D-backs win 2nd 1-run game of season in extra-inning thriller vs. Mets
PHOENIX — It was the exact start to a new month the Arizona Diamondbacks were hoping for as they turn the page on May and pulled off an exciting comeback in a 6-5 extra innings win over the New York Mets at home on Tuesday night.
Ketel Marte was 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, and a run scored, Eduardo Escobar extended his hitting streak to eight games with his 2-for-5 night, and Pavin Smith had a big three-run homer in the win.
But the hero of the night was Josh Reddick with his red mohawk, who had the go ahead two-RBI walk-off double that won the game for Arizona. And he fittingly did it against a relief pitcher named May.
“This is a feeling we’ve been waiting for,” Torey Lovullo said on Zoom after the win. “We know what we’ve been walking through for the past couple of weeks. It has not been easy.
“These guys when they needed to reached back, dug down as deep as they possibly could, and at several points of time with their backs against the wall they came out and did their job, they stood firm, and found a way to win a baseball game.”
It started off as another night of struggles at the dish against a Mets starting pitcher. This time around, Marcus Stroman and the Mets shift gave D-backs hitters problems all night.
However, after the conclusion of the fifth inning, frustrations boiled over a bit when a back and forth took place between Josh Rojas and Stroman after Rojas popped out that resulted in the benches clearing but no altercations taking place.
Rojas admitted that it was an intentional move to fire his team up after the game.
“He was looking at me after I flew out, we made eye contact, and then we had an exchange of words, but I was just trying to get the guys going. He was out there throwing well. I was trying to mix things up there and stir the pot a little bit and get things going.”
When asked if he thought it worked, Rojas said “I think it worked in our favor.”
“We had a really good inning that next inning,” Rojas said. “Ketel leadoff hit, Escobar gets on, Pavin cashes them in. Great at bat. I think the. Boys were going after that.”
The D-backs were able to pepper in some hits against Stroman prior to the altercation throughout the outing but they never got the ball rolling on a big inning against the 30-year-old right hander until the sixth.
With Marte and Escobar on base, Pavin Smith delivered with a three-run dinger off Stroman, his fifth of the year. He was 1-for-4 with a walk.
Meanwhile, with his pair of singles Escobar has hit safely in 16 of his last 17 games.
“I feel like the key blow of the day was the three-run home run by Pavin that got us right back into the game,” Lovullo said. “But if you look at that inning, we built that inning with some really good approaches, a couple of very well hit line drives by Marte, who had three hits, and Escobar, who had a nice day.”
In the bottom of the ninth inning, leadoff hitter Nick Ahmed singled and advanced to second on New York’s second error of the night. Two batters later, Rojas stepped up and brought Ahmed home with an RBI-single that tied the score at 4 and sent the game to extra innings.
In the 10th, Mets catcher James McCann jumped all over a 90 MPH slider from D-backs relief pitcher Alex Young that scored their runner that started the inning on second, but the D-backs were able to answer in the bottom half of the inning.
With Escobar on second to start their inning, Smith walked with one out. Reddick brought both men home with a two-run walk off double to right field off relief pitcher Trevor May.
“Nothing really in particular, just looking for something up in the zone,” Reddick said on what he was looking for during his game winning at bat.
“I got a breaking ball down and in, luckily stayed fair for me,” Reddick said. “But I think keeping my mindset and my approach to go the other way helped me stay on that off-speed pitch.”
Pitcher Caleb Smith made his second start of the season for Arizona and gave them the exact outing they needed. In 18 relief appearances, he has posted a 2.70 ERA with 36 strikeouts and an opponent batting average of .214.
While he wasn’t flashy, Smith was efficient and effective on the mound. After walking the first batter of the game, third baseman Jonathan Villar, Smith sat down 10 straight batters before giving up his first hit of the ballgame in the fourth inning, a single to Pete Alonso.
He then made his only mistake of the outing to left fielder Dominic Smith, an 85 MPH hanging slider that caught too much of the plate and resulted in a two-run home run.
Smith pitched five innings and gave up three hits and two earned runs. He had one walk and two strikeouts. Even though he didn’t get the win, he made a strong case to remain a part of this starting rotation.
Francisco Lindor added an RBI-triple in the top of the sixth inning. Once Smith exited the game and scored on a sac fly by Dominic Smith that Reddick kept in the park with a spectacular grab in right field that appeared to rob him of his second home run of the night and potentially saved the game for the D-backs.
“It started with a Caleb Smith, who set a real good tone,” Lovullo added on his starter. “I know he gave up a couple of runs, but in his first start since the opening week of the season he did a great job of pounding the zone and going five innings.”
The D-backs will look to win their first series in a month against the Mets on Wednesday with staff ace Madison Bumgarner getting the start. First pitch is scheduled for 12:40 p.m.
Bumgarner is 4-5 in 11 starts this season with a 5.15 ERA, 1.162 WHIP, and 60 strikeouts. The good news is he is 6-0 in nine career starts against the Mets with a 1.86 ERA and an opponent batting average of .193.