The evening at Chase Field would start out on a somewhat concerning note, as Manager Torey Lovullo fell ill during the day and had to leave to see the doctor. No word on what the illness is or his condition. He was not at tonight’s game, and was filled in for by bench coach Jerry Narron.
Giants starter Chris Stratton got off to a good start this season, posting a 2.32 ERA in his first 5 games, 31 IP. That stretch included a gem against the D-Backs on April 18th when he pitched into the 8th allowing just 1 run in a 4-3 Giants victory. However he had really struggled since his last start in April. In his most recent 14 starts, 67 IP he had a 6.45 ERA, giving up 87 hits, including 12 homers and 17 Doubles, and .319/.382/.542 Batting against line. Simply put, this is a pitcher the D-Backs offense just HAD to get to early and set the tone for the game.
And that they did. Patrick Corbin allowed 1 run in the top of the 1st, on 3 singles, triggered by a Buster Posey 10 pitch at bat. Newest D-Back Killer Austin Slater had the RBI hit in the inning.
The D Backs came out swinging in their half of the frame. Paul Goldschmidt started off the early fireworks with the 200th HR of his career, a long fly ball into the right field corner that just barely cleared the fence and Andrew McCutchen’s outstretched glove.
No. 1 came against the Giants. 7 years later, so does No. 200. Fitting. pic.twitter.com/SXpbrkanP0— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) August 4, 2018
Jerry Narron reported that Goldy quipped with his trademark humility that he thinks “if he played another 15 years he might hit 200 more.”
4 more runs would score in the inning. After David Peralta singled and advanced to 2nd on a WP , Eduardo Escobar continued his hot start with the D-Backs by singling into LF, scoring Peralta. Daniel Descalso walked and Ketel Marte hit a topper down the 3rd base line that stayed fair for an infield hit to load the bases. Alex Avila stepped in for a chance at a big moment. He didn’t get a big hit, but managed to draw a walk, collecting an RBI n the process. Trying to help himself, Corbin fell behind 0-2, before hitting a sharp a groundball up the box that would get into CF for a 2 run single, making the score 5-1. Mission accomplished.
The D backs loaded the bases again on a Jon Jay single, bringing Goldy up for his 2nd at bat of the inning. However he K’d on a pitch in the dirt. Thinking he foul tipped it, he gave a rare protest, but home plate umpire Lance Barrett did not agree. Opportunity wasted ? Hard to say that when the team just scored 5 runs, and made Stratton throw 40 pitches....but still.....
After a quick 3 up 3 down inning for Corbin in the top of the 2nd, Peralta lined an opposite field shot into the LF bleachers, tying a career high with his 17th homerun.
Since Peralta missed two games with a sore shoulder, he is 6 for 7, including this solo HR to set a new career high. #FreightTrain pic.twitter.com/hWSVv2dG69— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) August 4, 2018
AJ Pollock and Escobar singled to give the D Backs runners on 1st and 2nd with nobody out as they were poised for another big inning. However a strange play ensued. Daniel Descalso hit a soft line drive to Brandon Crawford who was shifted over towards the bag at 2nd. It looked like a sure out, and Pollock dove back into the second base bag trying to avoid the double play. The only problem is Crawford dropped the ball and then threw on to 3rd to get Pollock on the force out. Longoria threw back to 2nd and but the throw pulled Chase d’Arnaud off the bag and Escobar just barely made it in. On the very next pitch, Ketel Marte grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Once again, despite a run scored, it felt like an opportunity wasted.
The Giants responded by putting some tough at bats on Corbin in top half of the 3rd. Buster Posey singled, but then would come out of the game with what turned out to be concussion symptoms after taking a foul ball off the mask earlier in the game. Nick Hundley came on to pinch run, and Evan Longoria singled into right past an outstretched Goldy, on a ball that looked like he normally would get to in the past. After Brandon Crawford scored Hundley with an RBI ground out to 2nd, Austin Slater stepped in. Have I mentioned he is the latest D-Back killer? He proceeded to have a 10 pitch at bat, fouling off pitch after pitch, before singling into left for his 2nd RBI of the game, making the score 6-3.
Including tonight’s game, Slater is now 9 for 14 with 7 RBI against the Snakes this year. I think it’s time to tear up the scouting report.
That would be all the scoring for the night. Corbin settled in, retiring 10 of the last 11 batters he faced. Although he would give up 7 hits (all singles) and 3 earned runs in 6 innings of work, he didn’t walk a batter and struck out 8.
The D-Backs would load the bases again in the 4th with nobody out, but fail to scored as Escobar popped out in foul territory and Descalso hit into a 4-6-3 double play. Wasted opportunity? You betcha. In a 6-3 ballgame in the 4th, this made for some clenching moments. They had yet another opportunity in the 6th with 2 on and 1 out, but back to back K’s by Pollock and Escobar snuffed out that rally too. Surely the failure to capitalize on all these changes would come back to haunt them, right? In the end they were 4-for-13 with RISP and had 9 LOB. So while 6 runs is a good total on almost any night, tonight it felt like the team should have put up a 10 spot.
Fortunately the “A” bullpen of Yoshi Hirano, Archie Bradley , and Brad Boxberger would each throw a scoreless inning to nail down the victory. Box gave up a couple of 2 out singles, and there was some more clenching, but he retired Gorkys Hernandez on a ground ball to Escobar, to end a ballgame that felt like it never should have been that close.
The win puts the D-Backs back into a tie for first place with the Dodgers, who lost tonight to Houston 2-1.
Click here for details, at Fangraphs.com
White-wall tires: David Peralta, +12.9%
Bald donut: Daniel Descalso, -6.9%
Those present in the Gameday Thread were... hard to identify, because the roll-call tool is down. However, on a quick scan, nothing appears to have turned Sedona Red. So we move on to tomorrow, and the Alumni Game, before the third contest against the Giants, with Clay Buchholz taking the mound for the D-backs. It’s a 5:10pm first pitch for that.