The D-backs slip from the summit of Mount .500
Luke Weaver gave up 4 runs in 5 innings and Yoan Lopez gave up a pivotal homer in the 7th. The Diamondbacks bats got started a bit late in the game once again and this time the comeback fell short.
Weaver and Braves starter Huascar Ynoa traded zeroes in the 1st, both retiring the side in order, Weaver on 11 pitches and Ynoa on just 7. With one out In the second inning Asdrubal Cabrera laid down a shift beater bunt for a base hit to put Ynoa in the stretch. But Eduardo Escobar hit into a force at 2nd and with Johnny Be…..er Carson Kelly up Freddie Freeman made a nice grab of a popup over the railing in foul territory to end the inning.
Leading off the bottom of the 2nd, Ozzie Albies reached for a changeup down and away, popping it into shallow left for a Texas League double. After two outs Austin Riley went down and golfed a fastball well below the zone out to straightaway center for a two-run homer. It wasn’t a bad pitch, but the result was still a 2-0 Braves lead. Between the Albies pop-up double and this homer it was definitely a snakebit inning.
The D-backs went 3 up 3 down in both the 3rd and the 4th as Ynoa cruised with just 44 pitches thrown. Meanwhile Weaver had to work considerably harder in the 3rd and 4th.
Weaver hung a 0-2 curveball to Ynoa to start the 3rd and the pitcher roped the ball down the left field line for a double, his first career base hit. This one WAS a bad pitch! Ronald Acuna Jr drove a line drive center to Pavin Smith for the first out. Then Freddie Freeman hit a sharp one hopper that Eduardo Escobar made a really nice stop on to get the second out at first. Weaver walked Marcel Ozuna on 4 pitches and then fell behind Ozzie Albies 3-1 before finally getting him swinging through a fastball to strikeout and end the threat. As mentioned in the game thread, he got back some of that bad luck from previous inning reversed.
Asdrubal Cabrera walked to lead off the 5th, and one out later Carson Kelly did this to make the score 3-2:
Carson Kelly with his 5th homer in 8 games!
D-backs cut the lead. pic.twitter.com/BedhNC2z5G
— Bally Sports Arizona (@BallySportSAZ) April 24, 2021
Of special note is that the pitch was at the very top of the zone, just like was identified in this latest Fangraphs article. There was lengthy discussion in the post game interview with Torey, Carson himself, and his battery mate Weaver about where Kelly is at the moment. The best quotes came from Kelly himself where he talked about being at peace with his process and not having to search for answers to fix his swing. He trusted his process and now he can put bad days behind him and just go back out there confident in his swing. Suggest a listen to his comments in the link at the bottom.
In the bottom of the 5th Dansby Swanson struck out on three pitches, but Guillermo Heredia worked the count full and then smashed a double off the left field wall over David Peralta’s head. After Austin Riley struck out, and Alex Jackson was intentionally walked up came Ynoa again. And with two strikes Weaver had him struck out. See???
Only one problem, it was called a ball and on the very next pitch Ynoa knocked the ball through the hole into left for an RBI single and the third run of the game for the Braves. He got Acuna to ground out to end the inning, with 69 pitches through 4. But bad luck bit him again. Asked after the game if this sequence built on his frustrations for the evening, not wanting to get in trouble Weaver said:
I will answer that in a way where that is not my job……(long pregnant pause)…..yes, that was frustrating
Weaver came out for the 6th, walked a batter and was done for the night. His final line was 5 IP, 4 ER, on 6 hits, 4 walks 5 strikeouts and the homer. He did not have his good fastball command tonight and towards the end of the game was losing a couple MPH of velocity on some pitches as well.
Ynoa put up one more zero for the Braves in the 6th, retiring the side in order for the 3rd time in the game.
J.B. Bukauskas meanwhile came on for Weaver in the bottom of the 6th and retired all three batter he faced. David Peralta led off the top of the 7th with a sharp one hopper through the hole into left for a base hit and Asdrubal Cabrera worked his second walk of the game. Two outs later Josh Rojas smoked a double into the right field corner to score Peralta and make it a 4-3 game. Andrew Young came in to pinch hit and got a matchup against a lefty, the hard throwing Tyler Matzek, and struck out swinging at ball four.
Yoan Lopez then came on for the bottom of the 7th and with two outs surrendered a long homerun to Ozzie Albies , that turned out to be decisive, restoring the Braves two run lead to 5-3. Torey was asked if he’s concerned about the long ball problem Lopez has been displaying. It’s the 3rd game in a row he’s allowed one.
We’ve seen him make some mistakes and pay for it. We’ve seen him very good where’s he’s overmatched some good hitters. We want him to fearlessly attack the zone in the right place. You make mistakes in the wrong places and your going to suffer the consequences. He threw a middle middle fastball to a really good hitter. ……….. I’m always concerned with guys that are making mistakes. I just want to see what tomorrow looks like and what the adjustments are that will allow him to go out and have more success. …….I’d like to see those mistakes become less frequent.
Pavin Smith lead off the 8th with a double deep into to left center field gap just over the glove of center fielder Guillermo Heredia. Kole Calhoun grounded out to second and Smith went on to 3rd. A wild pitch with Wyatt Mathisen battiing scored Smith and drew the D-backs within a run, to 5-4. But that’s all she wrote.
Alex Young struck out the side in the 8th and Braves closer Will Smith retired the side in order in the top of the 9th to slam the door shut on the D-backs comeback hopes.
The team is now 9-11 and their win streak ends at 4. They will try to get back in the win column tomorrow night behind Madison Bumgarner. The game starts at 4:20 PM Arizona Time
A light moment highlighted the game for one young baseball fan and his family, and Kole Calhoun showed his character in a big way. It was later reported he joked with the kid that it was his turn to catch the next one. Way to go Kole !
I mean…you can’t be mad at that, right?
Kole Calhoun gave this kid a much deserved fist bump! pic.twitter.com/94qgMyxEjW
— Bally Sports Arizona (@BallySportSAZ) April 24, 2021
Asdrubal Cabrera +.102 WPA, Josh Rojas +.097 lead the way in WPA, despite Kelly’s homer
Luke Weaver -.227, Eduardo Escobar -.195, Andrew Young -.118, Kole Calhoun -.110 and Yoan Lopez -.075 did most of the negative damage tonight.
Total comments 210, Total commenters 17. Commenter list : AzDbackfanInDc, DORRITO, Diamondhacks, GuruB, Jack Sommers, James Attwood, Jim McLennan, Makakilo, Michael McDermott, MrMrrbi, NikT77, Smurf1000, Snake_Bitten, gzimmerm, makattack71, piratedan7, redsedona
No Red comments other than the aforementioned clip of Kalhoun’s interaction.