You don’t see Clayton Kershaw taken to the woodshed like this every day.
The Diamondbacks pummeled the Dodgers’ ace last night, beating him up for seven runs on six hits in an inning and two-thirds. Things actually settled down for a bit after that and the Dodgers even managed to pull close — it was 9-7 after the Dodgers scored five runs in the sixth — but Arizona kept on hitting and made this one into a laugher with nine unanswered runs after that.
Paul Goldschmidt homered twice, had a career-high six RBI and set a team record with five runs scored. Chris Owings homered, triples and doubled. A.J. Pollock and Eric Chavez homered. Martin Prado had three RBIs. Even the Dodgers’ secret bullpen weapon — catcher Drew Butera — couldn’t help put out the fire. He allowed two runs on two hits, including a homer.
Here are the rest of yesterday’s box scores:
Diamondbacks 18, Dodgers 7
Yankees 7, Pirates 1
Cardinals 4, Braves 1
Cubs 3, Brewers 0
Astros 6, White Sox 5
Mets 5, Nationals 2
Athletics 6, Indians 2
Phillies 12, Reds 1
Tigers 6, Red Sox 1
Padres 8, Rockies 5
Royals 1, Orioles 0
Twins 4, Mariners 3
Marlins 5, Giants 0
Blue Jays 4, Rangers 2
Angels 6, Rays 0
Following Tuesday’s loss to the Cubs, the Diamondbacks fell to 5-18, worst in baseball. They had lost 10 of their previous 11 games and had the worst run differential in baseball, by far, at -62.
They are now on a three-game winning streak, but still have a .663 OPS which ranks in the bottom-third of the National League. Their 6.49 rotation ERA is by far the worst, and the 21 errors they’ve committed ties for the third-worst in the league.
Knowing that, it’s not surprising that the D-Backs players stood up for manager Kirk Gibson and GM Kevin Towers as they faced increased scrutiny with the awful start. Via Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona:
“The kind of start we got off to, I don’t know if you can explain it other than we have just played horribly,” veteran third baseman Eric Chavez said. “It’s completely on the players. We take full responsibility for our lack of production on the field. We have to get it done in here, in this clubhouse.”
“I think sometimes there is too much blame that goes in other directions. You have to look at the players, because they are the ones who are playing,” Chavez said. “The numbers don’t lie. Whatever categories we are falling into has nothing to do with ‘Gibby’ or anybody. If somebody wants to pass that on” and blame someone else, “there is going to be some issues with that, because you have to look at yourself as a player.”
Chavez wasn’t the only one to speak up. Catcher Miguel Montero said that blame shouldn’t be cast on Gibson and Towers because “they don’t play the game for us”. Second baseman Aaron Hill said he and his teammates shouldn’t be pressing as much. Although their players came to their defense, Towers’ and Gibson’s seats should continue to be hot for the duration of the season. Non-player personnel are always the first to go when a team doesn’t live up to expectations.
There hasn’t been any noise to that effect out of Arizona despite the Diamondbacks horrific start, but Jon Morosi of Fox notes today that some Diamondbacks players are giving the sorts of quotes you tend to see from teams who make major changes at the top soon after.
Specifically, some quotes from Eric Chavez. Like this:
“I’ve never seen anything like it, to be honest with you,” Chavez said. “I’ve been on teams that weren’t very good, but at least I felt like we were competitive. So, it’s a bitter pill to swallow.
It’s not yet into the territory of “Gibby Watch” or anything, but the thing that tends to inspire those sorts of moves is discouraged-sounding ballplayers. Probably worth watching.