D-backs’ Seth Beer walks off Padres after Yu Darvish’s 6 no-hit innings
PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks were getting no-hit by San Diego Padres starter Yu Darvish on Opening Day.
Fortunately for the D-backs, Darvish was pulled after six innings having thrown 92 pitches (51 strikes).
Three innings later, Arizona designated hitter Seth Beer walked off the Padres for a 4-2 victory at Chase Field on Thursday night.
Oh, and did somebody mention it was also National Beer Day?
Seth Beer walks it off for the #Dbacks with a 3-run homer.
D-backs win 4-2 on #OpeningDay pic.twitter.com/sbRHuvnqgD
— Jake Anderson (@jwa1994) April 8, 2022
“Probably No. 1. I mean it’s Opening Day. This is a big deal. It’s a memory I’ll have forever,” Beer said postgame of where Thursday night’s walk-off ranked in his baseball career. “It’s still really hard to put it into words. I’m just happy I could come through for our team. We battled really hard throughout the course of the game.
“Yu Darvish threw a great game. We battled hard, battled back late in the game. I’m just proud of the guys for even getting me in a situation where with one swing I could help the team win.”
D-backs manager Torey Lovullo revealed postgame that Beer “got some incredible information from the hitting coaches” and “went up there and executed as good as you can at the most crucial part of the game.”
Beer recorded two of the Diamondbacks’ three total hits in the ballgame, all of which came in the seventh and ninth inning. Pavin Smith broke the Padres’ team no-hitter to lead off the seventh with a single.
Darvish was literally unhittable on the night but only struck out three D-backs, with Ketel Marte being a strikeout victim twice. However, Arizona did manage to walk four times against the San Diego starter, as David Peralta earned two free passes while MLB debutant Cooper Hummel reached via base on balls in his first big league at-bat.
“We just grinded. It was like chewing on rocks for the first six innings off of Darvish,” Lovullo said postgame. “He had it going, we knew it. We just kept ourselves in the fight and that’s what we’ve been talking about. Just give ourselves our chance, don’t let things get out of control with a good pitch and a good defense and it worked out that way.”
Only two D-backs pitchers allowed a run on Opening Day.
Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner threw 68 pitches (37 strikes), 42 of which came in his third and final inning. He surrendered one hit and one run, which the lefty allowed because of four walks in his final frame. Bumgarner also struck out two, with his fastball touching 93 mph.
“I thought Bum came out and threw the ball extremely well,” Lovullo said. “Might’ve emptied his tank with the excitement of what was taking place here today in the first couple innings and then had the 42-pitch third. It was just time for him to come out of the game.”
The D-backs manager added that Bumgarner’s last spring training start was around 55-60 pitches and said before first pitch on Thursday that his starters were going to be around the 80-pitch mark early in the season as they continue to get stretched out.
Arizona pitcher Luke Weaver came on in relief but didn’t get through the fourth inning, as the right-hander only recorded two outs while surrendering three hits and one run on 23 pitches (18 strikes).
The combination of Sean Poppen, Oliver Perez, Noe Ramirez and Joe Mantiply combined for 5.1 shutout innings to go along with three strikeouts and three walks.
“We wouldn’t have been able to get into that position if it hadn’t been for our bullpen today,” Lovullo said. “Couple scratch baserunners via the walk. But the backend of those 5.1 were outstanding.”
Game 2 of the four-game series is set for Friday at 6:40 p.m. on ESPN 620 AM / 98.7 FM HD-2, with D-backs RHP Merrill Kelly slated to start against Padres LHP Sean Manaea.