Record: 26-28, .481 W%, 78 Win Pace
The Pittsburgh Pirates walked off the Diamondbacks 2-1 today when Jack Suwinski hit a two run homer off of closer Mark Melancon in the bottom of the 9th. That ruined a masterful outing by Zach Davies, who had by far his best start as a Diamondback.
Davies threw 7.2 shut out innings, giving up just 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6. He retired 18 in a row between the 2nd and 8th innings. Incredibly efficient, he entered the 8th with just 81 pitches thrown. But his bid for his first career complete game and shutout stalled out when he loaded the bases on two walks and a single. Ian Kennedy bailed him out with a clutch strikeout, preserving Davies Scoreless line, lowering his season ERA to 4.18
Davies needed to be that good today. Pirates starter Roansy Contreras displayed his A++ stuff, going 5.2 innings and allowing just one unearned run. He threw 96-97 MPH fastballs, dropped curveballs in for first pitch strikes, and got swinging K’s on a wipeout slider. We are going to hear a lot from this young man.
The D-backs lone run came in the 6th inning courtesy of a double by Marte, an error, and a wild pitch. Other than that it was a very quiet day for the D-backs batters, mustering just 4 hits, and going 0-6 w/RISP and leaving 7 runners on base.
Marte’s double was his second of the game, extending his hit streak to 16 games.
The second inning featured an interesting Heads up play by Christian Walker. After Michael Chavis singled Roldofo Castro hit a shallow popup right in front of Christian. Chavis had to stick close to the bag, and with Castro not running hard the infield all called to Walker to let it drop, which he did. He flipped to Rojas covering first to retire Castro, Rojas threw down to Perdomo, who threw to Ketel, who tagged out Chavis in the run down. Davies gave up a double to Cal Mitchell, but made a good play on a comeback by Tucapita Marcano to end the inning.
As soon as Melancon came into the 9th he gave up a groundball base hit. That was the 13th groundball hit out of 34 groundballs allowed, for an incredible .382 BA. against on grounders. League average is .233, so certainly some bad luck there.
Possibly gassed and working for the 4th time in 6 days, he was not able to put away Suwinski who fouled off pitch after pitch before homering on the 9th pitch of his at bat, a hanging curveball.
It was Melancon’s 6th loss of the year and 2nd blown save in 13 chances. His ERA now stands at 6.87 and despite some improvement recently, this outing highlights yet again that something is just missing for Melancon this year. He’s not getting enough swing and miss, his K rate is just 12.8%, against a league average 22%. It’s hard to say where the team goes from here, but based on history they will stick with their closer for a while longer.
Zac Gallen goes tomorrow to try to lead the D-backs to victory in the rubber match. Game time is 10:35 Arizona Time.
The Worst Kind of WPA Chart
VHS : Zach Davies , +.416 WPA
Betamax: Mark Melancon, -.802
211 comments as of this writing, COTD goes to Hacks for his Dark Premonition. He used the black out over the punch line, but that doesn’t work for COTD presentation, so here in all it’s glory: