Diamondbacks drop finale of homestand to Braves in flat offensive showing
Jun 1, 2022, 4:33 PM | Updated: 8:21 pm
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
PHOENIX — It has been a tale of two pitching departments for the Arizona Diamondbacks during a nine-game homestand.
Prior to the finale on Wednesday afternoon against the Atlanta Braves, D-backs starting pitchers had allowed 34 earned runs across 39.2 innings pitched off 57 hits and 15 walks. The relievers, meanwhile, sported a much better 32 hits and nine walks sacrificed over 33.1 innings pitched for just nine earned runs.
That trend did not stay consistent in Wednesday’s 6-0 D-backs loss.
Arizona starter Madison Bumgarner let a handful of guys on but limited his damage to two runs.
The left-hander gave up a hit in each of his first five innings, seven in total, plus two walks for two earned runs in 6.0 innings.
Bumgarner’s problems with control that had persisted in his previous two outings let Atlanta get an early edge in the first inning.
The lefty was ahead 0-2 to Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson before throwing a cutter in the lower middle portion of the strike zone, one Swanson was able to slap into left field for a single.
A walk to Marcell Ozuna on the next at-bat put two runners on and then a 1-2 cutter to William Contreras sat in the heart of the plate to get smoked 104.9 mph for an RBI double.
It was the same story the next inning.
Atlanta’s Adam Duvall fell behind 1-2 but then got a cutter in the zone that he smashed 105.8 mph down the left field line for a double. Rookie Michael Harris II brought Duvall home after Bumgarner hung a cutter right down the middle in a 3-1 count, a ball drilled 105.1 mph for Harris’ own double.
“The cutter is his main pitch. He loves to throw that cutter and can change speeds on it and throw it anywhere at any time but unfortunately it wasn’t a great pitch for him today,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said.
With those types of issues in mind, Bumgarner was critical of himself in the ways you would expect.
“There was a couple of times it crossed my mind to just turn it around and throw it in the gap and save time, start the inning with a runner on second because that’s what we ended up doing anyway,” Bumgarner said. “Results-wise, though, you can appreciate games like this more than a lot of other ones because your back’s against the wall the whole time and when you’re not feeling your best finding a way to go and keep your team in it.”
To his point, Bumgarner’s off day still left the scoreboard reading only a 2-0 deficit in the bottom of the sixth inning and prevented Lovullo from having to go to his bullpen early again.
When Bumgarner’s day was done, Noe Ramirez took over in the seventh and that’s where Arizona’s bullpen faltered for one of the first times this homestand.
Atlanta put together two singles off the right-hander before slugging third baseman Austin Riley demolished a first-pitch hanging changeup 439 feet over the majority of the seating rows in the left-field bleachers.
The Braves added an insurance run in the ninth off the recently called up Paul Fry.
Arizona’s offense had its chances before the bullpens came into the fray and then recorded 12 straight outs to end the game.
The D-backs put runners on first and second with two outs in the third and fourth innings but a Christan Walker strikeout and Jose Herrera groundout, respectively. For the fifth inning, this time there was only one out but Walker grounded into an inning-ending double play.
It was impressive composure from young Braves starter Kyle Wright, who has had an interesting MLB career path thus far.
The 26-year-old went fifth overall in the 2017 MLB Draft and became the first member of his draft class to play in the majors the following September in 2018.
At the start of the 2019 season, Wright actually earned a spot in the rotation but was sent back down to Triple-A after three starts. He would proceed to spend the majority of his time that year and in 2021 playing at that level before once again making the rotation this season.
Things are now coming together for Wright. He entered play on Wednesday with a 2.68 ERA and 1.043 WHIP. The right-hander logged 6.0 innings on Wednesday and held the D-backs to a donut despite three hits and five walks.
The D-backs left seven runners on base and it was Ketel Marte three times. He walked twice and hit a single to extend his career-high hitting streak to 14 games.
Arizona (25-27) only had three hits to Atlanta’s (24-27) 12.