Poor location hurt Braden Shipley, the starter Tuesday for the Arizona Diamondbacks
Location, location, location.
Through a disastrous fifth inning, Shipley’s poor location opened the gates, and the New York slammed through the unattended barrier. If Shipley was the most productive pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks over the past few weeks, he showed mortality. In that fifth, the Mets pushed across four runs and that represented the catalyst for a 7-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks before 20,790 in Chase Field.
The New York victory broke a four-game Arizona Diamondbacks winning streak against the Mets this season.
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Within the four runs in the fourth, Shipley missed location of three pitchers which were significant. Yet, Shipley analyzed the situation as the Mets’ recognition, and failed to make adjustments.
“When you go three times through the order, guys will recognize the pitches,” Shipley said. “I just faced them in New York, and didn’t change my approach. Wanted to go after guys and attack. I’ll learn from this and next time, I’ll be better for it.”
If the Mets was able to adjust and reach Shipley in the middle innings, there was still the issue of location. Plus, Shipley, unlike his other starts, had a tendency to miss spots. In the end, that was likely the difference between winning and losing this game.
After T. J. Rivera opened the fifth inning with a single, Shipley left a curve over the plate and Alejandro De Aza laced a double down the left field line. That put runners on second and third. After a sacrifice fly, opposing pitcher Noah Syndergaard took Shipley over the right field fence for his third homer of the season, and the key hit in this game.
To the next batter, Shipley left a belt-high fast ball over the plate and Jose Reyes drilled the pitch to dead center field. Landing on third with a triple, he scored on a sacrifice fly. From there, the Mets added a three-spot in the sixth, and ended Shipley’s night.
“(Branden) started off well, but then things happened so quick,” said manager Chip Hale. “He was not making the necessary adjustments and seemed to be real soft with his pitches. After a few times around, the Mets picked up on him, and then it fell apart quickly.”
Down by two in the ninth, the Diamondbacks were quickly retired in order with a nine-pitch outing from Jeurys Familia, the New York closer. With the effort, Familia picked up his major league-leading 40th save.
Prior to the game, the Arizona Diamondbacks recalled outfielder Mitch Haniger from Triple-A Reno. In a corresponding move, they sent outfielder Socrates Brito back to Reno.
Immediately, Haniger started Tuesday night in left field, and made a splash. In going 2-for-4 with a double, triple and three RBIs, Haniger became the first player in franchise history to pick up two extra-bases hits in his major league debut. As well, Hainger’s three RBIs was the most by an Arizona player in his first major league game.
Arriving just before game, Haniger said he watched video, spoke with players about facing Syndergaard and pronounced himself prepared.
“My approach was to keep it simple, and not do too much,” he said afterward. “I was a little nervous before the game, but once that first pitch came, I settled in and felt good. I wish I had a different at-bat that first time.
Hitting with one out in the second, Haniger was called out on strikes on a border-line pitch from Syndergaard. Later, he made up with a two-run triple in the sixth and an RBI double in the seventh.
Then, it’s on to San Diego for a short, four game series and right back to Chase Field. Beginning Monday Aug. 22, the Arizona Diamondbacks are home for a seven-game home stand. This features four with Atlanta and three with the Cincinnati Reds.