I am one with the Force and the Force is with Me
IT’S STAR WARS DAY AND A SWEEP OF THE MARLINS IS ON THE TABLE! Apologies in advance for the amount of DEEP Star Wars lore you are about to consume; it is without a doubt my biggest fandom. My collection of pre-Disney Wars novels is shown above. Brace for the nerdiness.
- CF Varsho
- RF Smith
- LF Peralta
- 1B Beer
- DH Hummel
- 2B Marte
- 3B Alcantara
- SS Perdomo
- C Herrera
- SP Bumgarner/Corbin Martin
- 3B Berti
- 1B Aguilar
- LF Soler
- DH Cooper
- RF Anderson
- 2B Chisholm Jr.
- SS Rojas
- CF De La Cruz
- C Henry
- SP Hernandez
Top: Great 7-pitch walk for Varsho, followed by a 5-pitch strikeout for Pavin. If nothing else the guys are ready to see many pitches from Hernandez. Peralta also had a 5-pitch at bat but flew out to deep Center and Beer saw 4 to ground into a double play.
Bottom: Whelp… Berti hit a home run just over the fence to left. Not the best start you’d hope for. Aguilar then had a long fly out to Center himself. Marlins are hitting the ball hard here to start. And Soler flew out to Right, but weakly this time! And Cooper follows suit. Run scored, but MadBum was efficient other than that. 1-0 MARLINS
Bumgarner thrown out between innings for something: either comments made about strikes/balls or the hand check. Updates if given will be provided. The Ump looked to “bait him” in the words of Gonzo. Wonder if we’ll ever get to know what Miami did to deserve such preferential treatment in this series?
Top: Hummel grounded out easily. Marte walked without much ado. Alcantara bunted into an out, and Marte got to second. But Perdomo flew out to Right to end the inning.
Bottom: In from the bullpen, Corbin Martin! Who promptly walked the first batter he faced: Anderson. Followed up with a Jazz single to left. And then Rojas walked as well. Hey! De La Cruz hit a sac fly! Martin got one out. Quickly followed by a Henry single, scoring Jazz as well. But Berti grounded into a double play this time. Inning over after 23 pitches from Martin, ten more than MadBum was allowed to throw. 3-0 MARLINS
Top: Herrera struck out to start. Varsho then flew out Right. But Pavin hit a slow roller to 1B, which Aguilar misplayed and his throw took Hernandez off the bag. Amazingly, the umps got the call correctly. No idea where this new-founded fair-calling came from. They labeled it a hit versus an error, which I think is generous but understandable. Peralta flew out to Center, inning over.
Bottom: Owen Wilson “wow.” Martin got Aguilar to fly out on only three pitches. Soler struck out and Cooper flew out to Right. Secondary Owen Wilson “wow.” 3-0 MARLINS
Top: Beer grounded out to not-a-right-fielder Chisholm in shallow right field. Hummel walked on 5 pitches this time. Good to know some guys haven’t let their anger take over. Marte hit a super weak double down the Third Base line; runners on second and third for Alcantara. WHO MADE IT HAPPEN! Alcantara hit a triple down the First Base line! Both runners scored! And Perdomo hit a single to Right, TYING THE GAME! The Force is with us guys. THIS is how the force works! Sadly, Herrera was rung up on a check swing third strike. But Daulton VARSHO flexes some power with a 2-run-homer to Right/Center! Smith promptly grounded out to end the inning after though. 5-3 DIAMONDBACKS
Bottom: Anderson grounded out nicely but Jazz walked on 4 pitches no where near the zone. Rojas then hit a scarily deep ball to Center, that Varsho tracked down, ensuring Jazz couldn’t advance. Chisholm stole second, but Herrera threw to Varsho instead of Marte. Thankfully no extra bases were taken. Someone should advise Herrera that Varsho is good, but even he can’t play all 9 positions at once. Inning ended with De La Cruz lining out to Marte. 5-3 DIAMONDBACKS
Top: Richard Bleier relieves Hernandez (there goes my fantasy starter for the day…sigh). Peralta appears done with this whole “seeing many pitches thing” as he grounded out on the first pitch. Beer continues to learn that MLB pitching can be difficult (poor guy) with a strikeout. Hummel then grounded out as well.
Bottom: Whew. A scary at bat from Henry ends in a strikeout. Then Berti quickly flew out to Smith. Aguilar then hit a long double off the wall in Left/Center. Soler then walked to bring up Cooper, who struck out. ***WELL DONE MARTIN***! 5-3 DIAMONDBACKS
Top: Two quick hits get Marte and Alcantara on base. Although the Alcantara hit got past the Miami Center Fielder, so it was 3-bagger! Perdomo attempted to bunt the runner home, who was called out but Arizona chose to review the play for slide rule. NY disagreed. Perdomo at first, Alcantara out at home. Herrera then struck out on three pitches. It wasn’t a pretty at bat unless you live in Miami. And Varsho struck out looking.
Bottom: Kyle Nelson on to relieve Martin. With twelve pitches, Nelson struck out Anderson, who had an amazing at bat. But Jazz popped out to Peralta pretty quickly. And Rojas grounded out to Third to end it without issues. Another great shutdown inning in the books. 6-3 DIAMONDBACKS
Top: Louis Head is the new Marlins pitcher. He started well, striking Smith out on six pitches, but in reality it was three, since the first three were all balls. Then a good at bat from Peralta also ended in a strikeout. Beer then also struck out on a passed ball, and kinda ran hard to first, but looked like he started jogging when the camera panned out; not sure if he’s actually that slow or if he pulled a Walker down the line.
Bottom: Nelson stays on the mound (Gulp) but Walker in for Beer at First. De La Cruz struck out quickly. Then Henry grounded out, ending Nelson’s day. Ramirez came on and promptly gave up a home run to Berti… And then Aguilar homered as well. Geez Ramirez. Geez. He finally got Soler to strike out, ending the pain. 6-5 DIAMONDBACKS
Top: Cole Sulser relieved Head. Hummel walked. Go figure. Marte walked too! Alcantara bunted to move the runners. Then Perdomo hit an absolute missile that Aguilar was perfectly placed for and he doubled off Hummel. Nothing wrong on our part, just some excellent fielding from Miami right there.
Bottom: Cooper struck out. But Anderson singled to left, ending Ramirez’s day. Mantiply replaced him. Chisholm singled to Right, but hit it hard enough to keep Anderson at Second. Whew! Rojas hit a scary long flyout to Smith in Right; Anderson tagged and got to Third, but Jazz could not advance! De La Cruz successfully punched one up the middle, tying the game and giving Ramirez a Blown Save. Middleton to the mound next. He immediately threw a bad pitch, fielded horribly by Herrera, resulting in Chisholm scoring and De La Cruz on Second. Garcia was pinch hitting apparently, and he did strike out, but the damage was done. 7-6 MARLINS
Top: Anthony Bender on for the Save Opportunity with Stallings in at Catcher. Luplow batting for Herrera. He watched strike three slide through the zone for the first out. Varsho came up and singled to Left, attacking the first pitch he saw. PAVIN SMITH WITH A TWO-RUN-HOMERUN! Yikes Peralta though, who struck out in the time it took me to read the Smith comments in the Gameday Thread… Walker then up for his first at bat of the game, popping up to Jazz. 8-7 DIAMONDBACKS
Bottom: Kennedy on for the Save against the top of the order. Berti flew out to Right. Aguilar hit a hard ball into deep Left/Center, but luckily he is large and slow, so it was a single. Miami did replace him with Sanchez as a pinch runner though, so speed was an issue. Kennedy got Soler to fly out to Right (now Luplow), and no advancement from runner. And Cooper flew out to Varsho (of course) to END THE GAME! 8-7 DIAMONDBACKS FINAL
OH! MY! GAWD! What a game! MadBum got ejected after an awkwardly intimate moment with Umpire Bellino. Martin came in and did the unthinkable. The bullpen pitched like stormtroopers trying to shoot main characters not named Mando (Ironically no walks except by Martin though). The offense was timelier than Han Solo at the Battle of the First Death Star.
All-in-all this felt like a season-long slog of a single game. The bullpen is going to be a major problem soon. But the offense is showing some life; probably won’t ever be top-half in the league this season, but at least they have a heartbeat now. Defense was solid enough (except you Herrera). Starting pitching was null obviously for this one.
The Game as a Star Wars Movie
- Prequel Trilogy: Innings 7-9 since the story was solid, and we got where we needed go, but oooooooooooh boy was it NOT pretty.
- Original Trilogy: Innings 4-6. Nice, easy baseball, few mistakes. Just good old-fashioned entertainment.
- Sequel Trilogy: Innings 1-3 since the story was changed up without thought to what came before, what was to come next or what should have been.
“Players” of the Game:
- Darth Plagueis: Umpire Dan Bellino for attempting to manipulate the outcome of the game. BUT ULTIMATELY FAILING
- Jaina Solo: Daulton Varsho for his unrivaled heroics in this young season. Easily personifies the fiery atmosphere Han and Leia’s daughter brought to the franchise.
- Darth Bane: Jon Berti because he was a powerhouse all to himself and he kept his side in the fight.
- Order 66: Madison Bumgarner for being blindsided by poor umping and paying the price for it.
Gameday Thread (378 as I’m writing this) – goes to Oldenschoole for this end of the game pun.
An off day on Thursday May 5 (Revenge of the Fifth) before opening a 9-game homestand with Colorado (3), Miami (3) and Chicago Cubs (3). 6:40 Arizona start on Friday with Merrill Kelly on the mound against whatever relatively warm body Colorado finds.