Record: 39-31. Pace: 90-72. Change on 2017: -5.
Today was imstillhungry85Fest at Chase Field, and I’m beginning to suspect we should just burn the idea to the ground, as we have yet to win a game in the times we have been there. Despite the presence of myself and Mrs. SnakePit, the asteroids, Keegan Thompson and songbird, and what seemed like a promising pitching match-up, the D-backs were unable to capitalize. Patrick Corbin recent wobbly outings continued, and the offense found it difficult to square up Steven Matz, who held Arizona to one run over 6.2 innings.
There was a particularly large contingent of Mets fans in attendance: we were first alerted to their presence by a loud chant of “Let’s Go Mets!”, parading around the concourse, and it all seemed rather more well-organized than the usual random groups of visiting fans we tend to see at Chase Field. And that was absolutely the case, for it turned out to be a trip organized by the an independent group of Mets fans. I briefly dreamed about the SnakePit putting together some kind of trip, but then remembered how much effort is required in simply scheduling recaps. Don’t hold your breath... For more, we turn to the Twitter,
They are called The 7 Line Army. Amazing story of how they came to be. One guy making shirts that said things like “Sell the team” 10 years ago evolved and grew to a shop inside Citi Field, a season ticket package to sit together @ Citi, and traveling 3+ times/year.— Lina (@linabeaudry) June 17, 2018
Got to be impressed: believe there were over a thousand of them, more or less taking over the entire right-field bleachers. You would have to be particularly hardcore to follow the Mets across country, given how their season has imploded - and voluntarily traveling to Phoenix in mid-June? Well, that’s hardcore. At one point late in the game, vociferous but apparently random booing broke out from the section: turns out they had spotted a guy in a Yankees shirt. Let’s face it, the perpetrator of that deserves it. Wearing a third-party team jersey to a game is a major faux pas in my opinion: if your team is not involved in the contest, your attire should be similarly neutral, regardless of your loyalties.
As you can probably tell from the above, this was the kind of contest where the actual game was considerably less interesting than the stuff on the fringes. That would include hanging out with SnakePitters, and trying to restrain Mrs SnakePit, who didn’t appear to realize that the only thing between us in the dugout suite and the Diamondback players was a very porous barrier. She was still in full-on “couch mode” in terms of the volume of her comments, and with Zack Greinke sitting on the top step of the dugout, no more than five feet away (below), I had to distract her with shiny baubles, or there might have been some kind of incident...
There was plenty of grounds for legitimate criticism though. Patrick Corbin’s recent struggled continued, with a three-run homer off the bat of Michael Conforto in the second inning putting the D-backs in a hole from which they never recovered. He seems to have become the reverse of Zack Greinke and Zack Godley, in that Corbin pitches better away from Chase Field. After tonight’s outing, his ERA on the road is 2.78, but the figure at home is now 3.92. In particular, Corbin’s last four starts at home have resulted in the following unpleasant line:
Corbin: 23.1 IP, 29 H, 20 R, 20 ER, 7 BB, 30 SO, 7.71 ERA
It was hard to tell from our seats exactly what the issue was. The first inning seemed fine, but the Mets gradually appeared to put better and better swings on Corbin’s pitches. Outside of the home-run, Patrick was able to limit the damage, but it did require a stellar play by Chris Owings in center-field, to throw a runner out at home-plate (below). He fielded the ball bare-handed and delivered an absolute strike to John Ryan Murphy at home-plate [compare and contrast, say, Jarrod Dyson’s wayward throw home in yesterday’s game]
Offensively, the D-backs were held to six hits and one walk, and scoring opportunities were severely limited. The team had only three at-bats with runners in scoring position all night, and came up empty in those. They did scratch a run across in the sixth: Nick Ahmed tripled, one of his two hits on the night, and he came home on Paul Goldschmidt’s groundout, to end the shutout. The other opportunity came in the following inning, when two-out singles by Deven Marrero and pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso were followed by Jon Jay getting hit by a pitch, to load the bases and bring Ahmed to the plate as the tying run. Chase Field was loud, but Ahmed could only ground out.
At least the A-bullpen got a bit of a rest. After Corbin, we got one scoreless inning from Fernando Salas and a pair by T.J. McFarland, though the latter did escape with the bases loaded in the ninth. Ahmed had two of the D-backs’ six hits, but Goldschmidt’s hitting streak came to an end in an 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts. With the Dodgers beating the Giants again, the division lead is down to 1.5 games, so a win in the series final tomorrow would certainly be welcome.
Click here for details, at Fangraphs.com
The Bronx is up: Jon Jay, +4.0%
And the Battery's down: Patrick Corbin, -19.6%
A hair over five hundred comments in the GDT, not bad considering a good number of the usual suspects were at Chase Field tonight! Present were: AzDbackfanInDc, BobDolio, DeadManG, EphBoston, GuruB, Imstillhungry95, Jackwriter, Justin27, Michael McDermott, MikeMono, MrMrrbi, Sprankton, asteroid, coldblueAZ, hotclaws, lildbackfan21x, shoewizard, smartplays and suroeste. Nothing Sedona Red, and it’s a bit too late for me to be trawling through the somewhat rec’d comments, so I’ll pass. Clay Buchholz starts for Arizona
tomorrow later today: three out of four would be fine.