For the three of you who ever watched the Brute Side Chats, you may have heard mention of Keegan’s cocaine corner. While Lopez may have exaggerated its exuberance, it is nonetheless a respectable cocktail lounge. I just so happened to indulge in its luxuries tonight. Whereas Turambar would write his recaps and become slightly more inebriated as they went on, I’m vomiting literary nonsense at you from the outset with an empty decanter tonight. Surprisingly, my inebriation isn’t attributed as much to Zach Davies return to the mound as it is to CB Bucknor’s existence in Chase Field. For all the hate that Angel Hernandez receives in the baseball universe, CB Bucnkor deserves just as much his fair share. Yes, I realize the technicality of his balk call in extra innings tonight was logically sound, but it does nothing to sway my opinion of him in a positive direction.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have experienced a whirlwind the past few months. A few weeks ago I had assumed I was recapping the demise of their 2023 season. They were in the midst of a horrendous stretch of baseball which saw them fall not only out of the National League West division lead but also out of the Wild Card picture. As quickly as those playoff aspirations faded, they have roared back in recent weeks resulting in every game becoming must watch television. If I continue much further, I’ll continue to write a lot of bullshit without actually saying anything so let’s get down to brass tacks.
Zach Davies looked good in his first start with the team since July. He struck out a pair of Reds in a stress less first inning. On his bobblehead night Corbin Carroll hit a leadoff triple in the bottom of the first. Ketel Marte put the Diamondbacks and Davies in the driver seat with his 100th team home run in the bottom of the fifth, a three run shot to right field.
Davies honestly never got into serious trouble in this game. Following Marte’s three run shot, he allowed a leadoff home run to Matt McLain in the top of the sixth. After walking Elly De La Cruz in that same inning, Scott McGough came in from the bullpen to relieve Davies. He walked two batters to load the bases but escaped with a timely double play to keep it a 4-to-1 ballgame.
Cincinnati made it a 4-2 ballgame in the top of the eighth before Torey Lovullo called on trade deadline acquisition Paul Sewald for the save opportunity in the ninth. Sewald promptly crapped the bed with horrendous command allowing the Reds to tie the game and failed to even complete the frame. The Diamondbacks failed to end the game in the bottom of the ninth, so off to extra innings we went.
Miguel Castro was the first out of the pen in extra innings and was nothing short of horrendous. Cincinnati went double, double single, double taking a 7-to-4 lead with assistance from the automatic runner at second base. Lovullo had to reach deeper into his reserve arms calling on newcomer Nabil Crismatt to finally get out of the inning. Arizona got to work right away countering in the bottom of the tenth. Their comeback began with a single from Geraldo Perdomo to score the automatic runner. With one out and runners on first and second, Tommy Pham hit a grounder to second base which should have resulted in at least the second out of the inning. However, McLain did not see the ball through into his glove and it instead rolled past him making it a one run game. A sacrifice fly from Christian Walker scored Carroll on his bobblehead night, shockingly tying the game once again.
This brings us to the man of the evening, CB Bucknor. Nabil Crismatt remained in the game and retired the first two Reds’ batters with ease. A two out single saw runners on the corners, and this is where Crismatt made the slightest of start-stop motions resulting in a balk call from Bucknor. That allowed the run to score from third giving the Reds the lead once again. Upon replay it appears that Bucknor made the right call, but it still doesn’t change my opinion of him. Arizona was unable to come back in the bottom of the eleventh losing this game 8-to-7 where they were once just one out away from winning.