D-Backs sloppy, tempers flare, lose to St.Louis 4-3

PHOENIX—Arizona had an awful fourth half-inning and never recovered, losing to the Cardinals 4-3 in the second game of the series Wednesday night at Chase Field. Manager Torey Lovullo and Catcher Jeff Mathis were both ejected from the game for arguing balls and strikes in the bottom of the fourth.

Other than that, here’s how the action unfolded.

Fast forward to the bottom of the third, bases loaded with two out. Paul Goldschmidt up to bat, struck out.

The top of the fourth was uglier than Ike Davis’ swing. Two walks, two hits, a wild pitch, and a hit batter from Zack Godley all before the first out. So, bases loaded for the Cardinals. Jedd Gyorko walked to put St.Louis on the board first, followed by a single by Yadier Molina that drove in two, to make it 3-0 Cardinals. Still no outs. In an instant, Arizona turned two, and a Paul DeJong fly ball quickly ended the bleeding.

Bottom of the fourth, Jake Lamb doubles to leadoff. The D-Backs love to pile runs on in the fourth. ‘Little Freight Train’ Chris Owings up to bat, slight work. Double to center that easily scores Lamb, 3-1 Cardinals with nobody out. Brandon Drury struck out for the first out of the inning, on some atrocious calls, but have no fear, Owings was here. Owings somehow managed to steal third on Yadier Molina, one of if not the best defensive catcher(s) in baseball. It was Owings’ 11th stolen base this season. Rey Fuentes struck out, which brought Jeff Mathis up to bat, and he was called out on strikes. He disagrees, is tossed from the game by home plate Ump D.J. Reyburn. It clearly looked like a ball. Manager Torey Lovullo then gave Reyburn a piece of his mind and he was ejected as well. The Mathis at bat was really the cherry on top of the cake.

“I think it was a culmination of a lot of things,” Mathis said.

“I think that’s probably what frustrated me the most, Lovullo said of Mathis’ ejection. “I felt like his ejection wasn’t justified.”

“Yeah, I was a little bit,” Mathis said about if he was surprised at how quickly he was thrown out of the game. “I didn’t think I said anything to be ran from the ball game,” Mathis said.

The terrible calls on Brandon Drury’s strikeout lit the spark that ignited the flame in the bottom of the fourth. Ron Gardenhire, the D-Backs Bench Coach, assumed coaching duties for the remainder of the game.

“I was just voicing my displeasure'” Lovullo said. In a couple different ways. It’s nothing I really want to get into. I will say that D.J. Reyburn did his absolute best to call balls and strikes and moments like that erupt and situations like that happen. But, he was doing the job the best way he knew how” Lovullo said.

The ejections were respectively, for Mathis the first of his 12-year-career, for Lovullo the second of his career, and the first of his career as the Diamondbacks Manager. He was ejected during his tenure as a bench coach with the Red Sox on May 3o, 2014.

“I guess it might be part of who I am,” Lovullo said of his outburst. “It takes a lot to get me there, but, when I get there, you see what happens.” “Like I said, I’m Italian, and I get emotional and I can’t stop that train once it gets going,” Lovullo said.

“It just amazes me that guys like this continue to work at a major league ball game,”  Former D-Backs Manager and current Diamondbacks Analyst Bob Brenly said on the live telecast.

Bottom of the seventh, Fuentes singles and Chris Herrmann comes through clutch again with a single of his own. Ketel Marte at-bat. Marte just got called up, flyball out. One gone. If you’ve read any of my stories, know me, or follow me on Twitter, you know how much I like this guy. I think he’s going to be a special player for Arizona. Daniel Descalso to the plate, he’s been on fire as of late. Fielders choice beats the throw to first, runner scores. 3-2 Cardinals. Peralta popped out to end the inning.

Not to be forgotten in all of this is Zack Godley. Godley pitched well besides the top of the fourth. He lasted seven innings, giving up just three runs on two hits, walking three and striking out seven.

“Other than that one inning, yeah. I felt really good,” Godley said. “I was locating a lot of my pitches really well. Lost track of one pitch and had to go to something else and they took advantage of that one inning when I lost a little bit, and it got enough to get them the win,” Godley said.

Braden Shipley came in to relieve Godley in the top of the eighth and gave up a ground-rule-double to Matt Carpenter to lead off the inning. Two straight strikeouts made it look like he recovered, but he gave up another double. This one, to Jedd Gyorko that scored one and made it 4-2 Cardinals. An intentional walk to Yadier Molina brought up Randal Grichuk with two outs. Grichuk struck out.

Top of the ninth, Shipley still pitching. He gave up two singles, one to DeJong and another to Jose Martinez. T.J. McFarland came in to relieve Shipley with one out. He’d get Matt Carpenter to ground into a double play.

The Diamondbacks just couldn’t muster enough offense in the bottom of the ninth to mount a comeback. Not for lack of trying, though. Drury started things off with a base hit. A wild pitch let Drury advance to second base. Fuentes flew out to center for the first out. Chris Herrmann has been great the past few games, showed plate discipline and got a free pass to first. Gregor Blanco hit next and grounded out. Descalso, the last chance for Arizona. He’s been so clutch this season. Wild pitch! Drury scored and it was 4-3 Cardinals. Full count for Descalso. Ball four! He walked. David Peralta was the final batter. Peralta battled but grounded out to end the game.

For the Cardinals, Adam Wainwright lasted 6 1/3, giving up two runs on eight hits, walking one and striking out eight.

“His fastballs range anywhere from 88-95 miles an hour, which is tough to gauge when you’re a hitter,” Lovullo said of Wainwright. I thought there were some quality curveballs that were swing-and-miss, some cut fastballs. I thought he had his entire repertoire working today. And, you could see it. It held us in check,” Lovullo said.

“We get so used to watching these guys execute and score runs in bunches, and when it doesn’t happen, it’s like, Woah, what’s the matter? Really nothing’s the matter. We got out maneuvered today,” Lovullo said.

First Is The Worst, Second Is The Best: Chris Owings is second among NL shortstops with eleven stolen bases.

Up Next: Patrick Corbin (6-7, 4.89 ERA) and the Diamondbacks take on Lance Lynn (5-5, 3.86 ERA) in the third and final game of the series 12:40 P.M. Wednesday.



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