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Greinke gets no support, D-backs bullpen breaks down in loss to Phillies

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke winds up during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

PHOENIX – In a pitcher’s duel against Nick Pivetta and the Philadelphia Phillies at Chase Field on Tuesday, Zack Greinke blinked first with no offensive support and the Arizona Diamondbacks lost game two of the series by a score of 5-2.

Greinke was tough on opposing batters despite not having his best stuff. He struggled early, giving up a single and a pair of walks to load the bases in the first inning.

The D-backs’ ace got out of the jam, but then he got himself right back into another bad situation in the second inning after issuing another pair of walks. Like the first inning, he was able to escape unscathed.

The only significant mistake of the day by Greinke was to center fielder Nick Williams to start the third inning, allowing a solo home run that put the Phillies up by one.

In seven innings of work, Greinke allowed three hits and one earned run with four strikeouts. He also allowed four walks, which is the only indication that he struggled at all with his control considering how good the rest of his line was.

Despite not having the run support in this game, Greinke has allowed two or fewer runs in each of his last nine starts, which ties him for the second-longest streak in D-backs history.

“It was alright, a little wild early, and then it got better as the game went on,” Greinke commented on his control after the game. “But I felt good the whole time. I just wasn’t hitting my spots early.”

The D-backs’ offense didn’t do anything to pick him up. Aside from a pair of base runners in the fourth inning when A.J. Pollock and Eduardo Escobar reached on back-to-back singles, the offense was nonexistent while Greinke was pitching and never seemed like they were a threat to score.

The game was closer than the score indicates until the eighth inning when the Phillies busted things open and put it out of reach. Jake Diekman came on in relief and quickly made a throwing error that was compounded by a second throwing error by right fielder Steven Souza Jr.

The inning went off the rails as Diekman gave up four runs total, two earned, by way of two hits and two walks in 0.1 innings of work.

The D-backs were able to muster their best offense against relief pitching it the bottom of the eighth, plating a pair on a Paul Goldschmidt double and a Phillies fielding error. But it wasn’t enough to overcome the damage done by the bullpen in the top of the inning.

THE GOOD

– Greinke was outstanding, even in a loss. He showed how effective he can still be even when his stuff isn’t there. He settled in after giving up his only run of the night and only allowed one more hit in four innings of work.

– There was a scary moment for Souza, who missed significant time this season with a right pectoral injury, as he tried to rob Williams of his home run in the third inning. He took a rough bounce off the wall and it looked like he may have hurt his wrist, but he was able to stay in the game.

– Goldy was Goldy. The first baseman went 2-for-4 with a double and a RBI.

THE BAD

– Diekman and Souza’s throwing errors in the eighth snowballed into an insurmountable deficit quickly.

– The D-backs looked sluggish after Monday’s 14-inning marathon, as demonstrated by their offense’s inability to manufacture anything until late in the game.

– After having an offensive explosion against the San Francisco Giants, the D-backs have only scored seven runs in their last 32 innings.

– The bullpen’s ERA takes a hit after allowing two earned runs, going from 3.04 to 3.08. This drops them from first in MLB to second behind the Houston Astros.

STAT OF THE GAME

E1, E9 – The two throwing errors in the eighth inning were the difference makers in a close game.

HE SAID IT

“We have to play in fourteen hours. The thing about it is (I’m) called up to pitch that inning. I brought in Ziegler. He probably shouldn’t have pitched until the ninth. You just waste other pitchers when you don’t get your job done.” – Jake Diekman on his performance in the eighth inning.

NOTED

– The D-backs are now 8-1 at home on “Teal Tuesdays”. They are 10-6 in their last 16 games dating back to July 22, and they are 4-4 on this current homestand.

– Goldschmidt is one home run shy of the all-time home run record at Chase Field. He is currently tied with Luis Gonzalez at 95.

– Speaking of Gonzo, on this date in 2010 he became the first player in franchise history to have his number retired.

– 22,382 were in attendance at Chase Field with an indoor temperature of 81 degrees and an outdoor temp of 108 degrees at first pitch.

UP NEXT

The D-backs will look to take the series with a win on Wednesday against the Phillies. Patrick Corbin will get the start against Vince Velazquez for Philadelphia. First pitch is scheduled for 12:40 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on ESPN 620 AM.

Corbin is 8-4 this season with a 3.31 ERA. In his last eight starts, the left-hander is 2-1 with a 2.98 ERA and has not surrendered a home run in that span of time.