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Nationals bomb Diamondbacks 15-5

Bullpen game backfires on Torey Lovullo

Arizona Diamondbacks v Washington Nationals Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Archie Bradley was handed the ball for his first “Start” since 2016 and it did not go well. While the labeling this an “opener” start by some was never accurate, it was expected Bradley would go about 40 or so pitches. The hope was that he would be efficient enough to get through at least two or three innings and then hand the ball off to Zack Godley.

Instead, Bradley lasted just one out into the 2nd inning, having allowed 4 runs on 5 hits and two walks, throwing 43 pitches in the process. As was lamented by Bob Brenly on the broadcast, he just did not like what he was seeing. Even when throwing strikes, Archie just was not missing bats and giving up too many hits. It’s been a theme all year, as his BABIP is now up to a massive .406 and his ERA is 5.18. It all left everyone with a sour taste in their mouth, and much shouting and presumably cussing from Archie after allowing his last base hit, as seen on telecast. Lip readers may wish to cover their eyes if watching a replay.

Zack Godley, who relieved Bradley in the 2nd inning, fared little better. Although he managed to work 4.2 IP and threw 75 pitches, he allowed 6 runs on 7 hits, including 3 home runs. Zack’s efforts falling short in such emphatic fashion forestalled any attempts by the Diamondbacks to get back in the game.

Stefan Chricton pitched a scoreless 7th, but got roughed up in the 8th, allowing 5 runs, the big blow being a Matt Adams Grand Slam. This also resulted in yet another position player pitching appearance as Caleb Joseph went from behind the plate to the mound to get the last out in the 8th.

Prior to the game getting out of hand, Torey Lovullo ran out his usual “Sunday High Energy” lineup, and got the usual poor results. Reposting something I tweeted out and put in the game thread, the team has not had much success with these Sunday sub lineups. Below is prior to today’s drubbing, so the numbers got worse .

The lone early bright spot of this game happened early, as Ketel Marte hit a one out homer to give the DBacks a brief 1-0 lead. It was his 20th of the year, 3rd in the last two days, and 6th in his last 8 games.

Tim Locastro got hit by a pitch today...I guess it IS a skill. :) And Carson Kelly who came into the game late to catch Joseph had an RBI single in the 9th to score Marte, who ended up 3 for 4 with a walk on the day. Of particular note was that Marte grinded out a 6 pitch walk in the 9th when down 15-3. Ildemaro Vargas had his 2nd RBI hit of the day, three hits in all to drive in Kelly. That was the last tally to make it 15-5. As Steve Berthiaume said, at least there are Tacos. It was good to see the guys play it out and grind and not give up, as hopeless as it was.

The 7-3 Road trip is still a huge success, and the team is in position to further increase their playoff chances with a three games series against he Rockies that starts Tuesday at Chase Field. As of this writing, Colorado is beating San Diego 9-8 in the 3rd inning. So hopefully San Diego continues to beat up the Rockies pen. They have a day off tomorrow too though, so it probably won’t help all that much.

Unfortunately, I cannot end on a bright spot. I will repeat something I wrote on Twitter.

The Diamondbacks denial of where Archie Bradley is at is really harming the team’s chances. He is an AVERAGE reliever who is having a BAD year. That’s it. It’s not more complicated than that sentence. Time to make a move. If they want to win that is.

They refuse to send him to AA to remake him into a serviceable pitcher. (AA instead of AAA because Reno is no place to get fixed) I understand why they don’t want to do it. There are reasons. But they aren’t good enough reasons. The alternative is much much worse, as we’ve seen.

It’s not personal, I don’t care about his beard or what he looks like. I think he tries to do good in the community and is living his best life. But this needs to be addressed for the good of the TEAM.

Fangraphs Box Score

WPA Disaster: Archie Bradley. -.331

Not giving up: Ketel Marte. +.113

Needless to say, the Game Thread was not a happy space today. But the stoic cynicism diverted to a food debate that was kind of interesting. (Hot Dogs are NOT a sandwich, c’mon people)

Going with the crowd favorite