It was a tale of two games tonight, as the first half was a tight see saw battle, but from the bottom of the 5th on , it was all Dbacks.
Robbie Ray started off the game a bit shakey allowing a leadoff single to Albert Amora Jr, and getting into some deep counts. But he managed to strike out Javier Baez and strand Almora at 3rd, who had advanced on a couple of ground outs. It was a 22 pitch inning with 11 balls however, and did not set the tone for a long night for Robbie
The Dbacks came out swinging in the bottom of the first however. Singles by Ketel Marte, David Peralta put runners on 1st and 2nd, and Adam Jones plated the first run with a looping line drive to left. Marte had to hesitate on the play to make sure the ball wasn’t going to be caught, and then made a really nice slide to avoid the tag on a close play at home just getting his hand down
Then with two outs and runners on 2nd and 3rd, Wilmer Flores hit a groundball into right just under the glove of Ben Zobrist for the two out two RBI knock.
Ray came back out with a 3-0 lead firing strikes, retiring the side with two K’s and a fly out on 14 pitches. When he started the top of the 3rd with two more K’s, he’d struck out five of the last six hitters, and he looked like he was really going to get on a roll. But Almora singled with two outs, and then Kris Bryant worked the count full before launching a 444 foot homerun to Left Center Field to make the score 3-2
The DBacks answered right back in the bottom of the 3rd with double by Ildemaro Vargas and David Peralta to go back up by two. But Javier Baez lead off the top of the 4th by launching a 446 foot homerun of his own deep up the left field bleachers, making it a one run game again, 4-3.
The score stayed that way until the bottom of the 5th. By this time Kyle Hendricks appeared to be cruising, and with two quick outs in the inning, his pitch count was very manageable at 70 with 55 of them for strikes. But Adam Jones hit a two out single, Christian walker drew a walk, and then Flores singled sharply on a line drive to centerfield to bring home Jones. In stepped Nick Ahmed, and he launched the first pitch he saw to bullpen fence in the right field corner for a triple, driving in Walker and Flores. Just like that the Dbacks had a 7-3 lead.
Ray gave way to Yoan Lopez to pitch the 6th, who pitched a scoreless inning, walking one batter. Matt Andriese came on to pitch the 7th, and gave the team 3 scoreless innings to record the third 3 out save for the Dbacks this year.
The bullpen has now posted a franchise record 22.2 consecutive scoreless innings, dating back to the sixth inning on April 19th @ Cubs.
The DBacks added a tack on run in the 8th on an RBI double by Jones, who had three hits and 2 RBI on the night. Flores had 2 hits, 3 RBI, and a walk. I’m sure it felt good for him to finally contribute in a big way
How Wilmer Flores kept a straight face through this interview is beyond us pic.twitter.com/VSsX4ATRXc— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) April 27, 2019
In all the DBacks scored the 8 runs on 11 hits. Ironically enough, Christian Walker was the only regular not to get a hit tonight, going 0-4, but even he walked and scored a run. The team played flawless defense once again. While Ray struggled somewhat without his best stuff, he got through it to earn the win. Said manager Torey Lovullo, somewhat appropriately considering the theme of the series preview :
“I use the term fistfight every once in a while. I think it was a little bit of a fist fight for him, where it just wasn’t clicking, he never got into a rythm, he never got pushing in a really good direction. I know there were some mistakes that were made, but he made quality pitches after that to get out of innings and get out of jams and he won the game and thats the bottom line”
The Win Expectancy Graphs shoes the demarcation point in this game quite cleanly
Heavyweight Champ- Wilmer Flores, 22.6%
Light Heavy Weight Champ: Adam Jones 11.7%
Middle Weight Champ.: David Peralta. 9.4%
Light Weight Champ Nick Ahmed. 9.1%
Bruised but no Beaten: Robbie Ray. -1.4%
No Red Comments tonight , and the thread was somewhat lightly traveled, with 287 comments by 22 posters. A little surprising considering the game that was played. Maybe everyone else was here ?
Tomorrow the two teams face off for round two , at 5:10 PM.
Zack Godley will face Yu Darvish.