I honestly don’t even want to talk about this one, really. But I sorta have to, because I get paid all the big bucks to recap Diamondbacks games on Friday nights. Prime time, baby! So. So so so.
So yeah, wasn’t thrilled to draw a second consecutive Madison Bumgarner start, but what can one do? He was facing off against Miami lefthander Trevor Rogers, who was supposed to be prone to sucking, so I was kinda like, “All right, at least maybe we’ll be evenly matched.” Sadly, that didn’t turn out to be the case, in that Rogers’ suckage potential was, I think, wildly overemphasized. Our own lefty’s suckage, on the other hand, was a bit shy about putting in an early appearance, but it certainly did come out to play eventually, and was the main difference in the game.
Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. managed a two-out infield single for us in the top of the first, recording our first hit off Rogers, but nothing came of it. Overall, we made the dude throw 17 pitches in the top of the first, which felt....okay. Bumgarner took the hill in the bottom half, and despite a leadoff single and a one-out walk, managed to put up an only slightly sloppy zero in the bottom half. Bum threw 19 pitches, many of them for balls, but with remarkably little damage done. And he and Rogers seemed to be on a more-or-less level playing field, suckage-potential-wise.
Evan Longoria drew a leadoff walk to start the second, but nothing happened with that baserunner either. In the bottom of the frame, Bumgarner achieved something that he had not achieved all season up to this point—he sat down the side in order. Perhaps even more remarkably, he only needed eight pitches to do it. It was actually a damn good inning—another zero, very few pitches, and all of a sudden, in the pitch-count race, he was ahead 27-33.
Sadly, we sat down in order in the top of the third, and Bum surrendered a one-out single and allowed some relatively lengthy ABs to the Marlins, so while more zeros were up on the board, the pitch count was tied between the two starters at 44-44.
We sat down in order again in the top of the fourth, suggesting that once again we’d forgotten to ship the bats via express mail for a road series. And then the bottom of the fourth rolled around, and it was not pretty.
The broadcast had been noting, through the first three innings, that Bumgarner was keeping his pitches on the outer half of the plate to the parade of mostly righthanded hitters that populated Miami’s Starting lineup tonight, and it was proving to be broadly effective. Not so much in the bottom of the fourth, as Bum’s pitches started creeping into the middle of the zone, and the Marlins teed off. The first two batters reached on singles to left. A Yuli Gurriel (Lourdes Jr.’s older brother, fun fact) lineout to Nick Ahmed at short gave us the first out, and a Jean Segura grounder followed that gave us the second out on a fielder’s choice. And then it was a single to center, back-to-back doubles to left, and then a final single to center to a whole bunch of Marlins players I’ve pretty much never heard of, before Jorge Soler finally lined out to left to end the pain. It was a lot of pain, though. 5-0 Miami
With one out in the top of the fifth, Nick Ahmed hit his own single to left, but nothing came of it, which you may have noticed was a theme for much of the game. Besides that, Rogers was still dealing, and I’m not even keeping track of the pitch-count competition anymore, because after Bum’s bottom of the fourth, that had ceased to be a thing. Bumgarner did come out and pitch a scoreless fifth, though, working around yet another single to left to lead off the inning. But his night was done after that, with a final line of 5 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 1 BB and 1 K on 82 pitches thrown, 51 of them for strikes. Bear in mind, though, that each pitch that results in a hit counts as a strike toward the final count. So. It was what it was.
And that was pretty much that. For the Marlins, Rogers pitched into the seventh, but was pulled after giving up back-to-back leadoff singles to Evan Longoria and Corbin Carroll. Longoria advanced to third on Carroll’s single, and Carroll then stole second base immediately, because that’s what he does, putting runners on 2nd and 3rd with nobody out. Felt like it could be a big comeback inning, but nah, not really. Gabriel Moreno managed to drive in our sole run with a one-out grounder to short that Jon Berti, the Marlins’ SS threw to third to get Carroll, who sorta TOOTBLANned his way into an out there. At least it kept us from being shut out, though. 5-1 Miami
For our bullpen, Peter Solomon (the poor man’s Drey Jameson?) pitched three scoreless innings in long relief, but our offense couldn’t do anything against the Miami bullpen, so that’s all she wrote for this one.
Win Probability Added, courtesy of FanGraphs
Peter Solomon, Evan Longoria and Corbin Carroll were the only ones to contribute, however minimally, to our positive win probability on this one, which is probably fair, as it never felt like we were really in this game, at all, ever. I was excited, too, to go with a fish-and-chips theme for the categories, but alas, there are no categories today. There is only one entry, because while there were very few positive contributions, there were really no contributions negative enough to be worthy of note, except this one:
Madison Bumgarner: Madison Bumgarner (see pitching line above, -23.2% WPA)
It was a nice, if gloomy, Gameday Thread, and remarkably well-populated for a game that began while many folks were likely still at work. Nothing turned red in the 209 comments at time of writing, but I’m going to give a COTG anyway to Justin for his possibly prophetic imagining after that five-fun fourth of what the man might have to say in the postgame interview. Also, if there were any justice, the following would have already been turned way red by now:
Anyhow. Still got two games to go against these fish, and both of them are on the east coast, so both of them start pretty early. Drop by tomorrow as Ryne Nelson faces off against another Marlins lefty, one Braxton Garrett, who is apparently a baseball player. First pitch is 1:10pm AZ time. Hope you can join us!
This one is my first recap of a loss for the year, which is always a sad moment, but thanks as always for reading. And, of course, go Diamondbacks!