D-backs get shut out in series finale beatdown by Dodgers
PHOENIX – Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Caleb Smith had another disastrous start against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, resulting in a short outing for Smith and a bad day for the bullpen in a 13-0 thrashing by the reigning champs in the series finale at Chase Field.
Smith now has a 12.95 ERA in seven career games against the Dodgers.
“Yeah, they’re a good hitting team, but they didn’t beat me. I just beat myself,” Smith said on the outing.
“I’ve been doing that for three of the past four outings I’ve had. Walks have killed me. I just got to stop walking people.”
Smith struggled with locating the strike zone and his control right away, walking second baseman Mookie Betts to lead off the game. While he started off being aggressive with two strikeouts in the first, he also walked two batters in the inning.
Things only got worse in the second with left fielder and former Diamondback A.J. Pollock leading off the inning with a single, followed by a pair of walks that loaded the bases with no outs.
After striking out Betts, Smith walked center fielder Chris Taylor with the bases juiced, scoring Pollock for the first run of the game.
Third baseman Justin Turner added a second run with an RBI single, which was followed by a bases-clearing three-RBI double from the ageless wonder Albert Pujols that ended Smith’s day much earlier than anticipated.
“He had trouble putting the ball on the plate and just created a lot of run-scoring opportunities,” Lovullo said on Smith’s day.
“The big blow obviously was the double down the left field line that cleared the bases and made the score five to nothing, but that inning was built because of his struggles to command the baseball.”
Smith lasted just 1.2 innings, allowing three hits and five earned runs with three strikeouts. His most detrimental stat was his five walks allowed that resulted in three runs scoring.
“It’s hard to forget these, but you just have to try,” Smith said on moving on from this tough outing. “Thinking about it’s not going to help me, but it’s not hard to. I just got to get ready for the next team that I’m facing.”
In his 2.2 innings pitched in his last two starts against the Dodgers, Smith has surrendered 14 earned runs.
Once his day was over, the D-backs bullpen didn’t help keep the team in the game. The relief combination of Matt Peacock, Stefan Crichton, Ryan Buchter and Miguel Aguilar gave up a total of 10 hits and seven earned runs in six innings.
Catcher Bryan Holaday came in to pitch in the ninth inning, giving up just one run on a solo dinger by Betts. He also hit Taylor and walked Pujols.
On the mound for the Dodgers was starting pitcher Julio Urias, who the D-backs couldn’t figure out. He used a mixture of a mid-90s four-seam fastball, a mid-80s changeup and a nasty curveball that dropped below 80 mph to baffle hitters.
He held the D-backs to four hits total and no runs in his five innings of work. The Dodgers bullpen then proceeded to hold the D-backs hitless for the final four innings.
“If we want to achieve the types of things that some opposing teams have when they come into our stadium, we’ve got to do it the right way and win games and win world championships,” Lovullo added on the loss and the disproportionate number of Dodgers fans at Chase Field during this series.
“We know our fans are out there, they support us. Sometimes they support us from afar. It’s great when they’re here. Trust me, they can ring the bell as loud as anybody. And I’d love nothing more for our fans to come out and be able to say ‘D-backs’ louder than the ‘Dodgers’ in the seventh-inning stretch. But we’ve got to win them. We’ve got to win them back. And we will, we’ll get there.”
The D-backs will move on to face the first-place San Francisco Giants for a four-game series that begins on Monday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
Taylor Widener will make his ninth start of the season for Arizona. The 26-year-old righty has a 4.42 ERA in 36.2 innings pitched this year with 36 strikeouts.