Taylor Clarke took the mound for his first MLB start tonight. Definitely could have started off better, though. Brandon Lowe took the very first pitch in the bottom of the 1st and launched it to centerfield. He settled down after that, however, and got Tommy Pham to ground out, Ji-Man Choi to fly out, and Yandy Diaz to ground out again, ending the inning. 1-0 Rays
It was a similar story in the second and third innings for him, but without any more runs given up. A lead off single to Nate Lowe in the second was stranded thanks to a fly out, a force out, and a ground out. Brandon Lowe struck again in the third with a one out double, but Clarke was able to work around that as well.
The Diamondbacks’ offense wasn’t particularly effective through this portion of the game. They put together something in the second, when Carson Kelly got a one out single, and Marte joined him on base after a HBP. They would stay right where they were, though, after Escobar lined out and Peralta flew out ending the threat.
They were able to get on the board in the fourth. Adam Jones got the inning started with a single. Christian Walker and Wilmer Flores both struck out, but Ahmed was able to bring him home with a double tying the game. That would be all for the inning, as Vargas also struck out. Tied at 1
It didn’t stay that way for long. Clarke gave up a double to Diaz to lead off the bottom of the fourth. He then went to third on a Nate Lowe single. Clarke then got Daniel Robertson to ground into a double play, which is probably the best outcome there, but Diaz was able to score from third on the play. One ground out from Kevin Kiermainer later, and he was out of the inning. 2-1 Rays
That would be all he gave up for the evening. He pitched scoreless innings in the fifth and sixth to finish off the night and ended with a line of 6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, and 2 K’s. Unfortunately, the offense, or lack their of, meant that he left the game on the hook for the loss, but I, for one, couldn’t ask for much more from him. He came in, shut down a very potent offense that just went off for 12 runs the night before, and gave his team a very good chance to win.
Sadly, the wouldn’t go on to win. Yoshi Hirano was the next pitcher up, and he soundly firmly put the game out of reach. Roberston lead off with a single and went to third one out later on a Wily Adames single. Mike Zunino doubled, scoring Robertson. Brandon Lowe then brought home Adames and sent Zunino to third by grounding into a fielder’s choice. Hirano was finally able to get another out, striking out Pham, but gave up another single and RBI to Choi. That was the end of his night. Andriese was brought on instead, and he was able to get the final out of the inning.5-1 Rays
That was basically the ball game. Andriese gave up another run in the bottom of the eighth to make the score 6-1. Flores and Carson Kelly showed some signs of life in the ninth, both hitting solo home runs, but the Diamondbacks were far enough back that they didn’t really matter much. Other than those two runs, they went quietly into the night and dropped the game and series to the Rays
Needless to say, Hirano had the worst WPA at -17.8%. Right behind him was Escobar with -16.5%, and joining them with double digit negative WPA’s were Peralta, Marte, and Walker. No one really had a positive WPA worth mentioning, but Kelly had 8.8% and Jones finished at 7.4%.
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