D-backs: 5, Cardinals: 15 - "Kennedy pounded as Cardinals [T]roll"

Two things.  First, apologies about this being late and all.  Forgot about my 'Pit duties in the midst of my frivolous other tasks like the rough draft of my group Foresight paper - all 29 pages of it - and other related college work (and, admittedly, Flight of the Conchords).  Also, 'Pit auto-tagging failures weren't helping...  I don't think anybody is absolutely dying to see this recap, though, so I imagine I'm safe from the risk of a torch-wielding mob showing up in my dorm.

Second, yes, I did completely steal that recap title from the one found on, believe it or not, the D-backs website (minus the "T" of course).  Not even the team could show IPK mercy for the outing he had tonight.  Not many ways to spin this unfortunate one, folks, and that's coming from someone who loves Kennedy.  If nothing else, it's unfortunate that his name isn't more like this guy's - hey, it's a Cardinals series, feces jokes are fair game.  Gruesome details after the jump.

And NO, I won't say it...

It's worth pointing out that I abandoned this game fairly early on, so I only have the statistical details and a few MLB Gameday hi-lights to go by with this.  Things wasted no time getting ugly, with Kennedy retiring Ryan Theriot - otherwise known as the worst lead-off man in the majors* - on a line-out, but giving up a single and a ground-rule double to Colby Rasmus and Albert Pujols, respectively.  After Matt Holliday was walked, a wild pitch and ground-out from the old, decrepit Lance Berkman put the Cards on top 2-0.  David Freese, whose body has miraculously managed to stay intact and uninjured for the first couple weeks of the season, grounded out to get Kennedy out of the first inning.

* I'd like to spend a little more time on this.  You have Colby Rasmus, Albert Pujols, and Matt Holliday batting second, third, and fourth.  They are capable of mashing the ball and driving in absurd numbers of runners every day.  So what do they do?  They put a guy with a career .319 wOBA in front of them.  Genius, Tony.  (Disclaimer: I know that batting orders really don't matter all that much.  But even if it is only throwing away a run or two over the course of the year, why throw it away?  Sigh...)

Ahem, sorry about that.  After the D-backs feebly went down at the hands of Jake Westbrook in the bottom of the first, wasting a lead-off walk from KJ, the top of the second inning began.  And.  It.  Would.  Never.  End.  Kennedy again got the lead-off guy out, retiring Skip Schumaker, then after a Gerald Laird single, quickly recorded the second out on a failed Westbrook bunt attempt.  Then, the wheels not only fell off of the train, but the train crashed straight into the overheating core of a nuclear reactor, sending nuclear fallout across the entire Earth and spreading a wave of destruction over the few remaining civilian strongholds that weren't vaporized from the initial explosion.

Because Ryan Theriot is so scrappy, he began the carnage by making IPK hit him with a pitch.  Colby Rasmus, seeing that this will be the only opportunity he has to hit with runners on base for the next three weeks, turned on a curveball just below the belt and over the plate for a double, sending both Laird and Theriot in.  Kennedy walked Pujols and plunked Holiday, clearly hoping to take advantage of the aforementioned old, decrep-.... yeah, that worked out well.  Lance Berkman took a moderately well-located fastball on the outside edge of the plate the opposite way for a grand slam that prompted my exit from the GDT and shifted my focus to the suffering of my studies (and the brief reprieve of the awesomeness of our Double-A team).

Once again, David Freese grounded out, so the bleeding was stopped... for about half of a freaking second, during which Jake Westbrook mowed down the D-backs in a 1-2-3 inning.  Clearly, IPK would counter with his best impression of Westbrook's effort, and give us enough work tonight to at least spare our bullpen from having to work over half of the game.  Except that IPK then gave up back-to-back doubles to the terrible backup catcher and the pitcher, clearly showing that he had no desire to remain in the game, and getting pulled for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the third.  After all, we have to find time to give Xavier Nady the at-bats necessary to continually demonstrate his futility, right?

I'm still not going to say it...

Long-ish reliever Aaron Heilman came on in the fourth, and promptly decided to repeat the stunning example Kennedy had set for him.  Retire two straight hitters, give up a walk and a dinky single, allow home run, give up a double to Laird, rinse, repeat.  And, well, repeat he did.  Heilman went back out for the fifth inning, and this time decided to take a more direct approach to allowing runs.  Rather than waste time collecting two outs, Heilman immediately gave up a single, a double, and another single to bring in two runs.  Two outs and a single later, another run scored and Heilman was pulled for Esmerling Vasquez, making his 2011 debut.

Things settled down at this point.  Esmerling went 1 1/3, giving up just a hit but striking out nobody (though also not walking anybody).  Juan Gutierrez came in, and decided that the team could make good use of his most efficient work when they were already down by ten runs - he struck out three in two innings, giving up one hit.  Joe Paterson, the Least-Used Reliever in the World, was brought in to - EGADS! - pitch a full inning, though the only right-handed hitter he faced was a pitcher, so I guess that still qualifies as LOOGY duty (rhyme + poop joke = St. Louis Series Success!).

On the D-backs side, Russell Branyan cracked a homer in the bottom of the fourth, a nice way to celebrate the 1000th game he's played in the big leagues in his career.  The D-backs put together a nice string of hits in the bottom of the fifth hi-lighted by a Miguel Montero double, scoring three runs.  But these aren't much more than trivial details, really...

 

Fine, I'll say it: This is what we deserve for keeping Willie Bloomquist out of the line-up, I suppose.

I'd post the FanGraph, but you can see something that looks exactly like it by looking at a profile view of Niagra Falls.  So, instead, today's FanGraph is sponsored by the intarwebz (if you really want to see the FanGraph, just click the image link...)

Troll Hunter: Kelly Johnson (+2.9%)

Successful Troll (is Successful): Ian Kennedy (-41.5%)

Also Trollin': Stephen Drew (-3.7%), Justin Upton (-2.9%), Russell Branyan (-2.4%)

(Ummm, sorry about that...  :-)  The actual FanGraph is here)

 

Comment of the Day... looks like I have to go through the GDT again... kind of wish I could make it the Machete picture from 'Skins, since it was awesome, or at least either the Capri Sun-pouch booze or empty whiskey bottle pictures, but another picture of that size would probably explode the recap or the servers or something.  Plus, the best one wasn't rec'd.  So, my hands are tied.  Even though I like Esmerling, he was just brought up from Reno today, so it's got to be...

When Esmerling Vasquez

Is brought in to stabilize the game, you know something has gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Rest In Peace: Me (2008-2010)

Good luck keeping your upper lip warm without MY help, Mr. Zavada.

by Zavada's Moustache on Apr 13, 2011 8:26 PM PDT reply actions   3 recs

 

Tomorrow's a new day, and Daniel Hudson hits the mound looking to win one.  For his case and ours, let's make this happen.  And, for goodness' sake, let's get Willie back in the lineup...

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