Diamondbacks stave off elimination with 8-1 victory

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The Diamondbacks jumped all over Brewers starter Shaun Marcum and won 8-1 Tuesday to extend the NLDS to a Game 4.

Pitching with Arizona down 2-0 in the series, Josh Collmenter shut down the Brewers for the third time this year. He pitched 14 scoreless innings against Milwaukee during the regular season, and he allowed just one run and two hits in seven innings tonight.

Arizona’s offense, which was limited to five runs in the first two games, got on the board right away, scoring two runs on hits from Miguel Montero and Paul Goldschmidt in the first. Montero added another RBI in the third, and Goldschmidt delivered the big blast of the night, knocking Marcum out of the game with a grand slam in the fifth.

It was Goldschmidt’s second homer in two games after he sat in favor of Lyle Overbay in the opener.

Game 4 of the NLDS will be played Wednesday in Arizona, with lefties Randy Wolf and Joe Saunders scheduled to start. Wolf lost both of his starts against the Diamondbacks this season, amassing a 6.08 ERA in the process. Saunders allowed two runs over seven innings in a no-decision in his lone start versus the Brewers.

Notes

– Rickie Weeks shielded Willie Bloomquist from second base on a first-inning steal attempt, but didn’t get the call from umpire Jeff Kellogg. It proved crucial, as the Diamondbacks went on to score two runs with two outs in the frame.

– Goldschmidt’s slam was the third by a rookie in postseason history. The previous two were hit by Yankees: Gil McDougald in the 1951 World Series and Ricky Ledee in the 1999 ALCS.

– Regardless of how many more games the Diamondbacks play this year, it should be a lock now that Goldschmidt won’t be on the bench in any of them. He’s hit 10 homers in 164 at-bats between the regular season and the playoffs, and he’s driven in six of Arizona’s 13 runs in the series.

Mariano Rivera elected to Baseball Hall of Fame unanimously

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Former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera deservingly became the first player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame unanimously, receiving votes from all 425 writers who submitted ballots. Previously, the closest players to unanimous induction were Ken Griffey, Jr. (99.32% in 2016), Tom Seaver (98.84% in 1992), Nolan Ryan (98.79% in 1999), Cal Ripken, Jr. (98.53%), Ty Cobb (98.23% in 1936), and George Brett (98.19% in 1999).

Because so many greats were not enshrined in Cooperstown unanimously, many voters in the past argued against other players getting inducted unanimously, withholding their votes for otherwise deserving players. That Griffey — both one of the greatest outfielders of all time and one of the most popular players of all time — wasn’t voted in unanimously in 2016, for example, seemed to signal that no player ever would. Now that Rivera has been, this tired argument about voting unanimity can be laid to rest.

Derek Jeter will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time next year. He may become the second player ever to be elected unanimously. David Ortiz appears on the 2022 ballot and could be No. 3. Now that Rivera has broken through, these are possibilities whereas before they might not have been.

Another tired argument around Hall of Fame voting concerns whether or not a player is a “first ballot” Hall of Famer. Some voters think getting enshrined in a player’s first year of eligibility is a greater honor than getting in any subsequent year. I’m not sure what it will take to get rid of this argument — other than the electorate getting younger and more open-minded — but at least we have made progress on at least one bad Hall of Fame take.