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Diamondbacks 5, Padres 4: Victory Tacos!

I love the taste!

Ballpark Food Photo Illustration by Sarah Sachs/Arizona Diamondbacks/Getty Images

Record: 59-59. Pace: 81-81. Change on 2022: +4.

Ah, savor the flavor. Scoring five runs and winning for the first time since July 19. Winning a series for the first time since the same date. And beating the Padres - whom I was assured we would be trailing in the standings by the end of today. It was made all the more satisfying by the come from behind nature, with Arizona three runs down before they even stepped to the plate. Brandon Pfaadt steadied the ship and, though he did not figure in the eventual decision (so is still seeking his first career win, after 11 starts), he did record a career high for strikeouts (below). Lourdes Gurriell came off the bench to hit a two-run game-tying homer, and Alek Thomas had a go-ahead sac fly before Paul Sewald got the save.

This all seemed rather unlikely in the first, as the Padres teed off on Pfaadt. The good news: he struck out the side The bad news: the five other San Diego hitters who came to the plate, all got hits. Three of them crossed home-plate, sending Arizona’s Win Probability down below 25% before they picked up a bat. The D-backs got one back immediately, as Corbin Carroll led off with a triple into the right field corner. Ketel Marte followed up with a hard smash down the first-base line that the Padres’ 1B could only deflect foul, and Arizona was on the board. Further hope was extinguished by Tommy Pham GIDPing. I’ve generally been unimpressed with Pham so far, due to ABs like this one.

I asked in the GDT which version of Pfaadt we would see today. The answer, it turns out, was a little from Column A, a little from Column B. After a tough opening frame, where he needed to throw close to thirty pitches, Brandon steadied the ship very nicely. San Diego were being very aggressive, and did get their share of hits, but Pfaadt was also fooling hitters well. His sweeper seemed particularly effective: of the 28 thrown, he got 7 called strikes and 3 swinging strikes. He kept the Padres off the board through 523 innings, and he would have had a quality start, had he not been hosed by Rob Drake on a pitch which should have ended the sixth.

Still, after how this one started, I’d say that three runs over 5.2 innings is more than acceptable. He scattered nine hits and two walks, but as noted, struck out a career high eight batters. The Padres are a good hitting team - 105 OPS+ coming into today, the fourth-best in the National Leage - so keeping them mostly in check is a good result. Fun fact: in the first inning, Pfaadt has a K:BB ratio of 15:1 over eleven innings. Before today, he had only allowed two runs there, so it doesn’t appear to be anything systemic. At least he will get to dodge the terror of pitching in Colorado during the upcoming series. That would do his confidence no good at all.

After Marte’s RBI single, the D-bats went concerningly quiet for a while. They had two on in the second, but Jose Herrera and Geraldo Perdomo struck out. But they made it a one-run game in the fifth, though it should have been tied. Herrera singled, leading things off, and Perdomo then made two attempts to bunt him over, fouling off both pitches. On a pitch in the dirt, Herrera tried to advance 90 feet himself, and ended up being thrown out. What was particularly exasperating at the time was Perdomo then hitting his first home-run (above) since May 28th, a spell covering 58 appearances. That leaves Jose Herrera (80 games) and Jake McCarthy (44) as the active homerless leaders in the D-backs’ clubhouse.

That made the score here 3-2, and we all know about the Padres’ MLB-worst record in one-run games, so Arizona had them right where they wanted them. After Miguel Castro tidied up the sixth, Kevin Ginkel took over for the seventh, and after easily recording the first two outs, he needed five attempts to get that pesky third one. The damage was limited to an opposite-field groundball for an RBI double, though Ginkel needed to leave the bases full of Padres. Jace Peterson led off the bottom of the seventh with a walk, and one out later, Gurriell had his first-ever pinch-hit home-run (below), tying the game at four.

Enter Luis Frias, and I think we need to pause briefly. and praise how Frias has turned his season around. His first two stints with the big-league club were disastrous, leaving him with a 10.80 ERA at the end of May, having given up 10 hits and 7 walks in only 6.2 innings. But since returning not long after the All-Star break, he has been nails. His part in a scoreless eighth inning at Chase today (Kyle Nelson got the final out) gives Luis nine innings without allowing a run since he came back. Though most of those appearances were in losses (today is only his second outing in a win over that time), he may be in line for some higher-leverage work. SI had a good piece on Frias’s improvements.

As I said in the Gameday Thread, “Okay, let’s score this half inning, and Sewald nails down the save.” That’s exactly what happened. With one out, Christian Walker singled, and went first to third, successfully challenging Ringworm Jr’s arm after Gabriel Moreno singled, on his first at-bat after being activated off the IL this afternoon. Jace Peterson was intentionally walked, and Thomas then delivered a fly ball to right-center, allowing Walker to come home. Sound, fundamental baseball. Who knew? Enter Sewald, who issued a two-out walk and then fell behind 3-1 on Gary Sanchez. Fortunately, Sanchez’s plate discipline still suck, and he swung wildly at ball four for a game-ending K.

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Victory tacos: Lourdes Gurriel Jr, +26.9%
Carnitas tacos: Moreno, +16.8%; Sewald, +16.6%; Perdomo, +11.8%
Taco Bell tacos: Tommy Pham, -14.9%

Comment of the thread to ‘hacks:

I just checked Gaslamp Ball, and can confirm that they are saying the same thing, only without the sarcasm font. The win, combined with results elsewhere, moves Arizona back to within 2 12 games of the final wild-card spot, and also moves them three ahead of the Padres for third in the NL West. More inter-division (or is it intra-? I can never remember...) baseball follows, with three games in Colorado, starting tomorrow. Always, um, “interesting” to play games in Coors. It’s all very much to be determined who’ll be pitching for Arizona, but it looks like Merrill Kelly will start the opener, followed by TBA and TBA. First pitch is at 5:10 pm Arizona time. Expect more 1984 quotes and pics. Hey, it’s working!