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Preview #50: 9/16 @ Angels

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Stefan Crichton and Merrill Kelly discuss their seasons.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Oakland Athletics D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Today's Lineups

Josh Rojas - DH David Fletcher - 2B
Josh VanMeter - 2B Jared Walsh - 1B
Christian Walker - 1B Mike Trout - CF
Kole Calhoun - RF Anthony Rendon - 3B
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Albert Pujols - DH
David Peralta - LF Justin Upton - LF
Nick Ahmed - SS Max Stassi - C
Stephen Vogt - C Jo Adell - RF
Daulton Varsho - CF Andrelton Simmons - SS
Caleb Smith - LHP Dylan Bundy - RHP

Games until the blessed end of the season: 11

As I mentioned in a comment earlier today, Madison Bumgarner’s Game Score last night of 11 was the lowest in franchise history for a game the D-backs won. It’s also the lowest score in a team victory this year. But it’s not unprecedented. Indeed, over 2010-2019, there were an average of about three a year such stinkers. However, MadBum’s was unusual in its length: most were two or three inning disasters. Bumgarner pitched into the sixth, and was one run short of ending up with the W: if David Peralta’s late homer had come with Madison still on the mound, for instance, he’d have got the decision. That’s considerably rarer.

Indeed, no pitcher with a GS of 11 or lower has received a W for over 65 years. The last to do so was Russ Meyer (no... not THAT one!) for the Brooklyn Dodgers in September 1955. He pitched into the eighth inning, allowing eight runs on 16 hits, without recording a strikeout. But the Dodgers had back-to-back six-run innings in the sixth and seventh, to give Meyer the W. The lowest Game Score ever to get a W was another Brooklyn Dodger: Lee Mund in 1945. He went the bare five-plus, allowing 12 hits, six walks and 10 runs, eight earned for a GS of just 2. But he left the game with a 12-8 lead and Brooklyn held on to win 14-10.

No Torey Lovullo for us today, but we do have two of our pitchers, whose seasons have gone in rather different directions...

Pre-game audio from Stefan Crichton

  • Learning to deal with adrenaline rush of pitching the 9th.
  • He has gotten help from Junior Guerra, Hector Rondon and Mike Fetters as far as how to deal with the role as all of them have closed in the past.
  • He felt relaxed facing Trout, Rendon, Pujols. Just don’t look them in the face. Grew up in Texas watching Pujols destroy Brad Lidge.
  • Found the sinker ball by chance back in 2015. Wasn’t even sure what caused his FB to start sinking , could have been a different arm slot.

Pre-game audio from Merril Kelly

  • It’s all worth a listen, being 15 minutes discussing his symptoms, surgery and timeline.
  • It’s notable that he was having symptoms of a blood clot two weeks before he was actually shut down in Oakland. He had been on Prednisone for a week, but when he was shut down he went for an ultrasound the next day and that’s when they found the blood clot.
  • He had the surgery on September 9th, to remove a rib , the very top rib on right hand side. This created space between the top of the rib cage and the collar bone, so there will no longer be an impingement on the veins in that area.
  • The surgery itself was not the major concern. He wanted to be sure he will not experience future clots, and this will ensure that. He spoke with Alex Cobb and Chris Archer who are pitchers that have both had this surgery and felt reassured. Baseball was secondary at that point, but now that he is past surgery and began rehab today he is focused on baseball and what he has to do to get back.
  • He was told he may be able to begin throwing in late November or early December and expects to be ready for spring training.