D-backs bullpen falls apart late, errors cost rubber match vs. Mets
PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks fell to the New York Mets 6-2 on Sunday at Chase Field behind five innings, four strikeouts and one unearned run from starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner.
The inconsistent play in the rubber match of the series began on the very first batter of the game.
Arizona third baseman Sergio Alcantara tried to beat New York’s Mark Canha with a throw to first base, but it went into the screens and behind the base, putting the first batter of the game in scoring position.
The runner came around to score, and Bumgarner was awarded an unearned run on the third batter of the game.
The D-backs mustered just one hit through the first three innings, a single by center fielder Daulton Varsho in the third.
The one bright spot for the D-backs was 32-year-old Bumgarner, who recorded three of his four strikeouts on the day with the cutter.
“I thought I threw it pretty good,” Bumgarner said. “Really, everything was pretty good today: curveball, changeup, fastball and cutter were pretty solid.”
Bumgarner is known as a cut-fastball pitcher but had excellent changeup command. He struck out two-time Home Run Derby champion Pete Alonso on a changeup in the first inning.
“If you see me strike out someone like Pete, it is going OK,” Bumgarner said.
The team in Sedona red was struggling offensively before first baseman Christian Walker sent a 2-1 count 467-feet deep over the left-center field wall to tie up the ballgame off Mets pitcher Tylor Megill in the fourth inning. It was tied for the third-longest home run hit in the majors so far this season.
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Megill (3-0) finished the day throwing for 6.2 innings, five hits, seven strikeouts, two earned runs and the victory.
Bumgarner’s day finished after five innings when he was relieved by J.B. Wendelken.
Former Diamondback Starling Marte hit a one-out double off Wendelken in the sixth inning and was brought in by a throwing error from Arizona catcher Jose Herrera, breaking the 1-1 deadlock.
Pitcher Edwin Uceta came on for the D-backs in the seventh, recording his first out via the flyout, but struggled to record an out after that.
Uceta’s next four batters included a walk, single, hit-by-pitch and a four-pitch walk.
Errors and poor decision-making played a key for the D-backs as they gave up five runs, four hits, two errors, two walks and two hit batters that directly resulted in runs, from the sixth through the eighth inning.
The Diamondbacks ultimately failed to score in the final two innings of the game.
For a team that struggled to score runs early in the 2022 season, manager Torey Lovullo said that the team is just lacking in execution.
“There is a fine line between execution that is going to lead you to wins, or execution that is going to lead to losses,” Lovullo said. “My expectation is that there are certain plays defensively that are unacceptable.
“We lead the league in errors, that is not us. We got to figure that out, and we will.”
The D-backs (6-10) will host the division-rival Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday at 6:40 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.