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Snake Pit Sim Season: 6/22 - Home Runs for Everyone!

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I think the simulation might be using leftover 2019 baseballs.

The Arizona offense found its bats, at least for one game. Unfortunately for the Diamondbacks, the recent pitching woes continued to mount. This time it was a combined effort on the part of Arizona’s pitching. The starter, Luke Weaver, was mediocre. The righty allowed four runs on seven hits and one walk in five innings of work. Somehow, this was not enough to sink Arizona in this game. But then, high leverage pitchers; Yoan López, Will Smith, and Kevin Ginkel combined to allow four more runs across four innings of work, spoiling the two innings of scoreless work turned in by Junior Guerra and Archie Bradley. Then there was Merrill Kelly, but we’ll get to him later.

The ball was flying off of bats for both teams in this one. Walker Buehler took the mound for the Dodgers. Yet again, Buehler had a strong outing against Arizona, limiting the Snakes to only two runs through 6 13 innings of work. However, three of the six hits allowed were of the extra base variety, including one which left the yard. The other three all had exit velocities in excess of 97 mph.

Buehler saw his strong outing wasted by a high leverage meltdown of his own bullpen. After leaving the game with a three run lead with one out in the seventh inning, Buehler watched helplessly from the bench as Blake Treinan, Caleb Ferguson, and Kanley Jansen trotted out to the mound in sequence to surrender a combined five runs. It was clear that things were going to be interesting when, in the seventh inning, Kole Calhoun came in to pinch hit against Trienan. Calhoun, who has been unable to find a base hit to save his life this season took the hard-throwing former closer deep. The comeback was on. This was punctuated by two more home runs in the ninth inning off the bats of Ryan Mountcastle and Starling Marte.

It was only Arizona’s own inability to curtail Mookie Betts and the rest of the Los Angeles offense that managed to send this game into extra innings. Back-to-back two-out homers to Betts and Cody Bellinger ate into the offensive explosion by the Arizona lineup, meaning tat all those ninth inning heroics merely tied the game. Still, despite all the issues pitchers were having in this game, they still had Bradley, Ginkel , and Kelly to rely on for the extra innings. One had to like Arizona’s chances.

The tenth inning went by quickly. Archie Bradley was dominant, striking out the side. The eleventh inning saw Kevin Ginkel take the mound, looking to throw another zero from the Dodgers up onto the scoreboard. Ginkel started out strong, getting the Dodgers’ version of Will Smith to strike out swinging. He then induced a 3-1 pop-up to second off the bat of Justin Turner. Corey Seager followed by lining a single into left. He then stole second base during the course of an eight-pitch walk by Betts. With the game on the line, Virtual Lovullo turned the ball over to one of the premier relievers in all of baseball, Merrill Kelly to face Cody Bellinger. Bellinger worked his way to a full count walk, which loaded the bases. Four pitches later, Kelly walked Max Muncy to force in the winning run. Ross Stripling was able to slam the door shut in the bottom of the inning, giving Arizona another painful loss to the Dodgers.

Final Score: LAD 8 - AZ 7

The player of the game was Mookie Betts. The newest Dodgers star went 4-for-5 with two home runs and a key walk. He has indeed turned out to be quite the thorn in Arizona;s side since coming over from Boston.

The same two teams meet again tomorrow. The other big Boston acquisition, David Price, will start for the Dodgers. Madison Bumgarner will take the bump for Arizona.