The D-backs limped into the finale of this 3-game set with the Dodgers. Not even counting losing 10 of their last 11 games, this series didn’t start as you’d hoped for a team looking for any signs of life after the fire sale at the trade deadline.
Game 1 was not as close as the 6-3 final score would indicate, as a late Ahmed homer was too late to make much of a difference. Yesterday was a disappointment, seeing the bullpen blow not one, but two save opportunities in the 9th and 10th innings. And tonight would see the D-backs trying to stave off a sweep against Clayton Kershaw, the owner of a 1.80 ERA going into tonight’s game.
On the mound for the D-backs was Luke Weaver, owner of the worst ERA in baseball among starters with 7 games started. He has been fairly unlucky, owning a 5.66 FIP with good peripherals to back them up (11+ K/9, 3+ BB/9) but hitters don’t seem to care, with excellent results against each of his pitches.
Things did not go according to plan for Luke, with both Seager and Muncy grabbing 1-out singles to start things off. A grounder to Walker looked to be a double play, but on the throw to 2nd from Walker, Nick Ahmed just didn’t catch it. It wasn’t a normal play you see very often, with the 1st baseman tagging first before throwing to 2nd, but it still happens. Walker’s throw was low, and I mean low enough to hit the base and shoot straight in the air, allowing Corey Seager to jog home without a play. The error as charged to Walker on the play, but I’m not so sure. Chris Taylor singled to left scoring Muncy, giving the Dodgers an early 2-0 advantage.
The offense took their sweet time getting warmed up against Kershaw, who took a no-hitter (allowed 2 walks) into the 6th before Christian Walker continued his dominance against the lefty but with 2 outs, he was as good as dead seeing how this offense is playing as David Peralta grounded out to end the inning and the night for Kershaw. He finished his outing allowing just the single, with 2 walks while striking out 8.
Luke Weaver actually was very good after that first inning, at one point retiring 14 Dodgers in a row. But another Corey Seager single saw the end of his rope, and Lovullo pulled him. He walked 0 batters, struck out 5, and allowed the 2 earned runs in the first. Good bounce back start for young Weaver.
Newly acquired Travis Bergen was summoned in relief for his first appearance as a D-back since the Robbie Ray trade, and walked the first batter he saw in Muncy. BUT, a fly out from Bellinger and fielder’s choice from Taylor ended the threat, giving Bergen a scoreless 2/3IP.
With Kershaw out of the picture, the offense relaxed a bit and actually managed to score a run! Nick Ahmed walked and Josh Rojas singled to put runners on the corners. An Andy Young ground out scored Ahmed from 1st, but that was all the offense could muster, with outs from Varsho and Kelly to end the inning with the score 2-1.
The Dodgers responded in turn, as AJ Pollock homered on the first pitch he saw from Keury Mella to dead center. The Dodgers continued from there, with a Kike Hernandez single and advance to 2nd on a wild pitch setting up him scoring on a Mookie Betts single. Joe Mantiply worked in and out of trouble, allowing a single and walk to put runners on every base before inducing a line out from Bellinger to end the inning. The Dodgers added another run after stringing 3 hits together to give us our final score of 5-1 as the offense could do nothing right tonight.
Josh Rojas was your highest WPA on the night with a +.067 on the night thanks to his single in the 7th. Your lowest was Dalton Varsho, with a -.150 thanks in part to an 0 for 4 performance with 4 runners LOB.
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Comment of the night is the setup and the finish from NikT77.
The D-backs continue their California trip with a 4-gamer against the San Francisco Giants. Will the offense show up? Only way to find out is watch the first inning then shut it off like everyone else.