Record: 7-11. Pace: 63-99. Change on 2021: -1.
Tomorrow, Mrs. SnakePit and I are flying off to Scotland for a long-delayed (as in, originally scheduled for March 2020, before something or other happened) holiday. I've prescheduled a bunch of stuff, and the rest of the SnakePit team will ensure service continues as normal. Well, as "normal," anyway. At least the team opted to send me on my way with a win.
Though it didn't look likely to be the case in the early going, Zach Davies coughing up a three-spot during a 30-pitch first inning. He walked two batters, then loaded the bases on an infield single. Geraldo Perdomo was starting at short, but was playing on the right of the infield, and though he made a good diving stop, the ball squirted just far enough away there was no chance of an out. The bases were then thoroughly unloaded on a double to the right-center gap, for an early 3-0 deficit. Arizona had two strikeouts before Tony Gonsolin threw a pitch out of the zone. Daulton Varsho and Pavin Smith were the victims, and it was not pretty.
David Peralta did end the potential no-hitter (look, it's the 2022 Diamondbacks. Every game is a potential no-hitter) with a double, but Christian Walker took care of the runner in scoring position (look, it's the 2022 Diamondbacks. You know what that means). It seemed Davies was in trouble again after the first two Dodgers singled, until a fly-ball was followed by Freddie Freeman hitting into a double-play. Me switching over to the Suns game, and fabricating this entire recap, was avoided. [Although I don't even like basketball, I'd probably prefer watching Pro-Celebrity Colonoscopies to the Dodgers steamrollering us again]
However, after two thoroughly wretched innings, the rest of the game was considerably more fun. Davies began the third with another lead-off walk, yet Varsho delivered a highlight reel catch in center (above) to avoid damage. Arizona then tied things up. Perdomo ripped one back up the middle, and Gonsolin inexplicably walked the .063 hitting Jose Herrera on four pitches. Both advanced on a wild pitch, and what should have been an RBI groundout by Varsho became two runs and a man on second after a terrible throw from Gavin Sux. I leave that autocorrect as is. It was most unexpected: LA came into this game having made just four errors, compared to Arizona’s seventeen. Smith then made it 3-3 with a single to right.
While there was no more scoring for the Diamondbacks, despite Seth Beer wearing one on his elbow, we had a shiny, brand new ballgame. It seemed Davies was intent on immediately scuffing it up, as he walked the lead-off man again, and fell 3-0 behind on Cody Bellinger. But a 98.2 mph groundball, with a .600 expected batting average, instead turned into another much-needed double-play. Zach got through four innings, and his night was over. He allowed three runs, all earned, on four hits and four walks, with three strikeouts, and his ERA for the season increased to 5.40. He has looked rather replacement level, and thrown a total of only 18.1 innings across his four starts.
Kyle Nelson took over for the fifth, and had a very nice 1-2-3 frame, extending his scoreless streak to 7.2 innings. It ended with Freddie Freeman taking strike three, after trying to jog to first on strike two. J.B. Wendelken worked the sixth, and after giving up an infield single, the Diamondbacks turned their third double-play of the night. He then worked around a walk to put up a zero. You'll have noticed no mention of the Arizona offense lately. That's because it went away. After Smith’s single with no outs in the third, ten of the next eleven D-backs made outs, the exception being Beer's HBP. Though Ketel Marte drew a two-out walk in the sixth, the hits resolutely refused to show up.
Joe Mantiply's 0.00 ERA came under threat in the seventh, as the visitors had two on with one out. Fortunately, a baserunning blunder gifted Arizona an escape, the LA runner on second motoring off in the heartwarming belief the ball hit to the outfield wouldn't be caught. It was, and the D-backs had their fourth double play. Things got even more dicey in the eighth. A bloop single off Mantiply, then a double and intentional walk off Ian Kennedy gave the Dodgers another bases loaded shot with one out. But another hard-hit groundball (xBA .470) somehow became double-play #5, and the Diamondbacks escaped damage once more.
Arizona’s long hitless streak finally came to an end in the eighth. Cooper Hummel came off the bench to draw a lead-off walk on four pitches, though none of them were particularly near the zone. David Peralta then got his second home-run of the season, a blast estimated at 433 feet, onto the walkway just to the right of the batter’s eye. It was only Arizona’s fourth hit of the night - so just one more than yesterday, when they were thoroughly outplayed - and it was enough. Mark Melancon came on for the ninth, and secured an entirely drama-free save, all three outs coming on groundballs to Perdomo. The D-backs once again are neither going to sweep nor be swept in a series.
The five double-plays were not, perhaps surprisingly, a record. That belongs to a game against the Rays on August 7th, 2013 where they turned six (of course, the last that night was turned by Brad Ziegler to close out the game!). I will admit, the team were probably lucky to win this one. You won’t win many games when walking more opposing hitters than you strike out (6:5 there tonight), and the Dodgers simply gave the Diamondbacks both outs and runs. Still, it’s always pleasant to #BeatLA, even if they beat themselves as much as we did - especially when the loss knocks them out of first place in the NL West.
Click for details at Fangraphs.com
Dead Ringers: David Peralta: +24.3%
Twins of Evil: Ian Kennedy, +17.2%
Jack and Jill: Zach Davies, -13.2%
I’m going off-book for the Comments of the Thread. One wasn’t even in the thread, but in the recap of last night’s game:
Why, yes: yes it was. And not wrong of me. However, the real winner is NikT77, with this premature ejaculation:
Hey, I know I was as disgruntled by the first inning as anyone. It’s just that I’ve learned baseball has a funny way of making definitive pronouncements age like milk, and so I avoid them. Instead, it’s yet another rubber game for the D-backs tomorrow: they haven’t done too well in those so far (as in, not won a single one!). But we’ll see if Zac Gallen can end that streak, with a first pitch at Chase Field of 12:40 pm.