PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks have experienced some tough losses at Chase Field this season, but few were as bad as the 9-3 thrashing by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night that saw catcher Carson Kelly leave the game with a fractured right wrist and opposing starting pitcher Walker Buehler flirt with a no-hitter.
The loss is the D-backs 16th in a row as they continue to make dubious history, but the true loss for manager Torey Lovullo is the loss of his starting catcher.
“He was catching at a very high level and he was a very consistent offensive player for us, so it’s nothing you ever want to see or have to talk about postgame where your starting catcher has a wrist fracture,” Lovullo said during his media availability via Zoom.
“But we’ll manage it and we’ll have the opportunity to continue to evaluate and watch other guys get some innings behind the plate and get a chance to grow and learn.”
Ketel Marte was 1-for-3 with a double, two RBI, a walk and a stolen base.
Much like Game 1 of this series, this stagnant D-backs offense couldn’t do much, if anything, at the plate against Buehler. The most they were able to do early was get a pair of baserunners on via walks.
In the second inning, Buehler hit Kelly with a 95-mph sinker on the right wrist, but Kelly remained in the game for two more innings before being removed for Stephen Vogt. X-rays later would confirm that Kelly fractured his wrist.
“I had the initial movement, I had the strength and everything there,” Kelly said of how he was feeling after the initial hit. “Just as time went on, it kept getting worse and worse, so it felt like it was time to get it checked out.
“I toughed it out for that inning. I was throwing the ball back and that was OK. And then I tried to really gear it up to throw and that just did not feel good at all. It sucks. That’s pretty much the way to sum it up.”
Kelly will have additional images completed on his wrist. There is no timetable currently for his recovery.
Buehler continued to change speeds and use a vast array of pitches to keep the D-backs hitters off-balance, unfairly shifting from a 95 MPH four-seam fastball to a 78 MPH knuckle-curve in the zone.
“I don’t think his breaking ball was typically what we’ve seen in the past,” Lovullo said of Buehler’s outing. “But we missed some pitches — some very hittable pitches in the zone — and we walked into a potential no-hitter through seven.
“I feel like it was the combination of the fastball with his location that was very effective against us today.”
Buehler carried his no-hit bid into the eighth inning, but David Peralta ended his reign of terror with a leadoff single. Nick Ahmed added a second single off Buehler, which brought his brilliant night on the mound to an end after 108 pitches and a season-high 11 strikeouts.
Once the D-backs got into the Dodgers’ bullpen, they were finally able to get some runs on the board in this series. Tim Locastro brought in Peralta with a pinch-hit RBI single in the inning. He was then brought home along with Ahmed on a Marte two-run double.
The three runs were the only runs the D-backs have scored in 18 innings against Los Angeles in this series.
Meanwhile, it didn’t take the Dodgers nearly as long to put some runs on the board against D-backs starting pitcher Matt Peacock.
Mookie Betts hit a leadoff double off Peacock in the first inning and was brought home two batters later by a two-run dinger off the bat of catcher Will Smith, his eighth of the year.
In the second, Peacock gave up a pair of singles — which included an RBI single from Gavin Lux for another Dodgers run — but he was able to settle in after that and eat up some innings to aid their taxed bullpen.
Peacock had a clean fourth inning and pitched around a Smith double in the fifth without allowing any further damage.
He went five innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and one walk. Most importantly, he left giving his team a chance to stay in the game.
But the bullpen absolutely fell apart once Peacock exited the game.
Kevin Ginkel had one of his worst outings of the year in relief, tallying four walks, one hit and three earned runs in one inning pitched.
The debuting Jake Faria, the D-backs 29th pitcher used this season, didn’t make a great first impression either. He gave up two earned runs and three runs total on three hits in two innings of work.
The bullpen allowed six runs total in four innings and didn’t give Arizona a chance to stay in the game.
“We got to find a way to have that next-up mentality and fight through the frustration of what happened and dial it in tomorrow at one o’clock,” Lovullo said.
The D-backs announced that pitcher Alex Young will get the start on Father’s Day, with first pitch scheduled for 1:10 p.m. Young is 2-4 this season with a 3.86 ERA in 32.2 innings.
This will be his second start of 2021. He allowed three earned runs in four innings in his only start of the year. As a reliever, 11 of his 12 outings from April 21 through May 16 were scoreless.
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