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Houston (2) @ Arizona (3)/10: Walk Like A Man

Nine more walks for the D-backs helped eke out a win, despite going 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

Record: 2-4 .333

Welcome to day baseball! For me on the East Coast, the 4pm start time was a welcome change from 10pm. The Serpientes hosted Space City on gettaway day (weird since both teams are off tomorrow). Let’s get down to business!

First Inning
  • Top: Some shoddy defense defined the top of the First. Merrill threw away a golden double play opportunity (thankfully Perdomo got some leather on it, so no extra bases were taken). Then new 3B Yonny Hernandez nearly threw away a throw to Walker on another double play opportunity. Thankfully Walked nabbed it in the air and tagged Bregman to finish the unconventional double play. Another groundout ended the inning with no damage. 12 pitches.
  • Bottom: Good start with a walk from Hummel, who moved to second on a ground out by Marte, and then to third thanks to another ground out by Peralta. Walker walked on four pitches, but Carson managed to strike out again, ending the inning without anything to show for the walks. 0-0 Tie
Second Inning
  • Top: Law firm Kelly & Kelly struck out the side on 14 pitches. It was efficient and clinical.
  • Bottom: Smith blooped one over rookie Pena’s head to get a single. Yay hits! McCarthy showed a good eye to take the third walk of the afternoon. Valdez did not bring his best arm today. Hernandez (apparently nicknamed “The Mosquito”) failed to put down a sac bunt, but ate up 7 pitches and still moved the runners over with a grounder. But Perdomo struck out on three pitches followed by a four pitch walk for Hummel. Bases juiced for Marte! His cleat took one for the team on a HBP for an RBI (please don’t be hurt, please don’t be hurt, please don’t be hurt). Peralta ended the inning with a high chopper. Big missed opportunity, but they did score first… 1-0 Arizona
Third Inning
  • Top: Six pitches, two ground outs, one fly out. 32 total pitches so far.
  • Bottom: Walker made some solid contact, but it hung just long enough for Diaz to grab it in left. Carson got the bat on the ball, but grounded out to short. Smith made himself 2-2 with a grounder juuuuuust past Altuve’s glove. McCarthy got Smith to second with another four pitch walk. Sadly, Hernandez struck out on 7 pitches again as well, ending the inning. 1-0 Arizona
Fourth Inning
  • Top: Despite a walk to Bregman, Kelly induced two ground outs and struck out Tucker on 14 pitches. 46 total so far.
  • Bottom: Ronel Blanco replaced Valdez. Perdomo struck out to start the inning. Sound off in the comments if you’ve read this before: Hummel walked on four pitches. Marte followed with a hit to left! But Peralta struck out and Walker walked, to bring up Carson with the bases loaded. He popped out to RF just behind the bag… At least he hit the ball in play and off the ground? 1-0 Arizona
Fifth Inning
  • Top: The fifth took 19 pitches. Not great, but serviceable considering Kelly’s efficiency thus far and it’s the end of the second time through the order. Most worrisome to this fan was another poor throw from Merrill, this time to first on a pickoff attempt; he threw it short and the only thing keeping the runner at first was the Ump’s knee. 65 total pitches.
  • Bottom: Christian Javier in to pitch for Space City. After a good fight, Smith struck out, ending what I’m going to call the best Hit Streak of the season so far: two in two plate appearances! McCarthy put up less of a fight and also struck out. The Mosquito continues to pester the Astros, this time with a long fly ball to RF that is sadly tracked down by Tucker. 1-0 Arizona
Sixth Inning
  • Top: A scary inning for Kelly. He pretty obviously ran out of energy, giving up a hit to Altuve, walking Brantley and giving up a hard fly out to Bregman before being replaced by Kyle Nelson. Tucker also had a long fly out to Peralta; thankfully runners were unable to advance on either play. Gurriel flew out to McCarthy in center on a much less exciting play. Kelly’s night ends with: 5.1IP 3H 0R 0ER 2BB 6Ks and 79 pitches
  • Bottom: Perdomo led the inning off with a HBP and then stole second. Hummel couldn’t keep his walk streak going and struck out instead, followed by a Marte HBP (please don’t be hurt, please don’t be hurt, please don’t be hurt). Unfortunately, Peralta struck out and Walker flew out to once again leave runners on base. 1-0 Arizona
Seventh Inning
  • Top: Sean Poppen popped in for a visit, but it wasn’t appreciated. He got Diaz to fly out, but McCormick singled then got second on a Wild Pitch, then third on a Pena single. Maldonado hit a sac fly to tie the game and Altuve grounded out to keep it tied.
  • Bottom: Varsho pinch hit for Kelly but struck out. Smith had a really well hit fly out to center and McCarty followed suit. 1-1 Tie
Eighth Inning
  • Top: Plenty of position changes here: Varsho in CF, McCarthy to RF, Smith out, Herrera to C and Kennedy on to pitch. Easy inning though, strikeout, pop out, fly out for Kennedy.
  • Bottom: Rafael Montero came in to pitch. The Mosquito only saw three pitches this time around to ground out. Perdomo, once again trying to hit seventeen home runs with one swing, struck out on eight pitches. Hummel got a nice single to right, followed up by stealing second. It was all for naught though, as Marte struck out swinging. 1-1 Tie
Ninth Inning
  • Top: Gulp. Melancon comes out of the ole Arm Barn (thank you PETA for this joke; it never fails to make me smirk)... A loud fly out to McCarthy in right started it out. A nice dribbler to first earned the second out. A loud single and error on Peralta let McCormick get to second. Thankfully McCarthy grabbed another fly out to end the inning.
  • Bottom: Hector Neris came in to pitch for Space City. They switched up the outfielders as well. Didn’t matter though, Peralta stuck out. Walker flew out to one of the outfielders. Varsho managed to get a nice single though. But Herrera grounded out to give us free baseball. 1-1 Tie
Free Baseball The First
  • Top: Noe Ramirez got his opportunity to hold the tie with the spooky runner behind him. Not a great start: he walked Castro then Herrera had a passed ball which advanced both runners. After a strikeout, they chose to intentionally walk Brantley to pitch to Bregman with the bases loaded and only one out. This strategy failed as he flew out to RF and McCarthy couldn’t get the ball in fast enough. Perez got the call to end the inning and succeeded with a ground out.
  • Bottom: Ryan Pressly to preserve the lead. Arizona’s spooky runner is Alcantara so no one needs to see Herrera try to run. McCarthy immediately sent him to third with a sac bunt. Then came Seth Beer, who TIES IT UP with a hard ground ball off Altuve’s glove! Against all odds Perdomo walked after one massive swing. Say it with me this time: Hummel walked on four pitches. Marte hit what should’ve been a game winning sac fly, but instead the left fielder misplayed the ball and the D’Backs walked it off on an error! 3-2 Arizona WINS

This was a very well-pitched game. Kelly looked on point for 5 innings and both he and the bullpen kept the offense in the game until the extra inning. This was once again a bad look for the offense; they are so lost and trying far too hard. Everyone looks like they are mistiming pitches, swinging for the fences and simply not playing with good fundamentals. Echo that for the defense, although it wasn’t game ending today, so that’s good. Come October though, the only thing we’ll remember is the WIN!

Pitcher of the Game: Merrill Kelly (duh): 5.1IP 3H 0R 0ER 2BB 6Ks and 79 pitches

Hitter of the Game: Cooper Hummel: 1-2, single, 4BB, K, 1-LOB

Well the Fangraph stopped updating after the Astros scored in the 10th. Can’t blame them for thinking the game was over at that point! But, wait - there was more! If ever it updates, it will be here. Off-day for the D-backs tomorrow, as they head out of state for the first time this year. A three-game set in New York against the Mets starts on Friday.