It seems every day you have a different recapper letting you know that you could check out of the game in the early innings and not miss a thing. I sincerely wish that I had a different story to tell, but believe me when I say this contest was over after the top of the first. Fortunately, that half of a frame gives us plenty to discuss in its own right.
Merrill Kelly returned from the COVID injured list last Wednesday and struggled quite a bit. His outing tonight was just as bad right from the outset. He walked the lead off hitter Jorge Soler on five pitches and then gave up a 107 MPH double off the batter’s eye to Freddie Freeman to follow. Soler was unable to score on the play because Jake McCarthy got the ball back in quickly, but Ozzie Albies brought him home on a sacrifice fly in the next at bat nonetheless. Austin Riley then hit the first of a series of hard liners to Josh VanMeter at third base, all of which he was unable to field cleanly despite his best efforts. He made the stop on Riley’s liner, but bounced his throw across the diamond putting runners on the corners with one out.
The hard hitting Adam Duvall then belted the first of his “should have been a home run but was only a ~400 foot single”. Yeah, he had multiples of those tonight and the first one was pretty bizarre. This one clanked off of McCarthy’s glove and actually hopped over the wall in left center field for a legitimate home run. However, Riley thought that McCarthy had made the catch and was jogging backwards to first base believing that he needed to tag. That cross up caused Duvall to pass Riley on the base path.
Us D’backs fans should be familiar with this situation and the ensuing ruling on the field. It happened to Arizona back in April of 2018 in Los Angeles with Deven Marrero and Alex Avila against the Dodgers. When this happens, the trailing runner who passes the lead runner is called out. When the player who is called out is also the player who hit the home run, it is ruled as only a single, but the lead runner is still allowed to come around to score. Long story short, Duvall out, Freeman and Riley allowed to score making it 3-to-0 with two outs in the inning. Kelly would finally get out of the inning by getting Dansby Swanson to ground out, but not before a walk to Eddie Rosario.
Ian Anderson was the starter tonight for the Atlanta Braves and sliced through the Diamondbacks’ lineup like butter after the first inning. Two of the three base runners he allowed tonight both came in the first inning. Anderson walked Ketel Marte and then Kole Calhoun doubled him home for one of Arizona’s two runs this game. After that blemish, Anderson would retire 18 of the next 19 batters he faced. It was straight dominance. Can it really be considered as such against Arizona?
Atlanta abused the long ball to add to their lead all night. Austin Riley destroyed a 91 MPH pitch from Kelly in the third. That one went all the way onto the left field porch for his 31st of the season. Ozzie Albies hit his 30th of the year in the top of the 5th, a two run blast to right field. Their final home run of the evening was Freddie Freeman’s 31st into the pool, also good for two runs. Freeman went 3-for-5 in the game with two doubles and the home run. Not to be left hanging, Christian Walker gave Arizona their only home run of the evening in the bottom of the eighth.
Final score 9-to-2. Nothing new to report on the race for the worst record in the league because the Baltimore Orioles continue to lose as well.
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Nothing Sedona Red in the comments tonight. Continue answering Jack’s inquiry in the comments here if you please. My good thing? Wedding was perfect and my wife is giving no indications that she regrets marrying me. Great success!