Record: 51-44; Pace: 87-75; Change on last season: +14
After a split of the first 2 games of this 3 game series with the Dodgers, I think we were expecting, or at least hoping for, a shutdown performance from one of our best pitchers, Daniel Hudson. Hudson, looking for his 10th win of the season, definitely lived up to those expectations, with his bat, and his arm. Take a trip to 21 Jump Street for more details.
Huddy began the game with a nice and smooth 1-2-3 inning, the first of 3 consecutive for him to start proceedings. In our half of the first, everyone's favorite utility player (though some more than others) Willie Bloomquist led off with a perfectly placed bunt single. A few fielder's choices and a Chris Young strikeout later, the DBacks came away empty handed.
Scoring was opened in the bottom of the 2nd by Tatman himself, Ryan Roberts, hitting his 12th homer of the season into the waiting, welcoming left field stands, much to the contentment of Rockkstarr12, and putting the DBacks in the lead 1-0. The Dodgers didn't get a baserunner until the top of the 4th, with Tony Gwynn Jr.'s leadoff bunt single (not nearly as awesome and wonderful as Willie Bloomquist's), and after Gwynn moved up to 2nd on a Juan Uribe groundout (surprise, surprise), Huddy traversed the two most feared hitters in the Dodger lineup, getting Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp to line out to left field and shortstop respectively.
L.A.'s first real threat came in the top of the 5th, with Aaron Miles and Juan Uribe singling to left center bookending a James Loney lineout to Chris Young. After Rod Barajas hit a slow grounder to shortstop to move the runners to 2nd and 3rd, Hudson had to face the nervous breakdown inducing figure of Ted Lilly, his starting pitching counterpart in today's game. Huddy made quick work of Lilly, getting an easy grounder to third to end the threat, and Lilly was able to keep from slamming his bat down in disgust on the way back to the dugout.
The 1-0 scoreline was nearly evened in the top of the 6th by Andre Ethier, who seemed to have homered to center field upon contact with a Hudson fastball, but Chris Young was able to run it down near the wall. Hudson was leading off the bottom of the 6th, and he did so in quite a fashion, hitting his first career homerun way, way back, I mean DEEP in to the first row in left field, and receiving the silent treatment from his teammates once back in the dugout. Due to legal obligations, I must now use the phrase, "Helping his own cause." Now that we got that outta the way, on to the rest of the game.
The Dodgers struck right back in the next half inning, getting a Matt Kemp leadoff single, and what could have been an inning ending double play lineout to shortstop Stephen Drew, but actually ended up being a single to center for James Loney, resulting in a 1st and 3rd, 1 out scenario for Huddy. After a Juan Uribe popout(Surprise, Surprise), Hudson seemed like he'd be able to wiggle out of another jam, but it wasn't to be as an 0-1 slider to Rod Barajas skipped away from Miguel Montero, scoring Kemp to cut L.A.'s deficit in half.
All nervousness was squelched in our half of the 7th however, after C.Y. led off with a single and Drew bunted him to second, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly seemed to want to change his nickname from Donnie Baseball to Donnie Intentional Base On Ball, intentionally walking Ryan Roberts to get to All Star Miguel Montero, and after Miggy moved the runners to second and third with a ground out, intentionally walking Xavier Nady to load the bases and bring up Daniel Hudson. At this point, Mattingly removed Ted Lilly, and brought on Blake Hawksworth (who might be the only player in MLB history with a succesive W, K, S, W in either his first or last name) to face Huddy. On a 1-2 pitch, Huddy laced a clean single in to left field, plating C.Y. and RyRo, and ultimately ending the inning with Nady being thrown out trying to get to 3rd.
Seemingly brimming with confidence due to his recent successes at the plate, Hudson dominated on the mound in the last 2 innings, producing 1-2-3 retirements in each, and ending the game on the perfect note, with a strikeout of Aaron Miles for a Complete game, 5 hit, 1 earned run, 3 strikeout victory. This, coupled with a Padre win over the Giants (tied at 3 in extra innings at moment of typing) could bode well for the Diamondbacks in reclaiming first place in the near future.
It's the sixth time in franchise history a pitcher has had a monster day offensively and defensively, being both #1 and #2 in WPA. Most recently it was Dan Haren in 2009, Brandon Webb in 2008, Micah Owings in 2007, Enrique Gonzalez in 2006 and Elmer Dessens in 2003. Only Elmer's numbers were better than Hudson's, and yet he didn't even pitch all 9 innings... how does that work....
Fairly quiet GameDay Thread today, maybe some folks drinking away the sorrow of the US Women's World Cup final defeat in penalty kicks. snakecharmer led the commenting with a 48 spot, txzona coming in second with 45, and NASCARbernet in 3rd with 42. The gang that was all there: snakecharmer, Jim McLennan, Rockkstarr12, UAwildcats, diamondfacts, BulldogsNotZags, C. Wesley Baier, xmet, Clefo, rfffr, hotclaws, txzona, NASCARbernet, 4 Corners Fan, Husk, since_98, TinySarabia, Dallas D'Back Fan, shoewizard, Jdub220, piratedan7, AZDBACKR, blue bulldog
Comment of the day goes to Clefo, summing up our thoughts of the exploits of Daniel Hudson on this day:
And of course, as I finish this recap, the Giants take the lead in extras. Oh well, at least we won't lose any ground. Thanks to Jim and everyone for allowing me to recap this game, I'm glad it came for a winning effort!