I have to admit, this was a deeply silly baseball game. It was possibly even a stupid baseball game. But the Diamondbacks won, and so I am enormously happy. It’s also 11pm and I’m just getting started on writing this recap, so there you are.
The evening began with a 51-minute rain delay, which is always a joy. DC noted in the gameday thread, though, that there was an ongoing police chase taking place on TV in Southern California (where else?), so that kept me entertained while the whole weather thing was happening. It was actually the first one of those I’ve ever watched, and it was weirdly fascinating and transfixing. I mean, once you’re in a car in SoCal, running from the cops, what’s your endgame? Why not just pull over and put your hands up, because it’s not like you’re going to get away. Eventually, the person of interest rammed into a semi, and then put his hands up and surrendered. Seems like he could have saved a lot of labor, gasoline, and negative carbon footprint by making other choices. But, well, what can you do?
Anyway, yes, the baseball. Tonight we had #5 starter Luke Weaver going up against the Colorado Rockies’ #1 starter, German Marquez, and frankly, I wasn’t looking forward to it. Weaver was, if I recall correctly, very good in his initial starts with the D-Backs back in 2019. Then he got hurt, and missed a big chunk of the middle of the season, and when he came back from the IL, he kinda sucked. Last year, which was a deeply weird year across all of baseball, he continued to suck, and sucked even more, in fact. So I wasn’t looking forward to this.
The first four innings went quickly and quietly for the Diamondbacks lineup, as we—despite the fact that Marquez, in his opening day start, had walked 6 in his opening day start vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers—didn’t have patient at-bats, and didn’t manage to make any noise at all. Eduardo Escobar managed a single off the glove of Trevor Story in the second, but other than that, there was nothing doing. The most pitches any Diamondback hitter saw from Marquez in the first four frames was a seven-pitch at-bat from Ketel Marte in the fourth, which ended in a groundout to third. Through four innings, Marquez had only thrown 43 pitches. That’s bad.
Meanwhile, despite a 20-pitch first inning, Luke Weaver was doing...sort of okay? Aside from a few unfortunate at-bats, he was pitching to contact, and he wound up with a broadly respectable outing. I mean, okay, he did give up four hits, and three of them were solo dingers, but he didn’t walk anyone, and despite the dingers he managed to keep the team in the game.
So now we come to the top of the fifth inning, when our boyz actually started to put together some good at-bats. Asdrubel Cabrera led off the inning by working a five-pitch walk. After outs by Escobar and Carson Kelly, newcomer Geraldo Perdomo worked a six-pitch walk, putting runners on first and second. Granted, there were two outs at this point and the pitcher’s spot was coming up, but lo and behold if Luke Weaver didn’t help his own cause was a bloop single into center that allowed Cabrera to score from second. 3-1 Colorado
The bottom of the fifth was quiet, as Weaver sat down the Rockies in order, sitting down the 8, 9, and 1 batters.
Then some business happened.
Marte led off the inning with a single to left. Three pitches later, Christian Walker turned on a hanging Marquez single and launched it halfway up the left field bleachers. It was a thing of beauty. 3-3 TIE
Weaver then retired the first two he faced in the bottom of the sixth, but was yanked for lefty long-relief guy Alex Young. I would have liked Weaver to complete six innings, especially since he was only at 82 pitches, despite his long first inning, but it was not to be. Young battled through an 11-pitch at-bat against Charlie Blackmon and his beard, but wound up notching a strikeout. So all was good. Sorta.
Perdomo led off the top of the seventh against some Rockies pitcher named Almonte, but really, who cares? Being a reliever in the Colorado bullpen has to be one of the worst gigs in baseball. Seriously. Anyway. Perdomo managed to notch his first major league hit on a bloop single to shallow left center that was another example of the Rockies’ clown-show outfield performing as it does. Then Steven Vogt came to the plate, having been swapped in for Kelly in a double-switch with the Weaver hook, and turned on an Almonte changeup, depositing it into the right field seats. 5-3 D-BACKS
Of course, as we all know, a relatively slim lead at Coors Field isn’t exactly safe, and so it proved to be this evening. Young gave up a one-out homer to Rockies’ third baseman Ryan McMahon (McMahon’s third solo homer of the game), narrowing the gap. 5-4 B-BACKS
Then, after a brief Stefan Crichton experience, Chris Devenski came out to pitch the ninth, and surrendered a two-out dinger to Rockies’ center fielder Sam Hillard that tied it up. So we were going to extras. 5-5 TIE
And here’s where things get silly, or, if you prefer, stupid. Christian Walker started on 2nd in the tenth, advanced to third on a Peralta sac-fly, and scored on a Cabrera knock that went between the legs of Rockies first baseman CJ Cron and wound up in left field. Yoan Lopez then came in for the bottom of the tenth, and gave up a run-scoring leadoff double to tie things up again. He managed to avoid any more damage, but, well, the game would go on. The eleventh inning happened, but no runs were scored, so we need not discuss it further, aside from mentioning that Matt Peacock wound up making his MLB debut as the new Diamondbacks pitcher. 6-6 TIE
Steven Vogt started out the twelfth on second, advanced to third on a David Peralta single, and crossed the plate on a Cabrera double down the right field line. Thing is, the Rockies answered back in the bottom of the frame by scoring Chris Owings with a groundout that advanced him to third and then a sacf fly that scored him. 7-7 TIE
So onward to the thirteenth inning, the luckiest of all innings.
Eduardo Escobar started on second, was advanced to third by a Tim Locastro (yeah, he was in the game by this point...sorry, my scorecard had gone all to hell) sac fly, and scored on a Vogt single to left, another clown-show hit. Then Matt Peacock, who was pretty much our last pitcher, hit for himself in his first major league game, and clown-showed another single to left. Ketel Marte, big damn hero that he is, then doubled into the center field gap, bringing home both Peacock and Vogt. The Rockies scored a single run in the bottom half of the frame, providing the lone blemish on Peacock’s debut, but after a very long and sometimes silly walk, we wound up good in the end. 10-8 D-BACKS
Win Probablility Added (courtesy of FanGraphs.com)
King: Asdrubel Cabrera, +61.0 WPA added
Queen: Stephen Vogt, +44.6 WPA added
Jack: ketel Marte, +21.6 WPA added
Deuce: Eduardo Escobar, -20.3 WPA added
It wound up being a nice and lively Gameday thread, with 420 comments by 34 contributors, when all was said and done, with Michael McDermott leading the way with a whopping 45 comments. All present and accounted for were: AZDovs11, Augdogs, AzDbackfanInDc, BALibby, DBacksEurope, DORRITO, Dano_in_Tucson, DeadManG, Diamondhacks, EdTheRed99, GuruB, HeathKBar, Jack Sommers, Jim McLennan, JoeCB1991, Justin27, Keegan Thompson, Michael McDermott, Muu, NikT77, Oldenschoole, Rockkstarr12, Schilling2001, Smurf1000, Snake_Bitten, chronicles_of_the_desert, edbigghead, gzimmerm, kilnborn, makattack71, redsedona, since_98, snekman91, therealramona
And amusingly, the CotG goes to kilnborn, but it won’t actually entirely fit on my screen so that I can capture it, but let’s see what we can do...
Okay. You get the idea. Nicely memed, kilnborn.
So join us tomorrow (well, today, now), for the second game of the series, as Diamondbacks “ace” Madison Bumgarner goes up against some guy who, honestly, at nearly 12:30 am, I can’t be bothered to look up. Some guy, who pitches, for the Rockies. Antonio something, maybe. I dunno. Anyway. First pitch is 5:40pm AZ time. Hope to see you! Go D-Backs!