This one looked like it was gonna be a mess by the fifth inning, I gotta say. TheRealRamona noped out around then, and I envied her at the time. But holy crap, our offense showed up, albeit later than one might have hoped, and closed the gap. So.
Humberto Castellanos, our starter tonight, actually looked sharp in the first inning, when he set the top of the Braves’ lineup down in order. He was throwing hard, his fastballs clocking around 93-94 mph, and he looked like he was doing the business. Meanwhile, in the bottom of the first, Atlanta’s starter, Charlie Morton, plunked Daulton Varsho to put our leadoff hitter on, and then surrendered this bomb to Christian Walker, who as much as it pains me to say I’m beginning to like again.
"Christian Walker has left the building!" pic.twitter.com/0LNoLEVoum— Bally Sports Arizona (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) June 1, 2022
David Peralta then struck out to end the inning, but hey, we had a crooked number and a lead! 2-0 D-BACKS
Castellanos was efficient in the top of the second, though his velocity was falling off a little bit. He pitched around a one-out Matt Olson double to end his second quietly. Charlie Morton sat us down in order in the bottom of the second, though, which frankly felt kind of ominous.
The top of the third was actually a pretty fascinating half-inning for Castellanos, as he faced five batters, gave up a run and three hits, but only threw eight pitches. Lotsa swings, and hits, on first pitches tonight, but it was distinctly odd. Adam Duvall, the leadoff batter for Atlanta in the third, hit the first pitch he saw hard into right field for a single. The next dude, who is a newbie names Michael Harris II, grounded to short for a fielder’s choice that took Duvall off the board. That turned the Braves’ lineup over, and Ronald Acuna, Jr, hit a sharp double to center that scored Harris from first, but which resulted in the first of two outfield assists for the Diamondbacks, as Acuna tried to stretch his double into a triple and got cut down by Alek Thomas’s arm and Josh Rojas’s tag. Former Diamondbacks prospect Dansby Swanson then hit the first pitch he saw into shallow right for a single, but Castellanos stopped the bleeding by getting Marcell Ozuna to ground out to third. 2-1 D-BACKS
Our offense continued to do nothing after the first-inning spasm of offense, sitting down in order. In the bottom half, Castellanos’s issues continued. Braves’ third baseman and cleanup hitter Austin Riley singled to left, and then Matt Olson launched a bomb into the pool area, giving Atlanta the lead. Catcher Travis D’Arnaud then singled to right, which provoked a Brent Strom mound visit, because at this point Castellanos was getting shelled. Strom apparently settled his starter down, at least a little, because Humberto got out of the inning with no further damage after than, thanks to a a Christian Walker unassisted double play and then a high pop-up that Jake Hager, our starting second baseman tonight, wound up catching. 3-2 Atlanta
After Pavin Smith struck out looking to begin the fourth, Walker and Peralta both reached on baclk-to-back singles. Cooper Hummel then hit into an inning-ending double play, so nothing came of that. Weirdly, despite all the trouble he was having, Castellanos was only at 53 pitches at this point, so he took the mound again for the top of the fifth. He struck out the first batter he faced, Michael Harris in the nine hole, and then turned the lineup over again, and the wheels entirely came off. He hit Acuna with a pitch, then struck out Swanson for the second out, then walked Ozuna and Riley to load the bases. The walk to Riley earned him the hook, and lefty Kyle Nelson came out of our bullpen to take over. Nelson has been good with inherited runners so far, but not so much tonight.Matt Olson doubled again, scoring both Acuna and Ozuna. Nelson retired D’Arnaud on a grounder to third, ending the pain, but damage had definitely been done. 5-2 Atlanta
We sat down quietly in the bottom of the fifth, despite a very nice nine-pitch walk that Alek Thomas drew against Morton. A Gerardo Perdomo line-drive double play ended that, followed by a Jake Hager strikeout.
Kyle Nelson, somewhat to my surprise, came out to start the sixth, and promptly surrendered a leadoff double to Braves’ second baseman Ozzie Albies. One out later, Albies scored on a Harris II single to center. JB Wendelken came out to relieve Nelson, and promptly induced Acuna to ground into a 5-4-3 double play, which was certainly nice. 6-2 Atlanta
Charlie Morton came out to start the bottom of the sixth for the Braves, but his night wound up being done before he’d recorded an out. Daulton Varsho drew a walk to start the action, and then one pitch later Josh Rojas doubled on a line drive to left, advancing Varsho to third and getting Morton pulled for Braves lefty AJ Minter. Pavin Smith then sent a deep fly ball to center that allowed both runners to tag, and Varsho to score. Christian Walker, who at this point was 2-for-2, hit his third hit of the night, a double to right that plated Rojas. Peralta then hit a fly ball to deep center that allowed Walker to tag to third, but a Cooper Hummel groundout to third ended things with no further damage done for the good guys. 6-4 Atlanta
We and they both sat down quietly in the seventh, as Wendelken did a clean full inning of work for us and Colin McHugh did the business for Atlanta. Joe Mantiply took the mound ofr us for the top of the eighth, and despite some traffic—he surrendered two singles to start off—he maanged to put up a zero. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks continued to chip away in the bottom half, thanks to a Dulton Varsho leadoff bunt single down the third base line, followed by a Josh Rojas single that advanced him to second. One out later, Christian Walker drew a walk, loading the bases, and Peralta hit a grounder on the infield that allowed Varsho to score. 6-5 Atlanta
Mantiply got the first out in the top of the ninth, striking out Harris, before giving way to Sean Poppen, who struck out Acuna and got Swanson to line out to first to retire the Braves in order. Alek Thomas then singled for us to lead off the bottom of the frame. One out later, Ketel Marte singled to right, advancing Thomas to third. Varsho then hit a sac fly to deep right, scoring Thomas and tying the game.
The Braves intentionally walked Rojas, but caught Jordan Luplow looking. So we were off to extras. 6-6 TIE
Mark Melancon took the top of the tenth for us, which never goes well, and so was the case tonight. Dansby Swanson was the Manfred Man for Atlanta, and quickly advanced to third when Melancon surrendered a single to left. Melancon then gave up a Marcell Ozuna single to right that scored Swanson. No further damage was done, thankfully, thanks for Melancon then recording a pop foul to third and a strikeout looking. But. 7-6 Atlanta
Our bats still had a little bit left, though. as it turned out. Luplow started on second base as our Manfred Man, but was swapped out for Jake McCarthy, who can actually run. After Walker lined out to second, David Peralta singled to left, allowing McCarthy to score. Then Cooper Hummel who’d frankly been worthless all night, finally did something good and doubled to right, bringing Peralta around to score for the walk-off win. 8-7 D-BACKS
COOPER HUMMEL! WALKOFF WINNER! pic.twitter.com/vUeatLIv35— Bally Sports Arizona (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) June 1, 2022
Win Probability Added, courtesy of FanGraphs
Atomic Clock: David Peralta (5 AB, 2 H, 1 R, 2 RBI, +33.9% WPA)
Timex Wristwatch Daulton Varsho (2 AB, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 R, 1 RBI, +23.5 WPA)
The Crap Dashboard Digital Clock in My Car That Crapped Out Six Months After I Bought It: Kyle Nelson (2⁄3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, -20.4% WPA)
For most of the night, we had a pretty quiet Gameday Thread, but as it often does these days, it got busy once the late-innings business started happening. We wound up with 272 comments, which ain’t too shabby for a Tuesday night. CotG goes to Oldenschoole for this gem, which received at least a couple of recs before Hummel walked it off:
So we’ve already got the series win against the Braves, so let’s get out the brooms tomorrow! Atlanta righthander Kyle Wright takes the mound against Madison Bumgarner, with a first pitch at 12:40pm AZ time, ‘cuz it’s getaway day for both teams. Hope you can join us!
As always, thanks for reading. As always, go D-Backs!