The Arizona Diamondbacks had been hitting the ball and playing better defense of late, with their pitching the main culprit for their recent slump.
In Sunday’s 14-3 loss at the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Diamondbacks had a real chance of winning the series finale as Dodgers starting pitcher Bud Norris left the game after just two batters. But all three phases of the game were just plain ugly for the D-backs.
The first inning was great foreshadowing for what the game would be like, as Arizona’s starting pitcher Patrick Corbin struggled to even throw a strike. Although the Dodgers failed to score on their bases loaded opportunity, Corbin gave up a single and walked two more in the frame after only eight of his first 21 pitches found their way in the strike zone.
Corbin did settle in better and even retired six Dodgers in a row at one point, but was only able to make it to the sixth inning. He finished throwing 5.1 innings, gave up eight hits and six runs, with three of those unearned.
The defense could be blamed for many of those runs.
The Diamondbacks were only charged with two errors on the day, but one of those was costly and the team very well could have made multiple plays to help out the pitching staff.
The errors happened in consecutive innings, as third baseman Jake Lamb had a ball bounce off his glove in what could have been a double play in the bottom of the fourth inning. Three runs consequently came in to score in the inning, erasing what was a 3-0 D-backs lead.
In the fifth inning, shortstop Chris Owings misfired on a routine ground ball to allow a Dodgers’ chance with runners on the corners, but Corbin was able to get out of it.
Besides the errors, Yasmany Tomas had a couple of chances on balls that weren’t too far out of range, but was empty on a diving chance on an RBI double in the sixth and let one drop after a sluggish effort in the eighth on another double. There was also a ball right at the shortstop that probably, although it was hit hard, the play should have been made.
The game quickly got out of hand as the bullpen struggled mightily again. In three consecutive innings starting in the sixth, Diamondbacks relief pitchers gave up big home runs. First it was a three-run jack off of Dominic Leone, then it was another three-run home run off of Steve Hathaway in the seventh, and finally in the eighth it was a two-run bomb off of Evan Marshall.
The offense faced the Dodgers bullpen virtually the whole afternoon, but could only manage three hits the entire game. They were able to take advantage of the early walks to score three runs, but quickly gave up 14 unanswered as they didn’t have a single extra base hit on the day.
The final 11 D-backs batters failed to reach base.
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