Arizona Diamondbacks – Bradley beaten by lethal Nats’ bats

Archie Bradley ( Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Archie Bradley ( Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

The fortunes of Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Archie Bradley are similar to his team’s malady

For the positives and improvements made by Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Archie Bradley over the past few weeks, that all appeared to unravel Monday night.

Coming off five quality starts in his last seven starts, Bradley hit the wall early and could not recover. Whether this was strictly an aberration or an ominous calling card for the future, Bradley’s future starts will make that determination.

Unlike other starts where Bradley displayed efficiency throughout the outings, he could not get out of the first inning on Monday night. Rocked for five hits and four runs in the opening frame, Bradley watched the Washington Nationals bat around and used their productive first inning to jump start a 14-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks before 17,518 in Chase Field.

In going against the Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg, Bradley told reporters afterward that any pitcher facing Strasburg, “better bring their ‘A’ game.” Immediately, Bradley admitted he did not have an explanation for his effort, and in the end, he lasted only 3.1 innings, allowed 12 hits, and eight runs, seven of which were earned.

For his part, Strasburg went a solid six innings, and improved his season record 15-1, the first pitcher in the majors this season to reach that mark.

“The best thing to do about this game is just forget it,” Bradley said. “If you start thinking about this, trying to analyze what went wrong and figure things out, you’ll go crazy. Clean your head, and let it go.”

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Bradley made the comparison to his own misfortune and his team’s horrid season. Losers of eight of their last 11 games, the Diamondbacks have sunk to 20 games under .500, and have little hope or redemption for the final two months.

“Everyone is busting their tail, coming in here early, and doing all the work which needs to be done,” Bradley added. “We’re doing everything right, but things are not falling for us. We’re going through this as a team.”

Collectively, the pitching staff over the past two games was shell-shocked. In losing 14-3 to the Dodgers Sunday afternoon and then losing by 13 runs Monday, that’s a total of 27 runs allowed over the last two days. Plus, the staff allowed a collective 36 hits over these two contests, and the bullpen does not seem to have a formula to get out opposing hitters.

“(For Bradley), it was battle,” said manager Chip Hale. “He did not do the things (Monday night) that he did in his previous starts. He didn’t have good location, and if you don’t have good location, (Washington) will punish you.”

Plus, bats of the Arizona Diamondbacks have been essentially silent over these past two games. In losing Sunday in Los Angeles, they managed three hits, and against four Washington pitchers Monday night, Arizona hitters managed to squeeze out five hits, and a lone, first inning run against Strasburg.

“The guys are battling out there,” Hale said. “They come in here early, their game preparation is solid, but the results are not there.”

The beat goes on

The series with Washington continues in the desert.

On Tuesday night at 6:40 p.m., look for lefty Robbie Ray (5-10, 4.70 ERA) to oppose right-hander Tanner Roark (10-6, 2.96). For the Wednesday afternoon finale at 12:40 p.m., it’s right-hander Zack Godley (3-1, 5.63) going for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and former Diamondback Max Scherzer (11-6, 2.95) get the ball for the Nationals.

Next: Barrett is the closer for now

The home stand concludes this weekend with three against the Milwaukee Brewers.