Merrill Kelly Strikes Out 10 vs New York Mets

Merrill Kelly
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JUNE 02: Merrill Kelly #29 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a first inning pitch against the New York Mets at Chase Field on June 02, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Merrill Kelly was on the mound against the Mets Steven Matz in the “rubber” game on Sunday. With an announced crowd of 26,945 on “kids” day, which is every Sunday, and also bark in the park with an estimated 80 dogs in attendance. The Phoenix temperature was 95 degrees, but it was a very comfortable 74 degrees inside the park with the roof closed.

Merrill Kelly Fans 10

The Diamondback Bats Start Hot

Ketel Marte led off the bottom of the first with a long home run, the first leadoff home run in his career. The 482-foot shot tied the Rangers’ Nomar Mazara for the longest homer hit this season. Second up was Tim Locastro who singled. Then Eduardo Escobar homered to left-field and the Diamondbacks were up by three quickly.

Run Support Helped Kelly

Kelly, the former Arizona State Sun Devil, was able to get out of the first with no runs given up and the early run support really boosted his performance. Having a three-run cushion eased the pressure. Over 7 2/3 innings, he gave up only six hits and struck out a career-best 10. The lone Mets run came on a homer by Wilson Ramos in the second. The Diamondbacks then gave themselves additional breathing room with a pair of runs in the fifth thanks to four consecutive two-out singles. They added two more runs in the eighth. The final score was 7 to 1.

Let’s Forget May

Mired in a nearly month-long slump, the Diamondbacks had been lackluster. They had the five-game losing streak, including a loss to the Mets on Friday, and were looking at a potential six-game slide after falling behind the Mets on Saturday night. To their credit, they rallied to win in extra innings. That win and taking the series with today’s win is just the boost of confidence this team needs with the Dodgers coming to town Monday. Let’s hope this points the team back in the winning direction.

Manager Tory Lovullo’s Take

“In the fifth inning yesterday, I was under the bench sucking my thumb. I didn’t know what to do,” said Manager Tory Lovullo in the press-room. “I was like, ‘Where are we going? What are we doing? We’re not playing our type of baseball.’ It was really frustrating.”

However, the team’s never-give-up attitude impressed him. “It’s a perfect example of not shutting down and I’m proud of these guys.”

Supple, Not Supple

When asked about Ketel Marte’s power numbers from the right side, Lovullo talked to the media in the press-room about the switch hitter’s swing “suppleness” from that side of the plate. After a few seconds, though, he changed his mind.

“Actually, let’s strike that from the record,” Lovullo said, drawing laughs. “That’s not a baseball term, I get it. There’s about 15 words… the F-word, the S-word, Atta-boy. That’s all we know, so let’s shut that word down.”

Up Next

Monday is the start of a three-game series against the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers. LHP Robbie Ray starts off the series. Currently, Ray is 4-2 with a 3.59 ERA and 82 strikeouts.

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Jim Marshall has lived in Phoenix, AZ for 50 years. He is an avid baseball fan, but enjoys all of Arizona's local sports teams, including Diamondbacks, Suns, Cardinals and Coyotes. In addition to the four major sports, he closely follows the Phoenix Mercury, Arizona Rattlers and Arizona State Sun Devils. Jim's passion for baseball continues beyond the field as he is an avid collector of baseball memorabilia. His favorite athlete of all time is Baseball Hall of Fame member Harmon Killebrew. In addition to watching, reading and talking about sports, he takes time to travel and appreciate the great state of Arizona with his lovely wife, Patti.

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