Grit Index: D-backs fall to Dodgers as L.A. clinches NL West
The Arizona Diamondbacks were forced to stand and watch the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate on their home field after losing 7-6 Thursday. With the win, L.A. clinched the NL West and they’ll wrap up the regular season with their minds on postseason play.
The D-backs got off to a rocky start when pitcher Wade Miley allowed three runs in the top of the third. It looked like it could be a long day for Arizona, but instead they bounced back in the bottom of the inning by putting six on the board and batting around the order. Everybody made a contribution to the offense that inning except for Aaron Hill, who struck out swinging.
Miley came back out to work the fourth and fifth but still seemed to struggle with his command, even walking pitcher Ricky Nolasco twice. His final line was 5.0 innings pitched while allowing five hits and three earned runs with four walks and three strikeouts. Miley threw 103 pitches in those five innings, only 56 of which were strikes.
The Dodgers didn’t go quietly into the night even with the big D-backs’ lead, and they battled back to score two in the sixth, one in the seventh and one in the eight to take a 7-6 lead. Arizona’s bullpen of Will Harris, Chaz Roe and Josh Collmenter couldn’t keep L.A. off the board. David Hernandez and Brad Zielger pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth, respectively, but the offense went 1-2-3 in both innings, including strikeouts from Paul Goldschmidt, Martin Prado and a fly out by Hill in the ninth to seal the loss for Arizona.
The D-backs now sit at 77 and 75 on the season with just 10 games remaining.
Despite the loss, Paul Goldschmidt continued his stellar play against the Dodgers. With an RBI double Thursday he hit .388 with four doubles, six home runs and 21 RBI against Los Angeles this season. He was 31-for-80.
Also, as an offense, the six runs in the third inning were the most by the D-backs vs. Dodgers since September 27, 2011 at Chase Field.
Wade Miley owns a 3.43 ERA in his last three starts, allowing seven earned runs in 18.1 innings pitched.
More negatives come from the Dodgers clinching the division on the D-backs’ home field. This marked the earliest clinch date for the Dodgers since moving to L.A., and they became the fourth team in baseball history to finish the season in first place after being in last place on July 1st or later.
Hanley Ramirez is on fire for the Dodgers. He’s hitting .447 in his last 10 games and Thursday was his 14th multi-homer game. He went 4-for-5 with two runs scored and four RBI.
He Said It:
“Well that’s where we want to be. Anytime you can be a part of some sort of celebration like that, you partake in that. We’re not on the side we wanted to be. I’ve been in a couple of those as a player and as a manager. You just take it in and you reflect on some things. It’s disappointing yet we fought hard and the guys played good today. We were unable to secure the lead and they fought back all year. You gotta tip your cap to them.” — D-backs manger Kirk Gibson on staying in the dugout to watch L.A. celebrate at Chase Field
The Diamondbacks hit the road for their last trip of the regular season. They head to Colorado for three games and then to San Diego for a four game series. Friday against the Rockies Randall Delgado will make the start. Delgado will be making his career-high 18th start and needs just two strikeouts to set a season-best. He has never pitched in the friendly confines of Coors Field.
As for the Rockies, Jhoulys Chacin will make the start. The righty owns a 13-9 record and a 3.22 ERA. First pitch Friday is slated for 5:10 p.m. on Arizona Sports 620AM.