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Diamondbacks 0, Mariners 4: Kelly, zeroes

The D-backs proved to be sub-Mariners this afternoon.

Seattle Mariners v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Record: 56-50. Pace: 86-76. Change on 2022: +9.

The D-backs were unable to take the rubber game of the series against the Mariners at Chase Field. A slow start from Merrill Kelly put them behind before they got a chance to bat - not that it mattered, since the Arizona offense was almost non-existent this afternoon. Arizona were held to three hits, all of them singles, and only got one runner past first base all afternoon - Emmanuel Rivera in the third. The loss dropped them back to an even .500 at home, and they face a tough road trip in the coming week, against San Francisco and Minnesota.

It was a long first inning for Merrill Kelly, with walks proving troublesome. He walked the first batter he faced, who came in to score, on a bases-loaded walk with two outs. An RBI single added another run: on the other hand, two of the Mariners' three hits were groundballs which found holes, much as they have been doing all series. Regardless, by the middle of the frame, Kelly had faced eight batter, thrown 41 pitches and was 2-0 down. It was the second-most pitches in any inning of Kelly's major-league career. The second inning was at least quicker. The bad news: another pair of hits and an additional Mariners run. But, hey: Seattle led 3-0 yesterday, and that ended alright.

The offense, however, had other plans. A 1-2-3 first was followed by Christian Walker being plunked to get the lead-off man aboard in the second. However - and stop me if you've heard this before - a double-play erased the runner. In this case, Dominic Canzone lined a pitch right to the 1B, who trotted back to the bag. That was bad enough. But in the fourth inning, Walker reached on an error... and Canzone lined a pitch to the 2B, who easily doubled Walker off first again. If it wasn't for bad luck, the Diamondbacks would have had no luck at all. In between, Arizona had two men on in the third, but a trio of strikeouts meant the score stayed at 3-0. We had the lead-off man on base in all three frames.

To his credit, Kelly settled down after that disaster of a first inning. You'd have got long odds against him getting through five at that point, but that's what Merrill did. He allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks, with six strikeouts. He only needed 49 pitches to get twelve outs, from the second through the fifth. Kelly was both helped and hindered by C.B. Bucknor behind the plate, whose strike-zone resembled a piece of performance art. I'll be very interested to see his umpire scorecard tomorrow. It didn't feel like he was particularly biased. Just inaccurate, inconsistent and thoroughly incompetent. I'll just leave this here. #2 was a called strike, and #5 was called as a ball. Go figure.

It was, to be honest, a pretty dull excuse for a baseball game. This was Kids Get In Free weekend at Chase: there wasn't much happening on the field to keep them interested. There weren’t even that many balls in play, since the two sides combined for 25 strikeouts. The D-backs pitching staff racked up thirteen of them. Over two scoreless innings of relief, Tyler Gilbert had five K's, and Austin Adams added a pair in the eighth. Cole Sulser made his first appearance in almost four months in the ninth, having recovered from a shoulder strain which had kept him out since April 3. He allowed a lead-off double, and that came in to score one out later on an RBI single, for the final 4-0 scoreline.

This loss was definitely on the offense, who had just three hard-hit balls (the Mariners had ten), and were held without an extra-base hit for the first time April 26 - and the team actually won that game, 2-0 over the Royals. The three hits tied a season low, matching the tally from May 27 against the Red Sox, and the three total bases was the worst by Arizona in a game since the penultimate game of last year versus the Brewers, when the team came a Josh Rojas single away from being no-hit. There were six games that year where the D-backs had three or fewer total bases, so this being the first of the season is some kind of improvement, I guess?

Click here for details, at
Running Up That Hill: Emmanuel Rivera, +5.3%
Ariel: Dominic Canzone, -17.7%
The Seventh Wave: M. Kelly, -10.8%; Perdomo, -10.3%

Yeah, happy birthday to Ms. Kate Bush, who was probably my first celeb crush. :) The top of the first largely took any energy out of the Gameday Thread, and I can’t say I blame anyone for finding something better to do. I’d have joined them if I hadn’t been on recap duty. Probably with a nice Sunday nap, ahead of what threatens to be a stressful week. It’s off to San Francisco as mentioned for Arizona, and a four-game series against the Giants that the team perhaps can’t afford to lose. Ryne Nelson is listed as the starter in the first game, which has a 6:45 pm first pitch. Pity the poor schmuck who has to recap that one.