Record: 20-34. 162-game pace: 54-92. Change on 2019: -21.
The Diamondbacks had this one in the bag, and were leading the Astros 2-0 after Madison Bumgarner put in his first good start for the Diamondbacks. Unfortunately, a lack of offense and bad outing from Junior Guerra wasted a prime opportunity for a win,
Bumgarner started off the game rocky, allowing a leadoff single to George Springer, and an out later, a single to Alex Bregman. Bumgarner struck out Michael Brantley, and after Springer stole third, got Yuli Gurriel to ground into a force out to end the inning. Bumgarner settled down and was extremely solid after that, allowing just a walk in the third, and retiring every other batter faced in his five innings of work. A final line of 5 innings pitched, two hits, a walk, and seven strikeouts is a definite improvement over his previous outings this season.
The D-backs had plenty of baserunners. Josh Rojas led off the game with a walk, but was caught stealing after David Peralta struck out, ending the first. Eduardo Escobar and David Peralta hit back to back singles in the second, but Nick Ahmed hit into a double play to end the top of the second.
In the fourth inning, the D-backs had the opportunity to blow it open again, with the bases loaded and no one out. Pavin Smith and Christian Walker hit back to back singles, putting runners on the corner for Kole Calhoun, who walked to load the bases for Eduardo Escobar. Before Escobar’s at bat, Torey Lovullo was ejected by home plate umpire Adam Hamari. Instead of being fired up by his manager’s ejection, Escobar hit into a double play, though Pavin Smith was able to score. David Peralta promptly flew out to end inning. Nick Ahmed hit a one out solo homer in the fifth to make the score 2-0, but that was it for the D-backs’ offense on the day.
Taylor Widener took over for Bumgarner in the sixth. Widener gave up a deep fly ball to George Springer to lead off. Daulton Varsho misplayed what should have been a fly out or a double at worst, with Kole Calhoun’s failure to back up the play allowing Springer to get an inside the park home run. Widener got Jose Altuve to ground out for the first out of the inning, but then walked Alex Bregman. Michael Brantley flew out, but a single by Yuli Gurriel and a walk to Kyle Tucker later, and the bases were loaded. Widener was then taken out for Yoan Lopez. Lopez fortunately struck out Carlos Correa to end the sixth inning.
The D-backs went down quietly in the top of the seventh. Hector Rendon relieved Lopez for the seventh, and George Springer hit a legitimate home run to tie the game up.
Junior Guerra took over in the eighth. Guerra hit Bregman, walked Michael Brantley, Yuli Gurriel lined out, but Kyle Tucker then walked to load the bases. Carlos Correa hit a sac fly, scoring Bregman, Michael Brantley advanced to third. Kole Calhoun had a throwing error on the play. Myles straw struck out to end the inning, but the Astros took the lead 3-2, without needing a hit.
The D-backs went down quietly once more in the ninth, with Calhoun hitting a deep fly out to left, Escobar striking out, and Peralta hitting a weak grounder to second to end the game. That ends the Diamondbacks’ road campaign for 2020, as they finish with a dismal record there of 9-21.
Bells and whistles, by Jim
Click here for details, at Fangraphs.com
Two Women: Madison Bumgarner, +29.0=%
El Cid: Yoan Lopez, +12.8%
Grumpier Old Men: Junior Guerra, -22.5%
The Cassandra Crossing: Widener, -17.6%; Escobar, -13.6%; Rondon, -13.4%
There was a Gameday Thread. There were people in it. I was not one of them, but reliable reports indicate that the following were: AzDbackfanInDc, C.Wesley Baier, ChuckJohnson56, DBacksEurope, Diamondhacks, GuruB, Husk, Makakilo, MrMrrbi, NikT77, Preston Salisbury, Snake_Bitten, gzimmerm, kilnborn, pynkefloyd and therealramona. NikT77 had the only Sedona Red comment, getting in the last dig at the Houston Astros from our end for this season:
There’s an off-day for the Diamondbacks tomorrow, before the final week of the season gets under way. The Texas Rangers kick off the last home-stand, their quick two-game set beginning at 6:10 pm on Tuesday. Caleb Smith starts that one for Arizona.