So Corbin Martin, who this time last week I said was definitely worth having a look at in his second start....wasn’t, so much. To be fair, half of the innings he pitched, the second and the fourth, were quite good—he only needed 23 pitches to get through those innings. The first inning and the third, though, were, well, problematic.
Martin surrendered a leadoff single to right to Giants leadoff hitter Mike Yastzremsi to begin the game, but two fly balls to right later, it looked like he was on his way. But, as sometimes happens with him apparently, he lost the strike zone for a couple of ABs, walking Brandon Belt on five pitches and then Evan Longoria on four, loading the bases. Brandon Crawford then worked the count full before doubling to right, which emptied the bases again. That was all the damage though, in that frame, but Martin had also thrown 32 pitches at that point. 3-0 Giants
Giants starter Kevin Gausman seemed kinda sloppy as well, though, in the bottom half, walking Ketel Marte and then surrendering a Pavin Smith single on a line drive to right that was sufficiently hard-hit that Marte was only able to advance to 2nd. Still, two on and nobody out seemed like about as good as we could hope for. Sadly, however, Eduardo Escobar struck out, David Peralta grounded into the shift, forcing Smith at 2nd and barely escaping the twin killing. It didn’t matter, though, as Carson Kelly, struck out looking on three pitches in his first AB since the broken toe sent him to the IL.
Martin seemed to have regained his footing, setting down the side in order on only 12 pitches in the top of the second. Meanwhile, after Josh Rojas struck out on three pitches to start the bottom of the second, Nick Ahmed hit a double into the left field corner, which was very nice to see and gave us a runner in scoring position with less than two outs for the second time in two innings. Andrew Young, playing second tonight, then struck out on three pitches (are you sensing a pattern here?), and Martin struck out as well, though to be fair he actually managed to see five pitches against Gausman.
Sadly, the wheels came off for Martin again in the third, as he walked Buster Posey on four pitches to start the half, then gave up a ground-rule double to Giants left fielder Alex Dickerson. Brandon Belt struck out, which was nice, but then Evan Longoria launched a very long ball to pretty much straightaway center field. Martin retired the next two batters on all of three pitches, which was good, but more damage had been done. 6-0 Giants
In the bottom of the third, we put another runner in scoring position, this time thanks to a two-out Eduardo Escobar double down the right field line. Needless to say, though, we couldn’t get him home.
Martin pitched another quick and relatively clean top of the fourth, giving up a leadoff single to right but then sitting the Giants down, using only 11 pitches. My takeaway from this? When Martin’s right, he still looks really good. When he’s not? Not so much. He’s still working on his consistency, and tonight, whether he was going to be right or not was kind of a coin flip from inning to inning. So. Not great, but I’m still trying to be optimistic.
In the bottom of the frame, we once again put a runner in scoring position with less than two outs thanks to a one-out Josh Rojas single to shallow center, followed by a Nick Ahmed walk. Young then struck out for the second time, and Domingo Leyba, pinch hitting for Martin, struck out as well.
And basically, we can lather, rinse, and repeat after that. Riley Smith took the mound for the top of the fifth, pitched around a two-out single to put up a pretty easy zero. Pavin Smith’s one-out single in the bottom of the fifth was wasted. Riley Smith pitched around a one-out single in the top of the sixth, for another reasonably easy zero. Nick Ahmed hit a two-out double into the gap in left center in the bottom of the sixth, but the rest of that part of the order struck out around him, so again, no dice.
Smith pitched the seventh, and gave up a run, but it hardly seemed to matter. He gave us three quality innings in relief. That was nice. 7-0 Giants
Ketel Marte singled with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but that inning’s hit went nowhere either. Kevin Ginkel came on to pitch the top of the eighth, and despite a two-out double to Yastzremski, escaped unscathed. Meanwhile, Carson Kelly singled to shallow center with one out in the bottom half to account for that inning’s hit.
Ginkel also pitched the ninth, and the bullpen was quiet throughout, despite Ginkel surrendering a gapper triple to Dickerson to lead off the inning, and then a single that brought him home. Still, it was only one more run in garbage time, and despite giving up one run in two innings of work, Ginkel’s ERA actually went down. Such is the state of our bullpen, presently. 8-0 Giants
Our final hit of the night, and our fourth double, came with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, thanks to pinch-hitter Josh Reddick’s long line drive to center, which wound up being another useless double off the wall. Pavin Smith struck out thereafter, just to make sure that none of our RISPs scored tonight. At least it was over.
Win Probability Added, courtesy of FanGraphs
Umberto Eco, Foucault’s Pendulum: Nick Ahmed (3 AB, 2 2B, 1 BB, + 6.1% WPA)
Dan Brown, The DaVinci Code: Corbin Martin (4 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, -33.1% WPA)
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was a sparse Gameday Thread tonight, as many of us, I suspect, are feeling rather demoralized, and not unreasonably so. Both DC and Nik had noped out by the bottom of the third, which cut into the usual number very substantially. 19 commenters supplied 133 comments, with me and TheRealRamona leading the way with 23 and 17 respectively. I was recapping this bastard, so I had to stick around, and Ramona is my sweetie, so she was good enough to keep me company. Thank you, love. All present and accounted for were: AzDbackfanInDc, AzRattler, Dano_in_Tucson, Diamondhacks, GuruB, Jack Sommers, Jim McLennan, JoeCB1991, Makakilo, Michael McDermott, MikeMono, MrMrrbi, NikT77, Schilling2001, Snake_Bitten, Xerostomia, kilnborn, since_98, therealramona
Two comments went Sedona Red tonight, one a lovely image by Snake_Bitten of a puppy trying to take a 12-pack of Bud Light for itself, and a comment by Jack that was more of a contextual joke about the Suns playoff game also underway at that time. So once again, by editorial fiat I’m going to pick a winner that is neither of those two. The CotG goes to Snake_Bitten, therefore, because it was posted around the top of the eighth, and I think it perfectly and succinctly captured the fundamental basis of how many of us are feeling right now as D-Backs fans:
Yes, it does. It does so much. And here we are.
So tomorrow we’re going for ten in a row. Or rather, hoping we don’t go there, because ten losses in a row is a bad thing. Merrill Kelly takes the mound against the always interesting San Francisco righty Johnny Cueto. Same bat time and channel as tonight; first pitch is 6:40pm AZ time. Hope you can join us.
As always, thanks for reading, and go D-Backs!