This one wasn’t at all close, and not even as close as the score might suggest. It was another one of those nights where it felt like it was a foregone conclusion, at least for me, by the end of the first inning.
Yeah, so. Tonight Luke Weaver made his third start since his long stint on the IL, facing off against Dodgers right-hander Tony Gonsolin, who Ramona remarked had a last name that sounded like a weird big pharma fusion of a new insulin drug that also lowered one’s cholesterol or something. I did not disagree. Weaver had a really good first start off the IL, going six innings and surrendering a single run on four hits over six innings. His second start, against lowly Texas, was much less good, as he gave up three earned runs and only made it through five. I suspect a lot of us who are still paying attention were curious how he was gonna do tonight.
He did not do well.
We were playing the Dodgers at Chavez, however, so our bats got the first crack, and we sat down in order on twelve pitches, so that was fun. Weaver then took the mound, and after a quick first out surrendered back-to-back doubles to Max Muncy and Trea Turner, before walking Corey Seager on six pitches. He rallied, sorta, to strike out Justin Turner swinging and to induce a Will Smith flyout to right, but it took him 30 pitches to finish out the frame and we were already in a hole. Oh, also, Seth Beer, who was getting his first major league start at first base, dislocated his shoulder diving for a sharp grounder, and was out of the game before I could even see his bat in action. Pavin Smith scooted in from RF to first, and
Harold Ramis Henry Ramos took over in right. 1-0 Los Angeles
Our offense did nothing in the second either, sitting down in order again and only seeing eight pitches while doing so. They also did nothing in the top of the third, wasting a leadoff walk from Ramos, and only seeing eleven more pitches.
The wheels, meanwhile, came even more off the Luke Weaver VW Microbus in the bottom of the third, as he gave up three more runs, thanks to a Mookie Betts leadoff single, a Max Muncy dinger to right, and then two errors—one committed by Ketel Marte, who started at second base tonight for the first time this season (?!???), and the other by Weaver himself, who fielded a slow comebacker to the mound off the bat of Will Smith and then hurried the throw to Marte, who was ready to start an inning-ending double play. Instead, though, Weaver fired it well over Marte’s head and into shallow center. He got the actual inning-ending double play a batter later, but another run had already crossed the plate thanks to the error(s), and I was honestly at the point where the game felt like it was out of reach. Also, after the quick and clean second inning, Weaver added another 29 pitches to his count in the third, so he was at 72 pitches after three. Ugh. 4-0 Los Angeles
And we can pretty much fast-forward from here for the next couple of frames, as the Diamondbacks in the top of the fourth wasted a leadoff Ketel Marte single to shallow right, and then a leadoff Josh VanMeter walk in the top of the fifth, along with a one-out single to left by Diamondbacks center fielder Jake McCarthy (who?), to come up all zeroes again. Weaver got yanked after ending the fourth with another clean half-inning pitching to the bottom of the Dodgers order, and perennial “Why is this dude on our roster?” contender Jake Faria pitched the bottom of the fifth, doing it relatively effectively aside from a one-out dinger he surrendered to Trea Turner. 5-0 Los Angeles
Gonsolin got the hook in the top of the sixth, giving way to former Red Sox ace and at this point wildly overpaid Dodgers garbage-time bullpen arm David Price. Josh Rojas singled to right, and Marte singled to right, advancing Rojas to second. One out later, David Peralta doubled to the alley in left center, and while it really should have been no more than a single, Peralta’s hustle and some lackadaisical attention to detail from the Dodger outfield allowed him to take the extra base. Rojas scored, Marte got to third, Pavin Smith and Josh VanMeter both struck out swinging to end the inning, but we were at least on the board.
— Bally Sports Arizona (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) September 15, 2021
5-1 Los Angeles
Faria came out for another inning of work, which rarely ends well, and so was the case tonight as he started the bottom of the sixth. Will Smith hung a nine-pitch leadoff AB on Faria that culminated in Smith depositing a long fly into the left-field stands. Faria then walked the next batter he faced, and had clearly lost the strike zone (assuming he’d ever really had it), and with two outs in the inning gave way to fan favorite Brett deGeus (I’m teaching irony to seventh graders tomorrow, bear with me), who got Mookie Betts to fly out to center for the third out of the inning. So that was nice, overall, except for the parts that weren’t. 6-1 Los Angeles
Some random mullet-sporting dude (Justin Bruihl) emerged from the bowels of the Doyer bullpen to replace Price for the top of the seventh, and Henry Ramos singled to left to lead things off. One out later, Christian Walker, who’d apparently joined the lineup during the deGeus double-switch (?) singled to right, advancing Ramos to third and turning the lineup over. Rojas then popped out to short for the second out of the inning, advancing no one, but it didn’t ultimately matter, as Ketel Marte notched his third hit of the night with a dinger of his own that just barely cleared the fence in right center.
Oh hey, Ketel Marte! pic.twitter.com/r1sfHG2lMG
— Bally Sports Arizona (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) September 15, 2021
Steve and Bob in the broadcast booth proclaimed that it was a whole new ballgame, etc, but let’s face it, it really wasn’t, and I’m pretty sure we all knew it. They did too. If nothing else, though, we’d put up a crooked number. 6-4 Los Angeles
Sadly, though, that was it. deGeus came out for the bottom of the seventh and wound up giving up two more runs, while the Diamondbacks had nothing else to offer in the way of offense the rest of the way, so those two extra runs wound up bringing us to the final score. 8-4 Los Angeles
Win Probability Added, courtesy of FanGraphs
Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal: Ketel Marte (4 AB, 3 H, 1 R, 3 RBI, 1 HR, +13.7% WPA)
Rimbaud’s The Drunken Boat: Luke Weaver ( 4 IP, 5 H, 1 HR, 1 BB, 4 K, -22.5% WPA)
I have no interest in anything other than spewing invective in response to a video game series that I’ve never had any interest in playing that somehow spawned a film franchise that I never had any interest in watching, so I’ve chosen to leave the “Resident Evil” thing where I found it and instead draw from a set of examples of fin-de-siecle French poetry that crossed my path today while I was subbing 9th grade Honors English. I can say more in the comments if anyone wants it, but I’m fine if nobody does. Fin-de-siecle French poetry (Baudelaire notwithstanding) sucks at least as much as movie franchises dervied from video game franchises, so I’m happy to leave the explanation at that.
Anyway. The only joy to be derived from this game, as has come to be something I expect, was the Gameday Thread, which was well-populated and congenial and lively tonight, despite the crappiness of the product on the field. 333 comments were produced by 20 brave commenters overall. I managed to end up in the lead with 55, edging out DC’s 52, Snake_Bitten’s 49, and Justin’s 45. To be fair, though, DC noped out well before game’s end, and rightly so, especially given his time zone and how the game was going. He missed nothing of worth or note, checking out when he did.
All present and accounted for were: AzDbackfanInDc, Dano_in_Tucson, Diamondhacks, GuruB, Jack Sommers, Jim McLennan, Justin27, Makakilo, Michael McDermott, MrMrrbi, NikT77, Oldenschoole, Schilling2001, Snacks&Dbacks, Snake_Bitten, gzimmerm, kilnborn, makattack71, since_98, therealramona
CotG goes to Snake_Bitten, for this offering shortly after Seth Beer left with what was ultimately revealed to be a dislocated shoulder. Because, well, it’s me, and for me, truer words were never uttered in any medium, not only on a game-specific and player-name-joke level but also on a more cosmic and universal level as well:
So yeah, the third game of the three-game set happens tomorrow, with Merrill Kelly taking the mound for us for the first time since he visited the covid-IL list. He’s facing off against Los Angeles left-hander Julio Urias, who sports a 17-3 record and a 2.93 ERA at this point in the season. We’ve already lost the series, but so what? That’s kinda what we do in 2021. On the upside, though, perhaps, at least it’s not an annoying Wednesday afternoon getaway game. If you feel like joining us, first pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm AZ time, just like tonight.
As always, thanks for reading, and as always (though, as I’m sure you all grasp by now, the sentiment is more aspirational than anything at this particular stage of this particular season), go D-Backs! Cheers!