Another early game for the D-backs, well early for us fans on the West Coast. The team actually plays better during the day, albeit marginally with an .821 OPS during the Day vs. a .798 at night. The team also pitches better during the day, again with a small margin a 4.34 vs 4.53.
Jarrod Dyson continued his excellent start to the season, singling to lead off the game against Jameson Taillon, the young Pirates ace. Vargas grounded out and after a Eduardo Escobar HBP, Christian Walker doubled off the wall in right field, scoring Dyson and pushing Escobar to 3rd. The Pirates succeeded the run, putting their infielders back and Ketel Marte did what he needed, grounding out to 2nd to score a run. Swihart flied out to end the inning, giving Greinke an early 2-0 lead. Turns out, that’s all the team would need against an abysmal hitting performance from the Pirates.
Zack Greinke was absolutely superb today for the Diamondbacks. It was hard not to be against a Pirates team that seems to be scuffling at the moment. They only scored 7 runs through the first 3 games of the series. Greinke capitalized, working around a 2 out walk with 2 strikeouts in the first.
The 2nd was clean for both innings, with both Taillon and Greinke going 1-2-3. Taillon continued that in the 3rd but Greinke ran into his own trouble after giving up his only 2 hits, both singles. But he induced two grounders from Polanco and Moran to escape the 3rd, keeping his shutout intact.
The D-backs continued their assault, with Christian Walker doubling again to the opposite field and Ketel Marte singled and advanced to 2nd putting two runners in scoring position with 0 outs. Swihart grounded out to score one of the runs, but an Ahmed fielder’s choice cut down Marte at home and JRM struck out. Still, the lead increased 3-0 D-backs.
Counting the two batters to end the 3rd, Greinke went on a streak of his own, retiring the next 14 batters with just about every outcome imaginable. Strikeout, line out, ground out, foul out, Greinke had it all working. He finished his day in the 7th, with a weak tapper that Murphy gobbled up and threw onto 1st for the final out of the day. Greinke would end up with 7IP, 2 hits and 1 walk, coupled with 7Ks.
The bullpen would work it’s magic, keeping the shutout intact. Andrew Chafin worked around his own trouble, allowing two 2-out singles but got Polanco with a strikeout to end the inning. Hirano finished the shutout, allowing a single that was erased by a weak ground out to Ahmed to end the game and giving the D-backs a 4-game sweep of the home Pittsburgh Pirates after the 5-0 victory.
☆☆☆ - ZACK GREINKE (7IP, 7Ks, 1 triple) +.301% WPA
☆☆ - Christian Walker (2 for 4, 2 2B, 1RBI, 1R) +.187% WPA
☆ - Ketel Marte (1 for 3, 1BB, 1RBI) +.063% WPA
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Great little turnout for the early game, with 31 of you commenting 375 times. James Attwood led the way with 53 and CA_Yankee_Fan (welcome!) nipping at his heels with 50 comments. Comment of the thread goes to dbrowell for this very importance service announcement.
No rest for this club, as they look to continue their recent run of good play against the Chicago Cubs at home. Game time is scheduled for 6:40PM. If you can’t make it to Chase Field we would love to see you in the Game Thread. See ya then!