After a brutal early game stretch, Merrill Kelly is showing the form of last year that had many fans intrigued about his ability going forward. Unfortunately for him, he needed surgery to correct Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, an injury that has changed the forecasts of many pitchers before him. But if his last 4 starts are any indication, Kelly is showing why the team picked up his option for 2021.
Unfortunately for Kelly, the offense has continued its roller-coaster ways after carrying the team to an above .500 record. After 23 hits and 16 runs in the first two games of the series, the D-backs offense has cooled tremendously, with 12 hits and 3 runs in the final two games to spoil the chances at revenge after the Marlins swept a 3-game series in Miami a couple of weeks ago.
Through the first 5 innings, Kelly skirted around trouble to allow just a single run in the 3rd. A leadoff double from Mangeruis Sierra set the table for a Miguel Rojas single to score him and give the Marlins their first run of the game, but after attempting to advance on the throw, Rojas was thrown out and the threat ended there.
While the Marlins came up clutch with timely hits, the offense couldn’t do much of anything against Trevor Rogers, the hard-throwing lefty who has been excellent through his first 7 starts, with a 1.89 ERA backed with large walk totals and even higher strikeout numbers.
Despite the low hit totals, the D-backs had runners reach in each of the first 3 innings, including a runner in scoring position in the 3rd, but they were quickly erased as easily as they reached.
The D-backs finally struck back in the 5th, as Tim Locastro doubled to right-center. A sac-bunt from Kelly followed, and a Pavin Smith fly-out scored Locastro easily from 3rd. A little small ball to tie things up at 1-1.
The 6th saw the Marlins string together a couple of singles, as Dickerson and Duvall allowed a Marlins runner in scoring position and with two outs Brian Anderson singled to right, scoring Dickerson from third after he advanced on a fielder’s choice.
Disaster struck again in the 6th, this time in the form of an injury to Asdrubal Cabrera as he was stealing (???) 2nd. About 2/3rds of the way to 2nd, Cabrera, being 36 years old, seized up and could not slow his momentum as he awkwardly continued to the base. He tumbled face first and was in obvious pain, needing help from the trainers to leave the field. As we see in other sports, non-contact injuries are usually pretty bad, so let’s hope it’s just a hamstring sprain rather than an Achilles or something vital.
As Lovullo is prone to do, he trusted Kelly to start the 7th inning and got decent results to start, with a lineout to lead things off, but after falling behind 3-0 to pinch hitter Garrett Cooper, Kelly ended up walking the batter to end his night. The bullpen immediately sucked it up.
Chris Devenski allowed 4 straight hits, a double and three singles to push the Marlins advantage to 5-1, and on a night where the D-backs only collected 5 hits, that lead was safe.
With both sides of the ball contributing to negative WPA on the night, not many standouts could be found. Asdrubal Cabrera with his two hits led the way with a +.078 WPA. On the other side, Chris Devenski’s 4 hits and 2 runs allowed equaled a -.234 WPA.
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Comment of the Thread goes to Jack. Who knew he was a meme-hound?
The D-backs finish out their homestand with a 3-game series against the Nationals, let’s hope they’re up to the task this time. Thanks for reading and let me know what you think.