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Diamondbacks 4, Rockies 6: Joe Mantiply gets sent to Room 101

From All-Star to... /gestures vaguely

Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

Record: 59-60. Pace: 80-82. Change on 2022: +4.

Little more than a year ago, Joe Mantiply was a National League All-Star. Tonight, he couldn't record an out, leading to a four-run eighth inning for Colorado. That cost the Diamondbacks the game, as they blew a 4-1 lead, and snuffed out the faint shoots of a winning streak at two. To be fair, the offense also deserves their share of criticism, managing only five hits. That’s rarely going to be enough to win at Coors Field. On the plus side, this one was over in just two hours and nineteen minutes, which is the quickest game the D-backs have played in Denver for almost seventeen years [since a 5-1 win on September 15, 2006, which took 2:12] So, we are at least freed to go about our evening.

The first inning was a tale of two leadoff walks. Corbin Carroll took four straight balls to reach base as he opened the game. Two outs later, Christian Walker went the other way, off the fence in right as the Rockies outfielder couldn't make the play. Corbin motored all the way round to put the D-backs on the board. When Merrill Kelly took the mound, he also walked the leadoff hitter. The difference was, Kelly then struck out the next three batters he faced, stranding the runner on first, and preserving the 1-0 lead for Arizona. This was doubled in the top of the second. as. Alek Thomas and Gabriel Moreno hit back-to-back doubles, and the score was 2-0.

The offense clearly decided this was more than enough runs for the night, and went back to the bad habits of the losing streak. After Moreno's double, the next dozen D-backs were retired in order, taking us to one out in the sixth, when Gurriel singled. To be fair, Kelly had his A game (above), with no concern for the volatile environment of Clown Field. It was especially impressive, considering the concerning way his previous outing ended, against LA on Wednesday. In case you had forgotten, he was lifted from the game, limping off the mound. Fortunately, it turned out to be only a cramp, but given the issue Kelly had with a blood-clot in his calf, concern was justified. Tonight definitely laid any concerns to rest.

He did allow the Rockies on the board with a solo home-run in the fifth, but was otherwise spinning a gem. The sole moment of concern through five innings was in the third, when Colorado had men on second and third, representing the tying runs. Kelly struck out Ryan McMahon to end that threat, and continued to pile up the Ks. He had tied his season high with ten strikeouts through only five innings, needing only 72 pitches to reach double digits. His fastball seemed to be playing up, even though the actual velocity, at 91 mph, was right around his season average. But when he missed his spots, the Rockies pounced. Another solo homer led off the sixth, on a slider that might as well have been on a tee.

Fortunately, the Diamondbacks offense had woken up. Or, at least, Christian Walker had. Following Gurriel’s sixth inning single, Walker went opposite field again, this time leaving the park for his 25th home-run of the season (above). That made it 4-1 to Arizona, and after giving up the homer, Kelly worked around what really should have been an error on the unimpressive Jace Peterson (a Coors Field double, if ever I saw one) to keep it 4-2 through the end of the sixth. That marked the end for Kelly. He allowed two runs on five hits and a walk, with eleven Ks, one off his career high. An excellent job.

Miguel Castro took over for the bottom of the seventh, and was fine. The eighth inning? Not so much. It began with Joe Mantiply, who has struggled all season. He came in with a 5.85 ERA and it rose to 7.20 across 18 appearances after this game. To be fair, the first hit he allowed should have been an out, as it went straight to Gerardo Perdomo for a Coors single. But neither Joe nor Scott McGough, who replaced Mantiply after all three of his batters reached, were fooling anyone. At one point, consecutive Rockies had exit velos of 104.9, 110.0, 99.2 and 110.8 mph. That these pair were pitching was partly a hangover from the weekend, where the A-bullpen were sorely taxed. The B-bullpen was found wanting.

While the bullpen - specifically Mantiply - took the loss, the offense certainly deserves their share of criticism. Almost everyone bar Walker was unimpressive at the plate: the rest of the line-up going 3-for-28 with a walk and ten strikeouts. Kyle Lewis was unable to reproduce his Reno form immediately - this is my unsurprised face - and went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts. Peterson was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, and should have been charged with an error as noted above. A later throw by Jace from third to first was a disturbing long-hop, which fortunately had a Gold Glover on the far end. Bert tried to say it was intentional. I’m not convinced.

Click here for details, at
Big Brother: Christian Walker, +21.4%
O'Brien: Kelly, +20.3%, Castro, +10.0%
Emmanuel Goldstein: Joe Mantiply, -33.5%
Winston Smith: Scott McGough, -32.5%

We’ve seen it often enough: Coors Field is never an easy place in which to win. The Rockies may be last in the division, but they are 26-30 at home. That’s not so much worse than the D-backs’ record of 30-31. You need to score runs, and have pitchers who can limit the damage. Arizona certainly did not do enough of the former, and once we got past Castro, all the ones capable of the latter were unavailable. I hope we have learned a valuable lesson from this. Comment of the night to Justin, after Tom Candiotti (standing in for Bob as color guy) mentioned he had never had a bobblehead night.

Same two teams tomorrow, with a 5:40 pm first pitch. It looks to be a bullpen game, though as Michael noted, we saw Slade Cecconi in the dugout, playing with an insect. So he might be in line as the opener.