Game 131: Reds 2, D-backs 5, Oh, those base on balls.

Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

Record: 69-62. Pace: 85-77. Change on 2022: +6

The Dbacks come into today’s game with a record of 68-62 and sit in second place in the National League West 12 games behind the first place Dodgers and 1.5 games ahead of the third place Giants. They currently hold the third wild card spot by a half game over the Reds. trail the Cubs by half game for the second wild card spot and lead the Reds by half game however the loss yesterday gave the Reds the season series and the postseason tiebreaker should it come down to it.

In the all time series between the two teams the Reds hold an 85-81 advantage with each team holding a winning record on the road and losing record at home.

The highlight game of the series occurred on May 8th, 2001 when Randy Johnson tied the major league nine inning record with 20 strikeouts. The game went 11 innings with Cincinnati scoring two runs in the top of the 11th on a rare two run sacrifice fly by Alex Ochoa and won it in the bottom half on a walk off walk by Matt Williams after Mark Grace tied it with a two run double.

The series also marks appearances by arguably the top two candidates for NL Rookie of the Year in Corbin Carroll and former Dbacks draft pick Matt McLain. The Reds actually have four rookies who should get some ROY votes; besides McLain there are shortstop Elly De La Cruz, outfielder Spencer Steer and pitcher Andrew Abbott.

Make no mistake though, this should be a rout for Carroll and I’ll go one step further, when the postseason awards are announced Carroll will be the overall Major League Rookie of the Year winner.

In a landslide.

The pitching matchup for today’s game for Arizona is rookie Slade Cecconi, making his third career start and fifth appearance and first against Cincinnati. For the Reds its second year righthander Graham Aschcraft who sports a 7-8 record and a 4.84 ERA. Ashcraft has one previous appearance vs. Arizona, on June 7 of last year at Chase Field he started and pitched six shutout innings in a 14-8 Reds victory.

With yesterday being an opener/bullpen game for the Reds and the Dbacks needing 7 relievers to finish the last six innings of the game both teams will need length from their starters or the game could get ugly real quick. Both teams hop flights after the game and head to the west coast, the Dbacks going to LA and the Reds to San Fran and both have games tomorrow night so not many options in resting their respective bullpens.

The Dbacks also announced a roster move prior to the game, designating pitcher Nabil Crismatt for assignment and recalling righthander Ryan Thompson from Reno. Thompson, who will wear #81, is a submarine style pitcher and was signed as a free agent after he was designated for assignment by the Rays on August 17th. With the arm shortage in the ‘pen don’t be surprised at all if Thompson makes his Dbacks debut today.

On a side note, the winner take all Game 3 of the ACL championship series between the Dbacks Red and Brewers will be played tonight at 6 pm on Field 1 at Salt River Fields. The Brewers won game one on Friday night with the Dbacks winning last night behind three hits by Adrian De Leon and two homers and four ribeyes from Kristian Robinson.

Let the game begin

First inning: Both pitchers allowed a hit with Cecconi recording two strikeouts despite getting ahead then falling behind both batters. Both pitchers were fairly efficient with their pitch counts despite struggling with fastball command.

Second inning: Nick Martini ran up Cecconi’s pitch count by leading off the inning with a 15 pitch plate appearance before finally striking out. The next two hitters went down in order but Cecconi needed 23 pitches to get out of the inning. Ashcraft allowed a one out single to Evan Longoria who entered the game 3-5 lifetime with a homer against him but struck out the next two hitters.

Third inning: Cecconi caught up somewhat on the pitch count only needing 12 to retire the side in order. TJ Friedl surprised the defense with a drag bunt attempt down the third base side but Gabby Moreno made a great barehand pickup with a spinning off balance throw to first to record the out. The Dbacks got on the board first when Carroll blooped a one out single to center and scored from first on a ground ball double into the right field corner by Ketel Marte. Ashcraft retired the next two hitters in order stranding Marte at second. 1-0 Dbacks.

Fourth inning: Cecconi only needed 7 pitches to retire the Reds in order, something Brent Strom and Torey undoubtedly were happy to see. If you think that’s impressive Ashcraft only needed 6 pitches to get out of his half of the fourth inning and that includes a three pitch whiff of Alek Thomas. After four innings Cecconi has 60 and Ashcraft 54 both of which are right in the optimal neighborhood.

Fifth inning: Another 3 up 3 down for Cecconi running his total to 15 batters in a row. His pitch count is a still efficient 72 but his major league high is 76. His season high is 103 which came with Reno on June 21st so knowing they need length from him Torey still has a lot of wiggle room. With two outs Carroll hit a fly ball off the center field wall and bounced away from Friedl, Carroll tried to score and was out at home 8-6-2. This was the right call, force the defense to make a play. It took two perfect throws to get him, Carroll’s home to first speed tied the fastest in the majors this season and De La Cruz’s throw was 99 mph. It was a great play all around.

Sixth inning: Cecconi’s streak of retiring 15 in a row came to an end as Wil Benson and Tyler Stephenson led off with singles leaving runners at first and third. TJ Friedl hit a medium fly ball to center and knowing Thomas doesn’t have a good arm Benson scored despite the throw hitting the back of the mound coming in which slowed it down. After striking out McLain looking on 96 fastball on the outside corner, Torey decided to pull Cecconi after 84 pitches. I get the matchup thing in turning De La Cruz around to the right side and it worked out as he struck out swinging but I can’t help thinking it was still too early. Tommy Pham gave the Dbacks a runner in the bottom half with a one out single but he was erased on Walker’s double play groundball. Tie game 1-1

Seventh inning: Mantiply walked Spencer Steer leading off, the first free pass of the game by either team. Manager David Bell pinchhit Nick Senzel for Martini who sent Carroll to the warning track with Steer tagging and going to second, once again taking advantage of the Dbacks weak armed outfield. Torey then brought in Scott McGough to replace Mantiply. After Encarnacion-Strand struck out Noelvi Marte grounded a single to left between Longoria and Perdomo with Strand scoring without a throw. McGough retired the next two hitters but once again the walk hurts. The lead didn’t last long as Lourdes Gurriel Jr. led off the bottom half with a no doubt bomb to left on a 2-2 cutter that didn’t cut. Ashcraft retired the next two hitters on routine fly balls but was pulled for righty Ian Gibault after a five pitch walk to Moreno. Gilbaut struck out Perdomo swinging to end the inning. Tied again at 2 apiece.

Eighth inning: Three up three down for the Reds in the top half. Carroll led off the bottom half with a walk and promptly stole second for his 40th swipe of the year. With the steal Carroll became just the fourth rookie in major league history (and first National Leaguer) with a 40SB/20HR season joining Tommie Agee, Mitchell Page and Mike Trout. Both Agee and Trout went on to win Rookie of the Year with Page finishing second to Eddie Murray in 1977. The Reds went to the bullpen again bringing in righty Lucas Sims who promptly walked Tommy Pham on four pitches. After falling behind 0-2 Walker lifted a sac fly to center deep enough to allow Marte to advance to third.

On the first pitch to Gurriel Pham stole second putting both runners in scoring position and removing the double play option. Gurriel then walked making it four in the inning. The next hitter was Evan Longoria who despite being 0-5 with four K’s against Sims is a .309 lifetime hitter with the bases loaded and he lofted one to left field which was deep enough to score Marte. Alek Thomas then grounded one off the glove of De La Cruz at short knocking in Pham and putting runners on the corners. Moreno struck out to end the inning but the damage was done with the Dbacks taking a 5-2 lead heading to the ninth.

Ninth inning: As expected Ryan Thompson made his Dbacks debut to start the ninth although I wouldn’t have guessed it would have been in a save situation. Three up, three down, ballgame, Dbacks win 5-2 with an assist to the Reds bullpen.

After a brief three game roadie against the Dodgers the Dbacks return home on Friday September first against Baltimore.

That’s a wrap for me hope you all enjoyed the recap, turning it over to Jim for the bells and whistles.

Bells and whistles, by Jim

[Click to enlarge, in new window]
Corbin Carroll: Lourdes Gurriell, Jr, +18.2%
Slade Cecconi: Cecconi, +16.5%; Pham, +13.4%; Carroll, +12.7%; Marte, +10.3%
Matt McLain: Christian Walker, -9.3%

A fairly lightly-trafficked GDT this afternoon, only just getting into three digits (though that was still more than the one over on Red Reporter!). One Sedona Red comment, from jeffern51, which deserves recognition: "That play by Moreno was elite! We dont talk enough about how good he is defensively! Wow!" He's not wrong. Here's the play in question. But I am a sucker for an eighties musical reference (or maybe it's a TinTin reference), so have to give it to 'Hacks late entry:


Thanks to Chuck for his nicely detailed guest recap! As he mentioned, the D-backs are off to Los Angeles for the last series of the year against the Dodgers. Zac Gallen will start that one for Arizona, with a 7:10 pm first pitch.