Record 47-100, Pace 52-110
Madison Bumgarner threw 7 innings of 1 hit ball, and Kole Calhoun hit a homerun in his return from the disabled list. But it was not enough to defeat the Houston Astros tonight. The Diamondbacks offense squandered numerous opportunities and eventually fell in the 10th inning when Tyler Clippard struggled with his control, hitting a batter with the bases loaded to force in the winning run.
The Astros had to go with a bullpen game, using 8 pitchers, as Dusty Baker masterfully manipulated his fine pen.
The first inning started off with the first of three base hits for Josh Rojas. One out later David Peralta walked. Christian Walker struck out and then Calhoun walked to load the bases but Carson Kelly struck out to leave em loaded. This would be the beginning of a theme.
Bumgarner went to work and was perfect through the first three innings facing the minimum with just 29 pitches thrown. The DBacks had another chance in their half of the 3rd . Rojas and Varsho lead off with singles, but Peralta and Walker both struck out, and Calhoun flew out to strand both runners.
The Astros got their first baserunner in the 4th thanks to an error by Josh Rojas on a sharply hit ball by Jose Altuve. But Madbum promptly induced another grounder to 3rd, and this time Rojas started a 5-4-3 double play.
Nick Ahmed had a two out double in the 4th, but Jake McCarthy struck out to end that threat. In the top of the 5th Rojas singled, advanced to 2nd on a passed ball and on to third on a groundout. But with two outs Walker struck out for the 3rd straight time with a runner in scoring position.
After a 3 up 3 down 5th inning for Madbum, the D-backs finally broke through in the top of the 6th with a run to take a 1-0 lead , thanks to this wall scraper from Calhoun
Unfortunately that lead did not hold up very long. With one out in the 6th Jose Siri drew a walk and then with two outs Jose Altuve hit a two run shot to left, the one and only hit Madison would surrender on the night. It wasn’t a bad pitch, well above the zone. Bumgarner said he would have liked to get it another 4 inches in, but that’s just being a perfectionist. It was just good hitting by Altuve. Oddly he said he didn’t care about throwing a no hitter, and he was glad he gave up a hit, just wished it weren’t a two run homer.
Bumgarner went one more inning, a 3 up 3 down 7th. He was done at 82 pitches, throwing 7 innings, giving up the 1 hit, 2 runs, 1 walk and 3 K’s.
Torey said after the game that the long inning and long sitting time were the primary reasons he lifted Bumgarner. Madison said he could have gone much longer, but he understands it’s September, and he was fine with “whatever they want to do” . It actually sounded quite a bit like IDGAF to be honest. It didn’t really impact the game ultimately, but it was a curious decision at the time.
The Diamondbacks finally got their first hit with a runner in scoring position in the 8th. Walker lead off with a single, and Calhoun drew his second walk. Kelly bounced into a double play to short. But Josh Vanmeter snuck a ground ball up the middle that just went off Altuve’s glove for the game tying single. At this point the D-backs were 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position and would end up 2 for 14.
The 9th was scoreless for both teams, although not without some drama . Noe Ramiriez gave up a leadoff double and walked a batter. Joe Mantiply came on with two out however getting a huge strikeout of Kyle Tucker to send it to extras.
In the 10th, with Josh Rojas standing on second base to start the inning, Daulton Varsho hit a deep fly to the wall in center. Rojas moved up to third and then David Peralta chopped a ball into right to score the go ahead run. Walker and Calhoun struck out however and the D-backs couldn’t make it a crooked number.
On cam Tyler Clippard to close it out. The inning started in a similar way to the D-backs half when Correa flew out to center, moving up Maldonado who was running at 2nd. Yordan Alvarez was intentionally walked to get to Jake Meyers. Torey said that Alvarez is a fly ball hitter and Meyers hits it on the ground 50% of the time and he was hoping to get the ground ball to get out of the inning. Perhaps overlooked in that calculation is that Clippard is an extreme fly ball pitcher who seldom induces double plays. Although he has two this year, for his career his 5 % DP per opportunity rate is less than half the MLB average of 11%.
Meyers promptly singled to right, scoring the tying run. As Torey said, it didn’t work out and it wasn’t the right decision. Clip then walked pinch hitter Aledmys Diaz to load the bases, and finally plunked Chas McCormick to force in the winning run for the 4-3 Astros victory.
It was nice to see Bumgarner cruising again, so at least there’s that. And it was nice to see Calhoun get a homerun in his return. Gotta root for that guy no matter what. But it was a pretty Diamondback way to lose their 100th game of the year.
Joe Mantiply’s K in the bottom of the 9th was worth a whopping +.305 WPA
Josh VanMeter had a +.115 WPA with his game tying hit, JB Wendelken’s scoreless 8th was worth +.105 and Rojas had + .077 thanks to a 3 hit night.
Tyler Clippard’s 10th inning meltdown garnered him -.562 WPA
Carson Kelly 0-4 night with 5 LOB equaled -.366 WPA and Christian Walker -.115 thanks to 4 K’s and 6 LOB
Total comments 399, Total commenters 21
Commenter listAzDbackfanInDc, AzRattler, Diamondhacks, GuruB, Jack Sommers, Jim McLennan, Justin27, KJKrug, Makakilo, Michael McDermott, MrMrrbi, NikT77, Oldenschoole, Schilling2001, Smurf-1000, Snacks&Dbacks, Snake_Bitten, cnsieler, kilnborn, makattack71, since_98
COTG goes to Justin for some subtle historical humor:
They’ll give it another try tomorrow, at 4:10 Arizona time. It doesn’t get any easier as Humberto Castellanos faces off against Lance McCullers Jr, (12-4, 3.12 ERA)