So it started innocently enough. Thanks to the injury to Jon Duplantier, Zack Godley got the opportunity to demonstrate that he had fixed his issues sufficiently as to regain his place in the starting rotation, and he retired the first two batters he faced on weak groundouts to second. It only took him six pitches (!!!) to do so, too! He then gave up two-out singles to Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval, but rather than completely losing his composure, he managed to induce Brandon Belt to pop out to Ildemaro Vargas at second to end the top of the first.
When it was their turn, the Diamondbacks started off broadly the same way—Jarrod Dyson grounded out to second, followed by a Vargas line out to left field. David Peralta, however, started his Bobblehead Day showcase by drawing a six-pitch walk off reputedly wild Giants starter Tyler Beede. Beede then advanced him to second with a wild pitch, which allowed the Freight Train to score on an Adam Jones single to center field. Eduardo Escobar followed with another walk, and Christian Walker kept the line moving with a single to shallow center that scored Jones and put Escobar on third. The inning came to an end on the next at bat, but not before Escobar scored on a blown Walker steal attempt that the Giants screwed up even more than we did. Observe:
Amusingly, this was scored a double steal, presumably because the official scorers couldn’t decide whether Panik or Posey deserved the error. Ahmed wound up looking at a called third strike, but at least we were on the board. 3-0 D-BACKS
Sadly, Godley’s woes mounted in the top of the second, and he gave up three straight hits to start the inning, including an RBI double to Giants left fielder Alex Dickerson and an RBI single to shortstop Brandon Crawford. Perhaps the grimmest at bat, however, was his seven-pitch walk to the Giants pitcher. He managed to wiggle off the hook with the lead diminished but intact, thanks to a Joe Panik flyout and a line shot from Giants right fielder Mike Yastrzemski hit a line shot up the middle that Nick Ahmed snagged behind second base before stepping on the bag for an unassisted double play. 3-2 D-BACKS
Carson Kelly singled on a groundball up the middle that somehow snuck between the Giants’ middle infield to start the second, but the Diamondbacks couldn’t capitalize after an especially bad Godley bunt attempt, a Dyson line out and a Vargas ground out.
Godley, meanwhile, looked initially like he’d settled down, starting the third with two weak groundouts. He simply couldn’t get the third out, though. He surrendered back-to-back singles to right to Belt and Kevin Pillar, before giving up another double to Dickerson, another single to Crawford, and another walk (?!?!!) to the pitcher. Panik ended the pain with a flyout to right, but our lead was no more. 5-3 GIANTS
Peralta led off the third inning with a single to left, and Adam Jones advanced him to second with his second single of the night. Eduardo Escobar then hit what looked like it would be a double-play ball to Belt, who threw to Crawford to force Jones out at second. Crawford blew the return throw to first, though, allowing Escobar to reach and Peralta to score from third on the error. Walker and Ahmed couldn’t help us add anything more, however, as they both flew out to Pillar in right. 5-4 GIANTS
Somewhat surprisingly, Godley came out to start the fourth, and perhaps even more surprisingly, he retired the side in order. To be fair, all three outs came on well-hit fly balls to the outfield, but none of them dropped and none of them left the yard. We couldn’t do anything against Beede, though, in the bottom of the frame, stranding another leadoff Carson Kelly walk. Greinke pinch-hit for Godley (for whatever reason), but was caught looking at a called third strike for the first out, and Dyson and Vargas made outs as well.
And that was pretty much it for us, as we didn’t score the rest of the way. Peralta led off the fifth with a double, that chased Beede, and one out later Escobar got his first hit of the homestand, singling to left and alertly advancing to second when Dickerson airmailed his throw back into the infield, I imagine because he was concerned that Peralta would try to score. But a Christian Walker strikeout and a pop-up to short by Ahmed ended our last real threat.
On the upside, our bullpen continued the trend Godley had begun in the fourth, as Stefan Crichton retired all six batters he faced in the fifth and sixth, and Yoshi Hirano did the same in the seventh and the eighth. And then, because apparently Torey Lovullo wasn’t content with giving just one of his broken toys another shot at redemption, he gave Archie Bradley the ball to pitch the top of the ninth. In what was, at that point, still a one-run game. And, well, you can guess what happened. Archie struck out Brandon Crawford, then walked pinch-hitter Steven Vogt. He got Joe Panik to ground out to Vargas for the second out of the inning, but then offered Yastrzemski a 3-2 fastball that Yaz Jr. deposited into the pool area. He retired Posey for the final out, but the game was even more out of reach thanks to his contribution. It almost goes without saying, as deflated as the team (and the fanbase) seem these days, the Diamondbacks went down in order in the bottom of the ninth. 7-4 GIANTS
WIN PROBABILITY (courtesy of FanGraphs):
Top Guns: David Peralta (+23.0% WPA), Eduardo Escobar (+16.3 WPA), Stefan Crichton (+10.8%)
Crashing and Burning: Zack Godley (-31.8 WPA pitching), Nick Ahmed (-18.3)
The Game Day Thread started off relatively lively, though with the inevitable preemptive gallows humor that a Zack Godley start inspires. It was pretty much crickets after the fourth inning, though, until some late arrivals arrived toward the end, but while the game was still in reach.
363 comments in all, from 31 commenters. All present and accounted for were: AZPerson, AzCutter, AzDbackfanInDc, AzRattler, BobDolio, Dano_in_Tucson, DeadManG, Gilbertsportsfan, Gore4HOF, GuruB, Hannibal4467, Jack Sommers, Justin27, Keegan Thompson, Makakilo, Michael McDermott, MrMrrbi, NikT77, Oscar Goldman, Schilling2001, Snake_Bitten, Sprankton, aricat, asteroid, dbackdrummer, gamepass, kilnborn, onedotfive, pyroman168, redsedona, and suroeste.
CoTG goes to the only one that achieved Sedona redness, courtesy of Hannibal4467, who quite effectively captured our collective despair in the midst of Godley’s third-inning two-out hit parade:
As always, thanks for reading, and to those of you who watched and hung out in the thread, thanks especially...this one wasn’t easy to sit through, and in a lot of ways it was a lot worse than the box score might indicate. Anyway, if you can bear to, tune in tomorrow as we try to avoid a sweep at the hands of San Francisco, Merrill Kelly takes the mound against Giants starter Shaun Anderson. First pitch at 1:10pm Arizona time. Go D-Backs!