Record: 15-21. Pace: 68-94. Change on last year: +1
One nice thing about a series against the Giants is a near guarantee of one pitchers duel, if not a few. The Diamondbacks pitching was more than willing to play ball, and each game was terse affair with few runs plated from either team. Unfortunately for the visiting Diamondbacks, they found themselves at the losing end of all three contests.
The Diamondbacks certainly had their chances to win the game this afternoon and avoid the sweep, but as usual could not find a way to make the plays when it mattered.
It seemed like in the first inning the Diamondbacks had Matt Cain’s number. Kelly Johnson led things off with a single; maybe he was finally heating up? Xavier Nady also singled, and both runners moved into scoring position off a Stephen Drew ground out. Both were stranded, however, when Justin Upton flied out to end the threat. Arizona didn’t have two runners at the same time until the 7th.
Daniel Hudson was dealing, however. A pitcher shouldn’t be worried they didn’t do enough after giving up only 3 runs, but that’s the unfortunate reality of pitching for Arizona. For the Giants they did what was necessary, scattering enough runs for another win. Nate Schierholtz singled in Cody Ross for the home team’s first run in the 2nd. Hudson held that score until the bottom of the 7th, when things finally slipped away.
Eli Whiteside led off the 7th with a double, was sacrificed to third by Cain, and then finally scored on an Andres Torres double. Audrey Huff added an RBI of his own by singling in Torres, putting the score at 3-0. As noted in the Gameday Thread, it’s sad when that low of a score seems insurmountable (and yes, I’m aware the quote was actually for the 2-0 deficit, but it applies to either score).
The visiting Diamondbacks tried their best to mount a comeback in the top of the 8th, but it wasn’t enough. Matt Cain started the inning and seemed to be still dealing. He struck out a hapless Juan Miranda, and induced fly out from Johnson. Parra and Nady, oddly hitting 2nd and 3rd in the order, rapped out back-to-back singles, which knocked Cain from the game. Jeremy Affeldt was brought in to stop the bleeding, but Stephen Drew knocked an infield single that scored Parra and finally put the Diamondbacks on the board.
Bruce Bochy continued to micromanage his bullpen, and pulled Affeldt in favor Ramon Ramirez. He turned out to be just as ineffective, however, as he gave up a single to Justin Upon that scored Nady. Ramirez ended the threat immediately afterwards, however, by getting the mussel Russel Branyan to ground out.
In the top of the 9th the Diamondbacks attempted to complete the comeback, and were nearly successful. Sergio Romo was brought in to deal with Ryan Roberts, but was pulled after giving up a single. Javier Lopez was the next in the revolving door that suddenly was the Giants bullpen, but he finished the game. Chris Young, given the day off, was called to pinch hit and he produced with a single. It set up runners on the corners with only one out. Kelly Johnson and Gerardo Parra each had a chance to be a hero, but each struck out pitifully to end the game and complete the sweep.
Both starting pitchers were sharp this afternoon. Daniel Hudson struck out 5, and prinkled 7 hits over 6.2 innings of work while only giving up 3 runs. It’s not hard to imagine it being worse, though, as he added 3 more walks to give the Giants 10 total runners. Matt Cain was the underrated beast he always is, striking out 7 in 7.2 innings, while also giving up 7 hits and a walk. He was responsible for both Diamondbacks earned runs.
It ends a series that saw the Diamondbacks score only 5 runs, while also only giving up 8. The team left 22 on base for the series, struck out 29 times, while only walking 7 times. The offense simply isn’t getting it done. Yes, baseball is a streaky game, but if you can average less than 3 runs a game in a series then you should be winning. Obviously the Giants have that, and the Diamondbacks don’t.
Yes: Justin Upton (23.3%)
the drum break from "Owner of a Lonely Heart": Chris Young (19%)
Asia: Kelly Johnson (-22.3%)
no seriously have you ever seen one of their albums its got like serpent dragons and prisms: Russel Branyan (-20.3%)
It's telling that no Diamondback pitcher for the game had a negative WPA, but 6 on the offense did.
Slow GDT, partially because it was an afternoon game in the middle of the week, but also because it wasn't on TV. No one cracked a century, and Clefo was the Top Dog of Commenting with 70. He was joined by: Bcawz, Smoggie, Sprankton, me, Jim McLennan, kishi, SenSurround, hotclaws, 4 Corners Fan, Zavada's Moustache, you'vejustbeenCAINED (welcome?), jonny-yuma, txzona, JustAJ, snakecharmer, IHateSouthBend, Reynolds rapper, imstillhungry95, UAwildcats, Amit, unnamedDBacksfan, Baseballdad.
Comment of the Day goes to Jim, who said: