Coming off a huge 30 homer season in 2018, the D-backs needed Peralta to duplicate that kind of success in order to take the leap to contendership. His 2019 was riddled with injuries, including needing surgery on the balky AC joint to clean it up. Still, his previous performance secured him a 3 year deal to stick around AZ. In 2020 his AVG improved to .300, but the power never resurfaced and fans wondered which David would show up game to game. Here we are again in 2021, wondering when the real David Peralta will show up. We hope it’s soon, otherwise, we’ll be looking at more losses than wins and more questions about the long-standing Arizona Diamondback.
Taylor Widener looked to continue his hot start to the 2021 season, he’s been fairly lucky with the long-ball, giving up only 0.53 per 9 innings. Today saw that regress towards the mean a bit. He allowed 3 homers in his 5 1/3rds innings, one to lead off the game and a pair to end his day. All told, he struck out 7 and only walked 1 while allowing 4 runs. He almost turned it around but Castellanos and Suarez in the 6th knocked him out at 89 pitches.
The starting lineup was not one you could’ve predicted in the offseason. And if you did, your season totals for wins weren’t going to be anything to be excited about. But like most of this season, unexpected results have come when you least expect them.
The offense just needed a trip through the order against Jeff Hoffman to show up. Josh Rojas singled and after a Widener reached on a fielder’s choice error, Pavin Smith doubled home Rojas and Wyatt Mathisen sac fly’d Widener to give the D-backs a 2-1 lead and the team still threatening. A Peralta double-play ball soured that chance and the offense went into hibernation until the 6th, where Peralta redeems himself.
Josh VanMeter walked to lead it off, his 2nd of the game, and Peralta smashed a liner to center field, just clearing the center-field wall with an exit velocity of 111.8.
Unfortunately, the Reds responded with 3 runs of their own to tie things up at 4.
Before this point, this game was pretty normal, with some good pitching stretches and the offenses making adjustments. From here on, the teams combined for 17 runs on 17 hits.
The D-backs struck first. Back-to-back walks from Rojas and Andrew Young set things up for Wyatt Mathisen who singled to score Rojas. Nick Heath walked to load em up, and Peralta singled to drive in two. Carson Kelly walked to load the bases up again, and Eduardo Escobar walked with the bases loaded to score the fourth run of the inning, still with 1 out. Unfortunately, Nick Ahmed popped out and Rojas struck out to end the inning, 8-4 D-backs.
The Reds responded immediately against Riley Smith, who allowed a leadoff double, and a homer to Winker, his 2nd of the game. After another out, Joey Votto got in the action, hitting a solo homer of his own to cut the lead to 8-7 D-backs.
Other than a Jonathan India homer in the 8th to tie it up, the offenses kept things tied and gave us extras. And like yesterday, that’s where the fun began.
Josh Rojas started things off with a single, scoring Asdrubal from second, and pinch hitter Stephen Vogt singled. A walk from Pavin Smith loaded the bases. For a second it looked like the team would squander the opportunity as both Mathisen and Heath struck out and ground out respectively, but our man David Peralta did this.
Unlike yesterday with Kole Calhoun, Naquin couldn’t recover on the play and allowed the three-run triple that opened the floodgates. Kelly homered to drive home Peralta and finish off the 6-spot in extras.
But, the Reds would just not go away. A 1-out Barnhart single scored Schrock, and a Naquin single continued the inning. A walk followed that, and with 2 outs, Castellanos singled to left, scoring two of the three on base. But with the tying run at the plate, Alex Young induced the strikeout of Joey Votto to finally end the game and secure the series sweep.
The win probability chart was a roller-coaster, despite the D-backs never trailing in the game. David Peralta takes home the prize with a well deserved +.428 WPA on the day, thanks to 5 hits and 7 RBIs. Caleb Smith pitched 1.1 scoreless innings for a +.360 WPA for second and Josh Rojas reached base thrice and scored twice for a +.300 WPA. Nice to see him show up.
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The early game was a detriment, as most people were just getting into work or waking up as seen from the 18 chatters and 260ish comments across the 4+ hour game.
The Diamondbacks continue the road trip with a 3-game set against the Braves and a chance at .500 with another series victory. If not, hey going into this series with a 5-2 record was a welcome surprise. Stop on by.