Record: 80-76. Pace: 83-79. Change on 2018: +1.
Wes was supposed to be guest-capping this one, but a family emergency meant he was a late call-off. Rather than subject you to back-to-back recaps from me, I figured this was a good opportunity to reach out on the Twitter, and see what folks there had to say. So, during the course of today’s game, I threw out random-ish questions, and below you can find some of the most interesting answers [ProTip: Write more than “Yes”...], mixed with vague game commentary.
Your pre-game conversation starter for the #Tweetcap.— AZ SnakePit (@AZSnakepit) September 22, 2019
How do you grade the D-backs season overall?
B- Things didn’t go as planned or as hoped but overall surprised and pleased with the performance of the team and the newer (ish) guys.— ValHolla (@peavey2001az) September 22, 2019
However, there was unanimity on the qualities of both San Diego and Petco, summed up as “a beautiful city with a beautiful ballpark to match and they deserve a better baseball team.” Or, put another way:
The best place in the country to enjoy a baseball game if you don't particularly care for baseball.— Jonathan Sutton (@ThisIsATweeter) September 22, 2019
Those real-estate prices though... Anyway, this was a Robbie Ray start, and as these things go, it was exactly what we’ve come to expect from him. By which, I mean he walked a bunch of people (four, plus a hit batter), struck out an oce-lot more (10) and didn’t go deep into the game (51⁄3 innings this afternoon). He allowed a two-run homer, but received no helo from Matt Andriese in the sixth, who allowed both runners he inherited to score. The question posed was in regard to Ray in 2020, and was one of the more popular of the afternoon.
Robbie Ray is through three scoreless innings. Will he be?— AZ SnakePit (@AZSnakepit) September 22, 2019
A) Traded this winter
B) Our ace next year
C) With Arizona but not their ace #Tweetcap
60% of the respondents went with some flavor of C; we got one and a “likely” answer for B, with the rest thinking he will be dealt before his final year of arbitration. We’ll go with James for his more detailed answer:
Probably C, though once the winter rolls around, there will be more teams in the market than there were at the deadline, so A is a slight possibility. Expecting C though, with Ray as more of a 1A than #1— James Attwood (@JamesDAttwood) September 22, 2019
After a quick top of the first, Christian Walker became Arizona’s first base-runner, and I asked whether or not people still missed Paul Goldschmidt, given Walker’s solid performance as an everyday player. The consensus seemed to be that Goldy was missed as much for his character as his production. As Joe B put it: “No matter how well his replacement might do, I’ll still miss Goldy.” It looks like there’ll be a lot of Arizonans rooting for the Cardinals in the post-season this year too:
I miss Goldy for the person he is off the field as well as on! I hope that he goes to the World Series if the DBacks can’t.— MaryEllen Meadows (@ManaMeadows) September 22, 2019
Arizona jumped out, courtesy of a 4-run second inning, which started with a two-run homer off the bat of Adam Jones. I asked whether people would be interested in bringing him back next season, and most people seemed to be okay with that - albeit with a significant volume suggesting only as a fourth outfielder. The Diamondbacks also saw RBI by Abraham Almonte and Carson Kelly in the inning, which prompted me to ask if we were satisfied with Kelly as an everyday catcher? That sparked the most conversation, with 22 responses and 41 likes, the latter which I’m going to take as a yes. :) Most were entirely on board with Kelly, but there were concerns about his consistency.
He went a whole month without an RBI and hitting less than .170— Christopher Viveros (@Viveros_sports) September 22, 2019
Anybody who still wants Avila off this team is an idiot. Yes Kelly will become a catcher who should play at least 120 games but we still need a veteran backup.
Unfortunately, that was it for the offense this afternoon, and Matt Andriese’s inability to strand runners brought the Padres level. In the light of this, it seemed appropriate to ask which members of the bullpen we did NOT want to see back next season. This got a range of responses: Andrew Chafin’s struggles got him a number of votes, as did Hirano: though as one reply put it, “Don’t want the guy pretending to be Yoshi this year. Can we put an APB out for the real one who was obviously kidnapped?” There seemed a general acceptance of reliever volatility, as expressed here:
Chafin has been a disappointment late this season and Ginkel has been lights out. Not sure the contract situation with Yoshi? Archie closing has been a success but everyone else has been inconsistent.— Nuke Laloosh (@Freerangebison) September 23, 2019
As we headed into extra innings, I asked if people had any superstitions while watching the D-backs. This is where I admit that Mrs. SnakePit and I have a secret handshake thing we have to do after each of the first two outs in the ninth, when the D-backs have a lead. Maybe those attending SnakePitBruteFest tomorrow will get to see it... We learned from Keegan, “I don’t drink Coors when they play the Rockies or Miller against the Brewers,” but the winner goes to this gentleman, along with his particularly accommodating other half:
Every time my gf asks the score the other team happens to get a run right then. That’s not allowed anymore and she understands— Nick (@nadd1644) September 22, 2019
Unfortunately, all the good-luck charms came up short today. Though this one is probably on the offense, which mustered four hits and two walks over 8.1 innings against the Padres bullpen. Yoan Lopez got through his first inning, to take the game into extras, but then opened the bottom of the tenth by going double, home-run, as the Padres walked off the series finale, and the Arizona bullpen successfully avoided another sweep. It seems appropriate to end the Tweetcap by asking where the Diamondbacks needed to get better for next season. The bullpen, probably unsurprisingly after this game, was a popular option, but I think this guy might have cracked it:
You mean besides score more runs, allow fewer runs and win more games?— John D'Anna (@azgreenday) September 23, 2019
Arizona actually outhit San Diego in this one, with two hits for Jones and Nick Ahmed, while Almonte and Josh Rojas each had a hit and a walk. Thanks to all the tweeters for their thoughts in this one. Considering this took considerably longer than a usual recap to assemble, next time I probably just will do the damn thing myself. :)
Present in the final Sunday Gameday Thread of the regular season were: AzDbackfanInDc, DBacksEurope, GuruB, Jack Sommers, Jim McLennan, NikT77, Rockkstarr12, Schilling2001, Snake_Bitten, Xerostomia, edbigghead, gzimmerm, kilnborn and suroeste. Comment of the thread to Rockkstarr12:
On behalf of the Diamondbacks: sorry to Rockkstarr’s Dad. :( But hopefully he’ll be on the mend soon. As for the D-backs, they return home for the final home-stand, needing to win two out of the six games against the Cardinals and Padres to match last season’s record of 82-80, or three to surpass it. Tomorrow will, as noted above, be SnakePitBruteFest, marking the first return of Paul Goldschmidt to Chase Field since his trade to St. Louis. Should be interesting, shall we say! Alex Young gets the start for Arizona there, with a 6:40 pm first pitch.