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Snake Pit Sim Season: 5/24 - Snake-Bitten

Arizona’s overwhelming reliance on pitching finally bit them in the ninth inning of this pitching duel.

If ever there was a game this season that showcased why the Diamondbacks need to upgrade the offense, this is that game. Zach Gallen and Adam Wainwright were both on their game in this Sunday match-up. Both put together similar lines as well. Zach Gallen scattered six hit and a walk across five innings. He allowed two runs to score, the first coming in the top of the first when Kolten Wong took him deep as the first batter of the game. The second run came in the sixth inning when St. Louis opened up their half of the inning with three consecutive singles, only one of which (off the bat of Paul Goldschmidt) was sharply hit. That brought an end to Gallen’s day. Between the Kolten Wong home run and the series of singles, Gallen pitched five full innings, allowing only two hits and a walk while striking out nine.

Wainwright was dominant in a totally different fashion. He simply got weak contact from hitters up and down the Arizona lineup. Arizona did have some success against Wainwright in the second inning. Carson Kelly battled his way to a walk. He was followed by Nick Ahmed, who launched a opposite field liner off the wall in right at 112.4 mph that went for a double. Zac Gallen then helped his own cause by flaring a single into right field, allowing Kelly and Ahmed to both score. Gallen took second on the throw home, but Wainwright shut the Diamondbacks down from that point on. Not only did the Diamondbacks go down in order in the fifth, they went three up, three down on three pitches. In the sixth inning, Arizona decided to make Wainwright work, forcing him to throw a massive eight pitches to record another perfect inning. It was just that kind of day for Arizona’s hitters.

Arizona’s bullpen picked up where Gallen left off, matching Wainwright and taking the game into the ninth inning, still tied at two. That’s when Virtual Torey Lovullo turned the ball over to Yoan López. Unfortunately for Arizona, López was unable to get one of his 97 mph fastballs past Paul DeJong. DeJong caught up to the elevated fastball and sent it into the seats for a walk-off home run. The home run “exploded” López’s ERA to 2.04, as this marked only the third time this season in which López allowed a run to score.

Had Arizona’s offense, led by juggernauts such as Kevin Cron and Jake Lamb managed to do anything at all in the game, it is possible, likely even, that the Diamondbacks could have turned this into a nice sweep of the Cardinals on the road. Of course, it is unfair to place on the blame squarely on their shoulders. Wainwright was dealing. The only two hitters with any sort of real success for Arizona were Carson Kelly and Nick Ahmed. The two managed to account for five of Arizona’s seven base runners in the game.

Final Score: AZ 2 - STL 3

The obvious choice for player of the game was Adam Wainwright.

The Diamondbacks are off again tomorrow. They will resume play on Tuesday when they will be in San Diego to take on the Padres, who continue to nip at Arizona’s heel in the NL West standings. The first game should feature a match-up between Luke Weaver and Luis Patino.