After a heartbreaking loss yesterday to the Nationals when Arizona had a chance to sweep and win 3 in a row after the All-Star game. Arizona put on arguably the best performance of the season today beating the San Francisco Giants 7-0. Not arguably though Merrill Kelly should be the player of the game pitching 8 full innings allowing 0 earned runs and only 3 hits which 2 were bunts.
One of the reasons Merrill Kelly should be spotlit most in this game is not only for this game being the 4th shutout of the season and only the 11th time in history for D-Backs to pitch 5 perfect innings, but because he gave the relief pitchers a big rest after yesterday’s game. Yesterday 5 pitchers had to step in and finish the game after Corbin Martin could only finish 4 innings. While Ian Middleton may have tweaked his right leg (more news to come later) he pitched .2 of an inning making quick work while Ramirez was able to finish off the game seamlessly.
Offensively for the Diamondbacks, this was the perfect show of small ball. Aggressive base running leading to 3 steals in one game by Josh Rojas, and multiple hits that were turned into doubles when they were potentially singles leading to more pressure on the Giants defense. This is not something you can come to expect every game but Jake Mccarthy and Josh Rojas alone should give Arizona a little hope in the future as long as they are not traded at the deadline.
Today’s game was a huge relief for fans winning dominantly 7-0, but tomorrow’s may not be the same. Tomorrow the pitcher is likely to be Gilbert pitching a 5.35 ERA vs Rodon who has recently started heating up but pitching with a 2.95 ERA. These are the games where Christian walker is going to have to step up and hopefully hit a home run with a couple runners on base to keep them in the game. Tomorrow will be a very important game for the direction of Arizona, if they steal a win it will be 4 wins in 5 games and potentially enough to prove to management not to destroy the team.