Question: When is a shutout loss not so terrible?
Now, before you get all over me for being (a) delusional or (b) use words that are not suited for this site, consider how the game played out.
First of all, it was a bad pitching matchup for Arizona. Johnny Cueto facing Trevor Bauer was a complete mismatch from the word go. Bauer will have his day for sure but he was only making his fourth career Major League start in a park known for being rough on pitchers. Cueto entered the game 10-5 with an ERA under 2.50. Right there, the D-Backs were put in a tough spot. Not helping matters was stranding 12 runners on base. Getting that many guys on board and not scoring is embarrassing to say the least.
That is enough of the negative talk.
On to the good stuff.
Cincinnati was forced to use five pitchers. Five pitchers in a shutout, including closer Aroldis Chapman to get the final out. Usually when you hold the opposition to zero runs, it is one or two pitchers doing the work. Chapman and Sean Marshall were used in the 9th inning. The significance of that? It is likely that both pitchers will be used only once each during the next two games even if the Reds are leading late in each contest. As far as all of those wasted opportunities go, you know these things even out. Balls will miss fielders instead and fly balls will drop. Don’t be surprised that they have a big first inning, similar to the one they had Monday night. That means the D-Backs have a chance to salvage a rough beginning to the 2nd half by splitting against one of the best teams in baseball in their building.
Crazy? Cockeyed optimist? Sure. But if Arizona puts up a five spot tonight, call me a sage.
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