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Diamondbacks Suffer Painful Loss on Five Straight Walks

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Major League Baseball throws something new at you every day, it seems. Weird, wild plays happen all the time and one happened again on Tuesday as the Arizona Diamondbacks found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory that you have not seen before.

The Diamondbacks held a 4-3 lead over their NL West rival Dodgers heading into the bottom of the ninth when the usually reliable Greg Holland came on to shut the door for the Diamondbacks. Entering the game, Holland had 12 saves on the year and a 2.33 ERA. Holland got the first two batters out — Edwin Rios on a ground out, and Austin Barnes on a fly out to center.

Up stepped the Dodgers’ Chris Taylor with two outs and no one on. Holland got two strikes on Taylor, but then let him slip away and he walked him. The next batter, Russell Martin, came on as a pinch hitter and he also walked. So did Alex Verdugo to load the bases.

You can see where this is going.

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With the bases loaded. Matt Beaty came up for the Dodgers and yes, Holland walked him. Four straight walks with two outs and now the score now tied at 4-4.

Finally, Arizona manager Torey Lovullo had seen enough. With one of the best hitters in baseball, Cody Bellinger, coming up with the bases loaded, Lovullo pulled Holland in favor of left-hander T.J. McFarland.

McFarland proceeded to — you guessed it — walk Bellinger — and bring home the winning run.

“I don’t think I’ve really been a part of a game like that,” Lovullo said, the Arizona Republic reported.

No one had — at least no one alive. This was the first time a game ended on five straight walks with no outs recorded in between since 1920, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

Holland (1-1) was not happy with his performance.

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“It pisses me off,” Holland said, the Republic reported. “We should have won the game. It’s my responsibility to attack. Two outs and nobody on, we didn’t deserve to lose that game. It’s my responsibility to be better than that.”

Is this the most painful loss you've seen a team suffer this season?

Lovullo said it was out of character for Holland, who has been very good this year.

“I haven’t seen a lot of that type of results with him,” Lovullo said. “If we’re a month into this (Holland struggling), of course I’m going to make an adjustment. It’s the first time something like that’s unraveled for him.”

But Lovullo has not lost faith in him.

“No, he’s our closer,” Lovullo said, according to the Arizonas Republic. “I felt like it was still his opportunity to get that closed and slam the door. There’s no perfect science to how, when and where with certain guys at certain times. The bottom line is I believe in him. And I still do believe in him.”

Dodgers starter Ross Stripling could empathize with Holland.

“As a pitcher, you feel for him. You don’t want anybody to go through that. You want us to take it from them and not him basically hand it to us on a silver platter. He’s been one of the better closers in the game for a long time and I’m sure he’ll be able to get over it and get back at it,” Stripling said, according to the Republic.

The Diamondbacks fell to 43-44, 15 games behind the Dodgers, who improved to a league-best 58-29.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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