Record: 11-7 - Change: +4
It was another beautiful day in St Louis for some Spring (but we’re all pretending it’s Summer) baseball. Paul Goldschmidt and the Redbirds hosted Dr. Drey and the Snakes. The game would get WILD, but the ending was sweet (if a little bitter first).
|Ketel Marte - 2B
|Lars Nootbaar - RF
|Josh Rojas - DH
|Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
|Lourdes Gurriel - LF
|Alec Burleson - DH
|Christian Walker - 1B
|Willson Contreras - C
|Evan Longoria - 3B
|Nolan Gorman - 2B
|Jake McCarthy - RF
|Tyler O'Neill - LF
|Nick Ahmed - SS
|Dylan Carlson - CF
|Gabriel Moreno - C
|Taylor Motter - 3B
|Alek Thomas - CF
|Tommy Edman - SS
|Drey Jameson - RHP
|J. Montgomery - LHP
Marte greeted Jordan Montgomery by smacking a triple to right/center. Nootbar misplayed it, but did not receive an error somehow. Rojas grounded straight up the middle and Edman made a great play to save the run. Then Gurriel grounded out to Montgomery and Marte ran himself into an out... And Walker struck out swinging to end the inning in a thoroughly uncompetitive at bat. Luckily, Jameson got three easy outs in the first for Arizona. Unluckily, he met Paul Goldschmidt (solo home run) in the middle of them...
Absolutely nothing of note happened for the snakes in the second. Unfortunately, Jameson was NOT crisp that inning. He was not helped by poor defense from Thomas and Gurriel, allowing a double to O’Neill, but he walked Motter and Carlson himself. Then Nootbar grounded to Ahmed, but the throw to second was too slow, scoring a run. The original call was out, so St Louis challenged successfully. Unclear was why the inning continued despite Motter running through the base and being tagged by Marte while off base with a theoretically live ball? (no answer I’ve found yet at time of writing - look to Snake Bytes tomorrow for a possible official reason) But Dr. Drey struck Goldy out looking, so all it cost was a few more pitches on a young arm.
The third was slightly more competitive for the Diamondbacks. Moreno led off with a double up the third base line. Unfortunately, Thomas struck out and Marte flew out, both failing to advance the catcher to third. Rojas did single up the third base line too, scoring Moreno, but got tagged at second, ending the inning. Jameson got three ground outs surrounding two walks to keep the score 2-1 St. Louis. But he was helped immensely by Burleson (and Contreras) being S-L-O-W. It could have been much worse.
In the fourth, Gurriel singled to right, then Walker doubled him home to left/center. Longo singled Walker to third. McCarthy barely got the ball onto the infield grass, but Walker took advantage of not-Arenado’s poor maneuverability to get back to third without an out. Ahmed then doubled on a pitch that bounced first, scoring Walker and Longo. Moreno then homered to center field - HIS FIRST as a D’BACK (a ball Thomas probably catches). Thomas proceeded to fly out to left. Marte singled to right, and Rojas got Gorman to bobble on a grounder, only getting Marte out at second. Gurriel singled to left this time, but Walker flew out to center ending the fun. Jameson and Nelson (Kyle, not Ryne) combo’d for a good old fashioned shut down inning, striking out Motter, Edman and Goldy (Nelson walked Nootbar).
The Cardinals brought in Chris Stratton to pitch the fifth. He struck Longoria out, got McCarthy to ground out to short and Ahmed to pop out to center. Nelson also made quick work of the Cardinals, striking Burleson and Contreras out then getting Gorman to line out to right.
Stratton continued to quell the Diamondbacks’ bats in the sixth; nothing really happened. Kevin Ginkel (we’re going to call him Stinkel tonight) came out for the sixth. O’Neill singled, Carlson doubled him home. Then Motter grounded out, but The Stink walked Edman. So Joe Mantiply made his season debut with a STATEMENT, striking Nootbar out on three pitches and then getting Goldy to line out to Thomas. The score: 7-3.
Welcome back to our All-Star Joe! pic.twitter.com/so5nT398pl— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) April 19, 2023
Rojas dunked a single to left after a long at bat (8 pitches). Gurriel grounded to third (also an 8 pitch at bat!), but the not-Arenado manning the bag knocked the ball aside, everybody safe. Walker lined out to right, moving Rojas to third and chasing Stratton (he threw 23 pitches to 3 batters!). Jordan Romero replaced him. Longo greeted him with a single past short to score Rojas. McCarthy then grounded into a close double play, ending the inning. Mantiply stayed in for the seventh and got Burleson to fly out to left before giving Contreras his first 2023 home run. He then got Gorman to line out to himself and Scott McGough replaced him for a better matchup against O’Neill who struck out.
Ahmed immediately grounded out to third (not-Arenado made the play!). MORENO WALKED! FIRST ARIZONA WALK OF THE DAY (also his first walk of the season)! Thomas then struck out. And Marte grounded out to third to end the inning. McGough faced zero threat in the bottom of the eighth, sending the game to the ninth on 9 pitches.
But oooooooh boy the ninth! Jordan Hicks got the nod for the Birdies. He struck Rojas out on a dropped ball, then Gurriel swinging. But Walker did single to right. And Longo struck out swinging too. Heat is effective on the mound folks.
Chafin took the mound for the snakes and Carroll came in to replace Gurriel for some better defense. Chafin immediately violated the pitch clock (possibly with some PitchCom issues, but evidently not enough to cause official problems), and then proceeded to walk Nootbar, before Goldy doubled to right. Burleson grounded out to second, scoring Nootbar and advancing Goldy. Contreras then homered AGAIN, making this a one-run game. Nolan Arenado made a pinch-hit appearance for Gorman, which prompted Lovullo to replace Chafin with Castro. Some sort of rules check delay occurred at this time. No idea what it was about because the umps didn’t deign to tell the fans what was up. Arenado flew out to center. O’Neill then walked on a questionable at bat (Torey thought he wasn’t attentive but the ump never called it). Thankfully, Carlson grounded out to third, preserving the DIAMONDBACKS 8-7 WIN!
What. A. Game. So many things to discuss! Another questionable umpiring day for this crew. A “rule check” announced but then no answer to why/what it was about! Fireworks from Moreno, Goldy, and Contreras x2. The awkward dead/live ball abomination at second. Chafin looking more like his previous Diamondbacks days, but McGough looking good! Castro saving the day. Jameson regressing to the mean for the first time. And most importantly, the good guys scoring 6 RUNS in the 4th without making an out!
There are many ways to describe tonight’s game. But all that really matters for now is that it’s another Diamondbacks’ win! Not the most solid win, and there are likely some longer-term consequences (the rule stuff, bullpen usage, etc.). We head into a Madison BUMgarner start tomorrow with at least some momentum in our basepaths.
- Superman’s First Appearance (comic cover): Gabriel Moreno (15% WPA)
- Monument Protector: Nick Ahmed (13.3% WPA)
- Queen Bona Sforza of Poland: Christian Walker (13% WPA)
Not only did TheOlser4 get the most rec’s tonight, this one feels appropriate after that game. We often highlight those who lose faith when the bullpen comes in, or those who prematurely declare victory (or being a good luck charm). But this one encapsulates all the weirdness of 2023 Game 18. Close second was Justin27’s sarcastic comment about knowing what a Noot Bar is. 257 total comments as of publication today!
Madison Bumgarner will pitch opposite someone called Jake Woodford at 10:15AM Arizona Time.