Hey look! Another Wednesday, another potential sweep! Thankfully this opportunity would be of the good variety. A day game after an extra inning win nightcap means this could prove difficult, but let’s do it (they are a bunch of supremely healthy young men with an off day on Thursday after all)! We have MadBum of the 3.35 ERA (but 5.27 FIP) going against Kyle Wright of the 2.68 ERA (and 2.82 FIP). This will be a showcase of experience versus relative youth and projection. Wright has pitched in parts of 5 seasons now, but at 53.2 IP he’s already at an MLB career high. Let’s knock the uppity youngin down a bit shall we?
I got optimistic writing that intro. We did not knock Wright down. We did not get the sweep. Instead we went softly into this good night while Atlanta doubled us to death; five of their twelve hits were doubles! Five!
|Ozzie Albies - 2B||Daulton Varsho - DH|
|Dansby Swanson - SS||Josh Rojas - 3B|
|Marcell Ozuna - DH||Ketel Marte - 2B|
|Austin Riley - 3B||Christian Walker - 1B|
|William Contreras - C||David Peralta - LF|
|Matt Olson - 1B||Pavin Smith - RF|
|Adam Duvall - RF||Alek Thomas - CF|
|Guillermo Heredia - LF||Jake Hager - SS|
|Michael Harris - CF||Jose Herrera - C|
|Kyle Wright - RHP||M. Bumgarner - LHP|
Albies led the game off with a flyout to Thomas, who had a stylish sliding catch. But Swanson got a nice single to left. Then Ozuna walked. MadBum got Riley to strike out, but couldn’t finish the inning against Contreras, who doubled up the middle to Peralta, scoring Swanson. Thankfully, Olson stuck out swinging as well.
Varsho led off the bottom half with a long fly out to right. Rojas flew out to left. But Marte extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a single to center. Really spraying the ball around in the early going, and I like it. Keep Atlanta on their toes! Sadly Walker struck out. 1-0 ATLANTA
Duvall hit a liner just down the third base line that Rojas couldn’t nab (not really his fault; it was hit HARD). Luckily it was hit so hard and Duvall isn’t exactly The Flash out there, so it was only a double. Heredia then hit a scary long ball to center that Thomas ran down, keeping Duvall at second (seriously, I can’t stress how much of a not-runner he looked on the basepaths). Outstanding defense is great, but useless when the ball is hit hit and hard... Harris doubled off the batter’s eye, scoring Duvall. MadBum not looking super great today. Albies quickly grounded out to Hager at short, nearly beating the throw. Thankfully Swanson knocked a dribbler to Bum who got him at first in a not at all close play.
Peralta walked to start. Smith struck out looking. Then Thomas grounded out to second, forcing Peralta out, but no double play. So yay? Then Hager grounded out to short. 2-0 ATLANTA
Ozuna broke his bat to ground out to first. A nice quick out, apparently a rarity for Bum nowadays. Another quick out as Riley popped out to Walker. But Contreras went ahead and doubled to left for the second time. Olson struck out swinging to end the inning.
Herrera started us off with a swinging strike out... Then both Varsho and Rojas grounded to Swanson, but he only successfully threw out Varsho, airmailing the Rojas throw. So Rojas on second! Marte worked a nice walk for Walker to have runners at first and second. But he couldn’t make it work, striking out while looking. 2-0 ATLANTA
Runner extraordinaire, Duvall grounded out to short, but Heredia made good on his loud out earlier with a double to center, which Thomas misplayed on the unbelievable curve (see below). This was followed by a Harris walk. But Albies flew out to Thomas; no misplay this time. Then Swanson struck out with a “check” swing, ending the threat.
Peralta hit a lovely liner to right-center, resulting in a double for the Freight Train! ...Smith grounded to Swanson and Peralta wasn’t paying attention to the defense so he got thrown out at third. I’m calling TOOTBLAN, sorry David. Then Thomas watched a changeup slide through the zone to strike out. During Hager’s ab, Wright turned into 50cent for a pitch, which would have been much nicer if Peralta hadn’t run himself into an out... Regardless, Smith to second. Hager did draw a walk. Dare I hope a threat is starting? Man... I knew it was too early, not even the sixth yet. Herrera grounded out to second to end the inning. 2-0 ATLANTA
Ozuna struck out swinging on 8 pitches. Then Riley grounded out to third. Contreras bounced a ball just past Hager at short. But Olson was nice and grounded out on the first pitch.
Varsho popped out to second in short right field. It was loud, but high. Rojas then walked. Wright looks to be tiring. Marte also walked. Wright is definitely tiring. Walker couldn’t capitalize though, grounding into an inning ending double play. He is also not The Flash... 2-0 ATLANTA
After a near double to left that ended up foul, Duvall lined out to Rojas, who made a nice grab. Heredia struck out “swinging.” MadBum somehow getting some ugly check swings today. Harris then slow-rolled one to short and Hager barely got him at first. First 1-2-3 inning for Bum.
Leading off again, Peralta flew out to left rather than get on base this time. Smith grounded out to second. Thomas grounded out to short... 2-0 ATLANTA
Ramirez replaces Bumgarner. Another slow roller to Hager resulted in Albies getting an infield single. Swanson struck out on another check swing. Ozuna then singled to left. Which led to a 3-run home run for Riley... sigh. Contreras lined out to right. This brought in Caleb Smith to pitch. Gulp. After a 14 pitch at bat, Olson flew out to Peralta. But damage done.
Colin McHugh in to pitch. Perdomo hit for Hager. But he grounded out. Herrera then struck out swinging. And Varsho grounded out to second. 5-0 ATLANTA
Duvall grounded out to Perdomo at short. Then Smith struck out Heredia and Harris to get through the inning unscathed.
Unfortunately, Rojas lined out to center where Harris made a nice play. Marte struck out swinging. And Walker popped out to Albies. 5-0 ATLANTA
Paul Fry replaced Smith. His debut started well enough, getting Albies to ground out to Perdomo. But he then walked Swanson and gave up singles to Ozuna and Riley to load the bases. Contreras then struck out (finally), but Olson walked in a run...Duvall struck out looking to end the inning.
Jesse Chavez in to finish the game for Atlanta. Peralta popped out to short. Smith then stuck out swinging. And Thomas struck out swinging to end the game. 6-0 ATLANTA FINAL
All in all, this was a fine game. MadBum wasn’t super sharp, but kept us in it. Ramirez pitched it out of reach and Fry had a thoroughly early April 2022 debut for his new team. I can’t see him lasting very long with all the arms in AA/AAA getting ready to knock on the door. The Arizona offense is the biggest loser here. They just couldn’t muster anything all day. Alas sweeps are hard.
Comment of the Day
Only 49 total comments at the time of writing. Not surprising for a day game where the team didn’t show up. No Sedona Red ones today I’m afraid. So instead I’ll quote my friend Gordon since we’ll be in Cincinnati next week:
Cincinnati. You’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.
Being from Columbus (2 hours north), I find this funny (additionally because Gordon is from Arkansas yet hates Cinci for some reason). But the Reds have been pretty okay for a terrible team since their horrendous start. We truly must be cautious on this road trip.
We have an off day tomorrow before traveling to Pittsburgh to face the Pirates for three. No pitchers have been confirmed for the series as of yet. This will be a 10-game road trip also hitting Cincinnati and Philadelphia, although somewhat oddly, the two Pennsylvania series are separated by the trip to Ohio.
The Pirates have been making the Dodgers look like fools recently, the Reds have been quietly turning their season around(ish), and the Phillies have a great offense but horrendous defense. I’ll be holding my breath throughout the next week, hoping we can actually perform adequately against three teams we SHOULD be able to handedly handle.