Taylor Widener was not sharp in Arizona’s home opener, but he was better than his final line would indicate. Getting squeezed by Blue in the fifth, and getting no zero support from the offense, Widener’s propensity for allowing hard contact did not play as well in Chase Field as it did on the road. The Diamondbacks did eventually muster up a second unlikely five-run rally in the seventh and eighth innings, two runs coming courtesy of the return of Kole Calhoun. But, the Diamondbacks were unable to survive having to turn to MadBum as a pinch-hitter on the ninth or the silly runner on second rule in the tenth.
Kole Calhoun mashed a two-run double in the seventh. Eduardo Escobar launched a two-run homer in the eighth, his second in two nights, tripling his pace from just a year ago. However, the five runs in the seventh and eighth were not enough to overcome the shaky pitching and gimmicky extra innings rule.
Arizona had big innings in the seventh and eighth. Alas, those were the only two innings in which Arizona bats were able to muster any sort of threat. Diamondbacks hitters were 1-for-9 with RISP on the night and did not record their first hit until Carson Kelly led off the Arizona fifth with a single. Their next base runner did not come until the outburst in the seventh.
I actually enjoy watching pitchers go to the plate. The potential level of entertainment due to unexpected heroics is rarely higher. That said, if the pitcher isn’t named Micah Owing or Shohei Ohtani, asking one to pinch-hit in the most clutch of ninth inning situations is not optimal and raises some serious questions about roster depth.
Contactless ordering and pickup turned out to be a bust. Long lines were found at all concession stands. Hungry Hill eventually shut down the cashless system and resumed cash-only operations, not a big deal since the contactless payment system involved concession workers handling credit cards instead of there being a contactless pay point at the counter. Concession orders through the app took over two hours to fill, even for the simplest of orders. Combine all this with the team looking like a AAA club getting soundly beaten on both sides of the ball for the first six-plus innings, and it made for a rather dubious Chase Field experience.
While it is still putting lipstick on a pig, the Diamondbacks have looked like there is potential in the lineup, especially with their ability to score numerous runs in a hurry. Eduardo Escobar is starting to show some pop again, which can only help the team. Still, Arizona has a ton of work to do.
Other Baseball News
It took 52 years, but the San Diego Padres finally have their first no-hitter. Joe Musgrove provided the performance while the Padres took on the Rangers in Arlington last night.
After taking 52 years to come about, there are plenty of related side-stories to be found surrounding this particular no-hitter.
Unsurprisingly, it was the Big Unit who tossed Arizona’s first no-no, four years into team history.
While it certainly is not a good look that MLB has elected to single-out Trevor Bauer in revealing which balls have been pulled from games for inspection, the results of the tests will speak much louder than any words. If balls taken from Bauer performances come back clean, then we are likely all in for a great deal of clap-back from the eccentric right-hander.
It isn’t just that Lindor signed a 10-year $341 million dollar extension only six months before hitting the open market.It’s that he chose to sign in Queens, rather than the Bronx or Los Angeles. It’s that he is bringing his dynamic play-making and star power to a franchise that has become accustomed to long droughts of disappointment and playing second-fiddle in their own city.