Ugh. Let's hope that's the last time we lose to the Rockies in 2009 - though we do play them again on Thursday, so they're welcome to have that one if they want. But this wasn't even one that got away. It was ugly, from the four runs Yusmeiro Petit allowed in the first inning - mostly thanks, inevitably, to a homer, of the three-run variety here, served up to Brad Hawpe. And the game didn't exactly go through a swan-like transformation thereafter, with the Rockies unloading on our pitching staff at a rate of better than two hits per inning. Tony Peña was the worst offender, giving up six consecutive knocks, after retiring the first two Colorado batters he faced. When you need to be bailed out by Doug Slaten, it's never a good sign, but our crypto-LOOGY actually didn't suck, with 1.1 scoreless innings of work.
He and Chad Qualls, who pitched a scoreless fifth, were the only pitchers to escape damage. Though I suppose Scott Schoeneweis 'only' allowing one run in his inning could be classed as a small victory, reducing as it did his ERA from 10.29 to 10.13. Hey, take your silver linings where you can find them on a day like today. The Petit Unit avoided further damage, but only lasted three innings, giving up six hits and a walk in that time. He said, “I missed a couple of pitches and I paid for it. I was able to make the adjustments later.” Juan Gutierrez pitched the ninth inning, and allowed a run on two walks and a hit, but his chances of making the roster took a big step forward with the news that Travis Blackley - like Gutierrez, out of options, and so one of the big contenders for a bullpen spot - was told he won't be on the roster. [Gerardo Parra and Chris Roberson were also re-assigned]
Hard to say what will happen to Blackley now, as Josh Byrnes wouldn't saw whether or not Blackley was going through waivers or not. If he does, his contract gives him the option of becoming a free-agent, rather than accepting an assignment to the minor-leagues. Byrnes also said the team is leaning towards carrying an extra reliever for the first week until we need the roster spot for Max Scherzer's first start. With Blackley gone, the Opening Day bullpen, at the moment, now looks like it will consist of Chad Qualls, Scott Schoeneweis; Jon Rauch; Tony Peña; Yusmeiro Petit; Billy Buckner; Juan Gutierrez; and Doug Slaten.
Going back to today's game. 'Must we?" I hear you sigh - yes, but it'll be pretty brief, if only because there wasn't much more to talk about on a day with only six hits and two walks for the Diamondbacks. Josh Whitesell was the only hitter to reach base safely twice, getting one of those walks and adding a two-run homer in the top of the fourth inning. Justin Upton drove in the last Arizona run in the eighth, scoring Josh Wilson with a single. No errors for the Diamondbacks, though that was hardly much of a help, given the rate at which balls were whizzing past them. Oh, look: the Diamondbacks announced details of their all-you-can-eat section. You can get a season ticket there for $25 per game, which must be the scariest concept I've heard of in quite some time....