Another Saturday night, another Madison Bumgarner start. It seems like I’ve been catching a lot of the Bum’s starts lately, and honestly, there’s not that much more I feel like I have to say about them. He started. He lost. He earned a lot of money doing it. Moving on.
Madison Bumgarner’s pitching line tonight:
6 IP, 6 H, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 4 ER
Madison Bumgarner’s earnings for his outing tonight, calculated by innings pitched:
Weirdly, perhaps, Bum was actually quite good through his first five innings of work. He put up zeros through those innings, surrendering only two hits and a walk and facing only three batters more than the minimum. I had been bracing myself for more of the usual suckage, but it wasn’t happening. That was nice. While it lasted.
He faced off against Rockies’ righthander Jose Ureña, who entered the game with an ERA just above 6.00, so it wasn’t unreasonable to think that we might be able to tee off against Ureña. Sadly, we didn’t.
Jake McCarthy, who continues to cement his position as my absolute favorite new position player for the Diamondbacks, drew a leadoff walk with two outs in the top of the first. Nothing came of it, though, and he was the only one of the good guys who reached base until the top of the fourth, when he became the second of the good guys to reach base, and the first to notch a hit.
With one out, Jake stroked a grounder into right for a single. Christian Walker singled to left to advance him to second. Ketel Marte, once again DH-ing, I suspect because that’s the position where he can do the least harm to the team, succeeded in not ending the inning by grounding into a double play, and in fact hit a ground ball to right for a single that allowed McCarthy to score from second.
Ketel Marte gets the offense rolling with an RBI single! pic.twitter.com/iaraDoRCoE— Bally Sports Arizona (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) September 11, 2022
Emmanuel Rivera came to the plate then, and perhaps feeling like Marte had dropped the ball with his customary inning ending duties, picked him up by grounding into a 5-4-3 double play to shut that silliness down. Still, we had a lead. 1-0 D-BACKS
[And yes, that is your sole video highlight of the game. Sorry. It is what it is.]
That little eruption of potential offense contained, we settled down and went in order in the top of the 5th, while Bumgarner continued to cruise. Then the top of the sixth rolled around.
Bumgarner was actually in good shape going into the sixth. He’d thrown only 69 pitches, put up five zeros, and while there had been an awful lot of fly-ball outs (8 of 15 at that point), they had all stayed in the yard. The longest AB anyone had hung on him up to that point was 6 pitches.
On the third pitch of his sixth inning, though, Randall Grichuk, Colorado’s right fielder, doubled off the wall in the left-center gap to lead things off. Had the launch angle been just a bit different, it would have been in the seats. Bum then walked Yonathan Daza, the Rockies’ CF, on seven pitches, and promptly unleashed a wild pitch that allowed both runners to advance, taking the double play possibilities off the table. Didn’t matter anyway, though, as CJ Cron, inspiration for countless “Wrath of Khan” memes, inspired yet another of those memes by launching a no-doubt dinger over the center field wall. A single and a double later, Bum finally recorded the first out of the inning. He then walked another batter, loading the bases, before getting out of it finally on a sacrifice to center that brought in another run and an infield popout to get us off the field. 4-1 Colorado
And yeah, that was pretty much it. We were already into the Rockies’ bullpen by that point, but we did nothing against them, managing only a leadoff walk in the eighth by Cooper Hummel. Meanwhile, Taylor Widener got into and then pitched out of trouble in the seventh, and then Mark Melancon did pretty much the same thing in the eighth. They both put up zeros, but so did we, and that’s your ballgame.
Win Probability Added, courtesy of Fangraphs
Arnold Palmer: Nobody, sadly, as nobody managed better than a +7.6% WPA tonight.
Phil Mickelson: Emmanuel Rivera (0 for 3, -13.2 % WPA), The Bum Himself (pitching line above, -11.6% WPA)
We had a pretty well-attended Gameday Thread tonight, with 203 comments at time of writing. Not too shabby, especially given how lackluster this game wound up being in terms of excitement. Comment of the Game goes, without question, to redsedona, who made this bold and frankly implausible prediction early on, only to see it come true:
Stop by tomorrow to see if we can maybe avoid the indignity of getting swept by the Colorado Cellar-Dwellers. If you don’t care about that, still, you should stop by, because Zac Gallen is taking the mound with only one more scoreless inning needed to become the new Diamondbacks team record holder for most consecutive scoreless innings pitched. If he has another outing like his last several, and goes as deep as he has been going lately, he might even catch up with Don Drysdale and get into the highest levels of the MLB record books. History in the making, people. You don’t want to miss it.
First pitch is slated for 12:10pm AZ time. Some guy named Ryan Feltner is pitching for the Rockies, if you care. Hope you can join us.
Anyway. As always, thanks for reading. And as always, go Diamondbacks!