Jon Duplantier got his 2nd opportunity to show he can stick at the MLB level as a starter tonight, facing off against the Milwaukee Brewers, a team with wins in 5 of their last 6 games to finally gain some ground in the NL Central. The D-backs of course, have plummeted to the bottom of the league with their play of late, and are looking for any answer in that rotation. Dup was alright in his 1st start against the Cardinals, with 4 runs allowed in 4.2IP. Jack posted an excellent article posing the question where should Jon pitch in the MLB, and today’s start will give more data points into figuring that out.
For a couple of innings to start the game, Duplantier showed the talent that caused the D-backs to draft him in the top of the draft. He showed excellent control in the 1st, using only 10 pitches for a quick 1-2-3 inning, and worked around a walk and some hard-hit contact to escape the 2nd. But the 3rd was another story.
On the first pitch he saw, Jackie Bradley, mired in a 1 for 21 slump, took a fastball deep to left field for a homer. Brett Anderson, his pitching counterpart, worked a huge walk after falling behind 0-2. He attacked Kolton Wong for a strikeout, but a single from Vogelback brought Christian Yelich up to bat, and like Bradley before him, jumped on a hanging changeup for a 3-run line drive homer to right, giving the Brewers a 4-0 lead.
The D-backs had opportunities of their own, with a runner in scoring position in each of their first 4 innings at the plate, but just could not come through with the timely hit until the 5th.
Ketel Marte doubled to start things off, and Carson Kelly smashed a sinker to center for a 2-run homer. Christian Walker kept things alive with a double of his own, and with two outs Nick Ahmed doubled as well, scoring Walker and tightening the lead 4-3.
But Duplantier struggled again, hanging a curveball to Luis Urias in the bottom of 5th for a solo homer and his night was over. 5 earned runs in 4 innings, he walked 3 and struck out 3. It was a disappointing performance, to say the least, as Duplantier could not execute pitches when he needed to. With injuries piling up in the rotation, he’ll get another chance to bounce back and prove he belongs.
The Brewers weren’t done in the 5th, using two walks and a throwing error from Christian Walker against Joe Mantiply to score their 6th run of the game and 8th saw Avisail Garcia homer to center against Seth Frankoff for the 7th.
The Brewers bullpen was outstanding, allowing just a single run across 4.2IP to close out the game and continue Milwaukee’s hot stretch.
Despite outhitting the Brewers 13-7 on the night, it was extremely top-heavy, as both Nick Ahmed and Ketel Marte had 4 hits but were separated in the batting order enough that Ahmed never had an opportunity to drive him in.
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Post-game audio [or link], via Jack
First, Torey Lovullo, who got a little testy when I asked him about Dup walking Anderson after getting ahead 0-2, followed by a base hit and homer. Then there’s Duplantier and Ahmed. The pitcher addressed his outing, then talked about the Brenly situation. He is a well and soft spoken and thoughtful young man. It’s really worth listening to him. We can all learn something.
The D-backs play their 2nd of this 4-game set tomorrow at 5pm. Matt Peacock faces Freddy Peralta.