Prior to tonight’s contest, the Arizona Diamondbacks had not won or lost two games in a row. A back and forth seesaw to and from .500 mostly in line with the median win totals predictions by the Snake Pit staff prior to the start of the season. Last season Arizona had an abysmal 5-14 record against the Los Angeles Dodgers with a -36 run differential. With tonight’s victory they are now 4-3 albeit with a -9 run differential. Still a very long season ahead, but not a bad start at all considering Arizona won’t see Los Angeles again until August after tomorrow's contest.
Tonight’s victory did come with a price we’ll discuss in a moment. Zach Davies made his second start of the season following a no decision victory against these same Dodgers on April 2nd. The Dodgers jumped on him early bringing four runs across the plate in the first inning. It took Davies 32 pitches to escape the first inning. He retired leadoff man Mookie Betts without affair, but then sandwiched a Will Smith walk in between singles to Freddie Freeman and Max Muncy making the score 1-0. J.D. Martinez brought Smith across with a long sacrifice fly to right field, and then rookie James Outman hit his third home run of the season against the Diamondbacks resulting in a quick four run Dodger lead.
Most people by that point would have checked out of the game, and I can’t say I would blame them given the aforementioned results of last season. However, the Diamondbacks offense tonight showed great poise, stayed focused, and put together some really good at bats throughout the game. Ketel Marte got it started with his fifth double in six games, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. scored him with a double of his own off of Noah Syndergaard.
Arizona countered Los Angeles’s four spot with one of their own in the second inning all coming with two outs making it even more impressive. Alek Thomas notched his first hit of the season, a triple to right field so well placed he hardly had to test the arm of Mookie Betts. In his first extra base hit of the game, Geraldo Perdomo hit a two run home run bringing the score within one. Arizona kept attacking the right side of the field, and so Josh Rojas singled in that direction. Marte paired his first inning double with a second inning two run home run giving Arizona the lead at 5-4, and suddenly we had a ballgame. Again with two outs, this time in the bottom of the third, Arizona brought another run across the plate but this time without extra base hits. Corbin Carroll was hit by a pitch and naturally stole second base coming as a surprise to nobody. Newcomer Gabriel Moreno scored Carroll on a single to center field giving Arizona a two run lead.
Meanwhile, Zach Davies settled down after a very difficult first inning with a much needed one-two-three second and third inning. The game again became dicey for him in the fourth inning seeing 7 Dodger batters come to the plate. A bases loaded walk to Mookie Betts brought the game within one run again. Alek Thomas made a momentum stopping, game saving catch in center field to prevent any further damage.
That price of victory mentioned above came in the top of the fifth inning. Zach Davies struck out Will Smith to begin that frame, but after releasing the final pitch of that at bat he immediately dropped his glove to the ground in an obvious sign of pain. The injury appeared to be serious and he was removed from the game. Word during the game was that he suffered a left oblique strain which could keep him out for some time. Kyle Nelson cleaned up the rest of that frame without allowing a run.
Arizona’s seventh run of the game once again came courtesy of Corbin Carrol’s speed. After singling to reach base to lead off the bottom of the fifth, Just like before he put himself in scoring position with his fifth stolen base of the season and was singled home by Alek Thomas.
Kevin Ginkel, Scott McGough, and Luis Frias wrapped up the remainder of the game for Arizona on the mound each allowing a run of their own, but the Diamondbacks offense kept their foot on the pedal maintaining a safe lead. In the sixth and seventh innings, Arizona tacked on a total of five more runs. Even more impressive was that yet again the Diamondbacks put up three of those runs with two outs in the seventh inning. Perdomo doubled home Thomas with his second extra base hit of the game. Josh Rojas singled him home, and then Lourdes Gurriel Jr. capped it off with a single of his own that scored Rojas to seal a 12-to-8 victory.
For context, during tonight’s broadcast there was an audible and rather annoying ticking/tapping sound during the broadcast. One could only hope that someday soon the godless Dodgers will crash and burn.