Merrill Kelly vs. SFG, August 5: 8 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 4 SO, 78 Game Score
In my mind, this is the best start of Merrill Kelly's career. He was absolutely firing on all cylinders. It's on this list for a reason. But this start has the dubious distinction of the only one that ended in a loss.
Merrill was razor-sharp in this start and the hitting was better than average. Pavin Smith came in clutch to bring in three runs and rookie Jake Hager brought in the fourth. After the eighth, Merrill exited with a four-run lead. But in classic 2021 Diamondbacks fashion, the game changed direction after the ball was handed to the bullpen. Taylor Clarke gave up three runs without recording an out, Tyler Clippard gave up the tying run, and Tyler Gilbert would allow the go-ahead run to score. Regardless of the outcome, this was a start for the ages and definitely one of the best of the season.