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Arizona Diamondbacks 4, Philadelphia Phillies 2: Sticking* to the Game Plan

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The Arizona Diamondbacks have won 5 of their last 6 games. Will their winning ways stick?

Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Caleb Smith did not start this game because he was unable to stick in the rotation earlier in the season. However, a foreign substance on his glove may keep him off the mound entirely for the next ten games. After a spot check by the umpiring crew after the eighth inning, he was ejected after they found something on his glove they felt violated the rules. He becomes only the second MLB pitcher (according to the Bally Sports broadcast) to be ejected for a foreign substance since the midseason rule enforcement ramp up. Tonight’s third base umpire, Phil Cuzzi, was present for both ejections.

Instead, it was Humberto Castellanos making his third start of the season for Arizona. Castellanos was called up from Reno to make a spot start in place of Merrill Kelly who is on the COVID-19 list. Maybe I would be as fortunate as Turambar with a no hitter recap? Hardly. That opportunity flashed by as soon as the first batter. Odubel Herrera began the game with a triple to right field for the Philadelphia Phillies. He scored two batters later via a passed ball. It did not matter because he would have scored easily anyways without that mishap as Bryce Harper hit a loud flyout to the left field warning track. Castellanos did not allow the leadoff triple to rattle him and retired thirteen of the next fourteen Philadelphia hitters.

The D’backs offense chipped their way back into the driver seat against Ranger Suarez while missing some key opportunities to break the game wide open along the way. Josh Rojas, Drew Ellis, and Castellanos each hit a two out single, respectively, in the bottom of the second inning. Unfortunately, Rojas ran through the stop sign at third base on Castellanos’s’s’s’s’s’s single and right into an out at home plate on a strong throw from Bryce Harper in right field. The first two D’backs hitters, Nick Ahmed and Ketel Marte, reached on a walk and hit by pitch in the bottom of the third. Asdrubal Cabrera quashed that advantage by grounding into a double play that advanced Ahmed to third. He came in on a passed ball to tie the score at one apiece.

Castellanos gave Arizona the lead in the bottom of the fourth with another timely single. Christian Walker got that started on a one out double. Drew Ellis was intentionally walked with two outs putting runners at first and second for Humberto. He helped himself out by driving a shot right back up the middle past a diving Jean Segura that scored Walker.

Philadelphia slowly started figuring out Humberto in the fifth inning. He recorded the first out of the inning on a groundout from Andrew McCutchen with the assistance of a vintage Nick Ahmed throw across his body to first base from the outfield grass. The Phillies had runners on first and second with two outs via a pair of walks setting up Herrera to tie the game or give them the lead. He hit a loud fly out to the right field warning track just shy of a three run home run.

Arizona’s best chance to get out to a commanding lead came in the bottom of the fifth, but they would only come away with a single insurance run. Marte drew a leadoff walk and Cabrera advanced him on a single to left field. Carson Kelly drove Marte in for Arizona’s third run on his own single to left field, and both he and Cabrera advanced a base on the throw home. They were cooking with two runners in scoring position and no outs. Walker pushed that threat further with a one out walk to load the bases. That set the table for one of Arizona’s current hottest hitters, Josh Rojas, but he got jobbed by home plate umpire Cory Blaser and was called out on a borderline strike three. Joe Girardi turned to Connor Brogdon out of the bullpen for Suarez who got Ellis to flyout to center field to end the inning.

Humberto made it all the way into the sixth inning with one out before being lifted in a double switch for Caleb Smith. Diamondbacks fans could not have hoped for any better from Castellanos filing in for Merrill Kelly. Not only did he hold Philadelphia to one run over 5 and 13 innings, but he also had two hits and a game tying RBI. Caleb did not miss a beat and was equally as solid. His only blemish was an Odubel Herrera solo home run in the top of the eighth before the aforementioned ejection.

Archie Bradley made his first relief appearance on the mound at Chase Field in an opposing uniform in the bottom of the eighth. He was consistently pumping a steady diet of fastballs just as we were accustomed to. David Peralta fought him off in an eight pitch at bat before hitting a single to right field on the only curveball of the at bat.

Tyler Clippard pitched a drama free ninth inning for his fourth save of the season.

Torey Post Game August 18

8/18/21, D’backs (4) vs. Phillies (2)
FanGraphs

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