I can imagine Jim’s reaction when I wrote him: “I might need a back-up if the game goes extra innings”. Maybe he thought I was being sarcastic. That would be the most logical explanation for making that remark. Only I wasn’t. I don’t know what had gotten in to me when I wrote that. Extra innings? Jeez. We got close though, but unfortunately it was too little too late and the Diamondbacks suffered yet another loss; now 17 in a row and counting.
Tough dads love survival. The D-Backs are in survival mode. Thus tough dads love the D-Backs. There are three basic steps to survive a game:
- Avoid perfect game. This is like drinking water. Basic need. The longer it takes to achieve this goal during a game, the fuzzier everything becomes. It is like our body requesting water, but we don’t have it. The D-Backs got their water in the 2nd inning.
- Avoid shutout. If you don’t avoid a shut out, you will never win. The body needs some solid food. Like the poor souls in prison that got their water and bread. The D-Backs are poor souls and after their water they need to get some bread. The D-Backs got their bread in the 4th inning.
- Avoid blowout. Well, we are getting into luxury territories now. We have the basic water and some solid food. Now we need something hot with maybe a bit of flavour to calm our mind: a broth. The D-Backs got their broth in the 8th inning.
Conclusion: the Diamondbacks survived today’s game. If you survive for a longer period of time, you might be able to achieve something bigger. Like a close game or maybe even a win.
D-Backs avoid a perfect game (inning 1 & 2).
Today’s Father’s Day TBD or TBA, however you want to call it, proved to be...Alex Young! Yes, I was just as excited as you were. Tony Gonsolin takes the mound for the Dodgers. He is a cat lover. It doesn’t make any sense to mention this here in this context, but does anything in this D-Backs season make sense?
The game started well: Taylor flies out and Pollock grounds out to Ahmed, who makes a nice throw to Cabrera at first to get the former D-Back. Justin Turner, however, singles on a change up that gets too much of the plate and Pujols hits against the shift. A wild pitch advances both to third and second. We start to fear, but Burns grounds out to Ahmed to end the threat.
In the top of the second inning a weird hopper from Lux bumps over VanMeter so he gets to first base but Lux is later nabbed by Varsho, our starting catcher today, at second base when he tries to steal base in a poor attempt. All other Dodgers strike, fly or ground out.
In the bottom of the second we all cheer when Josh Reddick singles into center field. Perfect game over. First goal achieved. Next objective: avoid shutout.
D-Backs avoid a shutout (inning 3 & 4).
The good news in the second part of this recap is that the D-Backs avoided a shutout. But things will get really ugly anyhow.
After striking out Gonsolin to lead of the third inning, Taylor singles into left and Pollock walks. Young then gives up a single to Turner into center field that brings in Taylor while Pollock takes second. Dodgers score, 1-0 down. Herges makes a mound visit. Young immediately shits his pants and serves a homer to Pujols who deposits a sinker into left field. Dodgers score 3, 4-0 down. The bleeding doesn’t stop here. Young issues a walk to Burns. Souza gets a Father’s Day gift in the middle of the plate and launches a line drive to right where Reddick isn’t able to stop the ball getting away from him. Souza triples and Burns runs in. Dodgers score, 5-0 down. Lux and Barnes can’t keep the party going.
Alex Young doesn’t come out for the fourth inning and is replaced by Corbin Martin. Martin gives up a double to pitcher Tony Gonsolin. Martin also sees Chris Taylor bunting his ass to 1st and Gonsolin’s to 3rd. With still no outs, AJ Pollock doubles and brings in the others. Dodgers score 2, 7-0 down. Martin walks Turner. Fortunately he sees Pujols line out to right, but he then also walks Burns to load the bases. The baseball God’s have seen enough and let Souza ground into a double play to end the suffering for now.
But we end the fourth inning on a positive note. To start the bottom fourth, Ketel hits a double between Pollock and Taylor. Escobar almost hits a homer to bring 2 runs in, but it just runs foul in right field. But immediately after that he hits a splitter above the zone into right field and brings Marte in. D-Backs score, 7-1 down. And we have achieved goal number 2: avoid the shutout. Next objective: avoid the blowout.
Three Josh are too much
In the top of the fifth inning Martin continues where he left off in the fourth: the first two batters reach base when Lux and Barnes single. Then the pitcher Cleavinger, who had entered the game in the previous inning to replace Gonsolin, lays down a nice bunt. VanMeter makes a bad throw to first, hitting Cleavinger but also making it impossible for Rojas to catch the ball. It rolls away allowing Lux to score easily. Dodgers score, 8-1 down. You cannot have three Josh on the field. Josh VanMeter, Josh Rojas, Josh Reddick...that is a Josh too much and that leads to these mishaps. Taylor strikes out, but Pollock doubles on a grounder into center field bringing home Barnes. Dodgers score, 9-1 down. Turner and Pujols fly out to right to end the inning.
D-Backs avoid a blowout (inning 6 to 8).
Martin finally is able to put up a zero in the sixth inning and sees the D-Backs claw one back in the bottom. Ketel Marte gets his second hit of the game with another double, this time into right. Peralta is able to single after two previous choppers to the pitcher. Ketel reaches third and is brought home by Josh Reddick on a single into left field. D-Backs score, 9-2 down.
In the eighth inning Buchter shows that not all bullpen is terrible and achieves a 1-2-3 inning. The Dodgers bring out Uceta who issues two walks (Marte, Cabrera) and allows a single (Peralta) to load the bases for Josh Reddick. Reddick loves the booing Dodgers and hits a single into center and brings home both Marte and Peralta. D-Backs score 2, 9-4 down. With Cabrera at third and Reddick at first Varsho strikes out. Still another good opportunity to window dress the score with Christian Walker at the plate. The struggling slugger (after “the reliable reliever” this should be the headline of my next article) hits a single into left and Cabrera crosses home plate. D-Backs score, 9-5 down. That is it for Uceta and he is relieved by González. Now the Diamondbacks’ fans really start making some noice. Vogt is able to hit a ball past first base and beats out Pujols in what was an old man’s race to first base. With the bases loaded, González walks in a run giving a free pass to VanMeter. D-Backs score, 9-6 down. Ketel Marte is up with the bases still loaded and he singles on the first pitch, scoring Walker and Vogt while VanMeter reaches third. D-Backs score, 9-8 down. Josh Rojas, however, grounds out to first to end the inning. Like I said before, a Josh too much. Nevertheless, blowout avoided, so third goal achieved.
The next stage after survival: keep it close (top 9).
The excitement with which the ninth inning started was soon gone. Stefan Crichton starts the inning giving up a single to Barnes and then allowing a walk to Beaty. After an umpire review Beaty is called out at second on a Taylor groundout and Ramírez replaces Crichton. He gets Will Smith to strike out and McKinstry to fly out. Chase Field explodes. That is how events after having survived feel: vibrant, energetic and extravagant.
Trying to skip all other phases to get straight into the Walhalla: impossible (bottom 9).
Before you win a game, you need to take a lead, hold it and save it to win it. The D-Backs tried to get straight into the Walhalla, but reliable reliever example Kenley Jansen proved to be too tough an opponent and set Peralta, Cabrera and Reddick down in order. It was a heroic fight and the D-Backs survived. Let’s see if they continue to survive and put up more fights like today’s one.
Ding dong ring ring - bells & whistles by DBE
- Guido Orefice: Ketel Marte, +18.3%
- John Matrix: Noe Ramirez, +8.9%
- Dwight Hansen: David Peralta, -11.9%
- Jack Torrance: Josh Rojas, -15.2%
- Darth Vader: Alex Young, -29.4%
There weren’t many people in the Gameday Thread and there wasn’t much going on until all of a sudden the D-Backs showed proof of life just like many Pitters. Anyway, thanks for stopping by and if you are a Dad, I hope you will enjoy a nice day (and if you are not a Dad, I hope you will enjoy a nice day too).
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I thought DC had a pretty funny comment, so I made his red. Here you go, DC:
But I will give an honourable mention to Dano’s comment as well.
What’s next? The Brewers stop by for a 3 game series. Should be fun if you are a Brewers fan.