Well, it looked like things were going swimmingly when I got home from my new job and finally got my act together to sit down to watch and recap this one. I had my score sheet, I had my snacks, the bottom of the first had just started. Zack Greinke was on the mound, which is a happy thing more often than not, and we were apparently already leading by a crooked number against Rangers starter Bartolo Colon. I can’t help it...I love Bartolo Colon. How can you not? Having him face off against Greinke, also, well. I liked that matchup.
So it appears that Paul Goldschmidt hit a one-out single to right, stole second while AJ Pollock was at the plate, and then was driven home when Pollock hit a double to right. One out later, Steven Souza Jr. knocked another double into left to drive home AJ. Our boys hung a 30-pitch first inning on Colon. Life was good. 2-0 DBACKS
Things looked pretty good for Greinke, too, at least through his first two innings of work. His control wasn’t great, and he was throwing a lot more offspeed stuff than fastballs, but it served him well. He threw first-pitch strikes to the first six batters he faced, and sat ‘em all down in order, needing fewer than 25 pitches to do it.
The creaking began in the bottom of the third, when Rangers left fielder Willie Calhoun (there’s an old school baseball name right there) deposited the second pitch he saw from Greinke over the wall in right center for a solo home run. Zack gave up another single, but pitched out of it without further damage. Somewhat ominously, however, he needed a lot more pitches to get through the third, and home plate umpire Brian Knight’s strike zone seemed to be evolving in unpredictable ways. 2-1 DBACKS
This all got worse in the bottom of the fourth. Suddenly, the borderline calls Greinke had been getting (not all of them, but some of them, enough to keep the Rangers hitters swinging) all went away, and he was getting nothing. This is not to heap all the blame on the ump, because just about none of the pitches that Zack was no longer getting strike calls on were actually strikes, if a robot umpire were in charge. But the inconsistency was remarkable. Zack seemed to get frustrated, and started nibbling, which never ends well. Five of the first six batters he faced in the inning reached, on a single to center, a five pitch walk, a Robinson Chiniros homer to left, another single, and another walk. 4-2 RANGERS
We answered back, a bit, in the top of the fifth, as Daniel Descalso drew a leadoff walk off Colon after a seven-pitch at bat that was probably the best AB by any Diamondback hitter tonight. Ahmed and Mathis popped out and grounded out respectively, but David Peralta managed a two-out cue-shot single to left to bring Descalso home. 4-3 RANGERS
And that, sadly, was that, essentially. The strike zone returned to something like how it had been in the first two innings, which allowed Greinke to get through 61⁄3 innings, as he retired the side in order in the fifth and sixth. It wasn’t a great outing for him, but he did manage to settle back down and keep us in the game.
The offense, though, was not having any of it. We only managed two more hits—back-to-back two-out singles in the top of the eighth from Goldy and Pollock, when we were still within a run. Eduardo Escobar ended that quasi-rally, though, with a little squib in front of home plate that put a stop to it.
And one last bit of sadness...Archie Bradley came out to pitch the eighth, and his recent troubles continued. He gave up a lead-off single to Adrian Beltre to kick off the inning, followed with a wild pitch that allowed Beltre to advance to second, and then gave up another single to Chirinos that allowed Beltre to score. 5-3 RANGERS
Click here for details, at Fangraphs.com
The Good: A.J. Pollock (+10.4 WPA), Brad Ziegler (+5.4 WPA)
The Bad: Archie Bradley (-5.7 WPA), Ketel Marte (-11.2 WPA), Zack Greinke (-14.1 WPA)
The VERY Bad: Eduardo Escobar (-20.7 WPA)
It was a very sparse Game Day Thread, with 252 comments from 21 individual commenters. Present in the thread were AzCutter, AzDbackfanInDc, AzRattler, BigSmarty, DORRITO, DeadManG, Gilbertsportsfan, Jack Sommers, Jackwriter, Jim McLennan, Johnneu, Makakilo, MrMrrbi, PaulGoldsmith, ShirtOffYourBack, UofALifer, asteroid, coldblueAZ, kilnborn, onedotfive, and suroeste
The only Sedona Red comment was part of a pre-game thread about food. Other than that, though, there was no joy at all. So no CoTG for tonight, let’s keep our powder dry and hope that we can bounce back tomorrow with Patrick Corbin taking the mound.