Many reasons to be hopeful going into tonight. We had won Patrick Corbin’s last six starts. The last time we faced Giants starter Chris Stratton, we shelled him early and chased him after three innings of work. While the offense has been uneven of late, it seems like as often as not we manage to put up a crooked number in at least one inning. Eduardo Escobar has proven to be a terrific replacement for Jake Lamb. Paul Goldschmidt has been back to his usual Goldyness in August, and over the weekend he hit his 30th home run of the season. Good omens all around.
Sadly, however, it was not to be.
The Diamondbacks got out of the blocks quickly in the first, with John Jay and Escobar reaching on back-to-back singles to kick things off. David Peralta grounded into a fielder’s choice, but one that allowed Jay to advance to third, so we had runners at the corners with only one out. A Goldschmidt pop-up to second and a Descalso groundout to short squandered that early opportunity, however.
Corbin, meanwhile, kicked off the game by giving up a walk to Andrew McCutchen, but then retired the next three Giants to leave Cutch stranded at first base. All good.
Steven Souza, Jr. singled to lead off the second, which was nice, but the bottom third of the lineup was set down in order, so again, no joy.
And then came the only blemish on Patrick Corbin’s evening on the mound. He gave up a one-out single to Brandon Crawford, before striking out Giants second baseman Chase D’Arnaud for the second out. Unfortunately, though, Patrick left a 3-1 two-seamer a bit too close to the plate, and Giants center-fielder-of-the-future (?) Steven Duggar turned on it, sending it over the right field wall for a two-run homer. 2-0 GIANTS
Everything quieted down after that, but the damage was done. Corbin cruised through the next three innings, facing the minimum and racking up four more strikeouts while doing so. He ran into a bit more trouble in the 6th, with McCutchen hitting a leadoff double high off the right field wall, followed by an Austin Slater single to left that allowed McCutchen to advance to third. Runners on the corners with nobody out, but then Evan Longoria hit a sharp grounder to Nick Ahmed at short, who scooped it up and made a nice off-balance throw home to Alex Avila, cutting down Cutch as he tried to score from third.
This would have been the ONLY highlight clip from the game, except that I can’t find a clip, because some nights we cannot have nice things. Here’s a still image of the play at the plate, at least.
The Giants didn’t threaten again, but alas, neither did the D-Backs. John Jay managed a two-out triple in the 5th, thanks to McCutchen diving for a sinking liner and missing, but we couldn’t get him home. That was the story of the night, really...we proved to be entirely unable to string together productive at bats.
Corbin wound up going 7 innings, only needing 95 pitches to do so, so at least the bullpen had a bit of a rest. Jake Diekman and Brad Ziegler combined for a scoreless bottom of the 8th. Meanwhile, the back end of the Giants’ bullpen made things a wee bit interesting in the top of the ninth, thanks to two walks that put the tying run in scoring position and the winning run on first base. Nick Ahmed ended the game, however, with a lazy fly ball to right that put us out of our misery for tonight.
WIN PROBABILITY & STUFF
3 Stars: John Jay, 3 for 4, 2 singles, 1 triple (+8.4 WPA)
Other Stars: NONE, sadly...
183 comments tonight in the Game Day Thread, from 23 commenters. Present and accounted for were AZDovs11, BobDolio, DORRITO, Gilbertsportsfan, GuruB, Jack Sommers, Jackwriter, Jim McLennan, Johnneu, Makakilo, Michael McDermott, MrMrrbi, PaulGoldsmith, Rockkstarr12, ShirtOffYourBack, Ubersnake, asteroid, coldblueAZ, kilnborn, onedotfive, pyroman168, since_98, and smartplays. No CotG, as nobody racked up more than one up vote and, well, it was just that kind of night.
Here’s hoping we have better luck tomorrow, with Clay Buchholz squaring off against Madison Bumgarner. First pitch is 7:15 Arizona time, and hopefully we can put this disappointing opener behind us and rebound to even up the series. As always, thanks for reading. Go D-Backs!!!