The Narrative: The Diamondbacks use the longball to overpower Brewers master of finesse Shaun Marcum and live to fight another day. This series looked like a mismatch in Milwaukee but the Brewers, who struggled badly on the road in 2011, couldn’t put the D-Backs away.
Paul Goldschmidt continued swinging a hot bat, delivering the knockout blow with an opposite-field grand slam. That tetra tot knocked Marcum from the game and the collective wind from the Brewers’ sails. It was an orderly beatdown after shot left the park.
The Diamondbacks turned to rookie Josh Collmenter to extend their season and he did just that. Can they get the same kind of performance from Joe Saunders? Considering he’s Joe Saunders, I’m a little skeptical.
Anatomy of Self-Sabotage
Already down 3-1, Shaun Marcum found himself in quite a situation. The Brewers started allowed back-to-back singles to the opposing pitcher and leadoff man Willie Bloomquist. While that serves as a big fat red flag.
After striking out Aaron Hill, Marcum faced fearsome D-Backs right-fielder Justin Upton. A double play gets Marcum out of the jam and, lo and behold, a double play ball he received!
Sadly, that tailor-made double play ball came directly back up the box to Marcum, who bobbled the ball and could only record an out at first base. The dreaded intentional walk setup a great platoon situation for Marcum – he got the right-handed Paul Goldschmidt with two out in the inning.
Marcum certainly does own right-handed batters, holding them to a mere .566 OPS this season, though he did surrender 11 home runs to RHB, the same as he did to lefties. Goldschmidt took him oppo and the game effectively ended.
Shaun Marcum wasn’t happy. Shaun Marcum did this. He knew. Game over.
The Most Important Play of the Game
Mighty Paul Goldschmidt’s grand slam made the greatest contribution to the Snakes’ cause on this night, sending their probability of winning from a confident 82.4% to a 97.4% slam dunk.
The Biggest Disappointment of the Game
Justin Upton got himself thrown out in a rather ridiculous double steal attempt in the third inning. With runners on the corners in the third inning, the Diamondbacks had just pushed across a run when Miguel Montero broke for second base. The throw went though to second and Upton broke for home. Brewers shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt cut off the throw and fired home, nailing Upton by more than a few feet. The National League: always trying to get too damn cute. This time is dropped the Diamondbacks probability of winning by nearly 6%.
The Brewers weren’t able to create leveraged situations, let alone piss them away. Such was the level of Josh Collmenter’s domination.
Inside a Cliche
Much was made throughout the night of Josh Collementer’s release point. His exaggerated over-the-top delivery made him seem “like a lefty”, we were jokingly told. Is it true? Consider the release points of some of tonight’s hurlers.
Collmenter came right over the top and straight through the hearts of the Brewers. The Diamondbacks rookie starter completely dominated the potent Brewers offense, holding them to just two hits and two walks over seven innings of six strikeout baseball.
The Shamsky Award
Named after Art Shamsky, who single handedly increased the Cincinnati Reds’ chances of winning by 150.3% in a losing effort during a game in 1966, The Shamsky Award is given to the player on the losing team who contributes the most to them winning.
The award goes to Corey Hart, he of the solo home run that put the Brewers on the board. His 6.4% contribution will not be forgotten. Nor will his tremendous performance in last year’s gripping Hillperson Methodrama, Winter’s Bone.
The Statistic You Won’t
Believe Care About Again
Paul Goldschmidt became the first rookie since Ricky Ledee to hit a post season grand slam. Ledee went deep for the Yankees in Game Four of the 1999 ALCS. Isn’t that a thrilling factoid? I assure you it is not.
Stray Observations on the Game
The Brewers need to win a road game here and there if they expect to be taken seriously.
The Diamondbacks need to start a better pitcher than Joe Saunders if they really expect their season to continue.
This game took on the air of a mid-August run through after the sixth inning or so. Not a great deal of urgency, though D-Backs manager Kirk Gibson brought in closer J.J. Putz for some work and it gave the crowd something of a charge. Whatever.
Release point data courtesy of Brooks Baseball