Baseball is a nice, relaxing, idyllic game played at a leisurely pace on a field of calming green grass. Like today's stress free victory...
Oh, who am I kidding. These are the Diamondbacks, where easy victories are a rarity. Still, we did find another unusual way to win while almost finding a way to lose. At least the game wasn't boring...>/p>
So far this year, Daniel Hudson has had his problems with the first inning. Today, Kosuke Fukudome led off with a double. But Hudson was able to break a trend, leaving him stranded at second, having a scoreless first. Further breaking a trend, for the first time this year Hudson did allow a run in the second. Alfonso Soriano (who the Diamondbacks are glad they wont have to see again in the regular season, barring a trade) led off with a double, advanced on a fielders choice and scored on a ground out. Cubs up 1-0.
But Casey Coleman is a generous fellow. He gave us back the run in our half of the second, serving up a home run to big slugger Ryan Roberts. Our own Wailord failed at high jumping, or it would have been an official Snakepit souvenir. 1-1 at the end of two. Coleman continued to be a gracious guest in the fourth, finding a unique gift for us. Miguel Montero lead off with a walk, and showed great hustle going to third on a Roberts single. That's when Mr. Coleman did something almost unheard of (except when we do it): he balked in a run! Roberts would score on a safety squeeze, and Gerardo Parra would score on a wild pitch. Three runs via a balk, a squeeze, and a wild pitch is not exactly the sort of line I'm used to seeing on my score sheet.
The Diamondbacks played good fundamental defense throughout the game, including a gem of a double play in the sixth, and Hudson cruised into the seventh leading 4-1. But a one out base hit by Marlon Byrd was followed by a walk to Carlos Pena. Geovany Soto doubled just passed Justin Upton to bring them home, making it a 4-3 game.
Enter the Diamondbacks (admittedly improved) stress inducing bullpen. The unlikely named Darwin Barney singled, and went to second on a wild pitch by setup man David Hernandez, but was left stranded. One day, in my dreams, a Diamondbacks closer will have a nice, clean 1-2-3 ninth to win the game. Today was not the day of that dream. J.J. Putz surrendered a leadoff double to Marlon Byrd, and Carlos Pena came as close to hitting a lead changing home run as can possibly be hit. Justin Upton made a leaping catch at the wall, with Byrd taking third. A walk to Soto put runners on first and third with one out, and Putz had not induced a double play any time this season. So, continuing today's trend of breaking trends, he got the game ender (our third double play of the day) and the save.
Hot: R Roberts, +20.3%
Warm: J Putz, +17.4%, D Hernandez +12.6%
Cold: S Drew, -10.5%
Both teams got a lot of men on base, but neither team hit well with RISP, going a combined 1 for 23. The Cubs had 18 LOB, the Diamondback 16. Justin Upton was a frustratingly 0 for 3 with 4 LOB. On the plus side, Ryan Roberts continued his bid for an All Star berth, going 2 for 3 with the homer, and the team walked 8 times. Hudson pitched well enough to earn a well deserved win, and Putz got another 'putzy' save.
547 comments as of when I switched to posting mode. 'Skins was back and led the way with over 100, justin and NASCAR rounding out the podium. All present were NASCARbernet, justin1985, pygalgia, DbacksSkins, hotclaws, Wailord, Jim McLennan, blue bulldog, Rockkstarr12, blank_38, DeDxDbacKxJroK, Azreous, snakecharmer, Torpedosneak, dbacks25, UAwildcats, emilylovesthedbacks, xmet, Zavada's Moustache, IHateSouthBend, kishi, txzona, and Jdub220.
There were multiple greens, so nominee for COTD goes to my townsman Azerous:
Mark Grace on Eric Byrnes: "He blew out both of his hamstrings running out a play like that."
Daron Sutton: "He did that on a pop-up to the catcher."
Thanks for letting me recap (I'm now 2-0, knock on wood), and graph and roll call to be added soon.