After a disastrous two games against the Reds to start the series, the D-backs showed this isn’t the 2021 team anymore.
Coming off his best start of the season, 3 hits allowed across 7 2/3rds shutout innings against the Pirates, Davies looked to build on that against a Reds team that had pounced on D-backs pitching right from the get-go, with homers (or in Votto’s case robbed homers) in the 1st inning of each of the previous 3 games. Today was no exception.
After a squandered scoring chance in the D-backs half of the 1st, the Reds kept their 1st inning scoring chances alive as the first 4 batters reached base. Friedl, Drury, and Pham singled to load the bases for Votto, who promptly doubled in two of the runners. A quick strikeout of Stephenson followed, and a Farmer flyout gave the Reds a quick 3-0 lead.
That lead looked to be safe as Tyler Mahle was dealing, with 6 strikeouts through 4 innings before Pavin Smith stepped in and delivered, cutting the lead to 3-1.
Fortunately for the D-backs, Davies was superb after the dreadful 1st, allowing just two singles while striking out 7 in 6 innings to salvage his day and throw a ✨quality start.✨ With this stretch of pitching, it’s safe to wonder how long Davies will remain a D-back.
Both teams struggled to do much of anything against the bullpens until the 9th, when the offense finally woke up. Smith walked and advanced to 2nd on a passed ball, and Alek Thomas singled him home, cutting the lead to 3-2. Perdomo attempted to sacrifice the runner to 2nd, but Tony Santillan’s throw was wide, pulling Farmer off the bag as the D-backs had something going with small ball tactics. Varsho attempted to sacrifice again, and this time the Reds took the out at 1st to move both runners with 1 out, bringin up Josh Rojas.
A long at-bat followed, with Rojas swinging early and often but staying alive on foul balls. On the 9th pitch, Rojas did this.
Two walks of Marte and Hummel followed, loading the bases for Peralta, who grounded out to Matt Reynolds, but a bobble gave the D-backs another run which I’m sure they won’t need. 🙂 5-3 D-backs.
They would definitely need that run. Two quick outs from Kennedy brought up Matt Reynolds, who homered to right to give us just a 1 run game, but Friedl struck out and that was the ballgame. 5-4 and the win!
Rojas’ two-run single was key in him leading the team in WPA today, with a game-high +.329. Luplow struck out twice in his 4 at-bats for a bad -.127, although it could’ve been worse, as Santillan produced a -.769. Ouch.
The road trip continues as the D-backs head to Philadelphia for a 3-game series before returning home with a rematch against these Reds. Make sure to stop on by!