“Seems like no matter who the D-backs throw out there, the Padres have their number.” Those were the words of Steven Burt in yesterday’s recap. Today the D-Backs threw out Taylor Widener and the Padres will remember that for at least a couple of days:
What a performance from Taylor in his 1st-ever start. pic.twitter.com/AkOUKXAqzT— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) April 4, 2021
Taylor Widener made his first start ever and threw 81 pitches, 53 for strikes, and was the main proponent of today’s 3-1 win. After 6 good innings from Widener it were Crichton, Young, Soria, Ginkel and Devenski who were able to secure the win in the 3 remaining innings, allowing just one run to the Padres. Offensively the D-Backs went 1 for 10 in RISP, but the at bats were not bad and they were able to knock-out starter Paddack after 4 innings and 89 pitches. Some early runs finally did the trick and allow us to taste a sweet, sweeeet victory over the Padres,
It can be a bit overwhelming to play the Padres at the moment. At least to us fans. After seeing Yu Darvish, Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove and a scorching hot Hosmer in a really good hitting lineup, it is easy to get somewhat demotivated at times. “Arizona Sucks!”, they yelled the other day at Petco Park (yes, I heard that too, red_leader, in the condensed game).
It is understandable people say that about the Diamondbacks, although it hurts that it is your team, and it becomes just plain stupid if it comes from a fan whose team has literally sucked for the last 10 years.
But it is what it is: the Padres are hot. When I searched in the image banks for the lead art for this article with the word “diamondbacks”, I got almost only hits with pictures of Padres’ players in today’s camouflage uniform. But Torey Lovullo is right in approaching each game as just another game. And like Archie Bradley explained the other day on The Chris Rose Rotation, a team can be much better but you have got to take pride out of beating them whenever you can.
If there was a time to take a win from the San Diego Padres: no better day than today. Chris Paddack is a good pitcher, but he is not Darvish, Snell or Musgrove. The Padres hitting lineup does not know Taylor Widener (who does, in all honesty, beside us and the prospect watchers) and after 3 wins, even top teams can get sloppy and a bit lenient.
That was at least the sensation I got in the first innings. The Padres were being really aggressive towards Widener in the first inning: Taylor needed just 5 pitches to get Tatis (fly out on first pitch), Cronenworth (grounder to Widener after 3 pitches) and Machado (really, a bunt hit after just one pitch?) out.
By then we had already taken the lead, unbelievable as it might seem: Marte walks in the first at bat of the game, Walker hits a line drive for a single and the Freight Train just gets his bat to a change up at the end of the strike zone that nearly stays in down the right foul line for a triple, bringing in both Marte and Walker without a problem. 2-0 lead after just 1 inning.
In the second inning Taylor Widener runs into some early trouble. He gives up a double to Hosmer and a single to Pham. Myers and Campusano both strikeout on 3 pitches but with the pitcher coming up soon, Lovullo decides to give an intentional 2 out walk to Profar. With the bases now loaded Widener is off with his pitches against Paddack but gets him to strike out looking, although he was a bit lucky with the calls from home plate umpire Jose Navas.
In the top of the third inning we get yet another view of how much $340,000,000 can cost: Rojas leads off the inning with a walk, followed up by a Marte single. After Walker strikes out, Peralta hits a grounder to Hosmer who tosses the ball to Tatis who makes the out at second but then yanks the ball way off to first to Paddack to make a double play that probably would not have been made anyhow. The ball passes Paddack and Rojas takes advantage coming home from 3rd base. 3-0 D-Backs!
Widener keeps pitching well, although at times he has some very wild pitches that require Carson Kelly to show his catcher skills. In the 6th inning it looks like Widener will get to his end; some wild pitches and hard hits tend to believe the pitcher is done for today, although we still get a glimpse of his terrific slider (the slider was great all day), like the one he launches to Hosmer in the 6th inning for a strikeout.
At times Widener is also helped by some good defence from our Diamondbacks. Perdomo shows in the 4th inning why he is praised for his defensive prowess and Pavin Smith makes a good running catch in the 5th inning. Rojas also makes a great play at 2nd base in the 7th inning, although by then Widener has already left the game.
After a terrific play in the 4th inning, Geraldo Perdomo makes acquaintance with the big leagues in the 7th inning. When Crichton is pitching in relief, Perdomo botches a ball and can’t make the out at second but also isn’t able to pick up the ball and throw Tatis out at first. After that error Crichton is relieved for Alex Young who gets Cronenworth to fly out for the final out that inning.
In the 8th inning it is time for Joakim Soria who gets Machado (fly ball) and Hosmer (grounder) out on just two pitches. But when Soria makes the out on Hosmer at first he apparently steps awkwardly on the bag and injures himself. There is a mound visit but they decide to continue pitching. Soria pitches wild and both Pham and Myers get a free pass with Pham even reaching 3rd base on a wild pitch from Soria. The Mexican leaves the game and Ginkel gets the final out on 3 strikes.
Joakim Soria suffered what appeared to be a left calf strain and will return to Phoenix for imaging— Jack Sommers (@shoewizard59) April 5, 2021
In the bottom 9th Devenski is allowed to close out the game. Profar and Kim are quickly taken care off, but Tatis homers on his first pitch. Cronenworth is then thrown out at first after a check swing and...D-Backs win for the first time this season!
Bells and whistles
Here’s a four-pack of post-game comments. First, there’s skipper Torey Lovullo, then newly anointed team ace Taylor Widener, his battery mate Carson Kelly, and today’s closer (tomorrow? Who can tell!) Chris Devenski. [Audio link]
Click for details at Fangraphs.com
Evil Dead 2: Taylor Widener, +30.7%
Army of Darkness: David Peralta, +21.0%
The remake: Asdrubal Cabrera, -7.3%
There was a Gameday Thread, and people were in it. The roll-call tool isn’t working though - got an email in to the tech gods about that. Outside of ed’s COVID meme, nothing got more than two recs, and I’m not going there. :)
Day off tomorrow for the D-backs, as they fly to Colorado to begin a series against the Rockies who are similarly 1-3. The fight for the cellar begins! Thanks to DbacksEurope for the recap, as he becomes the first person to describe a win this season...