Anthony Rizzo battling back from an 0-2 count to have a 17-pitch line-out at-bat in the first inning was about all anyone needed to see in order to know where this game was headed. With starting pitchers Taijuan Walker, Shelby Miller, and Clay Buchholz all lost for the season, Arizona turned to embattled reliever, Matt Andriese to start Tuesday night’s game against the Chicago Cubs. Andriese surrendered five runs in two innings before exiting the game. Two innings later, Jake Diekman surrendered three more runs.
Matt Andriese used 17 of his 50 pitches to get Anthony Rizzo out in the first inning. JAke Diekman threw gasoline on the fire two innings later. It took Matt Koch pitching the final four innings in relief to stop the bleeding at merely nine runs allowed.
While not yet mathematically eliminated, the Diamondbacks’ season was on the line last night when they were forced to turn to pitching by committee from start to finish. The 9-1 drubbing at the hands of Chicago placed Arizona six games out of the wild card.
Torey Lovullo and the Diamondbacks have told left-handed reliever T.J. McFarland to start preparing for next season. The workhorse lefty has been shut down for the season with inflammation around bone chips in his elbow. The team decided the risks associated with him pitching again this year simply outweighed any possible reward.
After spending most of the season atop the NL West, Arizona is now 5 games away from elimination.
THe long and short of things is, the AL is simply a tougher league than the NL is right now, so the Dodgers have an easier path ahead of them.
Blake Snell Earns 20th W, 200th K
Blake Snell became the first pitcher in two years to notch 20 wins. He did it pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays of all teams. Yes, the team that spent much of the season with “openers” rather than starters, and who played in the AL East against Boston and New York. On this particular night, the “Fact of the Game” is a bit of extra egg on Arizona’s face.
When Snell was taken out, it marked 440 games that the Rays have gone without a complete game from their starting pitcher. Matt Andriese was the last Rays pitcher to toss a complete game on May 14, 2016.