It’s a Wednesday. That means it’s a potential sweep of a baseball series! To spice it up for this reviewer, they chose a night game this time. In Phoenix. That means first pitch was 9:40pm my time. It’s going to be a long night folks, let’s hope the snakes can make it a good one too!
|LaMonte Wade - RF||Josh Rojas - 3B|
|Joc Pederson - LF||Alek Thomas - CF|
|Yermin Mercedes - DH||Ketel Marte - DH|
|Brandon Belt - 1B||Christian Walker - 1B|
|Mike Yastrzemski - CF||David Peralta - LF|
|David Villar - 3B||Daulton Varsho - RF|
|Brandon Crawford - SS||Buddy Kennedy - 2B|
|Tommy La Stella - 2B||Geraldo Perdomo - SS|
|Joey Bart - C||Jose Herrera - C|
|Alex Cobb - RHP||Merrill Kelly - RHP|
Alrighty readers. I had to handle a day-job issue at the start, so I’m opting for a slightly different approach tonight. We’ll see how it goes. I like giving y’all a breakdown of all 51-54 outs, but for tonight I’ll try the CliffNotes version.
The first three innings took Merrill the Mainstay 54 pitches. Efficient, he was not. Effective though, he was. He struck out 4 (Pederson x2, Yaz, & Crawford), and did not allow a hit. Two walks though. Other than well-fought at bats from the Giants, Kelly had a pretty easy start to the game.
Opposing Kelly tonight was Alex Cobb. He was just as inefficient, but far less effective than his counterpart. It took him 62 pitches to get through three, but he gave up 4 Earned Runs. He still struck 2 out and only walked 1, but the defense let him down, notably by La Stella who tried to look cool playing a slow grounder by Rojas and let it get to right field to score a run on a generous double (it could’ve easily been ruled an error). Villar also airmailed a throw to first on a Kennedy grounder. Belt caught it, so no extra bases, but it did extend the third. In addition to Rojas’ second inning RBI, Peralta had one on a single to left in the first, and Thomas singled home two to center in the second. The offense continued to click for two innings.
The fourth was boring for both sides. No noise whatsoever. Kelly gave up a Crawford double with one out in the fifth though. Followed by a walk to La Stella. Then Bart nearly hit a homerun, but a fan reached over the wall and grabbed it, so it was ruled a run scoring double instead after Umpire Crew Review. This actually helped us, as only one run scored. Eventually a ground out brought home a second, but Kelly got out the inning without letting Bart cross home. After six, Kelly had thrown 94 pitches with 3 walks and 6 strikeouts and only 2 Earned Runs.
Cobb on the other hand, settled in. At the end of the sixth, he’d retired 10 straight D’Backs. The six innings took 97 pitches though. Given how poorly the San Francisco bullpen has been in the series though, he might not be done quite yet (he was).
Merrill came out for one final batter in the seventh and succeeded. Nelson replaced him. It went well. Jarlin Garcia replaced Cobb for the seventh. He did ok. He got two outs, but gave up a single to Herrera first, and the outs were productive, getting him to third and forcing Mauricio Llovera to come in. He got the Giants out of the inning.
Mantiply came in for the eighth and promptly gave up a 2-run homerun to tie the game. He then got three consecutive outs. Brebbia came on for the Giants, as did 3 new fielders. He blew threw the three hitters he faced. Meanwhile, Mantiply was allowed to start the ninth and hit a batter before being replaced by Poppen, who did NOT do his job... He loaded the bases on a walk, hit and fielder’s choice before giving up a double down the right field line, scoring two (Mantiply in line for the loss in addition to his blown save now). A third run scored on a sac fly to center. Poppen finally got the final out after that, but the wheels had already come off and were burning to ash on the mound...
Doval came out for the save. He walked Perdomo. Hummel struck out swinging. Rojas flew out to left. Thomas also earned a walk. Marte came up to hit as the tying run and Doval at 20+ pitches. Ketel managed to work a nice single to right, scoring Perdomo and letting Walker come up as the winning run. Walker WORKED a walk to load the bases for Peralta. Sammy Long then replaced the Giants’ closer and Luplow hit for Peralta. He struck out on three pitches... Game over.
This was a game of stretches. The beginning was exciting and filled with good at bats and effective enough pitching. The middle was booooooooring and tested my ability to stay awake, not going to lie. The beginning of the end was depressing, but the very end was tense and filled with all sorts of emotions! Despite Luplow’s absolutely pathetic final at bat, the bottom of the ninth was phenomenally fought for the good snakes. So long as the guys can come out tomorrow and forget about tonight, we should be good to go. Colorado is worse than we are.
After the game, Torey Lovullo and Joe Mantiply spoke to the media, with the manager explaining his bullpen usage.
You’re getting 3 tonight! Why you ask? Because I am a generous reviewer of course! But truly, because all three are deserving of recognition and give a good feel to how the 8th and 9th innings made us all feel.
Well done kilnborn for crafting this poem! You are the undisputed most rec’d of the night!
Then we have two comments posted a half inning apart that showcase the drastically different feels of the final half innings. Firstly, Michael with a plea to the team to help its most reliable member. And secondly, Xerostomia, the first to put into words, the feelings we all have after watching that game.
No off day tomorrow. Colorado comes to town and it’ll be a real pitching match up... Austin Gomber (4-7, 6.53 ERA) against Dallas Keuchel (2-6, 8.27 ERA). You should read this article if you want to be optimistic about Keuchel; I personally am more on the boat of: he has been effectively wild than pitching intelligently, but I’d like to be wrong. Fun Fact about Gomber, he was the “headline” return for Nolan Arenado from St Louis.