When Merrill Kelly walked off the mound with 2 outs in the top of the 8th, it was to one of the louder standing ovations we’ve seen for a starting pitcher in Chase Field this year. And it was well deserved. Kelly was masterful, allowing just 6 hits and 1 run on a solo homer by Wilson Ramos. Kelly notched a career high 10 strikeouts in this game and did not walk a batter. He threw 105 pitches, 67 for strikes.
The offense wasted no time getting untracked in this one. Ketel Marte leadoff the game with a massive blast to the walkway in front of the Pet Smart Patio in Left Center Field. Measured at 482 feet, it tied for the longest homerun in the majors this year, and 6th longest in Chase Field History.
That was followed by a Tim Locastro base hit, (of course) and then Eduardo Escobar hit a moon shot just barely fair and off the back wall of the Diamondbacks bullpen to give Kelly a three run cushion.
Wilson Ramos lead off the 2nd for the Mets and launched a homerun into the left field bleachers, but that was all the Mets would get on the day.
In the 5th inning, four straight two out singles by Escobar, Adam Jones, Christian Walker and Ildemaro Vargas produced two more runs, giving the DBacks a 5-1 lead.
The Dbacks were not done though. Leading off the 8th, Walker hit a long leadoff double to the 413 sign in RCF. That was followed by walks to Vargas, and Kevin Cron to load the bases. Marte then ripped a line drive single to right for two more RBI, and a 7-1 Dbacks lead.
In all Marte, Escobar, Jones, Walker and Vargas all had two hits in a balanced offensive effort.
Archie Bradley retired the only batter he faced in the 8th, and Stefan Chricton pitched a scoreless 9th inning to finish off the Mets as the DBacks took the series 2 games to 1.
It was really good to see the fans engaged and giving Merrill Kelly his due today
After the game Kelly spoke to the media in the clubhouse. (Thanks to Mark Brown from Fancred.com)
“Obviously it feels good. It was more just the acknowledgment of how big today’s game was , with us struggling lately and getting that big win last night, and knowing that bullpen has been kind of taxed a little bit going into today’s game I wanted to make sure I gave it all I had and got into the game late. So for me the ovation was more of that than anything else, just the acknowledgment that I went out there and did my job.”
Torey Lovullo addressed the media and discussed the turn around from the 7th inning of last nights game where it looked like they were going to lose this series ahead of the Dodgers series, and then pulling out that game and the big win today:
“I’m not gonna lie, in the 5th inning yesterday I was under the bench sucking my thumb. I didn’t know what to do, I was like where are we going, this is just not working and we’re not playing our type of baseball. I was getting really frustrated. So something turned us around.....the double by Vargas, the base hit by Jones that put us on the board, that seemed to energize us, and that energy has been working for us since that time. It’s a perfect example of not shutting down and doing one thing right and scoring a point to get it going in a good direction. I’m really proud of these guys. That what it means, that we didn’t shut down and won two of three games against some really good starting pitching, when we were flatlining. Everybody felt it , I’m sure you guys felt it in the press box, I felt it in the dugout. It means we are a good baseball team........we lost 5 games in a row and it’s been a tough time and we rallied around each other”
There was one odd moment in the game for Kelly as he had some stomach upset and the trainer came out to the mound briefly in the 6th inning during warmups. But he drank some electrolytes and was fine to finish off his gem.
This was a brisk game, finishing up at 2:37, in front of 26,945 fans.
Tomorrow night’s game against the Dodgers is at 6:40, Walker Buehler vs. Robbie Ray
Sunday Energizers: Merrill Kelly +.259, Eduardo Escobar. .118, Ketel Marte. .076
Slept in Late: Nick Ahmed. -.052
A lightly traveled game thread today, perhaps due to a certain movies that is out right now
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DC Gets comment of the day, despite some drama again in the game thread ;)