Record: 1-2. Pace: 54-108. Change on 2018: -1.
After last night’s enthralling win, there was hope that the Diamondbacks would be able to ride that energy into tonight’s game at Dodger Stadium. When Jarrod Dyson led the game off with a home-run, there seemed grounds to suggest this optimism was warranted. However, it didn’t last. On a night when the team really needed a long outing from starting pitcher Zack Godley, he couldn’t deliver, and the Dodgers ran up the score courtesy of a trio of big innings, a four-run third, five-run sixth and seven-run eighth [though the last likely deserves an asterisk]
We’ve seen this movie too often before. Godley looks good, then the wheels simply fall off. Tonight was a prime example: and it wasn’t even allowing a home-run to the first batter he faced which was the trigger. Godley settled down nicely after that, retiring six in a row, and through two innings, had thrown only 26 pitches. However, the 26 which followed led to only one out, with the Dodgers scoring four runs in that time. After a lead-off single in the third, Kenta Maeda came up and put down a bunt. Three D-backs converged, and it was Godley who got there, but his throw to first - a significant problem last year - floated off into foul territory, and the LA pitcher was safe.
The error apparently rattled Godley severely, his control and body language both immediately collapsing. He walked the next batter to load the bases, and though he made a nice play on a swinging bunt for the first out at home, he fell behind Justin Turner 3-0, then served up a center-cut, get me over pitch, which became a two-run single. Two more RBI hits followed, and after a passed ball (though it seemed more a pitch Alex Avila was not expecting) and an intentional walk, the bases were full of Dodgers once again, still with only one out. Fortunately Godley was able to dial up a double-play and escape the frame. But the damage was done, Los Angeles scoring four times to take a 5-1 lead.
That's the way you start a game! Dyson flexes on the third pitch from Maeda for his FIRST EVER lead off home run! 1-0 early lead for the @Dbacks. #RattleOn— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) March 31, 2019
Find the game on FOX Sports Arizona Plus or stream here: https://t.co/EaDSlQ5PqQ pic.twitter.com/ItcpEYGOPi
The contest had certainly got off to a fast start. Dyson sent the fourth pitch of the game over the fence in right (above) - after some confusion in regard to whether it had left the park or not. It was Dyson’s first career home-run leading off a game. The Arizona lead did not last long. For Joc Pederson responded in kind, sending Godley’s third pitch of the night into the left-field bleachers, in rather more authoritative fashion. Despite all Zack’s obvious issues, with the bullpen having thrown 12.1 innings on Thursday and Friday, you knew he was out there for the duration. While seeming to have footing issues - two pitches sailing over the heads of the batter to the backstop - he did put up a zero in the fourth.
The offense, meanwhile, was struggling to put together much of a threat after Dyson’s homer. Arizona did put the lead-off man aboard in both the second and fourth innings, in the shape of a Jake Lamb walk and Ketel Marte single respectively. However, both cases were immediately followed by a double-play, off the bats of Marte and Nick Ahmed. The second was particularly costly, as Avila got the D-backs one run closer, with his first home-run of 2019, going the opposite way (below) to make the score 5-2. As with Dyson’s shot, it didn’t take long for LA to answer, Cody Bellinger launching a Godley breaking ball that didn’t out of the park to right, and restoring the disadvantage.
Alex is Avil-ing himself tonight. pic.twitter.com/C0tSrilG5q— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) March 31, 2019
The sixth saw Godley finally exit, Maeda again proving troublesome. With two strikes, he blooped one to left, which David Peralta charged, came up short and let bounce behind him [scored a double, that’s twice the Freight Train has looked bad on plays without an E]. That was the end of Zack’s night, after 5.1 innings: he allowed eight hits and two walks, with three strikeouts plus a hit batter, and was charged with eight runs, seven earned - the other coming on his own error. It was a surprise to see Matt Koch enter, considering he threw 62 pitches on Thursday. He apparently had told Torey Lovullo he was good to go. Going HBP, RBI single, bases-loaded walk, 2-RBI single, HBP, RBI single suggests otherwise.
Adam Jones got his second home-run of the season, leading off the top of the seventh. But far more interesting was the bottom half, when Lovullo turned to his first position player of the season on the mound. John Ryan Murphy loaded the bases on a walk and a couple of hits, but still managed to put up a zero, sitting mostly in the mid-fifties, though did touch 66 mph at one point. It’s almost unprecedented to see any position player pitch in the first three games of the season. We did see it last year, when Pedro Florimon of the Phillies threw two innings in a 15-2 blowout loss to the Braves. But that’s really the only legitimate such case i.e. excluding the likes of Rick Ankiel and Brooks Kieschnick, in my lifetime.
Before Opening Day, there were concerns offense would be the problem, but it hasn’t really been that way. Peralta delivered free tacos for the third consecutive day with Arizona’s fourth home-run of the night, a two-run shot in the top of the eighth (above). Murphy was sent out there for a second inning and... it didn’t go as well as the first. The Dodgers batted around, scoring seven, as Murphy ended up throwing 54 pitches, the most by a “true” position player in an outing since Jose Oquendo of the Cardinals tossed four innings for the Cardinals in 1988. Los Angeles at least responded in kind, sending up Russell Martin for the ninth. He retired the D-backs in order, getting his opposite number Murphy as the last out.
Click here for details, at Fangraphs.com
Groucho Marx: Jarod Dyson, +8.3%
Zeppo Marx: Zack Godley, -39.7%
I’m still not able to get the roll-call tool to do anything. I’ll have to contact technical support about that after the weekend. 567 comments; from what I can see, only two received recs and they were both mine, so we’ll move rapidly on, I think. Series finale tomorrow, as Luke Weaver makes his debut for the D-backs. We can still escape Los Angeles with a split of the four-game series, which would be remarkable, considering we have been outscored 34-15 so far.