Much has been made about the D-backs average-ness this year, and for a team seemingly in playoff contention for most of the year, that consistency has been a plague on fandom. Harsh? Yeah probably. But who wants to cheer on a team that stays at .500 all year? I don’t.
Going into today’s game against starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, the chances of the D-backs finally getting over the .500 hump were slim to none. Like most teams, Ryu has carved up the D-backs all season long, allowing a single homer in 20 innings. Surprisingly, Merrill Kelly has only faced the Dodgers once, allowing 3 runs in 6 innings back in July.
The recent questions about Kelly’s spot in the rotation were founded early as he allowed a couple doubles and some efficient outs to give the Dodgers a quick 1-0 lead.
The D-backs had trouble against Ryu as usual, going down in order in the first two innings and looking bad while doing it, striking out 3 times.
Kelly ran into trouble in the 3rd, and the Dodgers pounced. After a Ryu fly out, two walks followed and Justin Turner doubled home Peterson. An intentional walk loaded the bases, and Pollock walked to score another run, making it 3-0 Dodgers. Luckily, he escaped trouble as he retired both Seager and Smith.
The D-backs broke through in the 4th, with Tim Locastro using his knee to do so. His 18th HBP of the year started it off, with Escobar following it up with a single. Walker struck out but Flores doubled over the head of Pollock, scoring both runners. Jones popped up but Ahmed doubled just over the outstretched glove of Bellinger in right to score Flores. The D-backs weren’t done there, after an intentional walk to Carson Kelly, Torey Lovullo pulled Kelly for Vargas and he delivered with a single, giving the D-backs the lead 4-3.
The Dodgers quickly closed that lead, with two walks, a single and a sac fly to tie things up against Matt Andreise.
A tie ballgame looked inevitable, with two quick outs to lead off the 5th, but five straight hits changed that real quick. Walker, Flores, Jones, Ahmed and Kelly combined for 3 runs, pushing the lead to 7-4 and giving the D-backs a lead they’d never relinquish.
The D-backs bullpen was excellent the rest of the way, with Chafin and Clarke allowing just a solo homer to Justin Turner in the 9th.
The offense did not stop, scoring four more runs thanks to Eduardo Escobar’s 30th homer of the year. I mean, take a look at this.
That’s a 100mph fastball turned around into the pool. WOW.
Flores piled on another run in the 8th, scoring Walker on a double after he walked to give us our final score of 11-5.
☆☆☆ - ADAM JONES (1 for 5, 2RBI) +.190 WPA
☆☆ - NICK AHMED (2 for 5, 2RBI) +.185 WPA
☆ - Wilmer Flores (3 for 5, 3RBI) +.152 WPA
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Lots of Arizona sports going on tonight, with two football games going on and the D-backs, so a sparse crowd was expected. Thanks for stopping by.
The D-backs continue with the 2nd game of their 4-game series with the Dodgers. If they want to have any chance at the playoffs, they’re going to need to win games, it’s as simple as that. Stop on by.