The normally reliable John Axford, without whom the Rox bullpen would be totally terrible, blew a tire tonight. Entering the 9th with a 2-run lead, 32 pitches later he left with a 1-run deficit. His breaking pitches absolutely were not working at all, and he turned to mostly fastballs. 2 BB, 3 singles, and a sac fly did all the damage – nothing flashy, but just good ABs from the Dbacks hitters.
The Dbacks did everything possible up until the 9th to hand the Rox a win. 2 errors in the first inning helped plate 2 runs. Allen Webster surrendered a HR to Nick Hundley in the 2rd. The Rox created a lot of traffic on Randall Delgado in the 5th, putting up another big inning and taking a 7-5 lead.
Highlighting the 5th was Blackmon leading off with a single, then promptly stealing second and third. Awesome to see aggressive baserunning.
The rest of the Rox bullpen – and I mean the rest, everyone except Logan was in this game – threw up zeroes, allowing only 2 hits and no walks. David Hale was less than sharp, allowing a Goldschmidt HR and 7 more hits plus 3 BB in 4.2 IP.
Nonetheless, the Rox should have sewn this one up, but instead took the 8-7 loss. This was Axford’s first blemish of the season, and he can’t blame it on the rain – things had cleared up by that time, after a 46 minute delay prior to first pitch. Hopefully it’s just a bad night and not a sign of a developing injury, but the fact he had nothing working with the breaking ball is troublesome. His fastball velocity was good.
The other worry here is similar to the Dodger series a few weeks back, the Rox pen is spent right now. With a day game turnaround tomorrow, that spells trouble unless DLR puts in a great outing. Hang on, it’s going to be a bumpy Thursday.