Record: 67-53. Pace: 90-72. Change on last year: +20.
Another year, another set of Snakepitfests down. What started as a small get-together at the last game of the 2007 season has grown in to a rather raucous affair. Opposing left fielders fear us, opposing fans hate us, and women and children everywhere adore us, we are the Snakepit.
We gathered today to watch your first place Diamondbacks take on the New York Metropolitans. How Queens is metropolitan I'll never understand, but that's a question for another day. Instead, as play started we wondered whether Daniel Hudson would bounce back from a horrendous start against the Astros earlier this week, if the Diamondbacks could keep their 2 game lead in the West, and whether people who start the Wave are actually people.
The answers to these questions and more, after the jump.
Things started innocuously enough. Daniel Hudson only need three pitches to strikeout Angel Pagan looking, and it seemed to be a sign of good things to come. He finished the next two batters with 6 more pitches, and was cruising. The offense took the field and quickly set things in motion. Ryan Roberts led things off with an one out double, and was brought home by a Justin Upton single. Our MVP candidate then took off for second on the next pitch, and was awarded for his aggression with a bad throw that allowed him to advance to third. Miguel Montero, our All-Star catcher, took the next pitch for a ride and a sacrifice fly, and the Diamondbacks were up 2-0.
Things didn't stay rosy for long. In the top of the 2nd the Mets responded with a pair of runs of their own. Jason Bay, our preferred heckling target of the day, hit a single off Roberts' glove. He was then moved up to second with a two out single by Mike Baxter. Both runners advanced when Montero couldn't control a pitch in the dirt, and both scored with a double by Ruben Tejada.
Daniel Hudson started strong, but frankly didn't look that great for the rest of the game. Although he would end the game with 8 innings pitched and only 2 earned runs given up, the rest of the numbers didn't look that hot: 8 hits, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts. One thing I noticed as I was filling out my scorecard is he served up too many first pitch balls and was constantly behind. Only 62% of his pitches were for strikes, and 18 of the 34 batters he faced saw a ball first. In the 4th inning, one that gave him particular trouble, he showed a ball to every batter faced but the last one.
That 4th inning felt like a tide going out. Ronny Paulino started things with a one out double. He then scored when Baxter hit a triple that went over Chris Young's head in center. Mike Pelfrey, looking to extend his lead, then hit an RBI single to give the visitors a 4-2 lead.
MIke Pelfrey was fairly solid, but had to leave the game at the start of the 5th after a Gerardo Parra batted ball struck him on his pitching elbow. The bullpen would piece together a game that was less than acceptable, eventually allowing the Diamondbacks back into a game that almost felt like they were on the verge of letting slip away. The combined line of the Mets pitchers was 5 earned runs on 7 hits, only 1 walk, and 8 strikeouts. It should be noted that Golden Rookie Paul Goldschmidt was half of the K's, and earned his first golden sombrero of hopefully a great and long career.
It's not a stretch to say that the Mets were one pitch from winning this game. DJ Carrasco, in to relieve Pelfrey in the 5th, did not look solid from the start. He got ahead of Willie Bloomquist with a 1-2 count, but then hit the former Sun Devil on his 4th pitch, putting 2 on with no outs for Roberts. The Dread Pirate Roberts didn't even bother seeing what Carrasco was all about, opting instead to tattoo the first ball he saw into the left field bleachers to give the Diamondbacks a 5-4 lead.
Daniel Hudson was able to help himself and tack on an insurance run in the 6th inning, continuing this strange trend of Diamondbacks pitchers being able to hit. Kelly Johnson hit a one out double, and seemed to be in danger of being stranded after Gerardo Parra grounded out to first. Hudson came up to the plate, took one strike, then hit the ball hard enough to not only get a single but bring Johnson around to extend the lead to 6-4.
The game wound down from there, and we saw JJ Putz make an appearance. The Mets didn't present too much trouble after this point, and the Diamondbacks were able to cruise to a victory, maintaining their 2 game lead in the division.
It should be noted that twice after scoring runs, first in the 5th and then again in the 6th, people in our nearby sections decided it was an excellent time to start the Wave. I don't know what drives people to start the Wave in the first place, but I'm especially distrustful of people that start when your team is still batting, and attempting to add on runs. Is there nothing sacred in the world anymore? Luckily the ladies behind us joined us in not only booing but trying to chant down the Wave with, "Kill the Wave" and "Watch the game, Kill the Wave."
Manhattan: Ryan Roberts (32%)
The nice parts of Brooklyn: Justin Upton (11.1%), JJ Putz (8.1%), Daniel Hudson (7.5%)
Queens: Paul Goldschmidt (-7.3%)
Tourists that clog up all the sidewalks: Chris Young (-7%)
A fairly active Gameday Thread, at least if we're going by total users. 43 people combined to make 530 posts. txzona was our top participant with 74 posts, and he was joined by: sonic barracuda, TRTFSHR, Dan Strittmatter, hotclaws, Bcawz, fandbacks, DbacksSkins, BulldogsNotZags, Azreous, since_98, Jdub220, asteroid, kishi, imstillhungry95, rfffr, GuruB, snakecharmer, Jm3, Brian MacKinney, Zavada's Moustache, 4 Corners Fan, Jargamus Prime, jinnah, SongBird, Stile4aly, AZDBACKR, Muu, The so-called Beautiful, shoewizard, jryanwalters, Craig from Az, njjohn, cbspga, dbacksfaninGA, porty99, Shums, oldspartan, YoungCardsFanatic, TinySarabia, DivineWolfwood, yogi1321, Reynolds rapper.
Comment of the Day goes to the lady sitting behind me, who at one point mentioned to her friend:
"Add to my list of things I look for in a man, along with a 401K: a good heckler."
We are nothing if not good at that at Snakepitfests. It was great to see everyone again, and put some new faces to names. I don't have an exhaustive list of all the people, so I apologize.
Also, it should be noted that the wife and I smuggled in a lucky mascot: a purple My Little Pony. Yes, Pony Power lives on. Let's hope it helps drive the team to another win tomorrow against the Mets. The Diamondbacks need to stock up on wins before heading on next week's hellish roadtrip. First pitch is at 1:40pm Arizona time, so be here, Chase Field, or somewhere else. Those are literally your only choices.