Game 141 // First Inning, Philadelphia // The Arizona Diamondback-to-back-to-backs

TOP OF THE FIRST: DIAMONDBACKS 3 (0) – 0 PHILLIES 

 

Dyson. Marte. Peralta.

Batter one, batter two, batter three.

 

 

 

 

You think, maybe this happens because the starter is tipping his pitches. Or just plain falling apart.

But then you think, Arizona might just have a knack for this.

 

 

 

 

Or, that it’s something else.

That something weird was in the air last night, in Philadelphia.

When Arizona set their franchise record for home runs (8).

And when these two teams, combined, broke the all-time record for home runs in a game…

 

 

 

 

Whatever the odds of starting a game with three home runs, what are the odds that in that very same game, the record for total home runs is set? Granted, having three in the first inning with no outs helps, but only a little. 

So, there’s that. The something in the air option.

 

Or, perhaps the most compelling: the Jared Principle.

That, when an orthographically-irregular “Jared” encounters another orthographically-irregular “Jared”…

Magical, unpredictable chaos ensues. 

 

Jerad Eickhoff on the mound. 

Jarrod Dyson at the plate.

God only knows, if Jarrod Saltalamacchia were catching…

But two was enough—for this long-theorized Jared Principle made its debut onto this earth.

With the very first pitch of the game ending up in the seats in right field.

Home run. 1-0, D-Backs.

 

 

 

 

There’s one last explanation for all this.

Involving that beloved (?) man in green.

Roaming the ballpark, phanatically, during every Phillies home game.

 

 

 

Just before Dyson came up in the first, the Phillie Phanatic sauntered over to the Diamondbacks’ dugout and, wiggling his fingers, threw a little hex their way.

 

One of the Arizona TV guys says: 

“The Phanatic is down there trying to put the whammy on the Diamondbacks… but they’ve won 9 of their last 10 here at Citizens Bank Park.”

“So the whammy from the Phanatic is haywire.”

“Yeah, keep doing it!” says Bob Brenly.

 

Could that have been it—the whammy backfire?

Or, was it instead a drunk whammy, cancelling out the entire effect?

 

 

 

However it happened, it happened.

Back to back to back. To start off this first inning in Philly.

 

Jerad Eickhoff on the mound, giving up the first-pitch home run to Dyson.

 

Then Ketel Marte.

A breaking ball looping over the plate.

“There’s another one!” they say on the broadcast. “Say goodbye!

 

Launched into the upper deck in right.

 

“Boy,” says Brenly. “Now the pressure’s on David Peralta. You don’t wanna make the first out of the game when the first two hitters go way back to right field!”

 

And then, Peralta too goes yard.

A slider that didn’t slide, and he shoots it  just over the wall in center.

 

 

 

“Oh my goodness,” they say on TV, “welcome to Philadelphia.”

13 pitches. 3-0 Arizona. Three home runs.

And a no good very bad start to the night for Jerad Eickhoff.

 

 

 

 

 

And so today, the next morning?

Relegated.

 

 

 

That has to hurt. 

But there’s a lesson in this, somewhere. Not that he would be able to do anything about it.

If, when another “Jared” comes to the plate, he couldn’t tell the manager:

“Take me out, I can’t face this guy… don’t ask.”

 

But if he could…

And if he did…

 

The Jared Principle would, for a day, lose all its might.

 

 

 

 

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