Seattle entered the game still tentatively in the hunt for a playoff berth. The Diamondbacks entered still jockeying for position with the Baltimore Orioles for the worst record in all of baseball. The Mariners sent the recovering Yusei Kikuchi to the mound. The Diamondbacks turned to the unlikely Tyler Gilbert.
If it took you a few extra minutes to grab your beer, finish fixing your sandwich, and finding the remote, you might have missed this inning. Nothing doing for either side.
The Diamondbacks go quietly again.
Kyle Seager leads off the bottom half of the inning with a walk. That’s okay though, Abraham Toro follows him and promptly grounds the ball down to Josh VanMeter at third for
an around the horn double play a fielder’s choice, 5-4. That really didn’t matter much though, because Luis Torrens came up and promptly grounded to VanMeter for an inning-ending double play a fielder’s choice, 5-4. Having had enough of that nonsense, Tyler Gilbert just abused Tom Murphy, locking him up with a fastball near the top of the zone for an inning-ending strikeout.
Seth Beer continues to show he doesn’t want to head back to AAA. He shows everyone how this hitting thing is done by barreling up a ball and hitting it deep into the gap in right center for a stand-up double. Andrew Young follows with a productive groundout to the right side, sending Beer to third. VanMeter then shows where his true talents lie, at the plate. He singles into center, scoring Beer. Ahmed then grounded into a double play to end the top half of the inning.
If you blinked (or ran to grab a Strongbow from the fridge) you might have missed the Mariners going quickly and quietly in the third, including another strikeout to end the frame.
Ketel Marte strikes out. Varsho shows off his offensive versatility. He drops a bunt towards the first base side. Once the ball got past Kikuchi, it was all over, save for the head-first slide into first that was probably unnecessary. Walker followed by punching one into right field, putting runners on first and second. David Peralta followed that up with a base- loading walk. That brought up Ramos with the bases loaded and one out. Kikuchi wasted no time in using his delayed delivery style to carve up Ramos on three pitches. Kikuchi suddenly found a bit more velocity and reached 97 against Beer. With the overshift on, Varsho started to stroll down the line towards home and almost drew a balk. Kikuchi had the awareness to charge Varsho instead though. Varsho still took his lead 45 feet down the line, but Beer was called out on strikes on a check swing against a ball at his wrists. It was a close call, one that could have gone either way, but when a big guy like that flinches, it’s hard to get the call in his favour. No more scoring for the Snakes.
Tyler Gilbert went back to work in the bottom of the fourth against Mitch Haniger. Haniger tied the game by sending one over the wall in straightaway center field. Seattle’s first hit was a round-tripper. Gilbert recovers and gets the next three on some easy fly outs.
Young leads things off with a line single into right. VanMeter, at the plate this time, promptly grounded to second for
a double play a fielder’s choice 4-6, as VanMeter hustled down the line to just beat the throw to first. Ahmed followed by poking a ball through the right side, putting runners on first and second with one out. Marte followed by striking out for the third time on the day, extending his nearly month-long slump at the plate. Varsho fouled off a ball that bounced in front of the plate, unable to lay off Kikuchi’s breaking stuff. Two pitches later, another breaking ball away is turned into a groundout to third to end the frame.
Tyler Gilbert has himself a quick and easy bootm half of the inning.
Left-hander Anthony Misiewicz comes out to pitch for Seattle in the top of the sixth. Walker belted a single into left on the first pitch he saw. Peralta lined a double into the right field corner on the second pitch of the inning, putting runners on first and second with no one out. Ramos then belted a double into left on the third pitch of the inning. Apparently, without the Kikuchi delay kick, Ramos is able to time things up a bit more. That put the Diamondbacks up 3-1. The fourth pitch of the frame was a ball high and outside to Seth Beer. Beer then fouled off a 96 mph fastball down the pipe. Beer lined the next pitch, a breaking ball away, into right field, scoring Ramos. That gave the Diamondbacks a 4-1 lead. That brought an end to Misiewicz’s day. Casey Sadler came in from the bullpen. One pitch later there were suddenly two outs and nobody on base. Sadler then struck out VanMeter.
Dylan Moore goes yard on the first pitch he sees in the bottom of the sixth. 4-2 Snakes. Gilbert gets J.P. Crawford out, but is then pulled before he can face the dangerous Mitch Haniger. Sean Poppen comes in to take care of that particular threat by errrr... walking Haniger. Ty France then grounds to a ball to Andrew Young at second for
a potential double play Young to throw the ball well wide of Ahmed at the bag at second, putting runners on first and second with no one out. Seager put a charge into a center cut fastball by Poppen, but Marte was able to run it down at the wall. With the three-batter minimum out of the way, Poppen is lifted and Miguel Aguilar is brought in to turn Abraham Toro around to bat right-handed. A couple of loud, hard fouls later Toro walked on a pitch that sure as hell looked like it hit the top corner of the zone. That loaded the bases for Torrens. Torrens then grounded out to short where Nick Ahmed made the routine play VanMeter fielded the ball in front of his teammate, charging hard and making the play to end the inning.
Erik Swanson comes on to pitch for the Mariners. Ketel Marte finally does something productive at the plate, the first time in quite a while. He blasts a solo shot to right center to put the D-backs up 5-2. Nothing else doing for the Diamondbacks in the inning.
The Diamondbacks turn to Taylor Widener to serve as the seventh inning man in this tilt. The Mariners counter by brining in Jake Bauers to pinch-hit for the right-handed hitting Murphy. 96 mph at the knees on the inside blows Bauers away. After how quickly Gilbert worked for the first five innings, watching Taylor Widener move at the speed of molasses in February is somewhat torturous. And apparently, Bob Brenly agrees with me. He walks Jarred Kelenic on a 3-2 pitch up and away. Another pinch-hitter for the Mariners, another out, this one a high pop to VanMeter in foul territory at third. This is followed by an easy fly to Ramos in right. Widener works his way around the one-out walk to keep the score 5-2.
Sean Doolittle, one of the best of the best when it comes to MLB personalities on social media, comes in to pitch for the Mariners. The Diamondbacks do little against Doolittle.
The Diamondbacks make another pitching change of their own. Apparently, and let’s face it, for good reason, the Diamondbacks don’t want their bullpen pitchers going multiple innings. So, the Diamondbacks send Noé Ramirez to the mound. VanMeter makes a nice, clean play at third for the first out. Ty France decides to test VanMeter again. That grounder eats up VanMeter, but Ahmed is backing him up and makes a nifty bare-handed grab and throw to... just miss getting France at first. That play counts as the second error of the game (E-5, fielding) against Arizona. This is followed by a fly out to left. That bring Toro to the plate. Toro lines a shot right back up the middle, but Josh VanMeter (playing in the exaggerated shift) is there to make a stabbing catch behind second base to retire both Toro and the side. VanMeter giveth and VanMeter taketh away.
Joe Smith is on to pitch for the Mariners. The half inning takes only about as long as the preceding commercial break between innings.
That brings the Diamondbacks to the bottom of the ninth inning, with the lead, on the road, in a position to win a series against a playoff hopeful team. To secure the win the Diamondbacks turn to
their flame-throwing closer extraordinaire J.B. Wendelken as the sixth pitcher of the game. Josh Rojas is in the game at third now. Luis Torrens grounds a dribbler down the third base line. Rojas is unable to make the charging bare-handed play and Torrens is safe. It would have taken an Adrian Beltre-like defensive play to get Torrens. That brings Bauers up and he jumps on the first fastball he sees. He drills the ball to deep right center, but Ramos is there to make the play. Jarred Kelenic takes Wendelken to 3-2. Then he takes Wendelken to the cheap seats in deep right. 5-4 Diamondbacks with the bases empty and only one out. Wendelken get Raleigh to strike out, bringing up J.P. Crawford in front of Seattle’s big bats. A little tapper to the right side is fielded by Wendelken who flips it to Walker to end the game.
DIAMONDBACKS WIN 5-4
The win gives the Snakes a road series victory since series in April in Atlanta where Gallen and Bumgarner had their gems.
Today’s thread was not terribly active, not surprising given the team’s record and the fact that the Cardinals were playing. There were 146 comments in total with the following roll-call.
AzDbackfanInDc, Diamondhacks, GuruB, Jack Sommers, James Attwood, Jim McLennan, KJKrug, Makakilo, NikT77, Oldenschoole, RAF2018336, Schilling2001, Snake_Bitten, Totally Not Blind Squirrel, but still I apologize, edbigghead, gzimmerm, kilnborn, since_98
With such low activity, it is not surprising that there was not a Sedona red comment of the game. So, given recent discussions, I will give CotG to Diamondhacks for his postgame sarcasm.
One run win!
They play baseball, they play football under lights, they play card games and we watch them every night. — Neil Young
In honour of our patron actress for the day
Frida: David Peralta (somehow) +18.9%
Desperado: Tyler Gilbert +8.1%, Miguel Aguilar 6.6%
Bandidas: Daulton Varsho (-4.9%)
The Diamondbacks need to pack their bags and head to the airport. They are slated to play tomorrow in Chavez Ravine. Zac Gallen will toe the mound for the Diamondbacks. Meanwhile, Clayton Kershaw will be returning for the Dodgers. First pitch is at 7:10 MST.