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Diamondbacks 0, Reds 7: Swinging in the Rain

And mostly missing.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Report: 26-36. Pace: 75-87. Change on 2021: +6.

There was a brief delay before the start of this one, as rain descended on the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. Unfortunately, it stopped. For this game was more or less all downhill all the way for the Diamondbacks from there.

This is the first time I’ve had the misfortune to have to use the Bally Sports App to recap a game (Mrs. SnakePit is now working from home, so claimed priority in the dining/living room until 5:30 pm). I was not impressed. It would not connect to the Chromecast in the bedroom, so I had to sit in the office and use the computer. The feed was painfully laggy, typically half a dozen pitches or more behind even Gameday, kept pausing, and the quality was, to put it mildly, extremely variable. Much as the experience of watching Interceptor last night had me questioning our Netflix subscription. I’m left wondering why we are paying a pretty penny for our cable subscription. Mind you, I’m perhaps extra grumpy because this game sucked.

The first inning began well enough, Daulton Varsho dropping down a lovely bunt to the third-base side to get on base. However, after Josh Rojas worked the count full, he struck out swinging, and Varsho was thrown out trying to steal second base on the pitch. The Reds responded by taking the lead in their half against Madison Bumgarner, former Diamondback Brandon Drury hitting his tenth homer of the season. Fortunately, it was a solo shot, since Bumgarner seemed unsettled by a blown call from home-plate umpire Dan Marzel, and a brief verbal spat ensued. He ended up needing 31 pitches to get through the inning, and left the bases loaded, on a double, walk and hit by pitch.

The deficit was doubled in the second inning. Cincinnati got a lead-off double, which came around to score one out later on a single. Again, Bumgarner was made to work hard: through two innings, he had faced twelve batters and been required to throw 53 pitches. He did get the first two quickly enough in the third, and had his shortest inning of the game, at 16 pitches. That was largely courtesy of a diving catch in left field by David Peralta. The Freight Train stayed down for a bit after that, concerning fans (especially those who might have recently picked him up in fantasy baseball), and though he walked off under his own steam, was replaced by Cooper Hummel the next inning, due to “back spasms”.

The D-backs got a break in the fourth, when a bloop dropped in to no man’s land of shallow right field. The runner ended up on second, but the D-backs challenged the play. While there was nothing at all in the angles available to the broadcast to suggest it would be successful (take a look at it below, and see if you can figure out what happened), the call was indeed overturned and the runner erased. It was Lovullo’s tenth successful challenge of the year, tying the Orioles and (pending tonight’s game) Mets for most in the majors. All hail Arizona video co-ordinator, Allen Campbell!

You’ll notice I haven’t said much about the Arizona offense in the last few paragraphs. That’s because there was very little to say. After Varsho’s bunt single, the next twenty batters were retired in order, eight of them by the strikeout, as Reds’ pitcher Hunter Greene was having one of his good nights - to put it mildly. These had happened: he took a no-hitter into the eighth, in the game against Pittsburgh, the Reds lost 1-0. But his issues earlier in the season were largely related to control, and after an 8:0 K:BB ratio against Boston in his last outing, he repeated those numbers tonight, not walking a batter this evening. I get the feeling he’s going to be a beast for a while.

The Reds got two more runs in the fifth, which was also the last of Madison Bumgarner. I’m afraid I am unable to provide my usual, detailed description, as the Bally Sports online stream died completely in the middle of the inning, and I was reduced to watching intermittent still frames, apparently recorded on a potato. Reviewing the box score, it looks like Bumgarner got the first two outs, but then went walk, single, two-run double. In his defense, the double appears to have resulted from an ill-timed dive by Alek Thomas, the ball skipping past him. Bumgarner went five, allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks, with four strikeouts. Fortunately, Mrs. S then got off work, so I could reclaim the TV in the living-room.

Not that it helped the Diamondbacks much. Taylor Widener came on in place of MadBum, and put up a zero in the sixth. But the seventh inning saw the rain return with a vengeance, and the Reds took full advantage, scoring three times before the umpires finally decided to stop the game. The Reds’ ground crew then had severe trouble getting the tarpaulin back on to cover the entire infield, and ended up having to use a second and third tarp to take care of the bits which were open. I’m not going to lie: watching them struggle was far and away the most amusing and entertaining thing about the contest, from a D-backs’ fan perspective.

It didn’t take too long for the game to be called, about 45 minutes after the teams came off the field. It was largely a mercy killing at that point, with the D-backs likely being happy to surrender the contest. At a time of 2:13, it was the quickest game of the season - it was the shortest for Arizona since both ends of the 7-inning double-header in Atlanta last April, which were completed in 2:10 and 2:11 respectively. No word to this point about David Peralta.

In what has to be a rarity, no Diamondback on either side of the ball posted a positive Win Probability, so my usual scheme of things is broken. Madison Bumgarner was the only one in negative double digits at -12.9%, with Taylor Widener (-1.7%) the best recorded. However, Fangraphs still shows a D-backs 0.4% chance of winning this one. I imagine that will get tacked on to Widener’s number, taking him up to 2.1%. Ketel Marte and Jose Herrera were at -1.8% so they would probably take over.

The same two teams will try and play again tomorrow; however, the forecast looks more than a little dodgy there as well, so we’ll see how that works out. Tyler Gilbert makes his return to the rotation for Arizona, with a first pitch at 3:40 pm Arizona time... weather permitting!