Atlanta’s Hascar Ynoa showed off his electric fastball and kept Arizona hitters off balance with his slider, resulting in only one hit, a bunt single against the shift by Asdrubal Cabrera, through the first four innings. Luke Weaver did his job well enough, though he began to noticeably tire in the fifth, leading to a number of people questioning Torey Lovullo’s decision to send him back out to open the sixth inning. His final line shows he gave up four earned runs. One of those runs came courtesy of Ynoa. Despite Weaver clearly striking out Ynoa on a good pitch well over the plate, Home Plate Umpire Vic Carapazza failed to ring up Ynoa, giving him extra life. Ynoa then topped the next pitch down the third base line, which drove in a run when it got by Cabrera at third. Yoan López then added fuel to the fire in the seventh when he surrendered yet another home home, this one a solo shot with two outs to Ozzie Albies.
Huascar Ynoa’s dominance of the Arizona lineup ended in the fifth inning on Friday night. That’s when he made the mistake of throwing a 94 mph fastball up around the letters to Carson Kelly. Arizona’s catcher knew just what to do with that pitch and deposited it int he seats for a two-run homer. The home run was Kelly’s fifth, matching his total from all of last season. The results come after working all offseason to make changes to his swing. Now, he’s settling in and making sure he continues to trust the process. The results are showing.
Despite being mostly silent through the first four innings of Friday night’s match-up against the Braves, the Arizona offense made a strong bid at rallying the team to another come-from-behind win to extend their winning streak and to bring the team to .500 on the season. The bats were simply unable to overcome the combination of Luke Weaver’s legitimate bad luck and Yoan López’s continued inability to keep the ball in the yard.
Video Highlight: This, constant reader, is how you cultivate fans. Friday night’s MLB good guy award goes to Kole Calhoun, who was robbed of a catch by a young fan attending his first-ever baseball game.
Ben Clemens of Fangraphs looks at Carson Kelly’s 2021 offensive surge. He illustrates how Kelly has become a beast hitting elevated pitches. Coincidentally, Huascar Ynoa tried to get Kelly out by throwing above the zone later in the evening after the article was released. If Ynoa had read the article, he might have reconsidered the pitch that Kelly crushed into the left field bleachers.
After Luke Weaver walked the first batter of the sixth inning, Torey Lovullo was forced to lift the right-hander and turn to his bullpen. J.B. Bukauskas got the nod. He struck out one and got two more easy outs to clean up the mess, continuing his streak of scoreless appearances.
Old friend alert: Jazz Chisholm also appears on this list.
It took the Arizona shortstop a while to identify what was going on with his swing at the plate. His knee, which had been giving him issues and forced him to miss much of spring training, was now pain-free and not giving him any issues, so that was not the reason for his struggles -at least, so he thought. Then Ahmed realized that he had fallen into a habit of compensation. His body was still reacting as it had when he was trying to minimize the discomfort from his knee. Now, Ahmed feels he has corrected those mechanical tweaks and hopes it gets him back on the right track at the plate.
Other Baseball News
It seems Jacob deGrom has gotten tired of taking the loss or a no-decision despite pitching lights-out start after start after start. The Mets’ ace decided enough was enough. Not only did deGrom strike out 15 in the game against the Nationals, he went 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored, and an RBI. deGrom’s offense alone was enough to overcome the Nationals, given what he did to them on the mound.
Does anyone still remember when people were starting to write off the Oakland A’s after a 0-6 start?
Twenty-two years ago to the day, Fernando Tatis hit two grand slams in one inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers. On the anniversary of that event, his son rolled into Chavez Ravine and took future Hall of Fame pitcher Clayton Kershaw deep twice.