Record: 75-59. Pace: 91-71. Change on 2010: +20. Magic number: 25.
A week ago Diamondback fans were looking at the ominous forecasts for the east coast thinking, "Hey it could be worse, your team could be losers of 6 straight." There are points to each side as to which is worse, natural disasters or soul crushing losing streaks, but in true Gibson-led Dback fashion the team had now won 5 games in a row and headed to Chase today looking to sweep the Padres. Could this team of fate and fortune follow up a 6 game skid with a 6 game win streak? Hit the jump to find out just how today's clash went down.
The Diamondbacks very own "Bearded One" was on the mound this afternoon for the boys in Sedona Red, and had himself quite a game. Ian Kennedy worked 7 innings, giving up one run along with 5 hits, while striking out 7. The long run came off the bat of our old pal Orlando Hudson, who decided to again place the ball in the seats, only this time it was not as helpful. O-Dog went deep to kick off the scoring in the top of a second with a solo shot over the head of Justin Upton. Kennedy's feelings weren't hurt too badly by the former Dback though as he continued on to keep the Padres off of the scoreboard where it counts for the next 5 innings.
The Padres did threaten though in the top of the 4th. With two outs and a runner on third. Logan Forsythe hit a ground ball Ryan Robert's way and it seemed like the inning would soon be over. But Robert's throw forced Paul Goldschmidt to come off the bag enough for Forsythe to scamper by and reach base. Kennedy now had to find a way to find the ever elusive 4th out; he quickly managed to get Andy Parrino to fly out to Chris Young in center. Kennedy was working with a rather small strike zone today, and on a few occasions was left looking at home plate umpire Tim Timmons wondering how his pitch managed to miss the zone.
There were a few hard hit balls here and there off of Kennedy, including a double off the bat of Jesus Guzman in the top of the first inning, which clanked off the balcony in left-center. That seemed ominous at the time, but Kennedy was not to be phased on this afternoon and picked up his NL leading 17th victory. *cough* Cy Young *cough*
The Dbacks offense had a strong day as well, and even featured a couple of firsts. After watching The O-Dog go deep, Colin Cowgill thought to himself that going deep at Chase field didn't seem so hard. And for the first time in his career, he went "oppo" on Padre's starter Cory Luebke into the right field bleachers on a 2-1 fastball that was too tasty to leave alone. Cowgill was not done however, as he continued on to finish 4-4 with 2 RBIs and a triple away from the cycle. Its always fun to watch what could be a breakout game for any major league player and we may have witnessed Cowgill's today, with the only mar on his record being a caught stealing in the 6th.
Aaron Hill also hit his first home run as a Diamondback as he crushed a 2 run bomb to left to give the Diamondbacks a 3-1 lead, and there was no looking back from there. A Goldschmidt walk, Montero single, Cowgill double, Overbay walk, Roberts bases-loaded walk, and Hill single led to 3 runs in the eighth and let Putz sit down and take the day off. Had it not been for an over zealous Roberts (who overran 2nd on the Hill single, leading to a rundown and an out at the plate) this game could have gotten ugly fast for the Padres, with our MVP Justin Upton (1-4 on the day) stranded on deck.
Everybody's favorite slugging first baseman had a tough luck day getting robbed of two possible extra base hits by the villain of the day who goes by the name of Forsythe over on the hot corner. As for Chris Young, he is showing more signs of life going 1-3 with a walk and missing a mammoth homer by a few feet.
The bullpen was solid with Bryan Shaw and Zach Duke both throwing scoreless innings to back up Ian Kennedy's stellar outing, and complete the sweep. The Diamondbacks have won 6 straight now, and the Astros just finished off the Giants in 11 innings to give the Dbacks what feels like a commanding 4 game lead in the NL West. Daniel Hudson goes toe to toe with the Rockies tomorrow as they try to continue to do what they always do - win in late August and September, giving the rest of the NL west indigestion as they slowly climb in the standings. A commanding defeat at the hands of the good guys (aka the Arizona Diamondbacks) would take care of that problem.
Over 750 comments today, with Craig from Az leading the way, over dbacks25 and imstillhungry95, but only five comments separated those three. Also taking part: Rockkstarr12, diamondfacts, NASCARbernet, leaflover4ever, kishi, since_98, Jim McLennan, txzona, UofAZGrad, 4 Corners Fan, sonic barracuda, Brian MacKinney, blue bulldog, asteroid, Dallas D'Back Fan, AZDBACKR, hotclaws, DivineWolfwood, Stile4aly, Scottyyy, Clefo, Zavada's Moustache, Gibbysdad, BattleMoses, Dan Strittmatter, CaptainCanuck, Cardscrazy247, Augdogs, blank_38, AcucracK, Suns R Us, piratedan7 and dbacksfann.
Comment of the day goes to Dallas D'Back Fan for this creative submission that I'm sure Tim Timmons was none too pleased with:
"We lead the league in love." -Mark Grace