We’re gonna wrap this one up as quickly as possible folks. After last night’s tragic conclusion, Greg Holland and T.J. McFarland combined to walk five straight batters with two outs to end a game for the first time in MLB history, motivation to watch this contest was scarce. I would have completely skipped out on watching tonight’s game completely had I not been obligated to recap it, and found myself searching for any distractions I could find tonight.
When you’ve got enough time to make a run to the grocery store for dinner, and the same half inning that began when you left is still ongoing when you return, something awful is happening. That was the bottom of the second inning for Merrill Kelly. The game started out smooth enough for him having retired the first three Dodgers hitters on seven pitches.
However, the bottom of the second was dramatically worse requiring 37 pitches from Kelly to complete. It began with Cody Bellinger’s sixth home run against the Diamondbacks in this season alone. Spoiler alert: it wouldn’t be his last of the game. After allowing a single to Max Muncy to follow, Kelly disposed of Enrique Hernandez and Matt Beaty and appeared he’d escape with no further damage. Except it wouldn’t end there. Austin Barnes, Walker Buehler, and Joc Pederson hit three straight singles extending the Dodgers lead 3-0 before the conclusion of the bottom of the second. The 3-0 deficit remained until the top of the fourth when Christian Walker belted his second home run off of Walker Buehler this season, a two run shot to center field.
Kelly returned to normalcy after the shaky second inning allowing only one additional hit until he was removed after the sixth inning. That’s now the eleventh time in eighteen starts he’s completed at least the sixth inning. In only two of those instances has he surrendered more than three runs. Arizona’s rotation would be in serious jeopardy without him this season.
Arizona eventually tied the game at three runs apiece in the top of the seventh. Jarrod Dyson was brought home on a Ketel Marte single after he’d hit a ground rule double with one out. The D’backs bullpen held the Dodgers scoreless in the seventh and eighth innings for the second night in a row. Matt Andriese struck out the first two batters he faced. When he couldn’t put away Edwin Rios, Torey Lovullo turned the ball over to Andrew Chafin. He was responsible for the next four outs, three of which he recorded by way of the strikeout.
There was the slightest glimmer of hope that it would be Los Angeles’ closer Kenley Jansen who would bring the collapse tonight resulting in a series split. Carson Kelly blasted a solo home run off of him to center field giving Arizona its first lead of the game. All was well, but Torey Lovullo had other plans for this game. Apparently he had not seen enough from Greg Holland in thirty pitches of ineffectiveness last night, so he returned tonight with another 4-3 lead to blow. Holland at least wasted no time in doing so this time around. Hernandez and Beaty went double-single and before you knew it we were all tied again.
It was a fairly foregone conclusion that Arizona’s bullpen would not be up to the task of outmatching Los Angeles tonight. Yoshihisa Hirano followed Holland after a Justin Turner strikeout, but he walked the next two batters. Only a double play saved the game from ending right there. Go ahead and hold your cries for Yoan Lopez as closer. Just as the scoring began in his game, Bellinger would bookend it with his seventh home run against the D’backs this season. It was Los Angeles fifth walk off in a row. I don’t have any fluff for you. This one sucked just as bad as last night did.
Adding injury to insult, David Peralta was removed from this game after his at bat in the top of the third. It’s reported that his shoulder was bothering him again, the same injury that kept him shelved earlier in the season.
Please go catch a boat: Greg Holland -50.9% WPA (I love how it’s abbreviated win probability added as if he’s added anything of value these past two games)
Hey now, you’re an All Star: Ketel Marte +20.8% WPA, 3-for-5
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