What an absolutely bizarre season and year. I could have never imagined any of this would have taken place as I walked through Chase Field during Fan Fest in February. The fact that was the only time this year I set foot in the stadium is somewhat difficult to comprehend. The last time that I did not attend
a game in person, heck Opening Day, was 2002 when I lived in New Jersey as a kid.
Regardless, I’m grateful to have experienced the misery with the entirety of this community. It hasn’t been a complete loss admittedly. The discussions here have been tremendous. I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the Brute Side Chats and bringing you all weekly recaps on Wednesdays again. I want to thank all of you for participating in the discourse here, and express gratitude to Jim for once again allowing me to flail around.
With that being said...
For the final time this season, the Arizona Diamondbacks faced off against an American League West team in the Texas Rangers. The lines were blurred this season between leagues with there being the implementation of the designated hitter in the National League. The Rangers, much like Arizona, find themselves in the midst of a youth movement transition year. Not how they expected to christen their brand new stadium in Arlington I’m sure.
Alex Young performed in his seventh start of the season decent enough for my expectations of him as a replacement starter. Texas jumped out ahead of Arizona in the first inning behind a lead off double from Leody Tavares. The Diamondbacks conceded Tavares’ scoring run following consecutive outs from Nick Solak and Isaiah Kiner-Falefa that moved him along. Alex Young settled in from there while Rangers’ starter Wes Benjamin was relatively stingy until the fifth inning.
Young struck out three Rangers in the top of the second betwixt a single from Willie Calhoun. Texas did push their way to a second run in the top of the fourth. 6’5” 240 lbs Sam Huff hit a scorching double to right center field and scored on a single from Anderson Tejada (who are these guys?). Young’s final frame of work came in the fifth inning with a pitch count of 83. He tallied the first two outs easily enough on consecutive outfield fly outs, but then proceeded to walk Nick Solak. Isiah Kiner-Falefa tripled to the right field wall, Kole Calhoun had some difficulty playing the rebound, making the score 3-0 in favor of the Rangers. On a quick side note, this is the second recap for me against the Rangers this season, and I feel like Kiner-Falefa has been a pain in the ass both times.
To be honest, I wasn’t entirely disappointed with the Diamondbacks trailing the contest at this point with the league disclosing that 2021 draft order will be determined by 2020 record. These two teams aren’t in the middle of a playoff race, but they are jockeying for favorable draft position. I was cool with it, but then the Diamondbacks’ offense decided to come roaring back.
Wyatt Mathisen hit his first career home run in the bottom of the fifth to put Arizona on the board. All hell broke loose from there in the bottom of the sixth for the Diamondbacks went single, single, ground out, single, triple, home run, home run, triple. Wes Benjamin was chased from the game following the consecutive singles from Eduardo Escobar and Kole Calhoun. Nick Goody came on in relief for the Rangers and had an immediate eight pitch battle to force a Nick Ahmed groundout. Then the hit parade continued as Carson Kelly singled which scored Escobar and Calhoun to tie the game. Daulton Varsho hit the first of two D’backs triples in the inning to follow. Wyatt Mathisen hit his second career home run becoming the first D’back since Connor Jackson to hit his first two career home runs in the same game. That chased Goody from the game quickly, but his replacement Brett Martin hardly faired any better. He immediately gave up a solo bomb to Tim Locastro which is always a disappointment because, c’mon dude, we pay him to run the bases not jog. Ketel Marte tripled after, but that would be it for Arizona with a now commanding and come from behind 7-3 lead.
The sixth inning was likely what the Texas Rangers were looking for as they essentially laid down and died beyond that point. Travis Bergen, Yoan Lopez, and Stefan Crichton sat down nine Rangers in order to secure the two game series sweep.
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