Sedona Red Recap: D-backs pull Shelby Miller, fall in series finale vs. Dodgers
PHOENIX — One of the better stories in the midst of all the early success for the Arizona Diamondbacks here in 2017 has been the pitching of right-hander Shelby Miller.
Winning two of his first three starts put him in position to match his win total from all of last season with a win in Sunday’s season-finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
And for four innings he was well on his way.
But then in the fifth, Miller inexplicably lost his command. Eleven of the 12 pitches he threw in the inning to the three batters faced fell outside the strike zone, prompting manager Torey Lovullo to leave the dugout with head athletic trainer Ken Crenshaw and pay Miller a visit on the mound.
Lovullo announced after the 6-2 loss that Miller was removed due to right forearm tightness and would be re-evaluated on Monday.
Miller (2-2) suffered the loss, giving up three runs on four hits with a season-high five walks and three strikeouts.
Randall Delgado allowed the remaining three runs as the Dodgers batted around in the inning, scoring six times to avoid the series sweep, much to the disappointment of the majority of the 28,704 fans in attendance at Chase Field.
Adrian Gonzalez and Yasmani Grandal each had two RBI in the inning.
The D-backs took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on Paul Goldschmidt’s two-run home run.
Unfortunately, that was it offensively. The D-backs had no answers for Dodgers starter Brandon McCarthy, their one-time teammate.
McCarthy (3-0) scattered five hits with one walk and six strikeouts over seven innings. He retired 19 of the last 22 batters faced.
The Dodgers had lost two straight and five of six.
The D-backs, meanwhile, lost for only the second time this season at home.
It had been 15 games since Goldschmidt last homered (he last did so April 6 against the Giants). He ended the drought, driving a 95-mph fastball on the inside corner just over the fence in left field to give the D-backs a 2-0 lead in the first inning. It was Goldschmidt’s third home run of the season and 25th all-time against the Dodgers, the most among active players.
Twice in the first three innings, Miller escaped trouble. The Dodgers had runners on second and third with two outs in the first, and then runners on first and second with one out in the third. All four were left stranded. Miller struck out Grandal looking on an 89-mph cutter in the first and got Gonzalez to chase a 96-mph fastball to end the threat two innings later.
For 18 straight games now, adding to his career-high, Jake Lamb has reached base safely. His single in the first inning extended his hitting streak to seven straight games. He later singled in the sixth and doubled in the ninth. The three-hit performance matched his career-high, which he’s done 10 times now, the last coming on Aug. 24, 2016.
Eleven hitters into the game and Miller had issued his third walk, tying a season-high set in his first outing of the season, April 7 against Cleveland. He walked one in each of the first three innings, twice issuing a free pass to Corey Seager. Andrew Toles walked to leadoff the second. Fortunately, none of those three walks came around to score.
That was not the case in the fifth inning. The first two batters walked and scored when Seager doubled to straightaway center and Brandon Drury was unable catch cleanly the throw from Jeremy Hazelbaker, allowing the second run to cross home plate. Drury was charged with an error, his second and the team’s 17th in 20 games this season.
That fifth inning also saw Gonzalez rip a two-run double off the left-field wall. He enjoys hitting at Chase Field — like, really enjoys it. After a 2-for-4 performance, in which both hits were doubles, Gonzalez is now batting .315 (99-for-314) with 18 doubles, 21 home runs and 70 RBI in 87 career games in Phoenix. He finished 3-for-9 in the series.
For three straight innings, the second, third and fourth, the D-backs were held hitless, and they had only one baserunner, Goldschmidt who walked with two out in the third. The D-backs finally broke through with Chris Herrmann’s infield single with one out in the fifth inning. Herrmann had replaced left fielder Daniel Descalso the half-inning prior.
STAT OF THE GAME
0-for-1: The Diamondbacks failed in their one and only chance with a runner in scoring position; this after they went a combined 10-for-27 in the first two games of the series
HE SAID IT
“Personally, I feel like I’ll feel probably better tomorrow. I don’t think it’s that big of an issue. I think it’s just more so just one of those things that flare up when you’re out there. Physically, I don’t think there’s any damage done at all. I think it’s just, what it is, just a little tight,” said Miller, who will undergo an MRI on Monday.
– Miller threw a first-pitch strike to 13-of-20 batters faced, including the first five of the game.
– McCarthy threw a first-pitch strike to 20-of-26 batters faced, including seven of first nine.
– David Peralta recorded his eighth multi-hit game. He’s batting .519 in his last six games.
– Chris Iannetta went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, snapping his six-game hitting streak.
– Chris Owings, A.J. Pollock and Yasmany Tomas did not start. They each had the day off.
– With a first-pitch temperature of 94 degrees, the game was played with the roof closed.
– LEGOLAND Discovery Center Arizona mascot Bertie threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
It’s the rematch: Right-handers Zack Greinke and Jhoulys Chacin of the Padres battle once again, this time at Chase Field in the series opener on Monday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Five days ago at Petco Park, each went the distance with Chacin (2-2) coming out the winner in a 1-0 ballgame that clocked out at two hours and 13 minutes. Chacin limited the D-backs to just three hits. He walked one and struck out five. Greinke, meanwhile, allowed the one run on five hits.
Despite the loss, Greinke (1-2) has now yielded two runs or fewer in three of his four starts.
All-time against the Padres, Greinke is 8-2 with a 1.96 ERA in 17 starts.
The D-backs dropped two of the three games in San Diego.
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