Before tonight’s game I conducted some crowd sourcing on Twitter and here in the press box and with various members of the online, radio, and television media. The question was in an elimination game who would be your starting pitcher. The results from the media were:
Patrick Corbin 60%
Zack Greinke 20%
Clay Buchholz 20%
This is in stark contrast from the results of the Twitter poll: (250 votes and counting as of this writing)
Zack Greinke 40%
Patrick Corbin 28%
Clay Buchholz 27%
Robbie Ray 5%
Hmmmmmm.............Full disclosure: My pick was Corbin.
Tonight at Chase Field he turned in a performance that might sway a few votes. After a rocky first inning in which he gave up a leadoff double to Ronald Acuna Jr, Corbin went to full counts before striking out Johan Camargo and Freddie Freeman. He then went to a full count on Nick Markakis walking him. But a Tyler Flowers ground out ended the threat with a zero on the board. It took 27 pitches , just 12 for strikes, and it looked like Patrick may be in for a short outing.
In the bottom of the first Paul Goldschmidt put the Diamondbacks on the board with a 2 out, opposite field blast, his 33rd of the year. #MVPaul is now batting .300 with a .964 OPS. An amazing accomplishment considering he was hitting .198 through his first 203 PA’s.
Final at-bat last night: home run.— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) September 8, 2018
First at-bat tonight: home run.#consistency #GoldschmidtHappens pic.twitter.com/8sw7AS6mtO
Corbin took over from there, cruising through the next 5 innings. Getting ahead in the count (16 for 18 first pitch strikes from the 2nd inning on) and working fast, he dominated. The only blemish was a solo homerun by Johan Comargo in the 3rd. Corbin allowed just 2 more hits, and his final line was 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 9 K, 1 HR.
The offense put together a very nice inning in the 3rd. Jon Jay lead off with a 9 pitch at bat, and although it ended in a K, I felt this at bat was an unsung catalyst for what was to follow. Singles by Eduardo Escobar and Goldy put runners on first , bringing up David Peralta. He delivered a base knock driving in Escobar. After an AJ Pollock walk Daniel Descalos line a hit into right scoring 2 more, making it 4-1 Diamondbacks.
Peralta drove in 1 and Descalso brought home a pair in the @Dbacks' 3-run third. Good guys lead once again. pic.twitter.com/UCF4gFkTHN— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) September 8, 2018
The DBacks had chances to score in each of the 5th, 6th, & 7th as well. But each time the inning ended with a runner on second base, failing to deliver the 2 out RBI hit for tack on runs. No matter...Corbin was cruising, and Yoshihisa Hirano pitched a scoreless 7th.
BUT......Archie Bradley happened,....again. Coming in to pitch the 8th inning Ronald Acuna lined the very first pitch sharply to CF for a base hit. Next was Comargo. Unable to land a curve ball for a strike, Archie went back to the FB on a 2-2 count and Comargo ripped a double to left scoring Acuna. He got Freddie Freeman to ground out back to the pitcher, but once again could not get a curveball over for a strike against Markakis and fell behind quickly 2-0. Not able to put him away, Nick got on via an infield hit to shortstop, as Ahmed’s throw pulled Goldy off the bag. (Joe West called him out, but the play was overturned on replay. Joe West is a BAD umpire nowadays. He needs to retire)
Flowers followed with another infield hit on the 6th pitch of his at bat to load the bases. By the time Flowers came up, Archie was throwing nothing but fastballs and Torey had seen enough, mercifully pulling him for Brad Ziegler.
Ziegler did what he was supposed to do, and then some, inducing a ground ball to second base for what should have been an inning ending double play. However Nick Ahmed made a rare error on the flip from Ketel Marte, and another run scored. Brad buckled down though, striking out Adam Duvall and getting Dansby Swanson to fly out to left, ending the inning with the D Backs clinging to a 4-3 lead. It was a really clutch performance from Ziegler to shut down that inning, and Torey extolled that point in the post game. Short 32 second clip:
Torey Lovullo discusses how Brad Ziegler picked up his teammates and buoyed the #Dbacks to an important 5-3 win. pic.twitter.com/PxMIXT5zp8— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) September 8, 2018
Finally the offense managed to add a tack on run in the bottom of the 8th, scoring a single run from a bases loaded no out situation , thanks to a Marte Sac Fly to deep CF.
On to the 9th we went, and those following the game were rewarded with a drama free 9th as Andrew Chafin and Brad Boxberger combined for a scoreless frame. The game ended on a really nice catch by David Peralta. Boxberger picked up his 32nd save of the year.
The #FreightTrain closes it out in style. #DbacksWin and move to within 1.5 games of the NL West lead. pic.twitter.com/RDYCl0B4mV— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) September 8, 2018
In the post game press conference, Torey Lovullo also indicated that Archie is probably going to be seeing fewer high leverage / middle of the order situations for a while . Full 4 minute video link HERE
The Dodgers beat the Rockies 4-2 tonight. The DBacks remain in 3rd place, 1.5 Games back of Colorado and 1 game back of L.A.
Fangraphs WE Chart and Boxscore:
Patrick Corbin +.216
Brad Zieger +.188
Paul Goldschmidt +.157
Archie Bradley -.249
No Sedona Red Comments tonight apparently. So I’ll leave to you guys to do better next time.
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