At this point, the Diamondbacks are so fragile that the least mistake is glaring.
Effectively, that’s what happened in the eighth inning Monday night. That’s when reliever Will Harris couldn’t find the plate and two ensuing walks he issued cost Arizona a baseball game.
Given the tenuous status of this team, the Diamondbacks can’t seem to put even a bleak smile on their collective faces. Again, as much of this ghastly season thus far, no such joy in the home stand opener against the Brewers.
Harris came in the game with the score tied in the eighth and proceeded to walk Ryan Braun and Jonathon Lucroy with one out. Aramis Ramirez followed with a scorcher between third baseman Martin Prado and the bag, down the line and into the left field corner. That double scored two to break the deadlock, and the Brewers went on to defeat the Diamondbacks, 9-3 before 18,262 in Chase Field.
With the win, Milwaukee gained their fourth victory in their last six games and maintained a three game advantage over the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central.
The nine runs allowed by four Arizona pitchers was the most the staff allowed in any one game since a 9-3 defeat to the White Sox on May 9.
Afterward, manager Kirk Gibson was not terribly loquacious and simply said, in response to a question on Harris’ two walks, “it just didn’t work out.”
Harris’ effort, or lack thereof, ruined another quality start for starter Brandon McCarthy. Recovering from a challenging beginning, McCarthy left with the game tied at 3-3 and allowed seven hits and three runs for his seven innings of work. With the no-decision, McCarthy remains at 1-9 and his ERA dropped slightly from 5.29 at the start to now at 5.18 for 15 starts.
“I’m looking for a win for us and not me,” McCarthy said. “That’s the issue for me right now. Sure, I want to start strong and the game plan is to take over the game early and not later.”
Things didn‘t quite go the way McCarthy wanted, and then further deterioration. All the while, the Diamondbacks showed a slight resiliency they flashed on rare occasions this season.
Trailing 2-0 in the third, Arizona clawed back with three in their half. The frame was high-lighted by a two-run single from McCarthy.
Yet, the Brewers quickly responded. Lead-off hitter Scooter Gennett lead off the third inning with a home run into the right centerfield seats and that deadlocked matters at 3-3.
Then, the Harris collapse and the Brewers’ timely hitting over the final two innings.
As seems a recent pattern, the Diamondbacks managed to score early and then disappear. That happened again on Monday night.
After Gennett’s’ bomb tied the game in the third, the D-backs managed only five base runners the rest of the way.
That included a two-out single in the third from David Peralta, a single from Roger Kieschnick to open the seventh, Gerardo Parra was hit by a pitch in the seventh, a lead-off single by Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth and a one-out, ninth single from Chris Owings.
The Brewers then proceeded to put this one out of control with a pair of three-spots in the eight and ninth innings.
FOR THE FIRST TIME
On Monday, the Diamondbacks placed right-hander Bronson Arroyo on the 15-day disabled list.
After 369 career starts, Arroyo went on the DL for the first time in his career and his position there is essentially undecided. That depends on the extent of his injury, an inflamed right elbow. Since his win over Washington on May 13, Arroyo said pain in his elbow has progressively increased. It reached a point in Sunday’s win over the Dodgers that Arroyo could go only five innings and left.
That raised the latest red flag, and Arroyo had an MRI Monday on his elbow.
“(Arroyo) understands what’s involved and what he has,” manager Kirk Gibson said before Monday’s game with Milwaukee in Chase Field. “Once the MRI comes back, we’ll know more and be in a position to further assess the situation.”
The end on Sunday came in the fifth inning when catcher Miguel Montero came to the mound a few times. After the Dodgers finished their turn in the fifth, Gibson said, “(Arroyo) came in and knew he was done.”
In 14 starts thus far, Arroyo is 7-4 with a 4.08 ERA.
While general manager Kevin Towers and Gibson have a plan for the rotation and who will replace Arroyo, but they are not talking. “We’ll let you know in a day or two,” Towers said.
Immediately, the Diamondbacks recalled outfielder Roger Kieschnick from Triple-A Reno. In a previous stop at Chase Field this season, Kieschnick appeared in four games and was 0-for-7. At Reno, the 27-year-old hit .280 (63-for-225) in 59 games with 17 doubles, two triples, nine home runs and 29 RBIs.
Kieschnick was the line-up Monday against Brewers’ right-hander Wily Peralta, hit eighth and went 2-for-4 with one run scored and one RBI.
When the Brewers’ Elian Herrera's steal of third base in the ninth inning was upheld after video review, Diamondbacks’ manager Kirk Gibson saw the outcome differently.
Immediately, he rushed out of the dugout to argue the call and ran directly at first base umpire Ted Barnett, the crew chief.
As soon as Gibson stopped in his tracks, Barnett waved his right hand and Gibson was ejected for the eighth time.