Record 30-32. Pace: 78-84. Change on 2018: -3.
There are games where the recap almost writes itself. There are games where it’s a bit of struggle to come up with the necessary words. And there are games where you forgot entirely you’d taken over the Tuesday recaps from ish95, only remembering in the middle of the eighth inning. Mind you, if ever there were a game where a token gesture recap is appropriate, it would be this one, since it felt like the Diamondbacks made little more than a token gesture on the field. The offense mustered three hits. The usually reliable Arizona defense was not, and Taylor Clarke was a guy making his fourth major-league start. I couldn’t even take much self-schadenfreude from Archie Bradley’s latest meltdown.
Speaking of meltdowns... I am seriously tempted to skip the game, and instead write an in-depth review of HBO’s mini-series Chernobyl, which finished on Monday. If you haven’t already seen it, you should make the effort. It has only five parts, but packs an immense wallop in its depiction of the events before, during and after the catastrophe at the nuclear reactor in what is now the Ukraine. It manages to combine elements of tremendous courage, reckless idiocy, jaw-dropping political chicanery and some of the creepiest imagery you’ll see this year. And hear, too; the genuinely disturbing soundtrack is entirely constructed from recordings made in another nuclear plant.
Curiously, the other thing we watched... rather than the game... also featured a nuclear power plant. The Netflix series Dark is set in a German village next to a reactor. When local children start to vanish, the thin veneer of normality which has been in place in the town, starts to crack, and all the secrets, lies and general weirdness begin to come come through. I’m not quite sure where it’s going to end up going yet: there seems to be a time-travel theme, with the caves in the forest perhaps some kind of temporal portal. It’s another show that manages to generate an enormous amount of atmosphere, and so is also recommended, at least for now. We’ll see if the plot falls apart when it has to explain things.
And speaking of falling apart, thank heavens for Fox Sports Go, which let me blitz through this poor excuse for a Diamondbacks performance. The game was effectively over before Clarke could record two outs: the Dodgers started single, walk, pop-out, and then Cody Bellinger, who is having an insane 2019, banged a two-run triple off the wall in center. It may only have been the top of the first, but considering (as mentioned in the preview), Ryu had conceded zero runs in four of his last five starts, the game already felt out of the D-backs grasp. And so it proved. Even though the Dodgers made Ryu get not three, not four but FIVE outs in the bottom of the first, thanks to a pair of errors, Arizona couldn’t take advantage.
It wasn’t all that dominating a performance by Ryu and the Los Angeles bullpen, mustering only three strikeouts. That’s the fewest K’s by Arizona while being shutout since September 28, 2014 by the Cardinals - the D-backs have been blanked on 28 occasions between then and now. But Ryu did an excellent job of keeping the Arizona batters off-balance, and generated a bunch of weak contact. The D-backs best hope was probably the third when Clarke reached base on an infield single, but was thrown out trying to advance after the throw sailed wide of first. The review was inconclusive, and this was followed by a Ketel Marte double to left, which might well have scored Clarke, had he still been around.
Yeah, Martin is gonna wish he hadn't done that! pic.twitter.com/6qaABkVhS5— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) June 5, 2019
The next time they’d get anyone in scoring position was with one out in the seventh, when another Dodgers error, after a single by Christian Walker, gave them runners on the corners with one out. Nick Ahmed though, was having none of it, and hit into an inning-ending double-play instead. Arizona were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position as they were held to three hits for the second consecutive night. Clarke settled down well enough after the first, going five innings, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks with four K’s. But I suspect the game highlights on the board at Chase tonight probably consisted of Marte’s lovely throw to nail Russell Martin at the plate in the fourth (above), played on a loop.
The D-backs bullpen, which consisted of T.J. McFarland and Archie Bradley tonight, did not have a good evening either. McFarland allowed three runs over his 2.1 innings, and his ERA is creeping up like the power output during the final moments at Chernobyl: it’s now over six, which is rather more like the 2017, McERA version than the one we enjoyed last season. The final five outs went to Bradley, and he was also charged with three runs, on four hits and an intentional walk to Bellinger - which was followed by a two-run double. Bradley’s WHIP on the season is now 1.94. As I write this, he’s currently a trending topic on Twitter in Phoenix. #ArchiesAdventures? Even Torey Lovullo is now concerned:
Click here for details, at Fangraphs.com
Chernobyl: Taylor Clarke, -11.3%
And when I say, “No award,” I mean there was NO DIAMONDBACK WITH A WP >= 0. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that before. It feels like there is always someone, on one side of the ball or the other, who hasn’t sucked, even if only by posting a zero at the end of a shutout. Not tonight. The closest we got was Adam Jones - and he only played half the game, being lifted in the fourth with right hamstring tightness. In the GDT were: AzDbackfanInDc, AzRattler, BlindSquirrelsFindNuts, DORRITO, DeadManG, EdDunkle, Gilbertsportsfan, GuruB, Hannibal4467, Jack Sommers, Makakilo, Michael McDermott, MrMrrbi, NikT77, Rockkstarr12, Schilling2001, ShirtOffYourBack, Snake_Bitten, edbigghead, onedotfive and ponus. Not me.
Comment of the thread to AzRattler, but it was too big to screenshot, so you’ll just have to click this link instead. Tomorrow, the D-backs will try to avoid the sweep... or at least get more than three hits. It’s a day game, with a 12:40 pm first pitch, and Jon Duplantier is our starter.