Record: 19-14. Pace: 93-69. Change to 2021: +1.

This is the kind of game that will have a recapper pulling his hair out because it has less well thought out twists than an M. Night Shyamalan retrospective. At times in the ninth inning, the D-Backs had a 99.6% winning percentage. Later that same inning it had dropped to 17.4%. It ended at 100% again when Pavin Smith pulled a walk-off walk with many bases and the team made their record 12-0 as they went for more than five runs. But if every win was unnecessarily snatched from defeat, it was this one, as Scott McGough and Andrew Chafin combined for five runs while two batters retired. There are issues that should not be ignored.

For three innings, my hopes for the D-Backs’ first 1-0 win in four years actually seemed to have a chance to materialize. Emmanuel Rivera had given the home team an early lead with his first home run in 2023, and Tommy Henry brought it to a halt. Unfortunately, my dreams were dashed when the Nationals scored two goals in the fourth round. Somehow I stopped paying attention at that point. No wait. I summarize? Yes. I traded places with Keegan tonight because Mrs. SnakePit arranged for us to go out to dinner on my regular Monday review night. This error will be discussed at their annual performance review, I can assure you.

Anyhow, Rivera continues to make strong arguments as to why signing Evan Longoria doesn’t appear to have been necessary. These two right-handed drawing partners of Josh Rojas were on the starting lineup tonight, Rivera at third base and Longoria as DH. But the results couldn’t have been much more different to begin with. As noted, Emmanuel gave up the Diamondbacks and an early lead the first time out, and followed it up with a single, taking his average since his recall to a crisp .458 at that point. Conversely, Longoria was 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts to sink below the Uecker line at .194. “Small sample size” appears to be an increasingly fallible defense.

Dominic Fletcher came on on a winning four-game streak to launch his big-league career. It was a difficult task for the left-hander tonight but he scored in the fourth to extend it to five games. It is now the longest start in MLB with a diamondback since Pavin Smith also started his career five straight years in September 2020. I brought up the question of who holds the record for Arizona in the GDT and there were some interesting ideas. However, no one found out the answer. It is David Peralta, who scored 12 in his first seven games as he rose to the big leagues in June 2014. Here is the list of the ten players who reached four games or more. Obvs, move Fletcher up a few rungs. 🙂

rk player team strand Streak started Streak ended PA AWAY R H MR RBI bb SO B.A OBP SLG OPS
1 David Peralta ARI 7 06/01/2014 06/08/2014 28 28 6 12 1 2 0 3 .429 .429 .643 1,071
2 Alex Cabrera ARI 6 2000-06-26 2000-07-17 20 17 4 9 2 8th 1 5 .529 .500 1,059 1,559
3 Pavin Smith ARI 5 2020-09-12 2020-09-18 21 19 4 6 0 2 1 5 .316 .333 .421 .754
4 Adam Eaton ARI 5 2012-09-04 2012-09-09 26 25 6 10 0 0 1 3 .400 .423 .480 .903
5 Trento Oeltjen ARI 5 2009-08-06 2009-08-11 25 24 6 12 3 3 0 0 .500 .500 1,042 1,542
6 Gerardo Parra ARI 5 2009-05-13 2009-05-20 (1) 24 22 3 9 1 7 2 4 .409 .458 .727 1,186
7 Dominic Fletcher ARI 4 2023-04-30 2023-05-05 15 14 2 5 0 2 1 3 .357 .400 .429 .829
8th Mitch Haniger ARI 4 2016-08-16 2016-08-19 19 16 2 7 0 5 3 5 .438 .526 .688 1.214
9 Jerry Gil ARI 4 2004-08-22 2004-08-31 14 13 1 4 0 2 0 4 .308 .357 .385 .742
10 Nick Bierbrodt ARI 4 2001-06-13 2001-07-23 10 6 3 4 0 0 2 0 .667 .750 .833 1,583

Tommy Henry looked good the first time through the (weak) Nationals order, but the wheels fell off a bit in the fourth. He went with the lead-off guy and then allowed four direct hits. Luckily, Gabriel’s (Moreno) sword had knocked down the first of them after the runner tried to advance on a ball that narrowly escaped our catcher. Moreno had also earlier caught a more conventional theft, his eighth of the year. However, the hits allowed the Nationals to score twice before Henry calmed down and finished the inning, ending up with two men in scoring position. He regrouped well and finished with six innings, allowing for two runs with six hits and two walks with three K’s. we will take it

It was towards the end of the sixth that things started to get interesting. Arizona tied the game with individuals from Lourdes Gurriel and Christian Walker, the latter a 60.5-mile bloop that died in a flat left, giving Gurriel a third-place finish. He then sped home just as the ball skidded just far enough from the Nationals’ catcher and scored the 2-2 equalizer. Alek Thomas, who had hitherto been weak on both sides of the ball, redeemed himself in the seventh with a three-point lead (above). Not bad for a ball with a launch angle of -20 degrees! Ketel Marte drove him in with a single, and the Diamondbacks had reclaimed the lead in that one.

They were able to attack three more in game eight, aided by an overwhelming Washington defense. Corbin Carroll came off the bench to deliver an RBI single, Moreno reached from an error who scored another run, and an infield single from Thomas brought home a third run. With Jose Ruiz and Kyle Nelson teaming up to retire all six sluggers they faced, the Arizona took possession in ninth for what felt like a comfortable 6-2 lead. Scott McGough took over and immediately allowed a home run – his fifth to just 59th batter he faced that year. But he got the next two outs before batting to make it a safe situation.

Enter Andrew Chafin and a winning probability of 98.8%. Single, two-run single run, two-run homer and in 12 pitches, the Nationals had hit four runs to take a 7-6 lead. Twice Chafin was just a stroke away from rescue. Instead, he was raised without retiring a batter, allowing for four hits and three earned runs. After last night’s performance, which was remarkably low-stress, the ninth inning was an absolute disaster and one wonders if Chafin’s workload – he’s now at the pace in 79 appearances – might catch up to him. Perhaps he should be given a break from high-leverage innings, with the torch going to Miguel Castro, who won the final from the ninth inning.

Gurriel was already enjoying himself, with three hits that day. But he had saved the best for last, blasting the first throw from the National’s closer right over the fence in left field (above). Former D-back and now Nats outfielder Stone Garrett claimed fan interference, but after a referee-initiated review, the original decision was upheld and the D-backs were level again. Walker scored his third hit of the night, Carroll walked, Fletcher rammed her, Geraldo Perdomo got kicked on purpose, and Smith then kept his nerve to draw the 10th walk-off walk in franchise history, and the first for Arizona since David Peralta September 27, 2017.

It was certainly a contender for game of the year, even though it really shouldn’t have been. I would have been perfectly happy with a calm, drama-free 6-2 win; However, I will settle for victory by any means necessary. The decent crowd of 27,345 people probably felt similarly. Gurriel had four hits, Walker three, Fletcher, Thomas and Rivera two each. Remarkable, despite everything [gestures vaguely off-screen], including 15 runs on 27 hits and 7 walks, the entire contest was over in just 2:49. However, it was probably the longest two hours and forty-seven minutes of my life. And now the fangraph. Please make sure to keep your arms and legs in the vehicle at all times…

Click here for details on
I love you: Lourdes Gurriel Jr., +60.6%
I like you: Smith, +16.6%; hikers, +16.3%; Carroll, +14.7%; Ruiz, +14.3%; Thomas, +12.7%
I hate you: Andrew Chafin, -81.4%
I don’t like you: Nick Ahmed, -16.8%

If Chafin’s WP is maintained at -81.4% baseball reference version, it will be the worst figure ever made by a pitcher in a game won by the Diamondbacks. Worst so far was Tony Pena’s -78.7% in this 2008 competition. The matchday thread certainly reflected all the ups and downs of this outrageous fortune. Comment of the night on Kilnborn.

#Well, actually, at least HER closer picked up an out… All’s well that ends well, and I have to admit I feel rather fortunate to have traded a recap of a Zac Gallen launch for… this [gestures vaguely off-screen again]. Same two teams again tomorrow. I’ll probably let it go as I’ll probably still be lying in a dark room somewhere. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m doing something less stressful. Naked beach ball in a piranha infested swimming pool sounds about right.

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