Diamondbacks 3, Padres 4 - Missed Opportunities Make D'Backs Appear Yechy

It was a beautiful day in San Diego, with plentiful pink accessories on baseball players today for Breast Cancer Awareness in honor of Mother's Day. After a comeback-tie-to-loss on Friday and a breakout win yesterday, what would today hold? It would be nice to be able to start this division-opponents road trip on by winning the series, but alas, 'twas not to be. Joe Saunders put the Diamondbacks down in a hole very early, the offense couldn't find their way out of their own hole, and Arizona dropped the series finale to the Padres.

If you're enjoying your day with your mother/wife so far and want to keep it that way, I warn you, it's not exactly Pretty in Pink in here...

Chris Young and his pink wristbands started off the game with a walk off of Padres starter Aaron Harang. Ryan Roberts' pink shoes flew out to left, but Young advanced to 2nd on a "stolen base" error and moved to 3rd on a wild pitch. So with a runner on 3rd base and one out, the next two Diamondbacks would, of course, pop up to the infield (Justin Upton ala Eric Byrnes) and flew out to center (Miguel Montero with tried a few different pink bats to get that out). Aaron Harang threw 22 pitches but was off the hook, and the Diamondbacks failed to strike early.

It was dejá vù in the Padres' half of the first inning. Chris Denorfia led off with a single off of Joe Saunders, stole 2nd base and moved to 3rd on a poor throw by Montero (his 7th error, which leads all MLB catchers). But the Padres managed to score that runner on Jason Bartlett's double to left field. Not only did the Padres score the first run, they scored the first four runs in that inning. After the RBI double and later a walk to Chase Headley, Jorge Cantu blasted a 3-run home run to left field. Saunders allowed a walk to the catcher Rob Johnson before striking out Logan Forsythe. The Diamondbacks were suddenly down 4-0, and have now allowed 30 first inning runs (second only to the Cincinnati Reds).

But the Diamondbacks didn't let this early deficit get them down - not immediately, anyway. In the second inning, Melvin Mora singled and scored on an RBI double by Josh Wilson (who said "Take that, Jim McLennan's Game Day Thread Intro"). Saunders helped clean up his mess by singling and scoring Wilson, and the score was 4-2.

Unfortunately, the score stayed at 4-2 for the next six and a half innings. Though the Diamondbacks had - and wasted - plenty of opportunities throughout the game to come back. Including the first two innings, the Dbacks had the leadoff batter reach in five of seven innings, but could not do anything with it. Melvin Mora led off the 4th with a single, but Parra grounded into a double play; Saunders singled in the 5th for his second hit of the day, but nothing doing; Montero singled in the 6th, but after Xavier Nady lined out, Mora grounded into a double play; and in the 7th, Gerardo Parra singled but stayed there for the next three batters.

While the Diamondbacks hitters were struggling, Saunders was soaring. Well, not quite that well, but he certainly settled down nicely and pitched better than than first inning had us expecting of him. Saunders had clean innings in the 2nd, 5th and 6th, a walk and single in the 3rd, and another hit in the 4th. He was helped along by some fabulous defense behind him, mainly by Gerardo Parra in left with some leaping and sliding catches. For comparison, Saunders' lines:

1st Inning: 4 runs, 3 hits, 2 walks, 39 pitches
2nd-6th Innings: 0 runs, 2 hits, 1 walk, 65 pitches

After making Aaron Harang look like some pitcher better than Aaron Harang, Arizona finally put up something other than a "0" against Padre reliever Mike Adams, who gave up his first run since Opening Day. In the 8th inning, the Diamondbacks put runners on the corners (a double by Upton and single by Montero) with one out. Then Xavier Nady belted a shot to deep center that would've been either a home run or a double in any other ballpark, but today, it was caught in a sliding catch by Maybin. Upton tagged up to make the score 4-3, but that's all the Diamondbacks would get.

Juan Gutierrez pitched a clean 1-2-3 7th inning; David Hernandez made things interesting in the 8th by allowing two baserunners, but kept the Padres off the scoreboard and the game was 4-3 going into the 9th inning against Heath Bell. But Friday night's efforts were not to be repeated. Parra grounded out easily, pinch hitter Kelly Johnson lined out to center (not so easy catch by Maybin), and although pinch hitter Russell Branyan walked, Chris Young struck out to end the game.

20110508_diamondbacks_padres_0_20110508174914_live_medium
via www.fangraphs.com

 

Supernova: J Saunders (hitting), +12.4%
Star: Gerardo Parra's Ears and Awesome Catches
Dwarf Planet: J Saunders (pitching), -20.4%

A fairly active Sunday afternoon gameday thread, totaling nearly 600 comments from 28 users. Rockstarr and hotclaws tied for 1st place with 59 comments apiece, and I was in 3rd place only three comments behind them. (See, if I hadn't been writing the recap during the game...) All present for the roll call were Roll Call: Clefo, justin1985, Rockkstarr12, CardsForTheWin, Prosopis, hotclaws, asteroid, pygalgia, piratedan7, IHateSouthBend, dbacks25, snakecharmer, NASCARbernet, Jim McLennan, 4 Corners Fan, Dallas D'Back Fan, Bryan J. Boltik, Scottyyy, txzona, Smoggie, kishi, bradley281, blue bulldog, Zavada's Moustache, frienetic, UAwildcats, Gravity, and Baseballdad.

Comment of the Day was a close race between hotclaws' pun and piratedan7's outdated-but-never-old political humor. Since hotclaws took the pointless title yesterday, today's goes to:

we're hanging in there

like a chad on a Florida election ballot

I used to be disgusted, now I try to be amused....

by piratedan7 on May 8, 2011 3:23 PM PDT

 

The Diamondbacks have the day off tomorrow as they fly up to San Francisco (SQUEE) for a three-game set beginning Tuesday, but we don't take the day off here at the 'Pit. Check back in for the weekly fantasy recaps and roundtable discussion.

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