The Arizona Diamondbacks are starting to look like they may be able to accomplish something this year. They’ve improved their record to .500, and were at 11-11 and in fourth place in the National League West as of April 25. They were 4.5 games behind the front-running Los Angeles Dodgers in the N.L. West and just half-a-game behind the third place San Diego Padres.
The D-Backs may have had one of their highlights for the season April 25 as they swept a double-header from the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park. They won the first game, 5-0, and then took the nightcap, 7-0. What’s really incredible is the D-Backs gave up just one hit over both games. Maybe the Braves left their bats at Turner Field.
Zac Gallan had a no-hitter going through the sixth inning when he finally gave up a hit. His record is 1-0, 2.16, and he’s emerging as the ace of the pitching staff.
Madison Bumgarner (yes, THAT Madison Bumgarner) did even better in the second game. He tossed a no-hitter! He evened his record at 2-2, and lowered his earned run average to 6.31.
That would and should have been the third no-hitter in the history of the D-Backs, after Randy Johnson in 2004 and Edwin Jackson in 2010. Unfortunately, it didn’t count.
When Major League Baseball clubs play double-headers nowadays, the games only last seven innings. While this is understandable as it makes it less wearing for the players, the Elias Sports Bureau, MLB’s official statistician, has ruled a pitcher will receive credit for a no-hitter in a double-header only if a game goes into extra innings and at least nine innings are played. A pitcher can still get credit for a win, a complete game, or a shutout in seven innings, but a no-no or a perfect game must go at least nine innings.
That doesn’t make much sense to me. The best word I can think of to describe it is @#$&%! If I tried talking about it, I’d probably sound like Tommy Lasorda did that one time when he was asked about Dave Kingman.
Look at it this way, Mad Bum: if you’d been a high school pitcher, the no-hitter would’ve counted.
Offensively, the D-Backs were potent in both games. Kole Calhoun and Nick Ahmed each had two hits in the first game, while Stephen Vogt hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Calhoun hit a solo shot in the third.
In the second inning, the D-Backs got on the board early with five runs in the first inning. These included a lead-off homer from Pavin Smith, a two-run homer from David Peralta, and an RBI double from Josh Rojas.
Speaking of offense, the D-Backs have been hitting the ball hard lately, when they’ve been actually hitting it. Eduardo Escobar, Carson Kelly and David Peralta seem to be eager to make up for poor showings last year. Kole Calhoun appears to still be recovering from knee surgery, but he’s been hitting the ball well.
Unfortunately, the D-Backs have had to deal with injuries to the likes of Ketel Marte. They also have some regulars who are batting under .200. We can only hope they’ll get better and improve as the season moves along.
I’m hoping the D-Backs will have a Town of Parker Community Night this year, even with limited attendance at Chase Field. I want to see these guys play. Besides, there’s nothing quite like spending an afternoon or evening at the ballpark with friends.