Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
In the opening game of a three-game set against the Chicago White Sox, the Arizona Diamondbacks hit the proverbial wall. Mangled by a final of 9-3, they were outhit 15-4 in the Friday night defeat.
The game was moving along smoothly for Brandon McCarthy through the first three innings, retiring the first nine batters he faced. Then, came the fourth inning.
McCarthy faced ten batters in the fourth, retiring only one of them. It became uncomfortable to watch, as McCarthy could seemingly just not record an out.
The inning fell off the rails when the bases were loaded for Alexei Ramirez with just one out. Falling behind in the count 3-0, McCarthy knew he had to get a pitch over the heart of the plate, but unfortunately, for him, Ramirez was thinking right along with him. Obliterating the pitch that came right down the middle, Ramirez hit a Grand Slam down the left-field line to put the White Sox ahead 6-2.
After a mound visit, McCarthy gave up three more consecutive singles, signaling the end of his night. Over the course of his 3.1 innings, he allowed nine hits and seven earned runs, all of which came in the fourth.
Offensively, it was going to become difficult to match the output from the White Sox, especially considering they went for 15 hits and nine runs on the evening.
In the top of the third, Gerardo Parra ripped his third home run of the season to put the D-backs ahead 2-0, before that lead eventually fell by the wayside. A.J. Pollock drove in the other run in the top of the fifth, which would be both the final run and hit for Arizona on the night.
In relief of McCarthy was Trevor Cahill, who managed not to implode. Walking the tightrope all evening, Cahill allowed only one run to cross in his 3.2 innings of work, keeping the D-backs within striking distance, although they never came close.
In total, the loss can be described as a “typical D-backs loss,” in the way that the offense did not hit, and the pitching did not get outs. Nothing about the game was aesthetically pleasing from a Diamondbacks perspective.
The two teams are back at it on Saturday at 4:10 p.m. as Wade Miley will get the ball against Jose Quintana. The two left-handers will look to neutralize the right-handed heavy lineups that both managers are sure to run out for the start.
With a chance to still win the series, the D-backs will have to ride on the coattails of their ace on Saturday evening.