Record: 74-64. Pace: 87-75. Change on 2017: -6.
“I’m not even supposed to be here today!”
— Dante Hicks, Clerks
Yeah. It’s like that. If you read the preview, you’ll be aware of my mental health plan for the week, which involves not watching the Diamondbacks at all. Which was unfortunate, because around what I guess was about the eighth inning, I got a text from scheduled recapper Alex, telling me he was at a fantasy football draft, and would not be able to cover the game as previously scheduled. This therefore presents a dilemma. Do I fake it, going off the box-score and/or the condensed game on MLB.tv? Do I phone in with minimum effort, much the same way the offense phoned it in, being held to three runs or fewer for the eighth consecutive night? Or do I go off on a complete tangent?
The correct answer is: d) all of the above.
First the good news: the bullpen didn’t blow this one. Indeed, the lack of meaningful offense was probably about the only thing which linked this defeat to the previous three, for Arizona’s run of good starting pitching came to a grinding halt. Though if you hold your thumb over the runs/earned runs entries on Zack Godley’s box-score, you’d be forgiven for thinking he had a great night. Five innings of two-hit baseball, with two walks and seven strikeouts! That’s a very sold outing, surely? Yeah, except the two hits - both to the same Padres - each left the park, for a three-run homer and a solo shot, tagging Godley for four earned runs and the loss.
More amusingly, Godley had a BABIP tonight of exactly .000, with every ball in play going for an out. That’s the 16th time this has happened in franchise history: the D-backs are 7-9 in these games. There were two last year. First was Zack Greinke’s eight innings of one-hit ball against the Pirates on May 11, spoiled only by Gregory Polanco’s homer. And in the final game, Robbie Ray allowed only a solo homer, although that was in a token 1.2 inning appearance, to allow his season stats to qualify for ERA purposes. In 2007, Micah Owings had two such games in 16 days, though the Sep 3 outing was even worse than Godley’s: five runs on four hits over three innings, all the hits being home-runs.
The D-backs briefly had the lead in this one, going 1-0 up as a result of that rare creature, a hit with runners in scoring position. Steven Souza singled in Eduardo Escobar, who had walked before a David Peralta single, with two outs in the first inning. However, the D-backs offense decided that was it, and didn’t get another hit until the seventh, when Daniel Descalso led off the frame with a single. They added another run in the eighth, on back-to-back doubles by Escobar and Paul Goldschmidt, and that was it. A feeble five hits all night, and Arizona were largely unable to take advantage of the six free passes issued by Padres pitchers.
After Godley, Jimmie Sherfy and Silvino Bracho worked scoreless innings, but T.J. McFarland put two men on in the eighth, and Matt Koch allowed them both to score, before working a scoreless ninth. Elsewhere, the Rockies beat the Giants, and the Dodgets lost to the Mets. That allows Colorado to take over first place in the NL West, half a game ahead of Los Angeles, with the Diamondbacks a game further back, so are 11⁄2 out of first, after suffering their fourth defeat in a row. It’s not looking good: that one and a half game deficit ties the further margin Arizona have been back all season. With the schedule only getting tougher after the Padres leave town, the climb back will not be easy.
I should probably explain the Nic Cage picture on top of this. Instead of watching the game tonight, we instead went with Mom and Dad, an enjoyably twisted horror(ish) film, whose trailer can be seen above. The premise sees “something” - it’s never clarified exactly what - trigger an epidemic of psychotic rage in parents, causing them to attack their own children. Cage, of course, plays a mad dad, with Selma Blair his wife. I think it’s probably some kind of metaphor for the generation gap, and it’s certainly far from mindless, but we mostly just appreciated the gleeful carnage. It’s definitely an entry in that popular genre of movies, “Nicolas Cage losing his shit.”
I was originally intending to do a more detailed review, but that does not seem to be necessary. For it appears I managed to handwave this recap almost to acceptable length: I may be biased, but it’s probably less of a sub-par effort than the Diamondbacks managed as a whole tonight. They certainly delivered nothing to make me regret my decision to skip watching the game, and I’m going to do the same again tomorrow. I’m just hoping Blake will indeed show up to do the recap, or you probably will end up getting an in-depth review of whatever movie we watch!
Click here for details, at Fangraphs.com
Con Air: Eduardo Escobar, +8.1%
The Wicker Man: Zack Godley, -16.2%
Bangkok Dangerous: Jay, -13.0%; Ahmed, -11.3%
The people - either more loyal or dumber than I, possibly a bit of both! - who watched this one and commented in the GDT were: AzCutter, AzDbackfanInDc, GuruB, Jack Sommers, Jackwriter, Makakilo, Michael McDermott, MrMrrbi, Penitentiary Face, Rockkstarr12, ShirtOffYourBack, Smurf1000, asteroid, coldblueAZ, errordataguy, gamepass, onedotfive, smartplays and suroeste. Comment of the night to GuruB, and it needs no explanation:
It’s back to a more normal weekday start time of 6:40 pm tomorrow night, as we seek to avoid being swept at home by the Padres. That sentence tells you all you need to know about the current state of the team. Robbie Ray starts for the D-backs.