Sedona Red Recap: Martinez goes off again as D-backs topple Giants
PHOENIX — There isn’t much left for the Arizona Diamondbacks to accomplish in the final week of the regular season. At least not in terms of the standings.
They’re locked in as the National League’s top Wild Card, so they’re waiting to find out their opponent on Oct. 4.
Baseball is a game of streaks though, and that has never been more evident than this season. The Cleveland Indians won 22 in a row — and 27 of 28 — from August to September. The Los Angeles Dodgers won just about every game they played until mid-August, then somehow dropped 16 of 17.
Even Arizona started the season on a tear, then fell off considerably in July and early August.
Against that backdrop, it’s pretty easy to see why Torey Lovullo’s group wants to gather some momentum before its single elimination game next Wednesday. And the D-backs took a step in that direction on Tuesday night, hammering the San Francisco Giants by a final of 11-4 in front of 27,487 fans at Chase Field.
Not surprisingly, it was J.D. Martinez doing most of the damage at the plate again. He doubled to put Arizona up 2-0 in the first, then promptly hit a grand slam to blow the game open in the second.
Martinez now has 28 home runs and 64 RBI in 58 games since joining the Diamondbacks. No big deal.
Arizona’s starting pitching had been anything but great lately, but Robbie Ray stepped in to give his team five solid innings. He left with a 10-2 lead and ultimately picked up his 15th win of the season.
– Martinez took a 1-2 pitch from Matt Moore over the right field wall for his fifth career grand slam in the second inning.
– Overall, Martinez now has 44 home runs in 2017. He also finished with three hits.
– Christian Walker hit his third career home run in the seventh for Arizona’s final run.
– Outfielder David Peralta was thrown out trying to steal third in the first inning.
– D-backs reliever Silvino Bracho gave up two runs in 0.2 of an inning.
STATS OF THE GAME
103: Total RBI this season for J.D. Martinez, a new career-high. It’s just the second time in his career he’s broken the 100-RBI barrier.
35: RBI in September for Martinez, tying him with Luis Gonzalez for the most RBI in a single month in franchise history.
HE SAID IT
“I’m not a big believer in there’s a switch that you can just turn on all of a sudden. You know like, ‘hey let’s coast through these games,’ and then, ‘oh it’s the playoffs, now we turn the switch on.’ I’m not a believer in that. I feel like you keep going pedal to the metal and keep going hard, and you keep playing the game the way you’ve been playing it all year. So when the playoffs come and the lights come on, you’re ready to go.” — J.D. Martinez on not thinking about his statistics or the few games left in the year
– Lovullo noted that the rotation the rest of the way will include Braden Shipley on Wednesday, Zack Greinke on Friday and Taijuan Walker on Saturday. A decision hasn’t been made on who will start the season finale on Sunday just yet.
– Prior to the game, the Diamondbacks handed out team awards for the season, as chosen by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Paul Goldschmidt won MVP, Greinke was named Most Valuable Pitcher, Jimmie Sherfy got Rookie of the Year honors and Archie Bradley took home the Good Guy award.
These two clubs will meet again at Chase Field on Wednesday afternoon in what will be Arizona’s final home game of the regular season. First pitch is set for 12:40 p.m., with pregame coverage beginning at noon on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station.
Shipley (0-1, 5.40) will take the mound for the Diamondbacks, making just his third start of the season. He’s made four relief appearances in September, allowing one earned run over 4.2 innings in that time.
Shipley’s last start came on June 4 at Miami, when he was touched up by the Marlins for five runs (four earned) over five innings in a 6-5 loss. He’s made one career appearance against the Giants, allowing three runs over 3.2 innings back on Sept. 9, 2016.
San Francisco will counter with Jeff Samardzija (9-15, 4.51). The big righty has struggled lately, going 0-3 with a 6.50 ERA in his last three starts. Included in that stretch was a 3-2 loss to Arizona on Sept. 15.
Wednesday will be Samardzija’s 17th career appearance and 12th start against the D-backs. He’s 3-4 with a 4.32 ERA vs Arizona so far.