How about another gander at Luke Weaver?
Well hello there. I find myself exactly where I was last Wednesday with Luke Weaver on the mound at Chase Field. He was impressive in that start, his first since a shoulder injury sidelined him back in May, against the San Diego Padres. The Padres are of course fighting for a Wild Card playoff spot. Weaver’s assignment this afternoon appeared to be far less daunting against the Texas Rangers who are on the other end of the standings jockeying with the D’backs for draft position.
Arizona jumped out to a two run lead in the bottom of the second, but it would be their only lead of the game. David Peralta got that frame started with a solo home run off of Texas starter Kohei Arihara. A Henry Ramos single and one out double from Daulton Varsho later and the score was quickly 2-to-0 in favor of the D’backs.
Weaver mostly picked up where he left off and was perfect through his first three innings not allowing a single baserunner. Even better was that he needed only eight pitches to complete the first inning. Undoubtedly, his toughest battle of the day would be against left fielder DJ Peters. Peters began the top of the second with a nine pitch at bat that concluded with a strikeout and big exhale of relief from Weaver on the mound. Luke remained on cruise control after that at bat, but Peters would wear him down again in the fourth inning. After allowing a leadoff triple to Leody Taveras, the first hit of the game for Texas to that point, Peters worked Weaver to a ten pitch at bat in his second plate appearance for a two out single. Through fifty-five pitches in three and two thirds innings Peters accounted for nearly thirty-five percent of Weaver’s pitches thrown.
With two outs in the top of the fourth, Texas kept their foot on the gas after the Peters at bat to take a 3-to-2 lead. Nathaniel Lowe hit a liner overhead of an outstretched Christian Walker down the first base line for the second triple of the inning. That scored Peters to tie the game. Nick Solak brought Lowe in on a slow rolling infield single to short. Solak made it all the way to third by stealing second and then advancing on a passed ball a few pitches after. Varsho began the game behind the plate today and would be moved to center field later on with Carson Kelly taking over behind the dish in the later innings. Tommy Hernandez walked and stole second as well. Arizona intentionally loaded the bases ahead of the pitcher Arihara who ultimately struck out to end the inning with Texas now in the lead.
Weaver pitched a clean fifth inning to end his day. His final line was three earned runs on four hits, two walks, four strikeouts, and seventy-eight pitches. Arihara was unable to complete the fifth inning himself. This was only his second start returning from a shoulder procedure. He gave up a leadoff double to Varsho and a two out walk to Josh Rojas in the fifth, but Dennis Santana came out of the bullpen and stranded them by getting Ketel Marte to line out to center field.
The longest at bat in the Majors this season, according to the Bally Sports broadcast, came in the sixth inning on a matchup between Jake Faria and Nick Solak. On the sixteenth pitch of his at bat, after eleven foul balls, Solak reached on another infield single. Texas tacked on two more runs after loading the bases giving them a 5-to-2 advantage. Arizona scratched one back in the bottom of the sixth in unexciting fashion making the score 5-to-3.
Taylor Widener pitched the eighth inning managing to retire only a single batter. Widener’s outing today went double, walk, sac bunt, single, ground rule double. Taylor was still responsible for the runners on second and third when he exited, one of which would score against Miguel Aguilar with the score now 8-to-3. Arizona made a college effort at a comeback in the bottom of the ninth but ultimately came up short. Nick Ahmed hit a solo home run to left field, and Ketel Marte singled home Josh Rojas for the final score of 8-to-5.
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They literally just made announcement for fans to only sit in their ticketed seats pic.twitter.com/dXhhCrYAxW
— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) September 8, 2021
No Sedona Red comments today. gzimmerm gets my nod today for CoTD with the above. The attendance as shown on the box score was 6,354, but those of us who watched the game agree that there was likely no more than 2,000 butts in seats. I really cannot remember the last time I sat in my ticketed seat during a Wednesday matinee game. As long as ownership continues to put this quality of product on the field, I will sit wherever I darn please as long as I am not in someone else’s seat. Pretty hard to steal someone’s paid seat when there are less people in the building than there are in a Costco during a holiday weekend.