Record: 23-63. Pace: 43-119. Change on 2004: -8.
For some inexplicable reason, nobody signed up for a guest recap on July 4th. I guess you’re all busy flying your bald eagles or something. Which means the only person who spends the entire day going, “I can only apologize...” is forced into writing it. I am wondering if should try to work out how to incorporate as much pure, undiluted Britishness in the recap as possible. At some point in proceedings. there may well be a discussion about the best coloUr of aluminIum for the boot of your cart, when it’s parked next to the pavement. Just imagine me, lounging on the throne, adjusting my monocle, and sipping a cup of tea. Perhaps snorting derisively at something which happened less than 250 years old being considered "history".
Came a little late to this one, as we were finishing off Robin and Marian, starring those two famous non-Americans, Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn. Now, THAT is history... But was able to switch over just in time to see the Giants take an early lead, with a pair of two-out knocks in the top of the first. That was pretty much the only early action. For instance, in the bottom of the second, the Diamondbacks were retired on a total of five pitches. I find myself surprisingly at ease with this. If we're going to lose - and odds are heavily in favor this year - make it quick. That's preferable to a three hour, 47 minute grind, complete with delusional hopes of victory, like last night. That was the longest regulation game at Chase this year.
Any optimism faded a little more in the third, as another Slaterbomb, onto the walkway just to the left of center, made it 3-0 to the Giants. Certainly, the Arizona hitters were doing their part to avoid unnecessary delays, not getting any hits the first time through the order. Walks to David Peralta - erased on a double-play - and, oddly, Caleb Smith were the only baserunners. Or not so oddly. For Arizona pitchers now have 14 walks this year, most in the majors - the same as their number of hits. Madison Bumgarner and Merrill Kelly are tied for the lead, with four apiece. Kelly has six career walks to only two hits. That is among the ten highest BB:H ratios in MLB history, among players with multiple hits.
Peralta was unlucky not to end the no-hitter, lasering one off the bat at 109 mph, but right to a Giants outfielder. San Francisco, meanwhile, seemed intent on testing the Arizona defense, with a series of pesky pop-ups. Given events earlier in the series, this would seem a viable tactic. But the Diamondbacks managed to handle them more adroitly than previously. Pavin Smith did get Arizona in the hits column, with a single leading off the fifth, but was also erased on a double-play. Giants' starter Anthony DeSclafani had faced one over the minimum through five, and needed only 58 pitches to record those 15 outs.
Caleb Smith had settled down, retiring 11 in a row after the Slaterbomb. That streak came to a rough end with two outs in the sixth. He walked St. Buster of the Flowers, than Darren Ruf launched another long home-run, deep to left. That brought Smith's quality start bid to an unfortunate end, as the Giants took a 5-0 lead. He allowed five runs in six innings, on five hits and a walk, with five K’s. Riley Smith took over and was quick and efficient, recording six outs on only 20 pitches. In the middle of those, the Diamondbacks ended the shutout. Asdrubal Cabrera led off the home half of the seventh with a double, and scored on a two-out single by Josh Reddick. Reddick, however, was thrown out, on an ill-advised attempt to reach second on the throw.
Still, that all helped the game move along quickly. After Joakim Soria put up a zero in the ninth, we entered the bottom of the ninth with a shot at this being the shortest regulation game of the season. However, the Diamondbacks got hits from Peralta and Christian Walker, bringing home a second run. That made it a save situation, and chased DeSclafani, one out short of a complete game. The resulting pitching change and subsequent events delayed things too much. Pavin Smith drew an 11-pitch walk, to bring up Reddick as the tying run. He worked the count full, before grounding out. Still, I’ll take a crisp 2:43 game any day.
As expected, the Diamondbacks lost when failing to deliver tacos yet again. That’s now 45 such losses in a row, the longest run since the 19th century. Arizona were held to six hits, with Peralta and Pavin Smith each reaching base twice, on a hit and a walk. The team’s newest All-Star, Eduardo Escobar, got into the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth, and lined out. But it seemed he got a decent reception from the crowd at Chase Field tonight, numbering 27,032. I hope they enjoyed the post-game fireworks more than the game, the D-backs losing their fifteenth consecutive series.
Click for details at Fangraphs.com
King George III: Pavin Smith, +3.8%
George Washington: Caleb Smith, -19.0%
John Adams: Josh Reddick, -13.2%
We did get past a hundred comments, but an unsurprisingly quiet Gameday thread, with only thirteen SnakePitters in attendance. The others were presumably elsewhere, making things explode. Those in attendance were: AzDbackfanInDc, GuruB, James Attwood, Jim McLennan, Keegan Thompson, Makakilo, Michael McDermott, NikT77, Oldenschoole, Snacks&Dbacks, Snake_Bitten, edbigghead and kilnborn. Nothing reached the level of Sedona Red, so you Yanks clearly don’t deserve a comment of the night.
Off day for the Diamondbacks tomorrow, before a three-game set against the Rockies starts on Tuesday. Their road record is, somehow, 41⁄2 games worse than ours at 6-31, so if we can’t win that series we may not win one the rest of the year. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I am off to try and extract one of our cats from the cupboard in which he has embedded himself. He’s not a fan of fireworks.