[D’backs.com] Shrewd play sets up D-backs’ walk-off vs. Sox - Another near capacity game in this home opening series against the Boston Red Sox, and fans were treated with a tremendous, reasonable scoring game which went down to the wire. Luke Weaver made his Chase Field debut throwing to Carson Kelly, both men part of the offseason return for franchise star Paul Goldschmidt. Weaver had more success this time around than his start in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. He needed 84 pitches to complete five innings. All three of his earned runs allowed came in the second inning, but he kept the Red Sox scoreless from that point forward. Yoshihisa Hirano and Andrew Chafin both struggled in the 7th inning allowing Boston to tie the score at four (the fourth run came in with Archie Bradley on the mound, but was charged to Hirano).
[AZ Central] Carson Kelly’s game-winning hit lifts Diamondbacks over Red Sox - Fortunately, Arizona’s offense refused to lay down and die, as they had so many times last season, after Boston took an early 3-0 lead. The D’backs responded immediately to Boston’s three runs with their own four run second inning. David Peralta got it started with a leadoff single, his 18th hit in 42 at bats. Eduardo Escobar moved him to third on a double, and Nick Ahmed broke the seal with a single that neither Mookie Betts or Jackie Bradley Jr. decided to field scoring Peralta. Carson Kelly plated both Ahmed and Escobar with a double and was brought in himself on a long single off the right field wall from Adam Jones.
“I’ve seen that man [Carson Kelly] hit,” Weaver said. “He just needs the at-bats. I think more than anything he needs to have that confidence to get up there and not take too much time off. He kind of fell into a trap where he wasn’t getting many at-bats. It’s hard to hit like that.”
[Arizona Sports] Carson Kelly’s first walk-off gives D-backs series win over Red Sox - Weaver’s battery mate, Carson Kelly, was the deciding factor in last night’s contest. He had two hits and three runs driven in, the final being a walkoff liner to left field scoring Nick Ahmed. After the game, Torey Lovullo was noncommittal when asked about the playing time split between the teams three catchers, Alex Avila, John Ryan Murphy, and Kelly, but it’s hard not to be impressed with what Kelly has accomplished in his short time here.
“The biggest thing was just to remain calm,” Kelly said of his mindset heading into the at-bat. “I’ve been in situations like that later in the game, it’s close, and the biggest thing is it can speed up on you. It’s just slowing it down and sticking with the game plan. Control your breath. Go out there and give it your best.”
Arizona Diamondbacks News
[D’backs.com] Roster decision looms for D-backs - Carrying three catchers on the roster is creating a problem for the Diamondbacks. We just need Carson Kelly to keep doing what he has to put the final nail in that coffin. The D’backs are currently only running with four outfielders, one of them being Ketel Marte who is getting his first cracks in center, leaving the team thin on depth there. The team will likely send a pitcher back to Reno, possibly Jon Duplantier, in order to bring up another outfielder.
[Arizona Sports] J.D. Martinez grew under Paul Goldschmidt, wanted D-backs return - Old news. We’re having too much fun watching Carson Kelly hit walk offs against the defending World Series champs. Of course J.D. Martinez would have remained in Arizona if the price was right.
[AZ Central] Emotional Steven Souza Jr. wants to show Diamondbacks and fans he can still play - Steven Souza Jr.’s first press conference since his gruesome knee injury was an emotional one. It’s obvious his injury struggles in two seasons in Arizona weigh heavily on him.
“You know, I just want to be back out playing baseball, I think, more than anything,” Souza said, seemingly on the verge of tears. “I can play this game and I don’t want people to forget that – especially the Arizona fans. I’ve been here for (72) games, but you better believe I can play this game. And I’m going to come back and I’m going to play this game at a high level and I’m going to show you that no matter what has happened in the past, I can play this game.”
Around the League
[The Score] Orioles’ Davis nearing MLB record with 0-for-40 hitless streak - At what point do you just cut your losses and say that enough is enough? Orioles first baseman Chris Davis has begun the season 0-for-19 and is 0-for-40 since last season. Unfortunately for Baltimore, Davis is under contract through the 2022 season with deferrals that won’t end until 2037. Things could always be worse.
[Forbes] Ernie Banks Was Never Paid Well By The Chicago Cubs, Even In His Own Era, New Book Reveals - Let’s put this into perspective. During his 19-year Major League career ending in 1971 – all with the Chicago Cubs – Ernie Banks earned an estimated $680,500. Those figures might be incomplete, noted Baseball Reference, but they’re in the ballpark. Meanwhile, the Cubs just extended infielder David Bote for five years at $15 million, tempting even the most ardent baseball fan to ask: who’s David Bote? It’s a different era, of course. Banks played when the reserve clause bound a player to his own team for all eternity until he was traded. He was then bound to his new team forever.
[Cut4] After a dugout hug from cousin Nolan Arenado, Josh Fuentes ripped a pinch-hit single in his first MLB at-bat - “Brothers don’t shake hands. Brothers gotta hug!” Well, not quite brothers, but I couldn’t resist a not really relevant Chris Farley quote. Josh Fuentes, who is one of the Rockies top prospects and also the cousin of Nolan Arenado, had the opportunity to play side by side with his family member yesterday after being called up from AAA.