The Arizona Diamondbacks faced a tough opponent on the mound today in rising star Dylan Cease. He has been making a strong case for the American League Cy Young award and today was no exception. He had given up only twelve home runs all season prior to today’s game, but both Diamondbacks hits off him this afternoon were solo home runs. For Arizona to secure a series sweep, Zach Davies had to match him inning for inning and be just as dominant.
While his final line wasn’t quite as spectacular, Davies still gave Arizona five plus innings of respectable work and kept the game within one run. Winds were swirling in Chicago today which made it exceptionally difficult for fielders to track fly balls. The Diamondbacks got the scoring started in the second inning courtesy of Stone Garrett’s first Major League home run.
This swing is art. pic.twitter.com/c7wv551fB8— Bally Sports Arizona (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) August 28, 2022
At that point in the game, the winds were blowing out to left field giving the ball enough lift to carry over the wall. Not that those boulder shoulders of Stone Garrett’s needed anymore help than they received. Cease of course returned to form and settled down thereafter retiring seventeen straight after allowing a walk to Sergio Alcantara following Garrett’s home run.
Arizona remained in the lead until Davies’s’s’s’s’s final inning of work. In the bottom of the sixth, Chicago chased him from the game with a single, double, sac fly, and single which put them ahead by one run. Andrew Vaughn’s double off of Davies was just barely kept fair in the right field corner by those swirling winds. After AJ Pollock hit a single off of Davies’s’s’s’s leg to give the White Sox the lead, Lovullo went to Kevin Ginkel out of the bullpen who cleaned up the inning and pitched a stress free seventh.
It appeared that Cease had enough fire in him to go the distance and secure a one run victory for Chicago, but the winds changed directions in more ways than one. Cease was still pumping 98 MPH fastballs with ease in the eighth inning and hardly look tired. It was on one of those 98 MPH fastballs that Sergio Alcantara drove to right field for a solo home run to tie the game at two. The wind had been blowing in the opposite direction for most of the game, but he sliced right through it.
Sergio Alcántara's solo shot ties it up ‼️ pic.twitter.com/j8m1NIakPm— Bally Sports Arizona (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) August 28, 2022
Being that it was now a battle of the bullpens, there was a good chance Arizona would win the war given the way the rest of the series had gone. Noe Ramirez kept the score tied in the bottom of the eighth, so Chicago countered with Kendall Graveman. Owner of a 2.xx ERA, Arizona was able to break through him in order to take the lead. He walked Dalton Varsho and Josh Rojas, but got Arizona down to two outs before Jake McCarthy laced a double to right center field. Varsho scored, but Rojas was thrown out at home to end the inning.
Ian Kennedy came on in the save situation for Arizona. He retired AJ Pollock on a groundout, but Elvis Andrus wacked a double to left field to put the tying run in scoring position. The dangerous Eloy Jimenez made a pinch hit appearance, so the Diamondbacks wisely decided to pitch around him to put a force out at any base. Not that it was needed because Kennedy struck out the final two batters to secure the series sweep.
A trio of four rec’d Sedona red comments for me to choose from. I’m going to go with this hard to argue with observation from Diamondhacks. The art of a hard fought grinding at bat is something to be admired when seen.
And the good news keeps flowing because Arizona’s top prospect will be called up to the MLB team on Monday.