The Diamondbacks lost to the Padres 4-2 tonight in a game they had numerous chances to win. They went 1 for 12 with Runners in Scoring position after going 1 for 9 in those situations last night.
Merrill Kelly got the start, and probably pitched a little better than his final line indicated. He cruised through the first inning, but was victim to some bad luck in the 2nd. He induced two ground balls towards shortstop from Eric Hosmer and Manny Machado. Both could possibly have been out but Josh Rojas came up short. They both would have been excellent plays, and were scored as infield singles. We have been spoiled by Nick Ahmed who probably would have made the first one at least. Eventually Hosmer did come around to score on a sac fly giving the Padres their first run.
In the 3rd Kelly issued back to back one out walks to Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado. He almost got out of it when Carson Kelly nailed Tatis at 3rd on a double steal attempt. But he made a mistake to Eric Hosmer , giving him a fastball that got way to much of the plate, and Hosmer hit it into the right field bleachers, making it 3-0.
There were numerous long AB’s, and Kelly had to throw 94 pitches just to get through 4+ innings. He didn’t pitch poorly, the Padres just kept fouling off pitches and taking balls just off the plate. He acknowledged that the long AB’s and 20+ pitch innings in each of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings took a lot out of him:
I think it definitely had an effect later. I was happy I was able to throw up a zero in the 4th. .....but like I said, that many pitches early in the game is going to take something out of you no matter who you are.
Indeed, he was throwing 93-94 MPH sinkers and four seamers early in the first and second, and by the time he finished his outing he was barely topping 90-91.
His final line was : 4 IP, 5 Hits, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K’s and 1 HR.
At the plate the D-backs made Blake Snell work and got him out of the game in the 5th, but they just couldn’t score off him. They had two on in the 2nd when Asdrubal Cabrera and Carson Kelly hit one out singles. But Josh Rojas and Wyat Mathisen flew out to end that threat.
In the third inning Tim Locastro walked and Ketel Marte reached on an error, but Christian Walker and Eduardo Escobar struck out to end the inning.
They had two on and nobody out in the 4th, thanks to a Cabrera walk and another base hit from Kelly, but Rojas flew out, Mathisen struck out, and Merrill Kelly K’d as well to end it.
In the 5th a one out double by Marte was stranded as Walker and Escobar flew out.
The D-backs finally broke through in the 6th. David Peralta had a pinch hit single, but the next pinch hitter Pavin Smith grounded into a double play . With two outs Tim Locastro singled, and then stole 2b, for his 27th consecutive steal to begin his career. Ketel Marte came up and did this.
That made it 3-2 and it looked like the D-backs might come back. Yoan Lopez and Kevin Ginkel both delivered scoreless if somewhat shaky innings. But Taylor Clarke gave up a run in 7th when Eric Hosmer hit an RBI single with first base open. They probably should have walked him. He’s been red hot. That gave the Padres a little more cushion, not that they needed it.
The Diamondbacks had one more chance in 9th. With one out David Peralta reached on an error by Tatis, and Josh VanMeter hit a groundball single into left. But Locastro struck out on a curve ball and Marte grounded out to 2b to end the game.
There were some defensive highlights. Kelly nabbing two baserunners at third was great to see after his throwing struggles last year.
STOP TRYING TO RUN ON CARSON! pic.twitter.com/UMFO1qiTGn— Bally Sports Arizona (@BallySportSAZ) April 3, 2021
There was a good play by Rojas on a ball to center that Marte almost got hurt on. It looked like he jammed his arm or rolled his wrist on a sinking liner. (He later hit the homer said he was fine after the game. )
Rojas, who had several shaky plays earlier in the game redeemed himself on this play, hustling out to centerfield to pick up the ball and fire a strike to Kelly to nab the runner at home to save a run and end the inning.
I asked Torey after the game if he felt things were moving a little quickly for Josh out there. He didn’t think so, and felt that on a couple of those plays shifting had him out of position to make the plays. He reminded me that Josh is the BACKUP shortstop, filling in for the injured Nick Ahmed.
The teams go back at it again tomorrow at 5:40 P.M. Caleb Smith will start against righty Joe Musgrove.
Despite a double and the two run homer, Ketel Marte’s WPA for the night registered just +.14
Since he was the lone guy on offense to get anything done, it feels like it should have been more
Kelly’s -17 WPA was low man on the totem poll, followed closely by Josh Rojas at -15.
Roll Call isn’t working. This game took 3:53 to play 8 1⁄2 innings. I’m going to bed. ;)