Diamondbacks 8, Giants 11: a four hour job
File: 33-74. Pace: 50-112. Change in 2004: 0
Credit the Diamondbacks offense for at least making the effort. After falling behind 7-1, as the 2021 JB Bukauskas Implosion Tour made their final save, they fought back, tying the game at 8-8 in the seventh inning and forcing some unexpected extra innings. But this bullpen never encountered a high-leverage situation they couldn’t mess, and it was Miguel Aguilar’s turn to be the goat – as opposed to the GOAT – tonight. He allowed three runs at the top of the 10th, and the Diamondbacks obediently descended into the bottom half. I am neither surprised nor particularly upset. It’s one step closer to the first pick in the draft next year, and if that helps stop the Dodgers from winning the division … Hey, I’m going to fall on that sword. It’s not like we would.
Taylor Widener was the starter, and he came within two lengths of becoming the third D-backs starter this year to throw 100 shots in a game (Caleb Smith did it three times, Zac Gallen once). The bad news? He needed 98 to pass 4.1 innings, dispersing five hits and three walks, but struck out seven batters. The only damage while still on the mound came on a two-run homerun early in the third inning on Mike Yastrzemski’s stick. Arizona picked up one, as singles Kole Calhoun and Asdrubal Cabrera put the runners on the corner, and Giants starter Anthony DeSclafani helpfully landed a wild pitch to put the D-backs on the board.
The fifth inning lasted fifty minutes, as both teams sent eight men home, scoring a total of nine runs, including a trio of multi-run homers. As’ hacks pointed out, before being injured Widener had been solid, registering 22.1 innings in his four starts, with at least five innings each time. But since his return he has made five starts and has yet to reach five innings. An injury derailed one, and he was probably still lying in another. But as stated above, its effectiveness appears to have been infected with a case of Robbie Rayitis. The same thing happened on the last start, when he made 87 pitches to complete 3.2 innings.
Tonight he loaded up the goals with a fifth out on two walks and a single, which brought out Torey Lovullo with the hook. Considering the number of steps, it was fair enough. But I’m not sure that JR Bukauskas would have been my first choice to throw in a one point game with the bases loaded. Admittedly, his three appearances in the second half all ended in scoreless innings. This one? Not really. First, he walked in a run to bring the score to 3-1. He then awarded a grand slam to Alex Dickerson, whose last hit of any kind came on July 23. This brought the score to 7-1 for San Francisco, and while Bukauskas escaped the inning without further damage, reduced his ERA to 8.27.
Arizona would have been forgiven for turning around, playing dead and maybe warming up Daulton Varsho to pitch a set or two. But Josh Reddick came off the bench to deliver a hit, a two-run homer, and Asdrubal Cabrera called another later in the frame, making it 7-5 for San Francisco. Arizona WaiverWires newest member “Professor” Sean Poppen has made his debut – as seen in the preview [stares at commentary booth], becoming the 55th record player used by the team this year. He showed why his rookie status is still intact, allowing former full-backs D Wilmer Flores a home run but otherwise keeping us in the game, throwing in the sixth and seventh.
Arizona loaded up the bases with no takedowns, but it looked like it would be another one of their patented Opportunity Squandering, as Carson Kelly took to the skies and Drew Ellis ran aground, although the latter managed a run to carry. the score at 8-6. Despite scoring six points, Arizona was 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position, and with Christian Walker up, things didn’t look very promising. He had been 0-for-3 on the evening, which earned him just 0.176 (6-for-34) in his last nine games. But the team eventually got the clutch shot they were looking for, a brace to left field (below) bringing home two points, unexpectedly tying the game at eight apiece.
Brett De Geus and Tyler Clippard worked scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth. The first was actually a waiver wire claim that has worked pretty well for the Diamondbacks since being ripped off from the Rangers. He allowed four earned runs in 12 innings, for an ERA of 3.00. His FIP with Arizona is higher – 3.97 for this game – but I don’t feel a Bukauskas-shaped cloud of terror forming when he comes into the game. The same can’t be said for Aguilar, who let all the goodwill created by his impressive first appearance evaporate. Tonight he not only allowed the phantom runner to score in the tenth, but two more on two hits and one walk, ultimately putting the game out of reach.
The positives would include multi-successful matches for the top three in order of D-backs, Kole Calhoun, Ketel Marte and Cabrera. Negatives would include Nick Ahmed’s season OPS falling below 0.600 to 0.598. The only qualified hitter in franchise history with less than 0.600 OPS for a season was Chris Owings’ 0.587 in 2015. It’s not the kind of business you want to keep.
Click for details at Fangraphs.com
Signs: Kole Calhoun, + 18.0%
The Sixth Sense: Cabrera, + 17.9%; Walker, + 16.9%; Clippard, + 14.0%; De Geus, + 10.8%
The Happening: Josh Hager, -23.6%
The Village: Aguilar, -23.2%; Bukauskas, -21.8%; Kelly, -17.4%; Expander, -11.9%; Ahmed, -10.0%
A fast GDT, exceeding 300 comments. The Gameday Thread participants were: AzDbackfanInDc, DBacksEurope, Diamondhacks, GuruB, Jack Sommers, Jim McLennan, Keegan Thompson, Makakilo, MesaDBacksFan, Michael McDermott, NikT77, NinaT14, Oldenschoole, Smurf-1000, Snake_Bitten, Ubersnake., VWmimmer and gypsy. born in the oven. I credit Comment of the Thread to Snake Bitten and Diamondbacks for their invaluable help in a rare Unplanned Triple Comment performance, after Poppen gave up a home run to the second hitter he faced in a D-backs uniform:
Second in the four-game series tomorrow night, and that should be interesting, as Madison Bumgarner faces off against his former team and Johnnie Cueto. 6:40 p.m. first pitch. I believe I am not currently scheduled to recap. But I don’t make any plans.