PHOENIX — The Diamondbacks’ 14-inning win on Tuesday may have been the most exciting game of the season. But the marathon game apparently exhausted the D-backs, as they looked pretty much spent in a 6-1 loss to the Indians on Wednesday.
The furor of twice rallying from behind in what could have been their final at-bat and then winning on a walk-off after midnight was no where to be found less than 24 hours later.
"It’s something we talked about," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We try to come in and push through that. We understand that part of it, but it’s kind of hard when you get shut down like that."
Indians starter Corey Kluber carved up the D-backs in seven innings. He allowed just four hits and struck out eight, including Paul Goldschmidt three times.
"Kluber’s pretty good," Gibson said. "He’s got good stuff, a real live arm. … He’s tough. He threw a really good game."
The four hits Kluber allowed all came in the first three innings. The rest of the way, the D-backs managed just one hit. Only center fielder Ender Inciarte reached base more than once.
Once Kluber really settled in, the D-backs couldn’t get anything going.
"He was hitting his spots pretty good; he was mixing pitches and he kept us off balance," D-backs catcher Miguel Montero said. "You go up there and you really have to look for one good pitch to hit. If he throws it and you miss it you’re going to have a long night."
Certainly teams can’t rally from every deficit and put up the kind of fight the D-backs did Tuesday, and Gibson cancelled batting practice to give his team a break. But Wednesday’s effort had the markings of a running on fumes the day after a draining game and on the final day of a home stand, one in which the D-backs went 3-6.
But if the D-backs were experiencing any extra-innings hangover, they weren’t going to make an excuse of it or take anything away from Kluber. They weren’t, after all, the only ones on the field for five hours, 32 minutes the night before.
"They played the same time, they played the same game," Montero said. "They played 14 innings as well. (Kluber) just came and had good stuff working. He pretty much shut us down."
The D-backs showed a little late life — after Kluber left — largely because Cleveland reliever Mark Rzepczynski walked two batters, leading to Montero’s shutout-avoiding RBI single in the ninth.
The Indians, taxed as they might have been, didn’t look it. They got to D-backs starter Chase Anderson early with runs in each of the first three innings, taking advantage of the rookie’s lack of fastball command.
"He really couldn’t get his fastball to his glove side," Gibson said. "That’s where he needed to get it and he couldn’t get it there. He kept leaving it out over or way in."
In allowing four runs on seven hits in his third straight loss, Anderson ran his pitch count up early but managed to last five innings. The D-backs had surely hoped for more out of him with their bullpen exhausted from the previous night, but they got by thanks to Zeke Spruill, who ate up four innings in relief after being called up from Triple-A Reno earlier in the day.
"I knew I had to try to get deeper in the game just because the bullpen was spent," Anderson said. "I didn’t do my job tonight. Just have to get better next time."
After the disappointing home stand, the D-backs sit in worse position than when they started it. Wednesday’s loss moved them back to their season-low mark of 15 games under .500, and the home stand saw three players added to the disabled list.
At this point, so far out of contention and so depleted by injures, there’s not much the D-backs can do to climb out of the hole they dug in the season’s first month. But they can continue to play hard and fight no matter the limited impact of even a string of wins.
Wednesday, they just didn’t have enough fight in them.
"We didn’t get it done," Gibson said. "We just couldn’t match’em tonight."
Baseball’s new replay rule worked against the D-backs on Wednesday. With one out in the third inning, Inciarte attempted to steal third after doubling. He was called safe on the play, but Indians manager Terry Francona challenged. It took 46 seconds to reverse the call, ending the scoring threat. Gerardo Parra struck out to ending the inning.
1 — D-backs hits after the third inning. After giving up four hits in the first three innings, Kluber faced the minimum number of batters through the next four innings. The D-backs’ only other hit came in the ninth.
— It’s been just three games, but Inciarte looks like he could stick for a while as the D-backs’ leadoff hitter. Including Tuesday’s 14-inning game, Inciarte has seven hits and four walks in three games as the team’s leadoff hitter.
— After jamming his finger sliding into second base on Tuesday, Parra said "I’m good," but wouldn’t elaborate. Parra started and went 1 for 4 with three strikeouts.
— D-backs utility man Jordan Pacheco was placed on the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis. Pacheco had been dealing with the injury, manager Kirk Gibson said, since shortly after the D-backs acquired him. The need for a fresh arm after Tuesday’s long game allowed the D-backs to add righty Zeke Spruill from Triple-A Reno and give Pacheco time to rest.
Because the D-backs ran out of relievers on Tuesday, they had to turn to starter Josh Collmenter in the 14th inning. Fortunately for the D-backs, they won the game in the bottom half, saving Collmenter any more work. But the D-backs still decided to push Collmenter’s next start back from Friday to Saturday. Brandon McCarthy will start on Friday instead, going on five days rest.