Game #92, 7/17 - D-Backs 3, Padres 1 - Mainstay Merrill vs Chest Lettuce Voit and Co.

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

DBacks and Mainstay Merrill Kelly end the 1st half of the regular season looking to avoid a sweep against the San Diego Padres and should be Dancing with the Stars Candidate, Mike Clevinger. Padres are wearing what are my favorite jerseys of theirs, their Sunday Support the Troops Camo. Regardless of the outcome, we will still be better than last season at this time. 26-66 to 40-52.

Another fantastic start by Merrill Kelly, 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5K's. Only one mistake, a hanging change up hti out of the park by Luke Voit. A few bases loaded walks by Jordan Luplow and Christian Walker and a dinger by David Peralta was all the offense needed in this one. In to the All-Star break on a high note and with 18 more wins than we had last season. What a game. We will see you all on Friday vs the Nationals!

It’s also Draft Day for the MLB with the DBacks having the 2nd overall pick, more than likely taking an MLB Legacy, either Druw Jones, son of Andruw Jones or Jackson Holliday, son of Matt Holliday. Either one I’ll be happy with as we continue the rebuilding process.

Top 1st

Rojas leading off for the DBacks, smacks the 2nd pitch of the game into right field for a single and steals second base later in the inning. Alek Thomas follows up the single with a couple swings at high fastballs and strikes out. Marte hits one to deep right field but Nomar Mazara makes a jumping catch near the warning track to rob Marte of extra bases and the DBacks of their first run. Walker, up with a RISP, strikes out and ends a mostly quiet top half of the first.

Fun Fact – According to the Petco Park Scoreboard, Christian Walker enjoys building furniture and has built a greenhouse. The more you know.

Score: 0-0

Bot 1st

Jurickson Profar leads off for the Padres, hitting an easy ground ball to Alcantara at 1st. 1 out. Merrill gets ahead of Jake Cronenworth 0-2 before throwing three straight balls and giving up a hard single to right. He is able to strand that runner at 1st and win me my No Runs 1st Inning bet by Striking out Machado and inducing a lazy fly ball to left by Mazara.

Score: 0-0

Top 2nd

David Peralta’s first at bat of the game, which may be one of his last as a DBack as Corbin Carrol continues to rake down in Triple A and the Dbacks being obvious sellers at the deadline ends in a strikeout looking. Varsho follows that up with what was almost an infield single to 2nd but a nice underhand glove flip by rookie C.J. Abrams beats him by a few steps. Alcantara starts what I like to call the "defensive" part of the line up, as our bottom 3 today are batting a combined .197. A soft fly out to center ends the inning

Score: 0-0

Bot 2nd

Big ol’ Luke "Chest Lettuce" Voit leads off the bottom half of the 2nd and swings at all 4 pitches he sees, eventually striking out. He followed it up with a quick conversation with the home plate ump, either to argue the foul tip strike three or to show off his chest lettuce. Yet to be determined. Hosmer follows very fittingly with a bloop single to center right after Steve Berthuime mentions how he hits the ball on the ground more than any other hitter in the league. Austin Nola keeps the train moving with a seeing-eye ground ball through the infield just out of the reach of Perdomo. Trent Grishman hits a pop up to center which had the same look as the ball that dropped right between Buddy Kennedy and CWalk yesterday, but this one is caught at the last moment by future gold glove center fielder Alek Thomas. CJ Abrams slaps a single to Varsho, the Padres 3rd base coach, old friend Matt Williams, sends Hosmer around 3rd but a beautiful throw by Daultan Varsho to Jose Herrera gets him at home. Kelly escapes a 3 hit inning, keeping it at a 0-0 game.

Score: 0-0

Top 3rd

The defensive part of the lineup continues with SS Geraldo Perdomo leading off the 3rd with a strike out. Clevinger’s 4th in the first 8 batters. The dancing must be throwing us off as he is averaging roughly 2 shakes and 4-7 toe taps per pitch so far this game. C Jose Herrera hits a soft pop up to shallow left for Machado. 2 down for Rojas. Inning ends with a fly out to center.

Score: 0-0

Bot 3rd

Top of the order for the Padres, started off with a double into the right field corner by Profar. Kelly gets dangerous Jake Cronenworth to pop up, bringing up Manny Machado with a runner still at 2nd. Merrill wins the 8 pitch at bat, getting Machado to fly out to David Peralta in left. Mazara strikes out on 3 pitches to end the inning and strand the leadoff double.

Score: 0-0

Top 4th

Thomas swats a high fastball into right to the right fielder, oh, no that’s a diving Jake Cronenworth playing rover due to the shift, (can’t wait until they ban the shift next season) but Thomas is too quick giving us our first base runner since the 1st. Clevinger immediately follows that up with a wild pick off attempt allowing Thomas to advance to 2nd. Pop up by Marte to Abrams for the first out of the 4th. Walker with a deep fly ball to left center advances Thomas to 3rd. 2 down for Peralta. During the at-bat, Peralta hit a foul ball and proceeded to hit it again on the bounce back to him. Looking really frustrated at the plate these days, hitting 3 for 29 since his Grand slam in Colorado, follows up the foul ball with a swinging strike 3 at a ball way outside. Thomas stranded at 3rd.

Score: 0-0

Bot 4th

Kelly beginning the 4th at 56 pitches, hoping for some efficiency here in the 4th. And there it is, 1 pitch 1 out on a ground out by Mr. Chest Lettuce Voit. Maybe exotic dancing is his back-up plan if baseball doesn’t work out. Shout out to Jim for that reference made back in a thread a couple weeks ago. Hosmer lines out into the shift (I take back my previous comment, kinda) to Perdomo directly behind 2nd base. Strike out by Nola ends a quick 11 pitch 1-2-3 4th inning for Kelly. On to the 5th!

Score: 0-0

Top 5th

Varsho leading off the 5th during a Leandro Cedeno 527 ft HR highlight for the Double A Sod Poodles. Absolute bomb. Gives me Mark Reynolds HR to the old Fatburger in left center vibes or Adam Dunn hitting everything to the moon vibes.

Varsho starts the 5th with a strike out swinging, that’s 6 for the dancing man. Alcantara continues his hot streak at the plate since returning to the DBacks with a single up the middle. Here’s to hoping part 2 and 3 of the defensive trio can follow it up. Wild pitch to Perdomo moves Alcantara to 2nd. A solid 11 pitch at bat ends in a walk for Perdomo. What he lacks in average, he certainly is doing well with his on base percentage (.303). Herrera follows up the long at bat by Perdomo with a 1 pitch ground out into a double play leading to a big stretch by Hosmer at first prompting a challenge by Torey Lovullo whether Hosmer kept his foot on the bag or not. (My opinion before the call, his foot looks off the bag) which would give us 2 outs, runners at 1st and 3rd for my personal 1st half MVP Josh Rojas. CHALLENGE SUCCESSFUL – Herrera safe at first, Alcantara on at 3rd. Clevinger struggles to find the strike zone, Rojas walks. Based loaded for rookie Alek Thomas. Thomas tried to check his swing on a ball that hit him, but 3rd base ump says Strike 2. Unfortunate break for the DBacks. Strike 3 swinging on a high fastball, 3 more left on base.

Score: 0-0

Bot 5th

.191 Batting Average Trent Grisham leading off the 5th for San Diego, strikes out looking. Kelly’s 5th K of the game. 2 pitch ground out to CWalk. 2 outs. Lineout to center by Profar. 13 pitch 1-2-3 5th for Kelly. Looks like he’s really settled in, retired 9 in a row.

Score: 0-0

Top 6th

Ketel Marte leading off the 6th for the DBacks, strikes out looking, giving a thumbs up to Clevinger as if to say, "ya got me Dancing Man, ya got me". With the lack of runs, looking for anything interesting to write about I can so during this inning, Lovullo has come out to speak to the home plate umpire regarding lighting in the stadium. I guess it’s getting dark in San Diego, at 3 pm? Must be cloudy. Ump wagged his finger and the lights have come on! Walker pops up to first. 2 down for Peralta. A BOMB OVER THE RIGHT FIELD WALL BY DAVID PERALTA! 1-0 DBACKS Should cure some of the frustration he has been having lately. Reminder to all of you, that is a free Jumbo Jack at Jack in the Box with the purchase of a large drink. May be all we get because doesn’t look like Tacos are likely at this rate. Inning ends with a pop up to the catcher by Varsho.

Score: 1-0 DBacks

Bot 6th

It is at this point I have moved from the couch to the floor to plug in my laptop as I noticed it was on 7%. Lack the time and effort to move my couch to access the outlet behind it so across the room I go. Got it plugged in just in time to watch Cronenworth pop up to Alcantara at 2nd. Mackenzie Gore, former top prospect is warming up in the Padres bullpen. Pop up by Machado. 2 outs. Another 1-2-3 inning, 12 straight shut down for Kelly with the ground out to 3rd by Mazara. 92 pitches for Kelly. Should get at least the chance to start the 7th.

Score: 1-0 DBacks

Top 7th

Gore is indeed on the bump for the Padres, first time seeing him personally. Bottom 3rd of the lineup due up for the DBacks, starting with Alcantara. Works a four pitch walk. Gore has thrown 5 straight balls to start the 7th, prompting a meeting with Nola at the mound. Finds the strike zone for the first time immediately following the meeting. Perdomo tries to bunt down the 3rd baseline, goes foul at the last possible second, strike 2. Perdomo can’t check his swing, strike 3. 1 Out. Carson Kelly pinch hitting for Jose Hererra, a 9-game hitting streak and .189 batting average. Might be the hottest hitter below the Mendoza line I have ever seen. Make it a 10-game hitting streak, base hit into left for Carson, Sergio Alcantara moves to 2nd. Another four pitch walk by Gore, this time to Josh Rojas. Based loaded again for Alek Thomas. Alek Thomas is for some reason being pinch hit for by Jordan Luplow prompting old friend Bob Melvin to give Gore the hook.

Gore leaves the game with .1 IP, 2 walks, 1 hit, 1 K, and 17 pitches, only 6 for strikes. Unfortunate start to this young guy’s career.

Steven Wilson on for the Padres. Luplow 3-18 as a pinch hitter this year with a couple dingers. Could use one here. Luplow works a bases loaded walk, Alcantara scores. 2-0 DBACKS Based still loaded and only one out for Ketel Marte and Christian Walker on deck. Couldn’t ask for a better situation. Wilson struggling the same way as Gore was, unable to find the strike zone. Starting out 2-0 on Marte prompting a visit from the pitching coach. Marte flies out to right, not deep enough for Carson Kelly to score unfortunately. Bases still loaded, two down for Walker. Walker draws another bases loaded walk, 3-0 DBACKS, who needs hits these days? Not us. Melvin has had enough, returns the mound for the 2nd time this inning to get Steven Wilson. In comes lefty Adrian Morejon to face 6th inning hero, David Peralta. As I noted earlier about the lack of action of this game, it has prompted the DBacks broadcast booth to declare the Chas Roberts Cool Play of the Game, Torey coming out to ask for the lights to be turned on. Morejon gets Peralta to strike out on three pitches to end the inning. Time to stretch!

Score: 3-0 DBacks

Side Note – I may hate the Padres, but Sunday’s in San Diego are something I have a ton of respect for. Military personnel singing God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch.

Bot 7th

My dog has come to join me as he has now noticed I am sitting on the floor.

Voit, with his unbuttoned jersey, leads off the 7th. "Here comes the chest lettuce" as Voit launches a moonshot over the left field wall. Just missed the top deck of the Western Metal Supply Co. building at Petco Park. 3-1 DBACKS That will be it for Merrill Kelly, 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K’s. Another solid outing by Kelly. In comes All-Star Joe Mantiply. What a story this guy is. 1 pitch 1 out for Mantiply, a ground out to first by Eric Hosmer. Nola works a full count but strikes out looking, 2 outs for the All-Star. Trent Grisham is pinch hit for by Esteury Ruiz (check my spelling) who swings at the first pitch he sees, grounding out to Perdomo at short. 1-2-3 for Mantiply following the Voit homer. To the 8th we go!

Score: 3-1 DBacks

Top 8th

Morejon back out there to start the 8th, Ruiz stays in the game after pinch hitting. Varsho leads off the inning and strikes out on a foul bunt. The MLB Draft starting in a few minutes, will mention the draft pick later on in the article. Alcantara hits a ground ball to the gold glove 3rd baseman Manny Machado but a rare error, bobbles it long enough for Alcantara to reach 1st. Perdomo flies out to center to Ruiz, two outs in the 8th. Carson Kelly ends the inning with a pop out to first.

Score: 3-1 DBacks

Bot 8th

Back to the couch during the commercial break as my laptop has made it to 50%. Should be enough to make it through the rest of the game. We hope as we all manage our anxiety over the DBacks bullpen as Caleb Smith enters the game to work the 8th. Ha Seong Kim pinch hits for CJ Abrams to begin the 8th, popping up to the first baseman Christian Walker. The lineup flips over as Jurickson Profar is at the plate. Profar hits a fly ball to left center that Peralta calls off Varsho for and makes the catch. 2 Outs. Keynan Middleton warming up in the bullpen. Smith strikes out Cronenworth to finish the 1-2-3 inning. Into the 9th with a 3-1 lead.

Score: 3-1 DBacks

Top 9th

Top of the order as Rojas leads off the 9th for Arizona with Morejon still on the mound. Rojas hits a grounder to Hosmer at first, tosses to Morejon. 1 out. flies out to right, 2 outs. Ketel swings at the first pitch he sees, smacking a single through the right side. Bob Melvin out to the mound to get Morejon. Nick Martinez, the 5th pitcher of the day for the Padres has come on to face Walker. Walker grounds out to Martinez, tosses to first. To the bottom of the 9th.

Score: 3-1 DBacks

MLB Draft Note – Orioles selected Jackson Holliday, high school shortstop, son of Matt Holliday #1 overall. Dbacks are on the clock. Arizona Diamondbacks select OF Druw Jones, son of Andruw Jones. Fantastic selection. I am sure there will be an article about him soon on the Snake Pit. Outfield – Alek Thomas, Corbin Carroll, Druw Jones? Yes please. DBacks still have the 34th and 43rd overall picks today. Rangers select Kumar Rocker at #3. He’s another story. That’s a shocker after being projected to go late 1st round or fall even further.

Bot 9th

Mark Melancon on to face Machado, Mazara, and Luke "Chest Lettuce" Voit to try to get the save and close the first half of the season out on a high note. Machado grounds out to short, 1 out. Mazara pops one up to the outfield in what was almost the Bermuda triangle of baseball, but Luplow makes the catch a second before Varsho was about to run him over. Voit, the padres last chance, up to hit. Voit strikes out on a 3-2 curveball!! Melancon gets his 13th save, the Diamondbacks get their 40th win, and off to the All-Star Break we go!


Shout to Jim for this opportunity. Thank you so much! Hope you all enjoyed!

Bells and whistles, by Jim

[Click to enlarge, in new window]
Mickey Mouse: Merrill Kelly, +26.8%
Donald Duck: +12.4%
Goofy: Ketel Marte, -16.1%

In the absence of any Sedona Red comments, I am invoking executive privilege and giving it to D-hacks.


And that brings an end to the first half of the MLB season. Thanks to Devon2000 for his guest recap! The season starts again on Friday, with the D-backs beginning the second half against the Nationals at Chase Field. But between now and then, we'll have draft coverage and also threads for the Home-Run Derby and the All-Star Game, tomorrow and Tuesday. So stay tuned for that!