They tried to break us, looks like they’ll try again.
After a disastrous, fraught series opener on Friday night, which one half of the Dano/Ramona household had the ignominy of covering, I am pleased the other half is able to write about the successful rubber match. Dbacks/Pirates matchups are typically emotional roller coasters for me, as the only child of a Pittsburgher, who grew up in a Phillies town in the early 1980s (hence the titular Duran Duran song reference), but as time goes by, and my dad grows ever more apathetic about America’s pastime, that bond with the Bucs becomes more and more tenuous. So it was a pleasure, and less of a bittersweet one than has historically been the case, to see my former favorite team let loose a bunch of wild pitches that contributed to our nice, meaty win.
We began the 1st with Roany Contreras on the mound for Pittsburgh, and Pavin Smith lining out to left fielder Bryan Reynolds for out #1. Next up was Ketel Marte, who struck out swinging, and then we had Corbin Carroll hit a solo HR to right field. It would seem his knee is better, so, yay! Alas, Bryan Reynolds got to do the business against us again, as Christian Walker flied out to left. Nonetheless, the Dbacks were on the board. (1-0 DBACKS)
Merrill Kelly was in fine form in the bottom of the 1st, handily pitching a 1-2-3 in which Andrew McCutchen was called out, Bryan Reynolds grounded out, and Jack Suwinski popped out. The top of the 2nd was similarly speedy for Contreras, save for a Josh Rojas walk that did not amount to any scoring. But it was the bottom of the 2nd that kicked off the wild pitching, and it was Merrill Kelly’s doing, allowing Connor Joe, who’d received a walk, to put the Pirates on the board. (1-1 TIE) But because wild boys always shine, Contreras delivered two wild pitches in the top of the 3rd, allowing Jose Herrera, who’d kicked off this half with a double, to score. Carroll, who walked earlier in the inning, was able to make it to third, but a Christian Walker strikeout prevented any more Dbacks runs from scoring this inning. (2-1 DBACKS)
The bottom of the 3rd and entire 4th were speedy 1-2-3 outings from both sides, but things started to get, um, interesting (and protracted) again in the top of the 5th, with Geraldo Perdomo walking, Jose Herrera out on a sacrifice bunt that allowed Perdomo to make it to second, and Pavin Smith singling on a line drive that brought Perdomo home. Then the Bucs turned a right quick double play when Ketel Marte grounded to Carlos Santana at first, who threw to Tucupita Marcano to get Smith out at second, and back to Santana at first to nab Marte. Still and yet, the Dbacks put up another run. (3-1 DBACKS)
And, alas, the bottom of the 5th is where the wheels started to come off the Kelly bus a bit, although, let me say, Kelly did a bang-up job pitching up until that point, with a fairly low pitch count, so props to him for doing a fine job as long as he could. But sometimes, people hit back-to-back singles with a double chaser, and runs score, and that is what happened in this half, as Connor Joe and Rodolfo Castro came home. Fortunately, Jason Delay flied out to Carroll and Bryan Reynolds grounded out to Ketel Marte to end the inning. (3-3 TIE)
The top of the 6th saw a Pirates pitching change, with Dauri Moreta replacing Roansy Contreras. Carroll struck out, but Christian Walker reached second on a throwing error by third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. singled on a soft ground ball to Moreta, whose throwing error brought Walker home and Moreta out of the game. After a word from our friends at Jack in the Gila River Taco Bell Resort, Rob Zastryzny took the mound for Pittsburgh, throwing another wild pitch that allowed Gurriel Jr. to make it to second. However, a Dominic Fletcher flyout to Jack Suwinski ended the inning, but the damage had been done. (4-3 DBACKS)
Monroeville, PA native Scott McGough took the mound for Kelly in the bottom of the 6th, and perhaps being back on Western PA soil had a tonic effect, because McGough did his job, walking only Carlos Santana, as Suwinski and Hayes flied out and Connor Joe grounded out. I swear to Bast I have been to the Monroeville Mall with my grammy and my poor dad, who wanted to doze on my grandmother’s couch during a Steelers game, but I’m not sure; a mall is a mall, how many do you need to look at.
Rob Zastryzny continued in the wild boys, er, pitch tradition in the top of the 7th, propelling Geraldo Perdomo, who’d opened the inning with a line-drive single, to second. Jose Herrera was then out on a sacrifice bunt, but Perdomo got to third. Robert Stephenson replace Zastryzny, and Marte singled on a line drive to right, bringing Perdomo home. (5-3 DBACKS) Carroll walked again, and Walker doubled on a ground ball to left, bringing home Carroll and Marte. Putting an end to the Pirates’ misery was Gurriel Jr., who flied out to Suwinski. (7-3 DBACKS)
The Dbacks turned in a speedy 1-2-3 bottom of the 7th, and then the wild pitchery continued where it left off, with Yohan Ramirez allowing Dominic Fletcher, who’d singled on a ground ball, to make it to second, and then promptly hitting Perdomo with a pitch. Mercifully, sort of, for the Pirates, Herrera grounded into a double play. Kevin Ginkel was out for the bottom of the 8th, and NGL, I flinched a bit at the potential Ginkeling in our future. Happily, that did not commence. Suwinski walked, but McCutchen grounded out, Reynolds flied out, and Santana lined out, thus bringing us to our penultimate half-inning.
No more wild pitches, but there was one more Corbin Carroll walk left in this matchup, and two more Corbin Carroll stolen bases, aided and abetted by a throwing error on the part of Jason Delay, who I keep wanting to call Tom Delay. And there was even one more run for our guys, as Christian Walker singled on a line drive to Jack Suwinski, bringing Carroll home. Gurriel Jr. lined out to center to close out the inning, but we’d put up another run (8-3 DBACKS). The Pirates half of the 9th was a 1-2-3, with Hayes lining out, Joe flying out, and Castro getting called out on strikes. (8-3 DBACKS FINAL)
BELLS AND WHISTLES
- SIMON LEBON: Jose Herrera, +15.9%
- ANDY TAYLOR: Walker, +15.0%; McGough +12.1%; Carroll, +10.8%
- NICK RHODES: Merrill Kelly, -10.3%
Whilst many comments went Sedona Red today, CoTG goes to Michael McDermott for the following exchange, in keeping with today’s theme:
Tune in tomorrow at 3:40 pm, when the Dbacks step off the bus (plane?) to face the Phillies. As always, thanks for reading, and, as always, go Dbacks!