I have had this problem of late in which I know what type of angle I want to take for a recap after a few innings, but then circumstances change for the worst quickly. From that point everything goes out the window. Tonight is one of those nights. I was really fired up after a highly successful Brute Side Chat with D’backs organist, Bobby Freeman. I hardly cared that Matt Peacock was facing
Curtain Klogshaw Clayton Kershaw. Besides, every time Clayton starts he looks like he just got picked up off the L.A streets after spending seven days behind an In-n-Out dumpster. Just grimy. We got this.
Much to my surprise, and pleasure, Peacock matched Kershaw pitch by pitch through the first three innings. In fact, both of them had not allowed a hit through three. The only baserunner against Kershaw to that point was due to him hitting Tim Locastro with the first pitch of his at bat. If you have not checked the sky lately, it is, in fact, still blue. Peacock had a disgusting, arm action slider working for him that made Dodger scum look foolish.
Arizona got to Kershaw’s musty hat first in the fourth inning. Kershaw walked Josh Rojas with one out to set the stage for Eduardo Escobar who flew out to the left field warning track in the first inning. This time around Escobar squared Kershaw up perfectly taking him yard to centerfield to give Arizona a 2-to-0 lead.
Los Angeles cut that deficit in half in the bottom part of the frame. Their first hit of the game was a Max Muncy double to right field. Yoshi Tsutsugo brought him in with a two out single to left field.
The turning point in this game, for me, came in the fifth inning. Nick Ahmed hit a long double off the centerfield wall to begin that inning. Mookie Betts had a play on it but miss-timed his jump. Stephen Vogt advanced him to third with a ground out to follow. Matt Peacock laid down a well executed sacrifice bunt which allowed Ahmed to score when Kershaw’s throw back to first did not reach the target. But hold the phone... Peacock was running on the infield grass, and the throw hit him on the leg. Therefore, he was appropriately called out for interference, so Ahmed had to return to third base. Torey Lovullo felt it was appropriate to argue until he was blue in the face, but the replay indicated the correct call was made. Lovullo certainly did not have the luxury to see that replay before he went out to argue, but in my opinion it appeared that he was trying to motivate his team. They had lost twelve of their last fifteen games, so he will take anything he can get at this point and was ultimately ejected for his argument. And so Arizona failed to score Ahmed from third.
Regardless, Matt Peacock stuck to his path and retired the Dodgers in order in the bottom of the fifth with the help of a double play. Kershaw completed the sixth inning and was lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the inning. He was only at 83 pitches at that point, so when Dave Roberts informed him that his night was over in the dugout he was understandably upset. He was enjoying his time and did not want to go back to sleeping along Wilshire Boulevard. I get it. Peacock gave up a lead off single to pinch hitter Luke Raley, and a one out single to Max Muncy. Taylor Clarke took the first call out of the bullpen and promptly set down Justin Turner and Yoshi Tsutsugo to end the inning.
The game got away from the Diamondbacks in the bottom of the seventh inning. Back-to-back walks to Chris Taylor and Gavin Lux courtesy of Taylor Clarke and Joe Mantiply, respectively, put the go-ahead run on base for Los Angeles. A pair of misplays in right field to follow would give the Dodgers the lead. Albert Pujols came off the bench to pinch hit, so the outfield was playing deep to respect his power despite his undeniable decline as a baserunner. Because of this, he hit a shallow fly ball to right field that fell between Josh Rojas and Pavin Smith. Pavin probably should have made the play, but the ball clanked off his glove which loaded the bases with no outs.
Will Smith pinch hit for reliever Joe Kelly and hit a liner to Rojas in right field. Had Rojas made the catch, which was almost certain he should have, it was a coin toss for Taylor to successfully score to tie the game. Rojas was too occupied focusing on that scoring opportunity, so he did not see the ball into his glove. Now instead of the game being tied or with Arizona still in ahead, the Dodgers were leading 4-to-2 because Taylor & Lux were able to score on the misplay.
The only other topic of note in this one is that we had our first Ketel Marte sighting since his hamstring injury on April 7th. He took a pinch hit appearance in the top of the eighth and reached based on a force out at second, after replay review. It was a close play at first which is not ideal with him coming off of a leg injury, and it was obvious he was not running at 100%. Great to see him back, but I do not want to see the team push it too early with him and risk another injury.
Kenley Jansen retired the Diamondbacks in order in the ninth to hand them their fourteenth loss in their last eighteen games. In this series against Log Angeles, they have only four runs on nine hits.
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Not the most rec’d comment of the night, but right in line with a message you’ll hear from the latest Brust Side Chat with Bobby Freeman. At least we have baseball. Just enjoy every night we can say that.