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Diamondbacks 3, Philadelphia 15: At Least It Was Drama-Free

Zach Davies was a disaster. But at least we got some Josh Rojas performance art as he pitched the top of the ninth.

Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

Well, in the blurb at the top of tonight’s Gameday Thread, our Fearless Leader focused on the drama of last night’s game, and announced his election to find something less stressful to do tonight—base-jumping and amateur matadoring were some of the notions he floated. His concerns were overblown, however—there was no drama tonight at all. No dramatic swings, no ups, only downs. We managed in the end to avoid being on the business end of our first shutout of the season (yay!), but we were never in it and we never threatened. Phillies starter Zack Wheeler had our number, and Philadelphia had Zach Davies’ number from the get-go, and in a rare instance when there hasn’t been a rodeo clown involved, we were unable to muster any sort of “answer back.”

The problems started immediately for Davies, as Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber did what he does to lead off the top of the first, depositing the fifth pitch he saw from Zach into the bleachers in right field. Davies then walked Trey Turner on four pitches, and inevitably Turner stole second thanks to his speed and an inaccurate throw by Carson Kelly, who is newly returned from the injured list. Nick Castellanos then doubled down the line in right, scoring Turner. Davies, on his 19th pitch, finally recorded the first out of the game, getting Bryce Harper to fly out to Corbin Carroll in left. JT Realmuto then grounded to third, but Emmanuel Rivera uncharacteristically sailed his throw to the first over Christian Walker’s head, allowing Realmuto to take second and allowing Castellanos to score. Bryson Stott then singled to left, advancing Realmuto to third. On pitch #29 of the inning, Davies recorded his second out of the game, inducing an Alec Bohm grounder to short that plated Realmuto. He then struck out Kody Clemens looking, closing out his first of three innings of work on 35 pitches. Ugh. 4-0 Philly

We sat down in order in the bottom of the first, with Wheeler recording a groundout and two strikeouts. He only needed to throw 13 pitches to get that done.

Davies recorded his one scoreless inning in the top of the second, actually striking out the side around a five-pitch walk to Trey Turner, who inevitably stole second again thanks to his speed and an inaccurate throw by Carson Kelly, who is newly returned from the injured list. In contrast to the top of the first, this was an efficient inning for Davies, who only threw 21 pitches this time around, putting him at 56 pitches through two. Good times.

Christian Walker, the only Diamondback who was really able to do anything against Wheeler, led off the second with a single to center. After Rivera and Jake McCarthy struck out, Josh Rojas, who had quite the night (mainly as a pitcher), blooped a double to shallow left that advanced Walker to third, but they were both stranded by Carson Kelly, who popped out to short on the second pitch he saw.

Davies made his mess even worse in the top of the third, giving up a leadoff single to Harper, a six-pitch walk to Realmuto, who promptly stole second as part of a successful double steal with Harper, thanks to his speed (impressive enough for a catcher) and an inaccurate throw by Carson Kelly, who is newly returned from the injured list. Yes, cue the dead horse GIFs. One out later, Bohm singled to center, plating Harper and advancing Realmuto to third. A rare brain fart by Corbin Carroll led to one more run, as he came in to catch a shallow pop fly by Clemens and then, apparently thinking that was the third out, turned his back on the infield and went to retrieve his hat without taking the ball he’d just caught out of his glove. Realmuto, an alert baserunner, shrugged, tagged, and scored. Another single ensued, and finally the third out, but yeah. That play was, in some ways, this game in a nutshell. It was all like that. Davies got through three innings on 85 pitches thrown. Woo hoo. 6-0 Philly

Davies’s night, thankfully in some ways, was done, so Jose Ruiz pitched the fourth and the fifth, putting up a zero in his first frame and then giving up a leadoff dinger to Bryson Stott to start his second frame. We continued to be able to do nothing against Wheeler. 7-0 Philly

We finally got to Wheeler in the bottom of the sixth, but, like the saying goes, ‘twas but a scratch. Corbin Carroll walked with two outs, and didn’t even need to steal a base, as Christian Walker notched his third hit of the game, a double into the gap in left center that scored Carroll, because, as VeeLoh pointed out last week, as soon as Corbin’s on base he’s in scoring position:

That was all we got, but at least it was something. 7-1 Philly

Joe Mantiply, also newly returned from the IL, pitched the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings for us, because of course Mantiply Joe is a three-inning guy (wish there was a sarcasm font in this interface). He sat the Phillies down in order in the top of the sixth, but surrendered a leadoff triple of Realmuto to lead off the top of the seventh. Realmuto promptly scored, handing the run we’d just scratched out right back. 8-1 Philly

We got the run back, though, in the bottom of the seventh, thanks to our own leadoff triple, this one thanks to Jake McCarthy, who sent the second pitch he saw off the wall in nearly straightaway center, courtesy of some guy named Luis F. Ortiz who came out of the bullpen for Philadelphia to replace Wheeler. One out later, Carson Kelly actually contributed a positive stat to the game, grounding out to short but allowing McCarthy to score. Perdomo then doubled, but was left standing on second base, because it was that kind of night. 8-2 Philly

Mantiply, in his first outing off of a lengthy stay on the injured list, came out for the eighth, and things went about as well as you might expect. Nick Ahmed actually came out to participate in a mound visit, and offered to take the ball (he was apparently a very good pitcher in little league or something), but Mantiply Joe refused. Four hits and three runs later, he finally got our guys back in the dugout. 11-2 Philly

Corbin Carroll got one final opportunity to pump up his offensive stats in the bottom of the eighth, and per usual, he did not disappoint:

Like last week, you dysentery fans have yourselves a complimentary Jumbo Jack tomorrow with the purchase of a large drink and a roll of toilet paper at participating locations. 11-3 Philly

And that would be that, except that Josh Rojas rather hilariously took the mound to pitch the top of the ninth for us. Sadly, the photo at the top was the only photographic record I could obtain of his performance, but he featured a 37 mph curveball and a 70 mph power slider, and he threw just about every pitch from a windup that featured an extended pause, with one leg up, a la Johnny Cueto, that he held for a ridiculously long time. He got shelled, of course, but it lightened up the experience of watching this bloodbath, and as I noted in the GDT, he really committed to the bit, so props to him. 15-3 Philly

We sat down in order in the bottom half, of course. We were done. All of us.

Win Probability Added, courtesy of FanGraphs

FanGraphs’ Win Probability is a funny thing, because even if you have a great game, like Christian Walker did, you’re not going to rate a good WPA when your team is getting utterly stomped.

Blazing Saddles: Christian Walker (4 AB, 4 H, 1 RBI, +6.3% WPA)
Unforgiven: Zach Davies (3 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 1 HR, 5 BB, 6 K, -35.1% WPA)

And because this is a simply hilarious manifestation of the silliness of Win Probability Added in certain sorts of games, I have to include:

Performance Art: Josh Rojas as pitcher (1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 0.0% WPA)

Given how dismal this one was from the very start, I appreciate everyone who suffered through it with me on the Gameday Thread. Gallows humor abounded, and we managed a perfectly respectable 150 comments at time of writing. Several comments went Sedona Red, but I cannot use either of the two most rec’d comments, because somewhat amusingly they were both mine. So, after sober consideration, I’m giving this one to M_Lopez for their only comment of the stream, but which is on par with the others in terms of rec’s and which I had already been thinking when the game started going south in the top of the first:

For context, the CotG references the Snake Pit post that immediately preceded tonight’s GDT thread:

Clearly this one is Jim’s fault. 8-D

Anyway. If the stress of Monday’s game combined with the utter wretchedness of this one haven’t broken you, we will be convening again tomorrow for the third game of this series, where we try to clinch at least a series split. Phillies’ righty Ranger Suarez takes the mound for them, Merrill Kelly takes the mound for us. 6:40pm first pitch, AZ time, just like tonight. Hope you can join us.

As always, thank you for reading. And as always, go Diamondbacks!