ball past Goldy to score the second and final run of the inning.
☆☆☆: Eduardo Escobar: 2-4, 2 RBI
☆☆: Steven Souza Jr: 1-4, R, 3 RBI, HR
☆: Whoever fixed the lights
For the Diamondbacks, Nick Admed provided the only spark however was thrown out trying to take third on a ball that scooted by Robinson Chirinos.
As the eighth came around, another Shin-Soo Choo bomb created a comfortable lead as a Ketel Marte triple started the bottom half of the inning for the D-Backs. However, the inning would sadly end with three strikeouts by Jose LeClerc.
With 583 comments and 32 commentators, the thread was very lively. With that being said, I am giving all of the commenters the W for commenter of the game. After tonight’s game, everyone deserves a W.
Andrew Chafin came into the ninth with his 1.49 ERA to pacify this Rangers offense. The inning started with a sharp line-out to Jon Jay. However, a double by Robinson Chirinos started the offense Rangers as a Delino DeShields frozen rope scored him from second.
Jake Diekman came in to close the game for the Rangers and immediately got K’d up. Escobar’s pitch recognition was poor as he was chasing badly. Diekman then blew absolute heat by Goldy for another strikeout and the second out of the inning. The final blow came on a pop fly to Delino De Shields to end the game.
- Positive WPA’s (10%+): Jon Jay 11.3%, Eduardo Escobar 11.6%, Steven Souza Jr 27.3%
- Negative WPA’s(-10%+): Yoshi Hirano -23.9%, Matt Andriese -30.9%, A.J. Pollock -10.3%, John Ryan Murphy 15.0%
- Positive WPA’s (10%+): Willie Calhoun 14.1%, Rougned Odor 13.3%, Shin-Soo Choo 29.5%, Jurickson Profar 11.4%, Robinson Chirinos 28.1%
- Negative WPA’s (-10%+): Matt Moore -15.2%, Justin Upton -23.8%, Joey Gallo -24.0%
This team is good, you aren’t a game or two out of the NL West if you don’t have talent. However, I am lost by those who believe that this team should be serious buyers. LeClerc was a name that many pointed to before the team acquired Andriese. Those talks surely need to be re-hashed. Also, this team needs another bat. Chris Owings has been abysmal. A .199 average is not something that should be accepted on a Divisional Title chasing team. The problem for the D-Backs relies upon the value of their prospects. Pavin Smtih has not been the player he was promised to be and the Escobar trade wiped you of some intriguing prospects.
Pedro Gomez may have had the best tweet of the night regarding the storm: