Record: 41-34. Pace: 89-73. Change on last season: +12
The results of this game seemed to hang on a few defensive plays. A couple of double plays and Xavier Nady's knockdown which kept the Royals from scoring in the 6th. Hopes were raised by Justin Upton getting his 31st hit in the first inning with two outs but Chris Young failed to get on base. And that looked like being the pattern for the night...
It was a very disappointing game through the next two innings with the Diamondbacks not getting anywhere near the ball and Ian Kennedy being fouled off a lot by the Royals racking his pitch count up in a way which did not bode well. (The Pit lost interest in the game and started discussing the weather.) It was the bottom of the third when things got interesting. For a start, Gameday crashed on me and as I was a last minute substitute recapper, I was pretty sure there was no back up. Got it back up in time to find that Chris Getz had scored from 3rd on a hit from Eric Hosner which luckily turned into a double play saving further embarrassment. It did not look good for the Diamondbacks, it was turning into a cheap horror movie; we couldn't buy a hit, and the Royals were wearing out Kennedy's arm.
In the 4th, Kennedy walked Jeff Francoeur which is apparently impossible, Mike Moustakas hit for a single and it looked like the team was about to get creamed when a great double play by Kelly Johnson got us out of trouble. Johnson may have been ineffective at the plate, but that play kept the Dbacks in the hunt.
This seemed to shoot some life into the team like Dr. Frankenstein with his monster during a thunderstorm. Drew started it of with a single, then Wily Mo Peña came up to bat to show us the value of the designated hitter, which he did by getting a fielder's choice with Drew out at 2nd. He made up for it however by racing to 3rd on a sneaky hit Miggy got through the infield. This meant that Nady's double easily got him home with Willie B.'s base hit. Score 2-1. The safety squeeze bunt by Ryan Roberts was effective and the score was 3-1. We might have built on this but Kelly asked for time out, didn't get it (why,I'd like to know), then struck out. Still, it was a nice clutch of baseball.
Now all we had to do was hang on to the lead. Sure there were calls from the 'Pit for insurance runs but that's like asking teenagers in a haunted house not to wander off. Young did reach base but Drew hit into another double play to stab a stake through the heart of that hope. IPK was on 90 pitches by now. Alex Gordon took advantage and flashed a double which CY heroically stopped from being a three bagger. Kennedy then pitched in on Jeff Francour, forcing him to hit straight to Drew. Nady grabbed the ball to stop damage by Mike Moustakas. IPK was obviously tiring, Gibby came out but he shook him off and finished strong to get out of it.
Gameday crashed again like a poltergeist possessed it, but the thread kindly let me know Micah Owings had a bit of a horrorshow with Hosmer's two out RBI triple scoring Getz. So, back to a one run game again. Like one of those nightmares that keep repeating themselves. Aaron Crow came in for the Royals. Bloomquist grounded out, RyRo was out on a filthy breaking ball and Kelly just slumped.
David Hernandez came in, making some people sure he would need a bionic arm soon. Gerardo Parra came in for Bloomquist, probably an inning or two too late as far as some fans were concerned. But David slung out the Royals to protect the lead.
Crow was back out like a harbinger of doom. It began to look like we had needed those insurance runs as JUp struck out, Young walked but was out on the double play Drew hit into.
J.J. Putz came but was far from an Easy Button. He got the first two outs but Getz went to first and, encouraged by the noisy crowd, stole 2nd. Then, like a bad dream, he stole 3rd. As part of some mad scientist like plan, Putz then walked Cabrera and Jarrod Dyson came in to run for him. However, a pop up to Drew finished it off giving Kennedy the win and Putz his 19th save. Not an easy game to watch but the gameday thread kept alight candles of hope in the dreary dark and were rewarded for it. Though the team did it on only five hits to the Royals' 10.
[Click to enlarge, at fangraphs.com]
Beef panang: Ian Kennedy, +22.8%
Spicy red curry: Putz, +20.8%; Hernandez, +14.5%; Nady, +12.4%
Tofu surprise: Kelly Johnson, -8.6%
It was a popular but quiet GDT tonight, with 36 users present but fewer than 700 comments in total. Bryan J. Boltik led them all, with SongBird and imstillhungry close to each other in second and third. All present were: piratedan7, Clefo, dbacks25, NASCARbernet, emilylovesthedbacks, Bryan J. Boltik, paqs, hotclaws, imstillhungry95, SongBird, ZonaBacks10, 4 Corners Fan, Zavada's Moustache, dback4life, Sabean's_Folly, kishi, Dallas D'Back Fan, justin1985, Rockkstarr12, Brian MacKinney, xmet, iheartdbacks, rfffr, Coach Cleats, asteroid, Cup Noodles, DJPJ, Jdub220, snakecharmer, Stile4aly, Wimb, blue bulldog, CaptainCanuck, Cfarris, mrssoco, and Jim McLennan.
Comment of the day was this group, just because it made me laugh.
Aaron Crow T. Robot in for the Royals
by Clefo on Jun 22, 2011 10:19 PM EDT
by piratedan7 on Jun 22, 2011 10:20 PM EDT
by Bryan J. Boltik on Jun 22, 2011 10:20 PM EDT
Going for the sweep tomorrow I hope.