Talk of the Diamondbacks being undecided about how Mike Leake played into the team’s immediate future reached the ears of the veteran right-hander. He responded by acknowledging that baseball is a business and wearing his recent struggles. Thursday evening, Leake took the mound and was improved. He struggled in the first inning, which wound up costing him and the team, but he looked much better. It’s only one game, but if Leake looked like this with every single outing, there would be less speculation about his impending release.
The Mets got off to a quick start against Leake, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first. New York tacked on another run in the second, which resulted in Virtual Torey Lovllo getting the bullpen up. Then, just like that, Leake flipped a switch and started cruising. After allowing four runs on four hits, a walk, and a hit batter (Michael Conforto for the third consecutive game), Leake’s control returned. Leake’s almost laughably slow “fastball” painted both sides of the plate and induced nothing but ugly swings the rest of the way. He retired 14 of the next 15 batters he faced, erasing a dribbler of a single with a GIDP.
Unfortunately for Arizona, Rick Porcello was on his game for this one. Porcello stumbled briefly in the fourth, allowing a double to the scorching hot Josh Rojas and then walking Carson Kelly. Nick Ahmed then found the gap and hit a double into left center, scoring the speedy Rojas without a throw. Kelly held up at third, which is where he ended the inning. The Diamondbacks did nothing against Porcello the rest of the way. The Mets’ right-hander left the game after completing seven innings of one-run ball.
As soon as the Diamondbacks faced a pitcher other than Porcello, they wasted no time getting to work. Jake Lamb stroked a single into left. He was followed by Christian Walker who lined a double into the left field corner. That put runners on second and third for Josh Rojas. Rojas got all of one. Unfortunately, he hit it right at Pete Alonso who made the out in self-defense. Carson Kelly followed,, doing almost the exact opposite, with opposite results. Kelly topped a ball that wound up being fielded by Wilson Ramos who had to wait for the ball to come down. Ramos fired the ball to first, but in his attempt to make sure he did not hit Kelly, he wound up firing it down the right field line. This allowed both Lamb and Walker to score on the play. That brought in Jeurys Familia to pitch. Familia closed the door on the Diamondbacks’ scoring threat.
Down to their final out, the Diamondbacks got back-to-back singles from David Peralta and Ketel Marte off of New York closer, Edwin Diaz. Virtual Luis Rojas was having none of it. He yanked Diaz from the game and gave the ball over to Daniel Zamora. The Diamondbacks countered by sending Eduardo Escobar to the plate to pinch-hit for Jake Lamb. Escobar took a healthy swing at the first pitch he saw, but it wound up being an easy flyball out to right, giving Zamora the save.
Final Score: AZ 3 - NYM 4
The player of the game was easily Rick Porcello. He was in vintage Boston form, keeping the Diamondbacks off their game for seven innings.
The Diamondbacks head to St. Louis next. The match-up on Friday is expected to be Robbie Ray for Arizona and Carlos Martinez for the Cardinals.
Despite the loss, the Diamondbacks remain in second in the NL West.