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Arizona Diamondbacks 3, Atlanta Braves 4: Knuckle-dusted

July 14th, 2017 at 8:52 PM
Aggregated By Sports Media 101

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Record: 53-37. Pace: 95-67. Change on 2016: +15.

The team’s struggles with regard to clutch hitting did not appear to have been quelled by the All-Star break or the trip to Atlanta. The first four innings tonight were more or less a constant procession of D-backs getting into scoring position against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, then being stranded there.

  • First inning: Lead-off walk, one out single
  • Second inning: Lead-off HBP, one-out single
  • Third inning: One out single, two-out walk
  • Fourth inning: One out double

Four innings with runners in scoring position: 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position, including some hard-hit balls for the Diamondbacks that unerringly found the gloves of Braves‘ fielders. By the end of the night, that figure would have increased to 2-for-11, and it’s that which continues to give me confidence this is just a glitch in the matrix. Yes, the D-backs have lost nine of twelve games. But six of those losses, including tonight, were by one run. Anything like reasonable RISP production in those, and we’d likely be 6-6 at worst. Unless you believe in “clutch” as a Real Thing, that’ll come round eventually.

Tonight, the main positive was a very solid outing by Taijuan Walker, who bounced back after looking shaky in his last appearance before the break. He allowed a lead-off double to Ender Inciarte, on a pitch up in the zone, and the former D-back then came around to score on a two-out single. But Walker then buckled down, and kept it a one-run game through five innings, while the offense struggled to solve the enigma known as Dickey. Taijuan ended up with another quality start, holding Atlanta to two runs over six innings, on five hits and no walks, striking out four.

Arizona finally managed to get something going in the sixth. One-out singles by Chriw Owings and Brandon Drury put runners on the corners for Daniel Descalso. We could hardly have drawn it up any better, as Descalso had perhaps had the best at-bats …

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Tags: A.J. Pollock, Archie Bradley, Brandon Drury, Braves, Chris Owings, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Ender Inciarte, Freddie Freeman, Jake Barrett, Jeff Mathis, July 15, 2017, Marlins, Mets, Paul Goldschmidt, R.A. Dickey, Reds, Rockies, Taijuan Walker

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