So it was a lovely night to be out at Talking Stick, watching Merrill Kelly and the Diamondbacks face off against Lance Lynn and Chicago’s South Side team. Even lovelier was that by the time TheRealRamona and I reached our seats, Kelly had already retired the White Sox in order in the top of the first, and Daulton Varsho had led off the bottom of the inning with a double to center and Ketel Marte had walked to put two runners on with nobody out. Apparently we were resting our regular outfielders tonight, or auditioning backups, because after Drew Ellis (1B this evening) struck out, Dominic Canzone (LF) lined a single to right that scored Varsho and advanced Marte to third. Corbin Carroll, who was our DH tonight, then hit into a fielder’s choice that allowed Marte to score. 2-0 D-BACKS
Kelly retired the side in order again in the top of the second, despite shortstop Jordan Lawlor airmailing a throw to first that allowed White Sox center fielder Adam Engel to reach on an E6. Juan Graterol, our catcher this evening, gunned him down when he tried to steal second, which was fun to watch. In the bottom half of the frame, we put up another crooked number, though admittedly this was helped by a bit of clown-show fielding by the White Sox. After third baseman Sergio Alcantara struck out to start the inning, Lawlor then struck out as well, but Chicago catcher Yasmani Grandal dropped the third strike and couldn’t corral it before Lawlor had taken first base. Dominic Fletcher (CF) then grounded to third, but beat the throw, putting runners on first and second. Varsho flew out to left for the second out, but then Ketel Marte grounded a single to left that scored Lawlor. Drew Ellis drew a walk, loading the bases, and Dominic Canzone did the same thing he did in the first inning, hitting a sinking liner to right that dropped just in front of Diamondbacks traitor AJ Pollock. Fletcher scored from third, Marte from second. 5-0 D-BACKS
Kelly pitched another scoreless inning in the third, and we started the bottom of the inning with three straight singles that brought home another run. 6-0 D-BACKS
The only blemish on Kelly’s night came in the fourth, when Alcantara let a Pollock grounder down the line roll under his glove for a two-base error, and Kelly gave up his first hit of the night soon thereafter. He finished his night after that inning, though with a line of 4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 5 Ks and 0 BB, having thrown all of 62 pitches. We got the run back, meanwhile, in the bottom of the fourth, as Graterol drove in Marte on a soft infield single back to the mound. 7-1 D-BACKS
Mark Melancon took the ball for the fifth, and our new and well-paid closer pretty much crapped the bed, surrendering three hits and two walks that resulted in the White Sox putting up a three-spot of their own. 7-4 D-BACKS
That was basically it, though, as the bottom of the fifth and the entire sixth inning passed without undue drama or any more runs. We pulled our starters after that, and in the ensuing garbage time, the White Sox managed another run but so did we, which brings us to our final score of 8-4 D-BACKS.
Fun game, and it was great to be back watching baseball in person. See you again next Saturday, when we’re gonna be playing baseball for realsies!