The Diamondbacks were toast. Joe Musgrove was dealing for the Pirates, allowing Arizona just four hits through six as Pittsburgh sat on a 5-0 lead. “We were lying flat,” D-Backs manager Torey Lovullo said. And then the Pirates had to go and put a leadoff batter on. Retaliation, you know. Unwritten rules of baseball and all that.
Braden Shipley hit Josh Harrison in the top of the seventh, the fifth HBP in a game between two teams with a history of beanballs. Rather than wait for a relatively safe moment to retaliate—with two outs, or, like, tomorrow—and rather than retaliate by, uh, winning the game—Joe Musgrove plunked Chris Owings to lead off the bottom half. As long as you know what you’re risking here, Joe.
“That’s how the game is played,” Musgrove said of retaliating. “You’re willing to go out and hit somebody, you’ve got to be willing to deal with might come with that, putting the leadoff runner on base, especially late in the game like that. You don’t want to start a rally.”
Rally the D-Backs did, stringing together a couple of singles, getting a man on on a throwing error, and then tying the game on a Jake Lamb homer.
Arizona racked up four more in the eighth inning and won the game 9-5.
Lovullo was ecstatic over the gift.
“I don’t really know what’s going on inside their dugout, but if it was retaliation, it certainly cost their pitcher a couple of runs and it might have cost them a win,” Lovullo said. “We’re were lying flat and dormant and being dominated by him and I felt like it gave our dugout a lot of energy.”
Patrick Corbin, who started the game and took a no-decision, said it was perhaps the biggest win of the year for Arizona, which has a lot of wins. They’ve won four in a row, 10 of 13, and now have a three-game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West. The Pirates, meanwhile, blew a chance to get back to .500. But at least they obtained satisfaction?