The Arizona Diamondbacks have now lost 19 straight road games. That is the most since the 1985 Pittsburgh Pirates according to the Bally Sports television broadcast. They are finding new ways to lose every single contest and getting more creative in doing so.
Matt Peacock made his 5th start of the season. His opponent on the mound, Sean Manaea, was coming off a four hit complete game shutout of the Seattle Mariners which lowered his ERA to 3.36. Arizona would run Manaea’s pitch count up quickly through the first two innings, but it did nothing to prevent him from dominating them through six frames.
In the top of the first inning, Eduardo Escobar and Christian Walker pushed Manaea to throw an additional nineteen pitches with two outs. Escobar worked a nine pitch walk. Walker had a ten pitch at bat, but ultimately flew out to right field just like Carson Kelly and Ketel Marte before him to end the inning.
Bob Melvin’s crew had an opportunity to take a first inning lead against Peacock. Jed Lowrie singled and Matt Olson walked with one out. Both were advanced a base on a ground out from Mitch Moreland because they were sent on contact. Peacock got out of his own jam by striking out Sean Murphy to end the first inning.
Peacock would be less fortunate in the bottom of the second, although some questionable rules interpretation would be at play. Peacock had Matt Chapman and Elvis Andrus on first and second courtesy of a walk with one out and two outs, respectively. This was the point in the game where just when you think you have seen Arizona lose every possible way during this horrendous stretch, something new is thrown into the mix that leaves us scratching our heads. When the sky is falling, the last thing needed is creative misery.
Mark Canha hit a two out drive towards the wall in left center field. Ketel Marte tracked it down, made the catch at the warning track, and crashed against the wall. Inning over, right? Wrong. The ball snowconed out of his glove as he began his jog back to the dugout. Chapman and Andrus came around to score and Canha hustled into third base while everyone in a D’backs uniform stood in disbelief that it was not ruled a catch. Peacock pleaded with the D’backs to challenge the play. Torey Lovullo obliged, but the umpiring replay review crew in New York ruled it was not a catch.
Eric Feibusch, MLB Supervisor for Replay Operations and Administration, said about the review, “After viewing all relevant angles, the replay official definitively determined that the fielder did not demonstrate firm and secure possession of the ball throughout the catch. Additionally, the momentum of the catch had not ended prior to the ball coming out. The call is confirmed. It is not a catch.”
The “momentum of the catch had not ended prior to the ball coming out” ??? He hit a wall, had the ball controlled in his glove after colliding with said wall, had his momentum changed in a direction back towards the dugout, and then the ball came out. What if he would have attempted to transfer the ball from his glove to his throwing hand to throw back into the stands or towards an infielder? A lame interpretation in my opinion.
It was a hell of an effort by Marte, but two runs scored and Canha was now on third due to a subjective interpretation. Adding injury to insult, Jed Lowrie lined an infield single off Matt Peacock’s throwing hand to follow, scoring Canha, and giving Oakland a three run lead. Peacock was removed from the game for injury concerns and was replaced by Joe Mantiply. Xrays came back negative on Peacock’s hand. Mantiply ended the second inning by striking out Matt Olson.
Arizona never fought back against that three run deficit despite the bullpen holding the Athletics to only one additional run over six and one third innings. Sean Manaea denied the Diamondbacks of a baserunner in the third through fifth innings. However, Carson Kelly and Ketel Marte were both able to reach base to begin the sixth inning with Manaea approaching one hundred pitches. Eduardo Escobar, tied for second in the Senior Circuit for RBI’s, had a chance to drive in another and build momentum towards Arizona, but struck out on a fastball at the top of the zone for the first out of the inning. Thus began another sequence of leaving runners stranded. Christian Walker popped out in foul territory towards first for the second out, and had some difficulty trying to break his bat in frustration. Asdrubal Cabrera flew out to left field to end the inning. No runs scored.
The timeless Yusmeiro Petit retired the Diamondbacks on only five pitches in the seventh. Oakland’s fourth and final run of the game came on a sac fly from Matt Olson. That scoring opportunity was courtesy of Ildemaro Vargas’ interesting decision to not wear sunglasses during a bright sunny day game. He lost the ball in the sun on an easy pop fly from Mark Canha.
That is all she wrote. Arizona has now been shutout eight times this season, and have lost 21 of their last 23 games. As Jack points out on Twitter, the D’backs are currently on pace to match the horrendous 2004 record of 51-111.
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