Record: 31-36. Pace: 75-87. Change on 2021: +11
Full disclosure. I got a text from Turambar at about 9:25 pm tonight, saying he wouldn’t be able to recap due to unforeseen circumstances. The problem was, I was roughly half way through The Batman at that point. However, on checking the scoreline on my phone... it wasn’t much of a problem. Back to the film it was. I think it’s probably safe to say, you want to read about this game, as much as I want to write about it. Which is why the next five hundred words are going to be my thoughts on the movie.
Dir: Matt Reeves
Star: Robert Pattinson, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano
I don’t typically do superhero movies, typically finding them boring as hell. The Dark Knight is about the only one I have time for, and that’s largely due to Heath Ledger’s incandescent performance as The Joker. I would have to think before being able to tell you who played Batman in that one. But Mrs. SnakePit was “Are we going to watch The Batman?”, and would not be dissuaded, even after I pointed out it a) starred the vampire from Twilight and b) ran a crisp one hundred and seventy-six minutes. Though I was amused by the first. Who better to play a batman? But, really, it was too much cultural baggage to handle, with this version of the Dark Knight feeling like it was played by a pissed-off lead singer of a goth band.
Then there’s the length. Very few films “need” to be 176 minutes long, and this definitely was not one, meandering its way in a largely uninteresting way for about the first two hours before we got anywhere semi-interesting. Whatever the issues tonight’s baseball game had - and there were many - it ran sixteen minutes shorter than the movie. Batman’s character arc seemed to be rediscovering - at a glacial pace - his humanity, finding that there was more to life than vengeance. Getting there required a plot which sprawled over at least twenty years, incorporating the truth about the murder of his parents, and decades of corruption since. At times, I felt I would rather have watched the congressional investigation into these events.
We also get Kravitz as Catwoman, about whom all I’ll say is this: I never thought I would genuinely miss Halle Berry, but there we were. The rest of the cast are similarly bland, with the worst offender being Dano as The Riddler, in a one-note performance which never reached the level of grating. But the worst thing about this was director Matt Reeves’ perpetual failure to realize that “poorly lit” is not the same as “atmospherically lit.” The entire film looked to have been shot in lighting conditions you could approximate by opening your fridge door. Maybe it worked better in the theater? In the home environment, you were left peering into the gloom, trying to figure out who was doing what, and to whom.
On the other hand, it was probably still a preferable experience to the shit show which unfolded at Chase Field tonight.
Dir: Torey Lovullo
Star: Luke Weaver, Caleb Smith, Buddy Kennedy, Carson Kelly
I think it’s safe to say that the #5 position in the rotation remains undecided, but the prospect of Dallas Keuchel becomes ever more appealing. Luke Weaver effectively crossed himself out of immediate consideration after tonight’s performance, where he allowed nine runs, all earned, without being able to get through the fourth inning. Weaver gave up ten hits and a walk with five strikeouts, and has a season ERA of 13.50. He’s only the second pitcher since 2016 for Arizona to allow nine or more earned runs in an outing. The other was Caleb Smith in the infamous 22-1 beatdown by Los Angeles last July. The five pitches who have combined to occupy the #5 spot in the rotation now have a combined ERA of 7.80. Yep: Keuchel time!
Appropriately, it was Smith who followed Weaver to the mound in mop-up, the Twins already having a 9-0 lead when he took the mound with two outs in the fourth. He was.... about what you would expect, allowing two runs over 4.1 innings, on four hits and four walks with five strikeouts. The pitching highlight of the evening was likely Jake Hager taking the mound in the ninth, and posting a clean inning on 12 pitches. It was his third emergency outing of the season: he now has a considerably better ERA than Weaver, at 7.71. Considering Arizona had to throw a total of 179 pitches to 46 batters, I’m surprised the game was over as quickly as it was.
Admittedly, the D-backs hitters played their part in the hurry-up offense, managing just four base-runners all night. Their sole run crossed home plate in the fifth inning after Buddy Kennedy led oft the inning with a triple, and came home one out later on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Carson Kelly. Elsewhere in the game, David Peralta had a double, while Alek Thomas and Josh Rojas each singled. That was it. Daulton Varsho left the game after running out a ground-ball in the sixth inning. Afterwards, it was announced as a “left heel contusion”. He said he hit the bag at first hard, and has had the issue before. Didn’t seem too concerned, but it would truly be the cherry on the cake of tonight’s fiasco.
Click for details at Fangraphs.com
The Dark Knight: Caleb Smith, +0.2%
The Batman: Luke Weaver, -36.4%
There was a Gameday Thread, and I’m sure there were people in it. But you’ll understand if I’ve lost the will to go in there. There will be another game between these two teams tomorrow afternoon, in the rubber game of the series. Merrill Kelly starts for the D-backs, and I’ll be recapping that one. I may even watch some of it. No promises though...