Record: 30-27. Pace: 85-77. Change on 2017: -4.
Unlike my highly entertaining co-author, Turambar, I am trying to pack on the pounds to reach previously unmatched weight for myself. That means that beer, albiet cheap and not of the craft variety, is very much in play.
Beer one: Pabst Blue Ribbon (Groans from the audience)
As the galaxy would have it, here I am recapping yet another Star Wars night this season for the umpteenth time. Seems like the Arizona Diamondbacks have been participants in the occasion more times this season than they had runs on the last road trip. Sarcasm. Kind of. Paul Goldschmidt was the recipient of a Star Wars bobblehead promotion, his second such gift from the Rebel Alliance in as many seasons. 34,117 friends of the cause were in attendance in hopes to collect their memorabilia.
Kerwin Danley was behind the plate tonight taking the call for Zack Greinke and left hander Caleb Smith of the Miami Marlins. Unsurprisingly, he attempted to rob Goldy of his first at bat with his predictably unpredictable strikezone on a called strike one, inside 94 MPH fastball. Unfazed by the betrayal, the smooth talking #PaulSolo turned on another 94 MPH heater inside later in the at bat driving it 430 feet down the left field line into the diamond level to give Arizona a 1-0 lead in the 1st. Paul is the first D’back to homer on his bobblehead night since Chris Young in 2011 according to the Fox Sports Arizona broadcast.
Greinke, perhaps trying to catch the opposition off guard, pumped a healthy dose of fastballs to the Marlins in the top of the 1st. He’d nearly concluded his half of the 1st frame having thrown only a single breaking pitch, but Justin Bour questioned the power of his force with an eight pitch at bat refusing to go down quietly. Fortunately, nothing came of his two out single. Goldy got the job done on both ends of the field in the early goings. After Greinke allowed a one out single to Miguel Rojas in the 2nd, Paul knocked down a JT Riddle liner with a swift backhand and cut down Rojas at second base.
Chris Owings played the role of Ewok in the bottom of the 2nd with a leadoff bunt single on the first pitch. Ketel “Extra Base Hits Recently” Marte drove him in with a scorching triple to the gap in left center as the next batter up to make it 2-0. Marte was subsequently driven in himself on a one out sac fly from from Jeff Mathis. 3-0 D’backs.
Beer two: Pabst Blue Ribbon (You should know where this is going by now)
Starlin Castro was a thorn in Greinke’s side all evening, hitting his first of two doubles of the game in the 3rd inning with one out. J.T. Realmuto followed with a smash liner, except it was hit right at Jarrod Dyson for the 2nd out of the inning (what’s the deal with some of these guys having periods between their two-letter first names while others do not?) . Greinke then retired Bour on a soft bouncer to keep the Marlins scoreless at the time.
For the second inning in a row, Arizona began their half with the leadoff runner reaching base. Dyson hit a line single to left field, only to be cut down on the basepaths during Nick Ahmed’s at bat taking off for second base too early. Caleb Smith took the term “backfoot” slider a tad too literally hitting Goldy to put him on first with two outs bringing up David Peralta. He entered the game hitting a pathetic .217/.299/.283 against southpaws, yet it did not stop him from putting together an 8 pitch at bat and driving a two run blast to the right field bleachers. That’s two consecutive nights Arizona achieved tacos by the conclusion of the 3rd inning for those of you keeping track. What, you were worried about the offense?
“Uh, we had a slight weapons malfunction, but uh…everything’s perfectly all right now. We’re fine. We’re all fine here now, thank you. How are you?” - Han Solo
Beer three: Pabst Blue Ribbon (Why mess with a good thing?)
Greinke cruised in innings 4 and 5 allowing only Brian Anderson to reach base, but erasing the runner with a GIDP at the hands of Miguel Rojas. Tyler Cloyd (what an odd last name) was brought in relief of Caleb Smith for the Diamondbacks’ 5th and had difficulty recording outs. Nick Ahmed drove a double down the left field line on the first pitch, putting the leadoff hitter on base for the third consecutive inning for Arizona. Peralta was given the intentional pass after working the count to 3-1 to bring Owings to the plate with the force at any base. He was retired after a check swing bunt on a 2-0 count. Deven Marrero was due up after Marte and already had two strikeouts in the game, so Marte was the second batter of the inning to earn the free pass, loading the bases. Don Mattingly’s plan backfired in his face after Marrero drew a full count walk bringing Ahmed in to score. 6-0 D’backs.
Beer four: Pabst Blue Ribbon (Look, it gets the job done for me. It’s ok to laugh)
Sure enough Starlin Castro made his return in the 6th inning, just as Darth Maul did in Solo: A Star Wars Story. He blasted a 2-0 fastball off the plate from Greinke all the way to the fence in right center. The ball bounced directly on top of the yellow home run line and back into the field of play. After a lengthy official review, Castro was directed to stay put at second base. One fan in the pool area was shown on camera suggesting that the ball had rebounded off of a utility box back into the field of play, which would likely constitute a home run in my opinion if true. Said fan probably had too many craft brews because that was ultimately not the call that was made. Greinke set down the next two batters on a popout and strikeout, but Anderson notched his second hit of the game with a triple to right field scoring Castro. Chris Owings looked like a cat chasing a ball of yarn in the outfield on the play, so not his most glorious defensive moment. 6-1 D’backs.
Greinke was lifted from the game in the 7th inning with two outs following a pinch hit walk from Cameron Maybin. In 6 2⁄3 innings tonight, he recorded 6 strikeouts, 1 walk, 7 hits, and 1 earned run. He allowed some hard contact in this one, but fortunately most of the balls in play against him were hit right at defenders obviously working to his advantage. Miami added their final run of the game in the top of the 9th with a solo homer from Lewis Brinson against T.J. McFarland.
Because the Colorado Rockies had been thumped earlier in the day by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona once again sits a half game on top of the National League West standings. Only 5.5 games separate the Diamondbacks from the cellar dwelling San Diego Padres, so this division is still entirely up in the air a third of the way into the season. At this point in 2017, only half a game separated Arizona, Los Angeles, and Colorado for the division lead.
Han Solo: Zack Greinke 21.7%, Ketel Marte 11.6%
Lando Calrissian: Paul Goldschmidt 9.3%, David Peralta 9.1%
Kylo Ren: Jarrod Dyson -4.8%
Total comments: 279
Total commenters: 22
Commenter list: AzDbackfanInDc, AzRattler, DORRITO, DeadManG, GuruB, Jackwriter, Keegan Thompson, Makakilo, Michael McDermott, MikeMono, MrMrrbi, Renin, ShirtOffYourBack, Sprankton, Xerostomia, asteroid, hotclaws, kilnborn, lildbackfan21x, onedotfive, shoewizard, smartplays
Somehow DC led the comment count in this one. I find that most impressive given tonight’s 7:10 P.M. start time. An otherwise light showing in the GDT.
Only one Sedona red comment to choose from, so in the words of Lebron James, “Do better tomorrow.”