Things are bad for the Arizona Diamondbacks, but you already knew that. So bad in fact that a 3.5 mile hike in near 100 degree weather to begin my day was less self inflicted torture than forced consumption of this morning’s series finale against the St. Louis Cardinals. I resigned myself to rooting for the almighty Paul Goldschmidt. He may be falling off the pace of a Hall of Fame career, and the St. Louis Cardinals may have a bitter pill to swallow at the end of his contract, but he is still the best position player to ever wear a Diamondbacks uniform.
Riley Smith was on the bump against Kwang Hyun Kim in a showdown of then single victory pitchers. Arizona handed Kim a 9-to-2 defeat one month ago at Chase Field, but would fare much worse against him today in the exact same amount of innings.
The first basemen of both teams, Christian Walker and Goldy, singled and doubled, respectively, in the first inning but neither were brought in to score. Goldy nearly hit it out of the park to left field in hist first at bat but settled for a loud double off the top of the wall. St. Louis drew first blood in the second inning plating a pair of runners courtesy of a double from their pitcher. Here we go again.
Arizona scratched one back in the top of the third but just barely. Josh Rojas reached on a single to the grass behind second base. Matt Carpenter made a nice diving stop but could not recover in time to make the out. Tim Locastro was... hit... by... a... pitch on his elbow guard putting runners on first and second with no outs, but Eduardo Escobar and Walker failed to follow through with anything to score a run. However, Asdrubal Cabrera did hit a two out single to right field to bring in Rojas. Right fielder Tommy Edman was actually able to get the ball back to Yadier Molina at home plate before Rojas but a good slide scored him before the tag.
Goldschmidt began the bottom of the Cardinal third with another double, advanced on a Nolan Arenado fly out, and then scored on a single from Tyler O’Neill. Riley smith was able to get the second out of the inning on another fly out by Matt Carpenter, but the scoring was not finished. With Yadier Molina and his mascara batting, O’Neill broke for second base. Daulton Varsho’s throw to second wasn’t even close sailing into center field which gave O’Neill an extra 90 feet to third base. Molina singled to right field to score O’Neill making it a 4-to-1 ballgame. Without the errant throw, O’Neill likely would not have scored on the single had he still been at second base. Carson Kelly, we miss you.
Riley Smith’s day was done after that third inning having thrown 60 pitches, 39 for strikes. Humberto Castellanos came in for relief but could not prevent St. Louis from additional scoring. Or rather his defense couldn’t. Edmundo Sosa began the bottom of the fifth reaching on catcher’s interference from Varsho. Carson Kelly, we really miss you. The pitcher bunted him over to second base, and Goldy scored him on a single to right field, already his third hit of the game. While Arizona kept flailing away at the plate against Kim, Castellanos gave up the sixth Cardinals run in the bottom of the fifth.
Arizona had another scoring opportunity in the sixth inning after Kim’s exit but would come up short again. Cabrera doubled to right center field for his second hit of the game. Nick Ahmed drew a walk with one out to follow, but both Varsho and pinch hitter David Peralta flew out to left field to squash that scoring attempt. Ryan Buchter pitched a scoreless sixth, but allowed the first two base runners to reach in the seventh via a ground rule double and a walk. Joe Mantiply replaced him and was unable to prevent one of the inherited runners from scoring making it a 7-to-1 ballgame.
With Roel Ramirez on the mound in relief for St. Louis the Diamondbacks tried their best to fight their way back into the game in the eighth inning but, unsurprisingly, it would not be enough to get the job done. Walker got it started with a single to left center field, and Josh VanMeter followed with a pinch hit four pitch walk. A fielder’s choice courtesy of Josh Reddick put runners on the corner with one out, and then Ahmed walked to load the bases. The Cardinals pivoted to Ryan Helsley out of the bullpen, but he was hardly any better. He walked Varsho on four pitches to score Walker. A wild pitch scored Reddick making the score 7-to-3. Peralta brought in Arizona’s fourth and final run on a ground out to second base.
St. Louis hung on in the ninth inning to hand the Diamondbacks their mind numbing 24th defeat in the month of June. They did not even lose that many games in a single calendar month in 2004. In fact, courtesy of Jack via text, their 3-and-24 record for the month of June is the worst for the month of June in baseball history since 1889. The AZ Snake Pit Twitter account also makes note of the 2012 Houston Astros who also went 3-and-24 in July. He all-knowingly sent it to me in the third inning with the text “If/When they lose this game.” Truly astonishing.
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The only Sedona Red comment of the GDT came from me and is hardly worthy of CoTD. In a thread with less than 100 comments, we’ll just go ahead and save that bit for another day.