Good evening,and welcome to the Snakepit’s whiskey recap of the Arizona Diamondbacks at the San Diego Padres. Today, Zac Gallen toes the mound for the Diamondbacks, while Yu Darvish will start for the Friars. In a rather surprising turn of events, the Diamondbacks haded the Pads a rather convincing defeat, and on the road no loess. Merrill Kelly pitched six solid innings and the offense managed to bang out 10 runs, including two home runs. That brought an end to two more of Arizona’s more unsavory streaks. It ended the road losing streak at a record 24 games, and it also ended the home run drought at entirely too many innings.
This evening’s recap is being fueled by whiskey. In the event of an Arizona victory, there is some high end stuff to be sampled. In the even of yet another embarrassing loss, there is plenty of “drinkable” stuff to help drown the sorrows. Given how easy it is for some of these to go down and how long a typical game goes, mixer is a must. The finalists were Coca-Cola and homemade sweet and sour. I decided on the homemade sweet and sour, absolutely delicious stuff. So tonight’s samples will be sours, complete with the egg-white foam on top.
Whiskey #1: Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon
This whiskey hails from Kentucky, USA. It is a bold, semi-sweet whiskey with a slightly charred flavour of carmel, a somewhat sour finish, and the tell-tale scent of vanilla that helps identify it as a bourbon. This offering is courtesy of a Christmas gift basket. I figured, it’s been six months, it’s probably time to crack open this small bottle. The taste is nothing special, but it is smooth enough that this is a drinkable whiskey that there is little to argue with. For the price one could do far, far worse. It is, in many respects, a perfect American offering for mixed drinks.
Top of the first, Yu Darvish, strikeout artist extraordinaire goes to work. Josh VanMeter leads things off for the Diamondbacks. I know I have been wanting to see more of a youth movement from the Diamondbacks, but putting a guy with a 29% strikeout rate in the game to start things off against one of the best strikeout pitchers of the last decade seems a bit dubious to me. Well, let’s see how this goes.
2.5 minutes later...
Yeah, so, Josh VanMeter struck out as expected. However, he might have had the best at-bat of the first three hitters for Arizona. At least he put some good looking swings in his AB. The next two, Pavin Smith and Asdrúbal Cabrera stood there while Darvish went to work like Bob Ross. Well, at least this might be a quick enough game that I won’t need to worry too much about how many whiskeys I wind up consuming before this is over. Zac Gallen usually has decent outings, so even though he might be slow of pace, he doesn’t give up much. This might be a “short” game.
Tommy Pham goes yard to dead center to lead thigs off for the Friars.
Trent Grisham follows with a double into the corner. Jake Cronenworth drives him in with a single. Three hitters, homer, double, single.
I could have sworn I had a whiskey sour around here somewhere. This might be one of those recaps by the time this is all through. Oh look, Tatis is up. Everything is fine. What? Well damn, Tatis, Hosmer and Myers go down quietly. End of the first, the home team up by two.
Whiskey #2: Crown Royal
This is a blended whiskey which hails from Canada. It is renowned for its smoothness. Unlike Jim Beam, Crown is a much subtler spirit. It too has caramel highlights, but unlike Beam, the vanilla is more than just an aroma, it is a distinct part of the flavour profile. Crown is somewhat on the sweeter side of whiskey, leaving behind the charred flavours in favour of remaining as smooth as it can. This makes it both easy to drink neat and an exceptional mixer, as it will not punish whatever it is poured into.
David Peralta puts together a decent, but fruitless at-bat against Darvish. Jake Cronenworth shows off his athleticism, bailing out Wil Myers in right field to chase down a shallow fly to right off the bat of Christian Walker. That brings up Josh Reddick. For the second play in a row, Myers misplays the ball off the bat. Reddick into second with a not-an-error “double”. Daulton Varsho steps in against Darvish. Gee, another strikeout for Darvish. This is my shocked face.
Gallen goes back to work in the bottom of the inning. Thanks Bert for rubbing salt on the wound by pointing out that Gallen threw 25 pitches to get through the first and Darvish has completed two (including four strikeouts) using only 24. Ha-Seong Kim starts things off where San Diego left off in the first by tattooing one out to Peralta in left. Caratini follows with another hard struck ball to center. This one is high enough that Pavin Smith is able to track it for the first out.Some slick fielding by VanMeter and Ahmed turns a double play and just like that, Gallen is out of trouble.
End of 2nd: 2-0 San Diego
Nick Ahmed almost legs out a bunt hit against Darvish to open the third. It was close and not at all a bad idea, trying to get Darvish out of his groove. Unfortunately, Darvish is a very good fielder with a strong arm and he managed to get Ahmed at first by a half-step. Zac Gallen unsurprisingly becomes the fifth strikeout of the game for Darvish. Darvish abuses VanMeter and takes his lunch money with a fastball at the knees on the outer portion of the plate.
Gallen gets through the bottom of the third relatively unscathed, but Cronenworth makes him work and draws the second walk of the inning while inflating the pitch count significantly. Tatis bailed Gallen out a bit by hitting into an infield fly with runners on first and second and only one out. Hosmer was an easy out.
End of 3rd: 2-0 San Diego
Oh, good things! Pavin Smith hooks a double just inside the right field line and into the stands (with some SD fan assistance that didn’t change anything). Shut up Bob! Stop trying to jinx the lead-off double. More good things. Peralta nearly squirts one into right field, but Cronenworth is able to knock it down. Runners on the corners with only one out for Walker. Walker puts up a battle until Darvish spikes a cutter (?) in front of the plate. Smith trots home and Peralta takes second.
WOW!!! Defensive hi-jinx ensue at short and third and Tatis almost makes a highlight play to get Walker at first after a hot smash to third, but nothing doing. Runners on the corners for Reddick. Reddick is saved from fouling out by the padding around the camera well near third. And there is the GIDP to end the inning. So, the Diamondbacks score after a lead-off double, but not really due to any sort of actual quality hitting.
Middle of the 4th: 2-1 San Diego
We’re 55 pitches in for Gallen and nearing the end of the second whiskey sour for me as we go into the bottom of the fourth inning. It is Sunday afternoon, so we have the USMC in attendance and singing the Marine Corps Hymn. Hoo-rah! Caratini beats the shift with two outs in the frame to clear the pitcher’s spot. Gallen gets Darvish to ground out to end the inning, but that also puts Gallen at 73 pitches through four innings. At this point it is 50/50 at best he takes the mound for the fifth.
End of 4th (inning) and 2nd (whiskey sour): 2-1 San Diego
Varsho nearly legs out an infield single to the right side. Ahmed follows by whipping a double into left. Zac Gallen climbs into the box to hit for himself. I guess it is safe to say Gallen is going to be pitching the fifth. Gallen strikes out, VanMeter walks, and that brings Smith to the plate. Oh well, a harmless, lazy fly to center.
With one out, Gallen allows a hit to right center off the bat of Grisham. He digs hard and turns it into a double. Slow motion replay shows that, after he was called safe already, he came off the bag for just the slightest moment and was tagged by Ahmed. The safe calls is allowed to stand and Gallen goes back to work. Mark Grace is a guest on the broadcast and I am forced to wonder if he has had more to drink than I have as he compares Tatis to a young Barry Bonds, but with the advantage of playing the tougher shortstop instead of left field. You’re drunk Gracie. Zack loses Hosmer on a base on balls and is lifted from the game after 4 2/3. 84 pitches in, Gallen does not want to come out, but thems the breaks. Ryan Buchter comes in and cleans up the mess by getting Hosmer to fly out to Reddick in right after Tatis took second on defensive indifference.
End of 5th: 2-1 San Diego
Whiskey #3: Crown Royal Black
This is Crown Royal’s bold entry into the whiskey market. This one is aged in oak and also blended at a higher proof. That gives it some extra kick. Unlike the other Crown Royal selections out there, this one has more of the distinct charred caramel flavour so common in whiskey. This one is just as smooth as one expects from Crown Royal, but drinks more like an American whiskey such as Jack Daniels.
Oh look at that, San Diego puts the shift on Asdrúbal Cabrera and so he drops a bunt that rolls down the third base line for an easy hit. Peralta flies to the wall in center. Walker follows with a lazy fly to center. Reddick lifts one to Pham in left. Just like that, the frame is over. I have barely had a chance to sip on this drink.
Matt Peacock comes on for the Diamondbacks. Look at that, a clean, easy inning from the Arizona bullpen.
End of the 6th: 2-1 San Diego
Tim Hill takes the mound for the seventh against the Diamondbacks. Frankly, I’m sort of glad to see Darvish out of the game. Varsho is going to lead things off against this slinging sidearm lefty. Varsho shows off his good speed by dropping a bunt hit towards second. That’s a leadoff base runner for Arizona in a one-run game. Ahmed lines a single into left to put runners at first and second for pinch-hitter, Josh Rojas. He attempts a bunt of his own but whiffs. Apparently, he is up there to give himself up as he continues to try bunting. After falling behind 0-2, he draws himself a walk to load the bases for VanMeter. Scratch that, Eduardo Escobar will pinch-hit for VanMeter. Escobar, who has been hot at the plate, promptly grounds into a
routine double play to short a throw into right field by Tatis, which allows Varsho to jog home. Ahmed uses his speed to come in right behind him. That puts the Snakes up by one. Rojas takes second and Escobar sets up at first. That is Tatis’ 17 error of the season already. Nothing doing for Smith. Cabrera manages to fly out to deep right, which brings home Rojas. Peralta grounds out.
Middle of the 7th: 4-2 Arizona (and I was so excited I didn’t even realize I polished off that last whiskey sour already).
Whiskey #4: Crown Royal XO
Hmmm. This is starting to turn into a Crown Royal recap. That was not the intention. Well, there’s nothing to do about it now, the drink is poured. Crown XO is one of the higher level entrants from that distillery. It takes the smoothness of normal Crown Royal and takes it to an entirely new level. It has almost no caramel and zero char flavour. It is much heavier on the vanilla. This is due to the fact that this particular whiskey is aged in cognac barrels. This stuff is smooooooth and silky.
Matt Peacock goes back out to pitch the seventh and starts by facing Jurickson Profar who pinch hits for the pitcher. A quick hit into left falls in front of Peralta. Now, Pham grounds one into center. Profar was digging hard and went first to third on a shallow single to center. Oof. Grisham lifts a ball to deep center field. That should score Profar from third. Oh, there’s that “not-an-error” single we have come to almost expect from this outfield, especially with Pavin Smith playing in center. Profar scores, but runners are still on the corners. Tatis bounces one up the line into left and just like that, the Padres open the inning with five consecutive “hits” and have retaken the lead. Tatis winds up on second with no one out and Hosmer at the plate.
Where did my drink go?
Somehow Matt Peacock is suddenly able to navigate the heart of the order without any further damage.
End of 7th: 5-4 San Diego
Whiskey #5: Monkey Shoulder Scotch Whisky
I confess, this is the spirit which inspired this whiskeycap. This is a Scotch. However, this is a Scotch that even non-Scotch drinkers can get behind. It is a blended Scotch that is made from blending product from three of the premier Speyside distilleries. It is oh so smooth, lacking the heavy peat that is so often associated with Scotch, but not lacking the typical Scotch flavour. It is somewhat malty, tasting of oak and vanilla with a hint of berry and crisp lemon. It is an amazing Scotch for anytime drinking and it comes at an even more amazing price point. It is a Scotch that can easily be consumed neat, but is also inexpensive enough that there is no shame in using it as a mixer. In fact, as a mixer, I would put it up against nearly any top-shelf liquor out there. It’s that good.
Christian Walker leads things off in the eighth. I’m starting to feel pretty good here. And there it goes! Christian Walker with the, errrr, the not game-tying home run that winds up being a fly ball that pins Tommy Pham to the outfield wall. Well, bugger.
That’s the only excitement in the inning. I still have half a drink here. Let’s just hope the Diamondbacks can hold the score here so that they can tie it back up in the ninth. Of course, if they do, I’ll have to decide on yet another whiskey from the shelf.
The Diamondbacks send the newbie, Brett de Geus to the mound for the San Diego half of the Eighth. He makes quick work of the Dads, recording two strikeouts. My drink is nearly empty, but I’ll hold off on another until I have something to celebrate.
Mark Melancon takes the mound to lock down the save for San Diego. Wow, so that’s what it looks like when a closer makes things look easy instead of making things interesting.
Final score: Arizona 4, San Diego 5
The Diamondbacks fail to win the series, but at least they managed to not further embarrass themselves. I guess it is the small victories that need to be celebrated at this point.
Monkey Shoulder: Eduardo Escobar + 20%
Crown Royal: Josh Rojas + 9.1 %, Nick Ahmed +7.4%
Evan Williams: Matt Peacock -51.6%
It was a fairly quiet game day thread today. There were 15 commentors, but only 214 comments. NikT77 led the way in total comments with 41, followed by DC at 37.
AzDbackfanInDc, Diamondhacks, GuruB, Jack Sommers, James Attwood, Jim McLennan, Justin27, Makakilo, NikT77, Oldenschoole, Snake_Bitten, VW Beetle, edbigghead, gzimmerm, kilnborn
Comment of the game goes to klinborn:
It must be tough for Torey knowing that every single button available to him is the self-destruct button.
Everything’s coming up kilnborn.
Nothing to celebrate, but drowning my sorrows is another good reason for whiskey. The Diamondbacks will be at it again tomorrow, this time in St. Louis to take on the Cardinals. Jake Faria will get the start for Arizona against Wade LeBlanc