I’m not going to lie, it’s weird seeing Robbie Ray pitch deep into games. Now sure, it’s better for the team for him to go deeper into games to save the bullpen, but he’s actually been worse over his last 3 starts despite going longer into games. It’s a weird situation. Would you rather have Robbie only go 5 innings but give up 2 runs or less or have him go 6+ and give up 3-4 runs? I’m torn but would love to hear what you think.
Robbie got shellacked in his last appearance, giving up 5 runs over 6 innings against the Nationals and has allowed a homer in 3 straight starts. Charlie Blackmon continued that trend right off the bat, homering on the 2nd pitch he saw to right center for an early 1-0 Rockies lead. Arenado walked later in the inning, but was thrown out after trying to steal 2nd.
The D-backs responded in turn, loading the bases after Vargas singled and both Peralta and Jones walked. Escobar hit a sac fly to score Vargas, but the troubling trend of RISP continued as Nick Ahmed flied out to end the inning.
Robbie did his best to just strike out everyone in the world, getting 5 out of the next 6 batters out by the K. But Nolan Arenado walked again, and after 2 outs Ryan McMahon doubled to score Nolan and give the Rockies a 2-1 lead.
The D-backs offense continued its RISP ways, stranding runners on second in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th innings. To add insult to injury, Nick Ahmed was hit square on the left hand in the 3rd, and left the game in the 5th because of it. Early reports say it is just a contusion, but the fastball hit him flush.
More damage came in the 5th, as Ian Desmond launched a dong to deep left to push the lead to 3-1 but that was all the damage Robbie Ray would give over his 6 innings of work. Walks were a problem yes, he allowed 5 of them on the day, but he struck out 9 and was efficient in doing so. The problems are still there for Robbie, he walks too many and gives up homers, but he’s rounding into 2017 form.
The offense finally broke out of its slump in the 6th. Tim Locastro (entered in the game for Ahmed) walked, and after a sac bunt pinch hitter Christian Walker did this.
Tying the game at 3. They didn’t stop there, with Marte doubling, and a David Peralta single scored the run, giving the D-backs their first lead of the game 4-3. The team again worked the bases loaded, but Kevin Cron struck out on a steady diet of sliders to end the inning.
Both bullpens worked scoreless 7th and 8th innings, and Greg Holland came on to try and close the door for his 200th career save. He clearly didn’t have it, walking two runners and throwing two wild pitches before giving up a game tying single to Tony Wolters, 4-4. A double play from Murphy ended the inning.
Extra innings weren’t as kind, as Yoshihisa Hirano kept the wildness alive with a couple walks and a single before old friend Chris Iannetta singled to center scoring two, 6-4. A double play followed but the damage was done.
The D-backs fought, oh boy did they in their half of the inning against Scott Oberg. Locastro singled, and Walker walked to bring up Marte, who singled to left. But with 1 out and Vargas up, he flew out to left and Peralta struck out to leave them loaded and end the game and secure the series sweep for the Rockies.
☆☆☆ - CHRISTIAN WALKER (1 for 2, 1HR, 2RBI) +.344 WPA
☆☆ - Ketel Marte (4 for 6, 1R) +.237 WPA
☆ - Tim Locastro (1 for 2, 1R) +.132 WPA
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With the loss, the team falls to .500 at 38-38. We’re not even halfway through the season, but it doesn’t feel like this team has any future ahead of them, at least this year. The Giants come to Chase Field, maybe a bad team can fix what ails this team?