Anthony Banda gave the Diamondbacks all they could have asked for from the rookie in his major-league debut, and perhaps a little more. If not for a towering shot by Bryce Harper in the top of the 1st inning, we could’ve been talking about a D-backs victory. Banda was that good.
He settled in nicely after the Harper homer, until the 6th inning. He surrendered a triple and two doubles back-to-back-to-back in the 6th which allowed the Nationals to break the 1-1 tie and put two runs on the board. He was replaced by J.J. Hoover, with a runner on second, after throwing 82 pitches in the game. Hoover gave up a single that gave the Nationals a 4-1 lead.
The D-backs weren’t done yet.
A.J. Pollock continued his hot-hitting as he tripled in the bottom of the 6th inning with just one out. Jake Lamb drove Pollock in on a ground-out to trim the D-backs deficit to 4-2. Brandon Drury, who was pinch-hitting for Jake Barrett, doubled with one out in the bottom of the 8th, but David Peralta and Pollock both grounded out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, after Lamb walked, Chris Iannetta hit a grounder that Nationals’ third baseman Anthony Rendon fielded but threw past the second baseman and into right field, allowing Lamb to move the third base. The D-backs had runners at the corners with no outs and down by two runs.
Paul Goldschmidt came on to pinch hit for Daniel Descalso. He was able to drive in a run on a sacrifice fly ball. Chris Owings flew out and Ketel Marte struck out to end the threat (box score).
Stats that matter
- Banda was solid in his debut, a very nice outing – 5.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 5 Ks, HR
- The D-backs bullpen was great tonight and kept the game close – 3.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 Ks
- A.J. Pollock continues his hot-hitting – 2-for-4, 2R, 3B
A really solid outing by Anthony Banda. For a guy making his debut, it was really about the best you could hope for. It’s unfortunate that he couldn’t get out of the 6th inning, but he was cruising up until then.
Tanner Roark pitched one heck of a great game, so you have to take your hat off to him. In the end, the D-backs came close to beating the Nationals behind Banda’s debut and with Roark pitching seven innings of three-hit ball. It’s not a win, but it sure was one heck of an effort all around.
The D-backs finish up the series against the Nationals on Sunday at 1:10 pm MT. Robbie Ray (9-4, 2.97 ERA) will be on the mound for the D-backs against Stephen Strasburg (10-3, 3.31 ERA) for the Nats.