Dose of Venom: Two ejections, two errors, two straight losses and more bad blood for the D-backs
PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks’ season has been filled with disappointment after disappointment and Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates was littered with more of it.
From Paul Goldschmidt being placed on the disabled list to Kirk Gibson being ejected to back-to-back diving catches by the Pirates in the second inning to David Peralta’s smash to center in the third inning, falling inches short from being a home run. And then there was the dagger in the eighth inning, catcher’s interference and the throwing error.
It all added up to an 8-3 loss for the Diamondbacks.
“I think we’ve given up 15 runs in the 8th and 9th innings the last two nights and they’re a good ball club and you just can’t allow them to do that,” said Gibson after the loss.
Luckily for Gibson he didn’t have to watch it all from the steps of the dugout. He was tossed in the second inning after arguing a challenge he made on a diving catch by Andrew McCutchen in centerfield.
The game got out of hand when Brad Ziegler took the mound in the eighth inning.
Miguel Montero was called for catcher’s interference when Gregory Polanco hit a comebacker to the mound. Instead of one out with a man at second, the Pirates had two on with no outs. Andrew McCutchen followed that up with a sharp grounder to third base and the ball glanced off Andy Marte’s glove and into left field scoring a run.
That was just the beginning. Two batters later Russell Martin hit a ball straight off home plate, it bounced so high it allowed Polanco to race home and Ziegler’s throw to first was bobbled by Pacheco. The error allowed McCutchen to slide in safely.
Ziegler was excused after giving up four runs, two unearned and three hits.
“Tonight I felt like my command was really good, I wasn’t working behind the count for the most part,” said Ziegler. “I was keeping the ball down, they just weren’t at guys. I had 24 pitches, I felt 23 of them were pretty good, that’s the way it goes sometimes.”
In the ninth inning things got chippy once again, this time around McCutchen was beaned. Retaliation was never on the minds of the Diamondbacks but one could speculate that it was a little payback for what the Pirates did to Goldschmidt on Friday night. Randall Delgado drilled McCutchen in the back and was quickly tossed by home plate umpire Ron Kulpa. No words were exchanged and Delgado left quietly.
“Delgado was kind of wild,” said catcher Miguel Montero.
“He never really had good command. First pitch we were trying to go in, but I believe it got away from him and he got him, (McCutchen), pretty good.”
By the time the inning was over the Pirates piled up with three more runs.
The lone bright spot was Peralta. He was responsible for all three runs. He backed up his double off the wall in the third inning with an RBI single in the fifth scoring Ender Inciarte and he punctuated his night with a two run homer to right field. Peralta has four homers on the season.
Before their collapse in the eighth inning the Diamondbacks had a chance to do some damage in the seventh. But Goldschmidt’s replacement Jordan Pacheco struck out swinging leaving the bases loaded to end the inning.
“The seventh inning set the stage, I’m watching it on television. We had a golden opportunity to score some runs and we didn’t score,” said Gibson.
Sadly, Zombie Bobblehead night was the highlight for Diamondbacks fans.
Peralta continues to sizzle at the dish. After being held to a single hit Friday, Peralta bounced back with three hits including a two-run shot in the ninth, raising his average to .319 on the season.
It was another solid outing for Chase Anderson.
After tossing 27 pitches in the first inning, Anderson settled down only giving up a run in his second straight start. Anderson completed six innings and after a visit to the mound in the bottom of the fifth with runners on first and second, Anderson ended the inning with a swing and miss from Pedro Alvarez.
In each of his last four starts, Anderson has not given up more than two runs.
Mark Trumbo is still searching for his swing. He went 0-for-4 at the plate with two strikeouts. He is now 3-for-
11 in the series with three strikeouts and no runs batted in.
Manager Kirk Gibson hit the showers early. Gibson was ejected for excessive arguing following a challenge in the second inning. Gibson challenged McCutchen’s diving catch in centerfield on a ball hit by Andy Marte. The ball appeared to touch grass before landing in McCutchen’s glove. After a two minute and 49 second review, the umpires confirmed their original call. It’s Gibson’s third ejection this season.
As if the season couldn’t get any worse for the Diamondbacks, it did.
Before the game the team announced that All-Star Paul Goldschmidt will be placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Goldschmidt suffered a fractured left hand after getting hit by a pitch in the 9th inning by Pirates’ reliever Ernesto Frieri. Gibson said he has no idea on the timetable of when Goldschmidt will return.
“The Pirates are a staff that pitches inside as much as anybody, they lead the national league in hit batsmen I believe,” said Gibson before the game. “That’s probably their philosophy so it goes with the game.”
Goldschmidt wants to get back on the field as soon as he can but has no idea if that’s even possible at this point.
“If it’s ready and their going to let me play then yes I want to play,” Goldschmidt said. “If there’s a way to speed it as much as I can while being smart about it then I’ll do anything they’ll allow.”
Among all players in the majors, Goldschmidt ranks first in doubles with 39, tied for first in runs, third in extra-base hits, fourth in total bases, and 11th in RBI and tied for 13th in hits. Goldschmidt also has 19 home runs on the season.
STAT OF THE GAME:
10: Not only did Gibson suffer his 10th ejection of his career but immediately following his exit, Pirates’ Josh Harrison teed off on Chase Anderson with his 10th home run of the season.
HE SAID IT:
“I was definitely frustrated in the fact that, how can the guy in New York miss that like that. I was already on a short leash, when I went out I was already thrown out. I just wanted to let them know I’m frustrated with the process. I also see those guys looking up at the board watching as lately they’re looking up more and more.” — Gibson on being ejected in the second inning
• Aaron Hill has reached base safely in 14 of the last 15 games. After going 2-for-4 on Saturday, Hill is now just two hits shy of 1,300 for his career.
• On the same day he was placed on the disabled list, Goldschmidt celebrated the anniversary of his first career home run back in 2011. Since, Goldschmidt’s 83 career home runs are the third-most in the National League in the last three years.
• With two more errors against the Pirates on Saturday, the Diamondbacks have committed 79 on the season. That ranks as second highest in Major League Baseball. Only the Indians have more with 82 on the season.
Sunday, the Diamondbacks will look to Trevor Cahill to split the four-game series. Cahill will be in search of his first victory in an Arizona uniform since April 23. Cahill is 2-1 in 3 career starts against the Pirates with an ERA of 4.08. The Pirates will send Francisco Liriano to the mound with a record of 3-7 on the season.
First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. and the action can be heard on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.