On a night where the Arizona Diamondbacks were celebrating “Superhero Night” at Chase Field, the men wearing Sedona Red and white required extra innings, not a phone booth, in order to save the day.
In a back-and-forth affair that lasted 13 innings, the D-backs used nine different pitchers in Friday night’s 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
However, while D-backs pitching staff did well to work themselves out of numerous jams throughout the game, it was the combined heroics of two players residing on opposite ends of the hitter’s spectrum that lifted the D-backs to their 20th win of the season.
Trailing 4-2 and down to their last out in the 10th inning, the D-backs relied on “Captain America” — better known as first baseman Paul Goldschmidt — to shield them from certain defeat. And in 10th, as if on cue, Goldschmidt rescued his team with a game-tying, two-run home run to draw the game even at 4-4.
The game would remain tied at four a piece in the home half of the 13th inning until D-backs shortstop Nick Ahmed stepped to the plate following a double by catcher Tuffy Gosewisch. Despite being regarded as the D-backs’ most inconsistent hitter this season, Ahmed’s approach was confident. Having already belted a solo home run in the fifth inning, his first of the year, Ahmed had a mind to end the night right then and there.
And that he did.
With Cubs pitcher Zac Rosscup on in relief of Travis Wood, Ahmed singled to left field, driving in Gosewisch to earn the D-backs the walk-off win.
Below we take a look at the D-backs’ late-inning victory, by the numbers.
It was a night of firsts for a couple of D-backs hitters. In the first, center fielder A.J. Pollock smacked his first triple of the year, eventually being driven home by Goldschmidt to give the D-backs a 1-0 lead. Then, in the fifth inning, shortstop Nick Ahmed summoned seldom seen power, blasting his first home run of the season — a solo shot — drawing the D-backs even at 2-2. As fate would have it, Ahmed wasn’t finished, as the 25-year-old earned his first career walk-off hit when he drove home the winning run in the 13th inning. Friday also marked Ahmed’s first career three-hit game (3-for-6, with two RBI).
— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) May 23, 2015
While we’re on the topic of Ahmed, it should also be noted that the East Longmeadow, Massachusetts native extended his hitting streak to seven games Friday night.
Paul Goldschmidt was about as clutch as clutch gets Friday night at Chase Field. With the D-backs on the brink of defeat trailing 4-2, “Goldie” delivered, smashing a two-run, game-tying home run in the 10th inning to tie the game. Goldschmidt’s home run made him the first player in D-backs’ history to hit a two-run, game-tying home run in extra innings. It was also only the second career extra inning home run for Goldschmidt. His other extra inning home run came August 13, 2013 in a walk-off win versus Baltimore. In 20 career games, Goldschmidt is a career .382 hitter (29-for-76) with six doubles, six home runs and 21 RBI versus the Cubs. In essence…
— #VoteDbacks (@Dbacks) May 23, 2015
The D-backs stole three bases versus the Cubs Friday, giving them 40 stolen bases for the entire season. Entering the day’s action, Arizona ranked third in the National League in stolen bases, trailing only Cincinnati and Chicago.
6 (Part I)
With Friday’s win in extra innings, the D-backs have won six straight versus the Cubs. The last time Arizona won six in a row versus Chicago was during a seven-game streak extending from July 13-August 7, 2001.
6 (Part II)
While one six-game streak was extended Friday, another came to an end. After going 1-for-6 versus the Cubs in the series opener, D-backs third baseman Yasmany Tomas saw his streak of six straight multi-hit games stop one game shy of tying a franchise record held by Luis Gonzalez (June 6-13, 2001).
The walk-off victory gives the D-backs their fifth consecutive win, which is their longest winning streak since a five-game stretch from July 3-7, 2013. The D-backs are now one game below .500 for the season (20-21 overall).