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Diamondbacks flat in 5-2 loss to Braves

Poor pitching, defense and situational hitting halt momentum for Arizona

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Atlanta Braves Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Record: 45-54, Pace 74-88

There is an old adage in baseball, “Momentum is only as good as the next day’s starter” , and that was true tonight in Atlanta. A lackluster performance by Madison Bumgarner and the position players behind him ran into the excellent pitching of Atlanta Braves starter Kyle Wright, who stymied the Diamondbacks offense for the better part of 7 innings in a 5-2 Braves victory, picking up his league leading 13th win.

Bumgarner gave up a solo home run to Austin Riley in the first inning, his 29th of the year, staking the Braves to a 1-0 lead. It was the 7th first inning homer allowed by the D-backs starter, tying him with Josiah Gray for the most first inning long balls in the majors.

Wright buzzed through the D-backs lineup the first time through, allowing just a walk and a baserunner to reach on error through three innings. He had his curveball working early and that would be a theme all night. Despite that the D-backs had a golden opportunity in the top of the third. Jake McCarthy turned an 0-2 count into a walk and Carson Kelly reached on a throwing error giving them 2nd and 3rd with nobody out. But Perdomo, Rojas, and Thomas went down in order to squander the opportunity.

That would turn out to be key, as disaster struck in the bottom of the third for the Diamondbacks. Bumngarner issued a one out walk to Michael Harris. With Ketel Marte positioned almost straight up the middle, Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a sharp ground ball two steps to his right. Marte tried to back hand it but the ball bounced off his glove and into shallow center. Ruled a hit, it appeared to be a play that should have been made. That was followed by a throwing error from Josh Rojas trying to get the force at second base, allowing Harris to score. Bumgarner was unable to pick up his defense, allowing an RBI double off the wall by Riley and a single to Dansby Swanson. Three runs scored in the inning, giving the Braves a 4-0 lead.

The Dbacks closed the gap with single runs in the 4th and 5th. Jake McCarthy punched an RBI base hit to left in the 4th, scoring David Peralta. Geraldo Perdomo hit his 3rd homerun of the year in the 5th, a 417 foot shot to right center.

Unable to secure a shutdown inning, the Braves scored their 5th and final run against Bumgarner, courtesy of another RBI double from Riley.

Bumgarner managed to finish the 6th inning despite walking a couple of batters. He got into it with home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman, but was clearly in the wrong as the balls were off the plate.

Bumgarner’s final line was 6 IP, 8H, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 0 K

Hat Tip to the AZSnakepit staff for noting this inglorious piece of information:

Wright meanwhile continued snapping off curveballs, (48 of his 96 pitches were curves !) navigating his way to 6 23 innings pitched, allowing 5 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks and 5 K’s. He came out with two out and two on in the 7th, but Jordan Luplow, pinch hitting for Alek Thomas, struck out against a left handed reliever to end that threat.

A scoreless relief inning from Chris Devenski, making his first appearance this year after having Tommy John Surgery, was a mini highlight. Luke Weaver got three quick ground outs in the 8th, helping keep the D-backs in the game.

Arizona had one final chance in the top of the 9th. Facing old time foe Kenley Jansen, Daulton Varsho tripled to lead off the inning. After McCarthy and Kelly struck out, Perdomo and Rojas drew walks to load the bases for Luplow. Unfortunately Luplow struck out again, to end the game. If you are looking for moral victories, at least Jansen threw 26 pitches, so they probably won’t see him tomorrow if there is a Braves save situation.

The D-backs were just 1-9 with runners in scoring position, leaving 9 men on base. The defensive miscues in the 3rd inning gave the Braves a lead they would never relinquish. Bumgarner had a poor outing, with a lot of hard contact, unable to miss any bats at all. Yes, he managed to go 6, and his defense hurt him again. He’s had some bad luck that way this year. But at the same time it was obvious that he was making location mistakes, especially to Riley.

Fangraphs WPA Box Score

I can’t even with the WPA board tonight. They make little sense. And in this case, with no WPA for defensive miscues and plays not made, it’s pretty pointless.

164 Comments tonight, but no Sedona Red comments for COTD

Corbin Martin faces off against Ian Anderson at the same time tomorrow, 4:20 PM Arizona time