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Snake Pit Sim Season: 3/30

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The Diamondbacks play host to the rebuilding San Francisco Giants in a game of good news/bad news.

After a four-game series n which pitching dominated and Ketel Marte failed to record a single hit, there was some question as to how Virtual Lovullo would go about preparing for a new opponent as San Francisco came to town. I for one was wondering if Lovullo might tweak the lineup a bit, possibly slotting David Peralta or Eduardo Escobar into the three-hole, taking some of the pressure off of Marte. However, while I was getting my bratwursts, I learned that Lovullo was sticking with his ‘A’ lineup and not changing anything. The bratwurst was good, but it was no Hungry Hill. One would think I would have learned by now to just stop expecting anyone to match up to Hungry Hill already. Brats in hand, I took my seat just in time to see ASU alumnus, Mike Leake, take his final warm-up pitches.

1st Inning

Leake made quick work of the Giants in a three up., three down top of the first.

*****

Andrew Triggs (who?) was took the mound for the Giants. He made quick work of Starling Marte and Peralta. That brought up Ketel Marte, still hitless on the season. Not letting that get under his skin, he lined a single back up the middle into center field. That brought some cheers to an otherwise mellow crowd. Eduardo Escobar followed. He appeared to get under one just a bit, giving those fans in the third deck a good straight-on view of the arching ball. However, the ball just kept drifting and eventually cleared the wall in right by a small, but decent, margin going an estimated 388 feet, despite an exit velocity of only 90.6 mph. Christian Walker then struck out looking to end the inning.

SF 0 - AZ 2

2nd Inning

Mike Yastrzemski started off the second with a single. Two quick outs later, he was moved to second on another single by Mauricio Dubon. That brought up Donovan Solano, who grounded into a 5-4 fielder’s choice to end the inning.

*****

Nick Ahmed crushed a two-out double off the top of the wall in left, but that was ther only excitment for the Diamondbacks in the inning.

SF 0 - AZ 2

3rd Inning

Leake worked his way out of a spot of trouble when he gave up a one-out single to Billy Hamilton and then followed that up with a walk to Austin Slater. That brought up Brandon Belt. Leake induced a 6-4-3 double play and that ended the threat.

*****

With two out, Ketel Marte continued his newfound hitting ways, lining his own double off the left field wall. Unfortunately, Escobar was unable to bring him home.

SF 0 - AZ 2

4th Inning

Yastrzemski continued to make a case for being one of the building blocks of the Giants’ future, getting another base hit - a single. Leake then allowed a double to left to Evan Longoria. Yastrzemski was forced to hold up at third though, as Peralta got the ball back in quickly. This brought up Buster Posey. A routine grounder to third scored Yastrzemski and allowed Longoria to take third. Dubon grounded out to Leake, who froze Longoria at third before recording the out at first. Solano was given the free pass, which brought up Triggs with runners on the corners and two out. Triggs tapped a two-hopper up the line to Escobar and was an easy out at first to end the inning.

*****

Christian Walker started off the bottom half of the inning by hitting a laser shot into the left field stands. Two quick outs later, Nick Ahmed hit a single to bring clear the pitcher, bringing up Leake. Leake gave everyone a moment of pause by hitting one to the warning track in right center, but it wound up being a long, loud out to end the inning.

SF 1 - AZ 3

5th Inning

A walk to Hamilton, followed by another double play and a ground out made quick work of the Giants in the fifth.

*****

With one out, Peralta drew a walk, bringing up Ketel Marte. Marte tagged another pitch, but this one was right at the shortstop. This resulted in Peralta being hung out to dry as there was no getting back to the bag ahead of the throw.

SF 1 - AZ 3

6th Inning

Yastrzemski did that thing he does, lacing a 2-2 pitch into left for a double. That was followed by a single by Longoria, who apparently is not quite ready to be put out to pasture. Posey was next. He lopped a single just over the head of Marte at second, scoring Yastrzemski and sending Longoria from first to third. This brought up Dubon who hit a high chopper to short that flattened out on Ahmed, causing him to not field it claenly. It was ruled an error. Longoria scored and Posey was safe at second. Solano then struck out and Triggs flew out to shallow center. With Leake at 102 pitches, Virtual Lovullo chose to turn the ball over to Hector Rondon to get the final out of the inning. Billy Hamilton sent Rondon’s first pitch to the wall in right center for a stand-up double, scoring Posey and Dubon. Slater then struck out to end the inning. Leake’s final line was uglier than it should have been. He was charged with allowing five runs, but only two were earned and on any other day, Ahmed makes that play and Leake is out of the inning before any damage is done.

*****

Triggs only needed four pitches to bring the Giants back to the dugout.

SF 5 - AZ 3

7th Inning

Belt hit a single on the first pitch of the inning but was erased when Yastrzemski grounded into a double play. This was followed by a Longoria triple. Buster Posey then came up and hit a single to deep right. Longoria scored on the play, but Posey was gunned down by Calhoun when he tried to stretch the single into a double.

*****

Left-handed pitcher, Tony Watson was brought on in relief for the seventh. He made quick work of Carson Kelly and Ahmed. That brought up the pitcher’s spot in the order. Lovullo turned to Locastro off the bench for pinch-hitting duty. Locastro blooped a single to right center. He then stole second on a 1-2 pitch, getting such a big jump that Posey didn’t even bother to make a throw, Perhaps a bit shaken, Watson then served up a fat pitch which Starling Marte launched for a triple, scoring Locastro. Peralta then ground out to short on the very next pitch, ending the inning.

SF 6 - AZ 4

8th Inning

Yoan Lopez was brought on to pitch the eighth. He gave up a lead-off single and then also gave up a one-out single to former Diamondback, Wilmer Flores. Nothing came of it all and Lopez escaped the inning unscathed.

*****

Logan Webb came on to pitch for the Giants. He retired the Diamondbacks in order.

SF 6 - AZ 4

9th Inning

Lopez went back out to the mound to pitch the ninth. He promptly surrendered a single to Brandon Belt and a triple to Yastrzemski. Yastrzemski would leave the game after the play. Funnily, the pinch-”runner” brought in to replace the speedy Yastrzemski was Pablo Sandoval. That play also brought an end to Lopez’s evening as Virtual Lovullo looked to Alex Young to restore some order. As it turns out, there was no issue with the slow-footed Sandoval pinch-running. The next batter was Evan Longoria. He belted a home run to extend San Francisco’s lead. The home run also meant that Longoria managed to hit for the cycle. Only after the damage was done did Young finally get the three outs he was brought in to secure.

*****

With Webb still pitching, Calhoun reached on a fielding error by Dubon at short. Calhoun then scored on a double to left by Kelly. He then advanced to third on a single by Ahmed. Steven Vogt was brought in to pinch-hit. On a full count, he struck out, but Ahmed made a clean steal of second base. This brought up Starling Marte with runners at second and third. At that point Virtual Kapler called on Trevor Gott to come in to close things out. Marte managed a fly to center field, deep enough to allow Calhoun to score without a throw. Peralta then came up, but flew out to end the game.

Final score: SF 9 - AZ 6

The player of the game was Evan Longoria who went 4-for-5, hitting for the cycle, scoring three runs, and driving in a pair. Robbie Ray will take the mound for the Diamondbacks tomorrow, looking to get Arizona’s pitching back on track after the bullpen laid an egg this evening.