Record : 71-58 Pace: 89-73 Change on 2017 : 0
During tonights pre game press conference, Torey Lovullo was asked about the trade with the Mariners, and the performances of all stars Mitch Haniger and Jean Segura vs those of Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte. Without rehashing the trade “winner”, (Yes the Mariners are well out in front at the moment, and of course Torey praised his guys), the comments about Haniger though were especially poignant. He was asked if he thought much about the trade when Haniger has a game like he did last night. His response:
“Not me personally , I don’t know Mitch other than some of the things that his former teammates were talking about. He played last night like he was validating every comment that his former teammates were making about him. Great approach. A hunger for the game. High baseball IQ. He’s right in the middle of a lot of traffic. I’m sure it felt good to him. I don’t know him, but I can imagine that coming back into this house and performing the way he did was a good night for him and he felt very well. “
Haniger , leading off the game, promptly hit Robbie Ray’s 2nd pitch 441 feet up and over the HR porch in LCF to give the Mariners an early 1-0 lead. Ouch ! Sorry to put this in here...but it’s part of the story.
Ray then loaded the bases on 2 hits and a walk, but struck out Kyle Seager swinging and got Mike Zunino looking to get out of the inning without any further damage.
Eduardo Escobar tied the game up with a line shot into the LCF bleachers off of Wade LeBlanc in the bottom of the 1st . It was his 4th HR as a D back and 19th of the year overall. For balance, here you go .
Just like that, tied once again thanks to El De La Pica. pic.twitter.com/re69wAyM0v— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) August 26, 2018
Robbie (relatively) settled in, allowing just a baserunner each in the 2nd and 3rd while striking out 3. The Mariners worked his pitch count to 65 in the process though. At the same time LeBlanc also gave up a baserunner in each of the 2nd and 3rd, but emerged unscathed as well, and in quite better shape in the pitch count battle as he had an efficient 43 through 3.
Ray hopped right back up on the high wire in the 4th, once again loading the bases on 2 walks and a base hit, and once again getting out of the jam, this time by striking out Robinson Cano and getting Segura to ground out to Paul Goldschmidt. Through 4 innings Robbie’s pitch count was now up to 89, with just 46 for strikes.
So Naturally Robbie came back out for the 5th inning and had his only 3 up 3 down frame. His final line of 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 hits, 4 Walks, (1 Intentional) 7 K’s and the lone HR to Haniger LOOKS better than it felt as he threw 104 pitches in all, 56 for strikes. More importantly though, he left 12 outs on the table for his bullpen, and that would turn out to be too many.
The DBacks threatened in their half of the 5th as John Ryan Murphy and Jeff Mathis each hit one out singles to give the Dbacks their first runner in scoring position of the game. But AJ Pollock flew out to center and Escobar struck out to end that threat.
Brad Ziegler was first out of the pen for Arizona , giving up only a single to pitcher Leblanc in a scoreless 6th. The soft tossing Leblanc countered with another scoreless inning of his own , his last of the game. His final line was 6 IP, 4 hits, 1 ER, 2 walks, 6 K’s and a HR.
Going to the bottom of the 7th the Mariners brought on righty Nick Vincent who quickly allowed a base hit to Nick Ahmed and a walk to Ketel Marte. After a Murphy sac bunt moved the runners over to 2nd and 3rd, Jon Jay came on to pinch hit for the pitchers spot and Mariners manger Scott Servais countered with lefty Zach Duke. Of course Jay was hit by a pitch to load the bases . Adam Warren relieved Duke to face AJ Pollock, who lined a base hit into left field scoring Ahmed and Marte to break the deadlock and give the Dbacks a 3-1 lead. That would be all the scoring for the inning as Escobar flew out deep to right and Goldy struck out. This left us wanting for more, and with good reason.
Andrew Chafin came on to face Lefty Kyle Seager in the top of the 8th, and got him to line out to Marte. Yoshi Hirano relieved Chaffin with one out, and would wobble a bit, walking Mike Zunino and giving up a hit to Denard Span. But he retired the dangerous Haniger on a groundball to Escobar ending the threat.
After a scoreless DBacks 8th, Brad Boxberger came in to close out the game. That wouldn’t work out so well. A walk to Jean Segura and a Nelson Cruz base hit put runners on the corners. After striking out Ben Gamel, Kyle Seager ripped a 2 run double down the right field line and by the time Souza dug it out and got the ball to Marte for the relay, it was not close to in time. Tie game. A Wild Pitch moved Seager to 3rd, but Zunino popped out to Goldy ending the inning with the game now tied 3-3. Incredibly the Mariners had been 0-9 w/ RISP up until Seager’s at bat, and their first hit w/ RISP came with 2 out in the 9th.
Alex Colome came on to pitch the 9th , but the DBacks could not rally against him, managing only an infield hit from Pollock.
Jake Diekman came in the top of the 10th, and with one out gave up a deep homerun to right to Denard Span giving the Mariners the lead 4-3.
The DBacks threatened with a Golden opportunity in the bottom of the 10th. Back to back singles by Goldy and David Peralta put runners at the corners. But Steven Souza Jr hit a sharp grounder to 3rd, and with Goldy going on contact, was easily caught in a run down on the fielders choice. Nick Ahmed flew out to left and Ketel Marte hit a deep drive to the LCF gap that looked like it had a chance, but it was not to be THAT MAN, Mitch Haniger who had moved to CF sprinted to make a running grab to end the game.
While it’s easy to lay blame on Boxberger and Diekman, this was not their loss alone. Ray’s short outing, despite some admirable battling and “gutting it out”, resulted in SIX relievers having to be used to try to finish and win the game. The lack of offense mustered against the soft tossing Leblanc, and perhaps a running miscue in the bottom of the 10th all contributed to this loss. It was truly a team effort in many ways.
Trying Hard: Robbie Ray + .202, Archie Bradley .094, AJ Pollock, .077
Failing Miserably: Steven Souza Jr -.293, Jake Diekman -.275, Brad Boxberger -.264
The Roll Call tool doesn’t seem to be working right now, perhaps I can add later after I get home from the stadium.
As everyone knows by now, Senator John McCain passed away tonight. Not everyone shared his politics, but we all share the same love of the Diamondbacks that the Senator had. He was a rabid fan and provided some fun moments for us here at AZSnakepit. He also served this country for the better part of 60 years. In his honor, the comment of the game of course must go to AzDbackfanInDc for posting this GIF
Condolences to the McCain Family. May he Rest in Peace.