No sense in sugarcoating the for recap today’s contest. This was not fun pretty much from the get go. Of course, the worst day at the ballpark will usually surpass most days at work, but when you’ve got a laundry list of tasks piling up during a one sided contest it’s easy for the mind to wander. Merrill Kelly was the pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks today against Eric Lauer for the San Diego Padres in the series finale.
Lauer had already faced the D’backs two times this season taking the loss in both games and had allowed seven earned runs and seventeen hits in ten innings pitched. Unfortunately, Arizona’s recent offensive woes continued into today and Lauer was far more effective against the D’backs in this game. Lauer completed seven innings today giving up only four hits and struck out seven. The only time that Arizona had even remotely done damage against him came with two outs in the sixth inning. Ketel Marte laced a ~108 MPH liner to left field, but Myers played the rebound off the wall perfectly to hold him to a single. No matter as Eduardo Escobar blasted the very next pitch to left field which bounced around in the corner allowing Marte to score from first. The Marte - Escobar duo brought about the second D’backs run in the top of the ninth as well. Ketel doubled to center field to open the ninth and was singled home by Escobar. That would be it for the D’backs on offense today. They’ve now managed only nineteen hits and seven runs over their last four games. Not great, Bob.
For as much as the bats left to be desired, Merrill Kelly was just as frustrating on the mound. You could tell fairly quickly in this start that he just didn’t have it today. Greg Garcia hit a leadoff single to center field to begin the bottom of the first, and then Kelly followed with a walk to Franmil Reyes putting two Padres on with no outs for Manny Machado. Machado advanced both runners with a fly out to right field. Eric Hosmer drove both men in on a single to right field giving the Padres an early 2-0 lead with only one out. Hosmer was brought in himself on a double to left field with two outs by Ty France. Blake Swihart was in left field taking the start for David Peralta who is still dealing with soreness in his right shoulder area. Swihart should have caught the double from France, at least in my opinion, but instead the ball clanked off his glove allowing Hosmer to score. San Diego closed the first inning with a 3-0 lead.
The Padres chased Kelly from the game completely in the second inning with subsequent hard hitting and patience. Lauer nearly took Kelly yard to left field, but with the wind blowing in the opposite direction Swihart brought it in at the warning track. When the opposing pitcher is tagging you that hard and you need assistance from mother nature, it’s safe to say you don’t have your best stuff. Garcia doubled to left field to follow, his second hit in as many plate appearances. Franmil Reyes lined an infield single off of Kelly’s foot putting runners at the corners. The training staff came out to look at Kelly, but he made absolutely no indication that he was bothered by the incident. Much to our chagrin he was allowed to remain in the game. Machado drove in Garcia with a sac fly to center field. Kelly then issued consecutive walks to Hosmer and Wil Myers to load the bases before Torey Lovullo had seen enough. With two outs in the second inning, Kelly was pulled after 63 pitches.
The only true silver lining in this one for Arizona was the phenomenal job done by the D’backs bullpen in the midst of on again off again rain showers with much of the game still ahead of them. Jimmie Sherfy escaped the bases loaded jam in the second inning with no further damage. He also took the third and fourth innings surrendering only one additional run on five hits. T.J. McFarland, Yoshihisa Hirano, and Yoan Lopez combined to throw four scoreless innings. McFarland in particular was impressive with four of his six outs recorded coming via the strikeout. Those four kept Arizona in this game despite the offense’s inability to muster run support, and thus deserve their respect.
Also of note is that the Padres ran into five easy outs on the bases today, including three failed stolen base attempts. In spite of this, Arizona takes the 5-2 defeat. San Diego secures its first sweep of Arizona since June of 2013 according to the Fox Sports Arizona broadcast and now trades places with them in the National League West standings behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Ron Burgundy & Channel 4 News Team: Jimmie Sherfy, T.J. McFarland, Yoshihisa Hirano, and Yoan Lopez- 6 & 1⁄3 innings pitched, one earned run, seven hits, one walk, five strikeouts
Spanish Language News Team: Ketel Marte & Eduardo Escobar, four hits, two runs, two runs batted in
Public News Team: Merrill Kelly- -31.3% WPA, 1 & 2⁄3 innings pitched, four earned runs, four walks, five hits
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Tired: Making small talk about the weather.
Wired: Referencing the weather as a symbol of how bad the D’backs have been recently. Even the baseball gods do not approve.