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Diamondbacks 5, San Francisco 2: A Quiet, Normal Baseball Game

Merrill Kelly did his job. The offense did its job. The bullpen did its job. It was weird.

San Francisco Giants v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

This was not a particularly exciting baseball game. For many teams and many fans of those teams, it wouldn’t be anything special. We won, which is always very nice. Every part of the team did what it was supposed to do and did it properly, which is also very nice. Nobody on our side did anything flagrantly idiotic or incompetent or terrible. On the contrary, the Diamondbacks did a competent job in just about every aspect of the game, and the result was what one would generally expect. Again, this was very nice.

It was also deeply weird. As a Diamondbacks fan and as a once-a-week recapper for the last four or five years or however long I’ve been doing it at this point, I’m not used to games like this. Assuming the team is actually, finally, beginning to turn a corner, is this more often how it’s going to be next year? That would be cool. Also, again, though: weird.

Anyway. Merrill Kelly had the ball tonight, opposed by Giants’ righthander Alex Cobb. Mike Yastrzemski, San Francisco’s right fielder tonight and relative of one of baseball’s true greats of whose nickname (“Yaz”) he is not yet and likely never will be worthy, hit a one-out double to right in the top of the first, but no harm was done as he ended the inning on third base. In our half of the frame, the top of our lineup was retired in order, so no excitement there. And so it went, for awhile.

After that double in the first, Kelly retired the next ten batters he faced. Cobb, aside from a two-out walk to Josh Rojas in the second, was shutting us down handily through three.

Kelly encountered a weird spot of trouble with two outs in the top of the fourth, surrendering a Brandon Crawford single to right, followed by a four-pitch walk to Giants’ DH David Villar, and then another single to a creature named Jason Vosler (?) who apparently plays third base for San Francisco now from time to time. Vosler’s single scored Crawford. Kelly bounced back after that hiccup though to strike out Austin Slater to end the burgeoning threat. 1-0 San Francisco

And whaddya know, in the bottom of the fourth our bats roused themselves, got back the run, and then piled on some more for good measure. Pavin Smith, newly returned from his long vacation in Reno and DHing tonight, singled to right to lead things off. Daulton Varsho followed with another single to right, advancing Smith to third. Christian Walker continued the single parade, driving in Smith with a ground ball single to left:

Score tied now, good, good. Ketel Marte then lined out to center, a worthless out, before Josh Rojas drew his second walk in as many plate appearances, loading the bases. Alek Thomas hit a grounder to Wilmer Flores at first, and Flores tried for the out at the plate, but Varsho beat the throw and we now had the lead. Carson Kelly hit a sacrifice fly to center that got Walker home from third, and some atrocious fielding business by the Giants allowed Rojas and Thomas to both tag and advance as well, bringing Geraldo Perdomo to the plate with runners on second and third. Perdomo came through with the third single to right field of the inning:

That’s right, taco time, thanks to Perdomo. Adding insult to injury, Perdomo then immediately stole second with a sufficiently massive jump that it didn’t even garner a throw. It was gratuitous, and nothing came of it, but it was kinda funny, especially given how unhappy Alex Cobb already was at this point. Corbin Carroll, however, the ninth batter of the inning, ended Cobb’s pain by grounding out to first. 5-1 D-BACKS

Now with a robust lead, Merrill Kelly proceeded to cruise through the next three innings, retiring nine of the last ten batters he faced through seven. The one blemish was a leadoff dinger that Mikey Y launched over the wall in right to lead off the sixth, but that was that. 5-2 D-BACKS

Our bats didn’t entirely go to sleep after that five-run fourth, either, with Carroll managing a one-out single in the bottom of the seventh and Walker taking a base on balls and Ketel Marte getting him to third on a double to right in the bottom of the eighth, but no more runs crossed the plate for us.

Happily however, no more runs crossed the plate for our opponents either. Joe Mantiply pitched a clean eighth, and Reyes Moronta, last night’s other goat, sat the Giants down in order in the top of the ninth for his second save of the year, nailing down the win in remarkably undramatic fashion.

Win Probability Added, courtesy of FanGraphs

2001 Honda CR-V: Merrill Kelly (7 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 6 K, 1 BB, 1 HR, +15.6% WPA)

Sadly, it seems like we fans are running out of gas a little bit as we approach the end of the season. Tonight’s Gameday Thread put up dismal numbers, with only 48 comments overall at time of writing. Needless to say, no Comment of the Game tonight, as nothing even came close to going red. Sad times.

Anyway, stop by tomorrow for the rubber match in this three-game series, as Drey Jameson takes the mound against Giants’ lefty Scott Alexander. Jameson seems really good since he came up from Reno, and he’s fun to watch. First pitch is scheduled for 12:40pm AZ time. Hope you can join us as we go for the series win in our last home game of 2022!

As always, thanks for reading. As always, go Diamondbacks!