Ryne Nelson and Tyler Anderson locked in a pitching duel with no pitcher allowing a run, Nelson through 6 and Anderson through 7. But the Diamondbacks bullpen allowed 3 runs at 7th-and-3 others at 9th in a 6-0 loss to the Dodgers. .
Nelson ran his scoreless streak to 13 innings, having pitched 7 shutout innings in his major league debut. It is the longest scoreless streak to start a career by a starting pitcher in franchise history. The previous record of 11 was set by Micah Owings in 2007.
The rookie started to tire in round 6, however, with a noticeable drop in speed. There were several hard-hit balls in the inning, including a two-out triple from Trea Turner. Nelson trailed Freddie Freeman 2-0 before kicking out an intentional walk. He eventually came out of the inning by having Will Smith fly out to center. That was the end of his night giving him a final line of 6 IP, 2 hits, 2 walks, one intentional and 6 strikeouts. Nelson had 13 swings and missed nine on his fastball.
He said after the game, however, that he felt his fastball control wasn’t as good as it was last outing. Early in the game, he was landing his curveball for strikes, but later in the game, that mastery of the curve wasn’t quite there for him.
Manager Torey Lovullo spoke to the media about Nelson’s exit and his decision to remove the choke after that 6th inning, despite only 81 pitches being thrown.
Speaking further on whether the loss of momentum was a sign it was time to take Nelson out of the game, Lovullo said that was one of the considerations.
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As has often been the case this year, things took a turn for the worse once Lovullo put him back in the bullpen. Kyle Nelson came in and quickly gave up a long double to Max Muncy. The drive was just out of reach of Alek Thomas on the center field wall. On the next play, Justin Turner abruptly backed up to Nelson who turned to throw to second base trying to catch Turner who was well out of the bag. With Ketel Marte covering the sack, Nelson threw the ball to Geraldo Perdomo instead who was backing up on the play. Perdomo threw valiantly to first but too late to catch Turner. A walk to Joey Gallo loaded the bases with no one forcing Lovullo to make a change, going to Kevin Ginkel.
Ginkel allowed a long sacrifice flight to score the game’s first point. That was followed by two double runs from Cody Bellinger, giving the Dodgers a 3-0 lead. The three legacy runners scored an increase in Ginkel’s season total to 5 of 11.
Meanwhile, Tyler Anderson confused the D-backs with his switch, allowing just 5 hits and two walks in his 7 shutout innings. He caused three late-inning double plays, including two by recently recalled Jordan Luplow and one by Carson Kelly.
Keynan Middleton kicked off the ninth as he gave up two singles and a three-run outburst from Mookie Betts to make it 6-0.
The D-backs squandered some good scoring opportunities earlier in the game. Singles from Ketel Marte and Jake McCarthy in the 4th inning gave the runners D-backs 1st and 2nd with no one. But back-to-back fly outs and then a strikeout from DH Stone Garrett ended that thread. Marte also scored a one-out double in the 6th but didn’t advance further.
Evan Phillips and Phil Bickford each worked a scoreless inning to complete the team’s shutout for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers earned a postseason berth for the 10th straight year. With a win tomorrow night, the Dodgers can also win the NL West for the 9th time in 10 years.
The Diamondbacks’ record now stands at 66-74, and they are now 1.5 games behind the Giants for 3rd place in the NL West.
Game 2 of the series is tomorrow night at Chase Field, starting at 6:40 p.m. MST. Merrill Kelly, (12-5, 2.94 ERA) will face Clayton Kershaw, (7-3, 2.62 ERA)