D-backs lament another hard-luck outcome in extras

May 12th, 2024

BALTIMORE -- The game of baseball can be cruel. Hit a ball hard, but right at someone and you’re still out. Make a nasty pitch and watch the batter bloop it somewhere for a base hit.

It was that kind of a night for the D-backs on Saturday as they dropped a 5-4 game to the Orioles in 11 innings at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

The loss was the second in as many days for the D-backs, who came into the series having won four straight games, including a three-game road sweep in Cincinnati.

The game ultimately came down to a pair of pitches, neither of which was particularly bad -- in fact one was really good -- and both went against the D-backs.

The first came in the eighth with the D-backs nursing a 4-3 lead and setup man on the mound.

Ginkel retired the first two batters in the inning with relative ease to bring left-handed hitter Anthony Santander to the plate. Ginkel threw a high fastball up for ball one, then came back with another fastball off the outside edge of the plate and Santander was somehow able to square the pitch up and hit it over the wall in center to tie the game.

Catcher Gabriel Moreno looked like he wanted the pitch in that area but maybe slightly more down than where Ginkel got it.

“I thought at first I left it over the plate,” Ginkel said. “After looking at the video it was just off [the plate]. The only [reason] he was able to get the barrel to it was it was up a little bit. I felt like I was super close to getting through that inning. You just have to tip your cap to that, it was just a good piece of hitting.”

The real heartbreak was left for reliever .

The rookie came on in the 10th inning and managed to pitch his way out of a bases-loaded jam when he got Colton Cowser to ground into an inning-ending double play.

“That double play to end the 10th was fantastic,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “There was probably a ton of energy that was used to get through that inning, but Bryce is a horse and he wants the baseball in those situations and I felt very comfortable sending him back out there [for the 11th].”

Cowser opened the 11th as the automatic runner at second base and Jarvis started Jordan Westburg out with a slider that was at the bottom of the strike zone. Westburg reached down and hit it off the end of the bat and squirted it just inside the right-field line for a single, scoring Cowser with the game-winner.

“I mean, you tell me where to throw it better and I'll tip my hat,” Jarvis said. “But it's a pretty good pitch.”

Even Westburg knew the hit wasn’t struck that well.

"Really trying to stay to the right side of the field there,” he said of his approach. “If anything, if I’m going to make an out, I want to get that guy over to third. So I’m trying to push or see something deep and shoot the ball that way. I had just enough bat on that slider and thank goodness it stayed fair."

Jarvis is inexperienced in terms of service time in the big leagues, but he grew up around the game with his father Kevin, a former Major League pitcher. So Jarvis has seen up close how difficult it can be to deal mentally with getting beat after making a good pitch.

“You see pitches that you don't execute end up as outs and you see pitches that you do execute, end up in hits, and it’s hard not to let it drive you crazy,” he said. “But that's why I think pitchers are some of the most mentally tough athletes out there, if not people out there. I think that's the hardest part about this game for sure.”

And one of the cruelest as well.