Sedona Red Recap: One pitch, few inches spoil D-backs’ upset of Dodgers’ Kershaw
Jun 15, 2016, 5:07 PM | Updated: Jun 16, 2016, 8:31 am
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
PHOENIX — It’s tough knowing the blueprint worked.
A workable gameplan still wasn’t enough for the Arizona Diamondbacks to beat Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday. Their perspective of the 3-2 loss at Chase Field: they were a bad pitch and a few inches short of the outcome going in their favor.
Kershaw went 7.1 innings, allowing five hits and two earned runs while striking out 11.
Rickie Weeks Jr., in his first start in four days, recorded two of Arizona’s hits off the Los Angeles ace. The first came as Kershaw served the veteran outfielder a perfectly-hittable fastball leading to a 410-foot solo shot to left field in the bottom of the second frame that broke a scoreless game.
“You’ve got to pick and choose your spots,” Weeks Jr. said. “Obviously, he’s a great pitcher, arguably the best pitcher in the game right now. For me it’s just go in there and stay aggressive.
“I thought, for the most part, we had a pretty good plan at the play. All-in-all I thought we had a great plan, just couldn’t scratch out the run …”
They weren’t far off.
D-backs starting pitcher Patrick Corbin held strong opposite Kershaw, keeping it clean until the sixth inning despite walking three and allowing seven hits. But the seven-strikout performance was marred when, after putting Adrian Gonzalez and Howie Kendrick on with two-out singles, Corbin hung a fastball for Scott Van Slyke.
Van Slyke’s three-run home run put Los Angeles ahead 3-1.
“They started to rally there and just, that’s a big mistake there, especially with Kershaw on the mound,” Corbin said.
The Diamondbacks wouldn’t submit easily. They had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth, after Michael Bourn found second base, but Paul Goldschmidt’s line drive to left field hit the yellow line atop the fence, staying in play. The RBI single pulled Arizona within a run, but a few more inches would have tied the game.
“Goldy getting that ball off the wall, it was what, two or three inches from being a homer — tie game?” Hale said afterward.
Weeks also doubled in the fourth inning. His sixth career extra-base hit against Kershaw tied him with Adam Dunn for the most facing the Dodgers’ ace.
A half-inning later, Weeks watched as a Justin Turner fly ball that fell toward the outfield wall. It appeared Weeks misjudged the ball to be a home run, but after the ball dinged off the wall, the left fielder caught it off the bounce and gunned it to help Jean Segura tag Turner out at second.
A single and sacrifice advanced Bourn to second in the bottom of the sixth and that’s when, with two outs, Goldschmidt nearly lined a ball over the left-field fence to score Bourn and bring Arizona within 3-2. Following the single, Goldschmidt advanced to second on a bad pick-off throw to first by Kershaw, who was visibly upset following the series of plays.
Corbin needed 35 pitches in the first two innings. He allowed two hits and two walks (one to Kershaw) in that span but held Los Angeles to batting 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position. Arizona allowed the lead-off batter to reach base in the second, third and fourth innings without giving up a run. “I just felt like my fastball, I was just a hair off, both sides of the plate,” Corbin said.
Kershaw recovered from the Goldschmidt RBI single and a Welington Castillo double to start the seventh by striking out Tomas, forcing Nick Ahmed into a ground out and striking out pinch-hitter Phil Gosselin.
STAT OF THE GAME
1-for-7: Arizona went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
HE SAID IT
“I think he can do better, I think he can get stronger. I don’t think it was that one. The other ones were just good battles. That has been a bugaboo for him but I don’t think so today. I thought he had really good stuff and competed all day.” – Chip Hale, on if Corbin’s trend of having one bad late inning was repeated with his three-run sixth.
– D-backs starter Shelby Miller made a rehab start Tuesday for Visalia but if cleared to return to the D-backs won’t start until Monday, Hale said.
– Kershaw walked Yasmany Tomas in the fifth inning, just his seventh of the entire year. Pitch F/X, however, showed the ball was easily in the strike zone.
– Goldschmidt has reached base in 20 straight and has a 10-game hitting streak going.
– Corbin matched a season-high with seven strikeouts.
The D-backs take a travel day Thursday and head to Philadelphia, beginning a 10-game road trip that after a four-game series against the Phillies also stops in Toronto (two games) and Colorado (four games).
Arizona retakes the field Friday for a 4:05 p.m. MST matchup between left-handers Robbie Ray and Adam Morgan.
Ray is coming off a 7.2-inning performance that tied a career-high in length. More importantly for the D-backs, Ray allowed just three hits and no runs while striking out six.
For the Phillies, Morgan (1-5, 6.33 ERA) is coming off a start where he struck out a season-high eight batters in 6.2 innings.