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Snake Pit Sim Season: 4/6

It seems like bad weather just follows Arizona around away from Chase Field. After two days of rain and three days of frigid temperatures in Chicago, the Diamondbacks made their way to the Bay Area for a series against the Giants. For game one, they played the game in the mid-40’s with a good rain falling for nearly the entire game. How this game was not postponed is beyond me. The Snakes sent Robbie Ray to the mound to face off against Drew Smyly.

This game was not to be a rehash of the last time these two faced off. Unlike the game in Arizona, Ray had no trouble keeping the ball in the park this time. He did, however, still show a tendency to wildness, as shown by his six walks to go with his seven strikeout. Once again, he pitched into the sixth inning. This time he made it to 94 pitches before being lifted. Though, it could be argued that he should not have gone out for the sixth inning to begin with.Through the first three innings, the only real excitement was provided by Starling Marte who had a single and a stolen base in the first and a double in the third. Still the Diamondbacks were not able to put anything together as far as scoring goes.

The same could be said for the Giants across the first two frames. Then the third inning came around. The bottom of the third was a microcosm of Ray’s evening. The inning started off with a four-pitch walk. This was followed by a filthy strikeout and a wild pitch that Carson Kelly never had a chance to field. A lazy groundout to second, followed. Then hard hit single and an even harder hit double scored two before another walk and then another filthy strikeout. Either Ray was dotting his location with heat and movement, or he was nowhere near the target. There seemed to be no in-between.

In the fourth inning, Ray seemed settled in. That could have just been because the Giants showed no patience. He finished the frame with four pitches. He then struck out Smyly and walked Hamilton in the fifth before getting two more easy outs. In hindsight, and possibly even the smart move at the time, that should have been the end of Ray’s outing.

It wasn’t. Ray went back out for the sixth inning. A walk, a single, a walk, a double, and an intentional walk brought Smyly up to the plate again. Once again, Ray got Smyly swinging. This brought up Hamilton, who singled, pushing two more across. This finally brought an end to Ray’s evening, the lefty having surrendered five earned runs, almost entirely due to the base on balls. Junior Guerra came on in relief. He managed to induce a 6-4-3 double play out of Posey to end the inning.

The seventh inning was just as ugly as the sixth. Merrill Kelly was brought on in what looked like mop-up duty. He allowed four runs to score, complements of a single, a double, and a home run, as well as the fourth error of the season by Nick Ahmed. (Seriously, how is a guy with a 75 out of 80 on his fielding racking up so many errors so quickly in the season?)

At this point, it proper to acknowledge that I have been skipping over the Diamondbacks in this recap. There’s a reason for that. The Diamondbacks seemed to have skipped showing up. Drew Smyly had his way with the Snakes, striking out 10 across eight shutout innings. He scattered five hits and three walks about, keeping the Diamondbacks from ever managing to even muster a true threat to score. It was fairly clear Smyly could have finished out the game, but Kapler pulled him after he finished the eighth inning. Smyly’s pitch count reached 118, so it really wasn’t a surprise that he didn’t get a chance to put a CGSO on his stat line.

Final score: AZ 0 - SF 9

The player of the game was Drew Smyly. He made his eight innings of work (in poor conditions no less) look easy. The Diamondbacks are going to need to figure out how to handle left-handed pitching if they want to hold to any hope on this season.

Tomorrow is homecoming day for Madison Bumgarner who will face off against Kevin Gausman.