Record: 88-65. Pace: 93-69. Change on last season: +26. Magic Number: 5
Two guys stole the show this afternoon in a game the D-backs needed, in order to counter punch the Giants, who have won 7 in a row coming in. Joe Saunders pitched into the ninth inning and Paul Goldschmidt drove in three with two hits and a homer. more on Saundo, Goldy, and the streak snapper after the jump.
The game got off to a good start in top of the first when, with two out, Justin Upton reached on a blooper and Miggy walked, to bring up Paul Goldschmidt - who immediately grounded out to end the threat. In the bottom of the first, Joe Saunders foreshadowed the rest of the game by sending the Padres down in order. Saundo made things interesting in the second by loading the bases after a walk to the catcher. That brought up padre pitcher Aaron Harang with two outs but it was all for naught, because Harang grounded out.
The D-backs tried to start a rally in the third, getting back to back hits by Parra and Hill setiing up a 1st and 3rd with one out with MVP candidate Justin Upton at the plate: he quickly decided to listen to Mark Grace and put the ball in play - because we all know, "Good things happen when you put the ball in the play." However, this time, that wasnt quite so, as he grounded into an inning ending double-play.
In the Padre half of the third, Cameron Maybin led off with a single and quickly advanced to third on a Miguel Montero throwing error. Maybin would score on a groundout to give the Padres an early 1-0 lead. Montero was set to lead off in the fourth and made amends for his throwing error, crushing a homer to deep center to tie the game at one. Goldschmidt would then walk and advance to third on a stolen base and a groundout by CY, but would be stranded after J-Mac and Saundo could not get him home. The Padres half of the fourth and the entire fifth inning were pretty uneventful, so we will jump ahead to the top of the sixth.
Paul Goldschmidt led off the sixth and sent a ball deep to the opposite field, over the wall and halfway up the stands for his eighth homer of the season, giving the D-backs the lead, 2-1. Saundo had help in the bottom of the inning with an O-Dog double play ball. The Padres went to their pen in the seventh and it came back to bite them with Aaron Hill driving in Parra who walked and advanced to second on a passed ball followed by an intentional walk to Miggy and a big time RBI single by Goldschmidt which extended the dbacks lead to 4-1.
Saundo pitched around an Alberto Gonzalez double in the bottom of the inning to keep the lead intact. In the eighth the D-backs spoiled a leadoff hit by McDonald to keep the lead at 3. Joe continued to dominate the Padres in the eighth, a 7-pitch inning sending them down in order. In the ninth J-Up was hit again by a pitch - his 18th of the season. He advanced to third on a Padre throwing error, and scored on a Goldschmidt Sac-Fly for Paul's third RBI of the game.
The Dbacks lead was four headed to the last of the ninth. That set up Joe Saunders to get a complete game but after two quick outs the padres got a couple of singles which unfortunately brought an end to his day. Gibby brought in JJ to get the final out; and he did, by striking out Nick Hundley to end the game. This brings the magic number down to 5 headed into the final home stand of the season.
[Click to enlarge, at fangraphs.com]
In honor of Jim's new sig...
The Doctor: Paul Goldschmidt, +27.4%
Assistants: Saunders, +26.6%; Hill +13.7%; Montero, +12.7%
The Master: Geoff Blum, -13.3%
A Dalek: Justin Upton, -10.5%
Certainly a happier thread this afternoon, especially after Goldy's bomb gave Arizona the lead. You could sense the pressure being release with each subsequent run. Almost 750 comments when I roll-called, with imstillhungry95 outslugging Rockkstarr12, 161-151. NASCARbernet was third, back in the nineties. Also taking part: AZDBACKR, Jim McLennan, soco, dbacks4life, asteroid, Dallas D'Back Fan, Ian A, BulldogsNotZags, snakecharmer, Clefo, Husk, Zavada's Moustache, azshadowwalker, Backin'the'Backs, diamondintherough, CaptainCanuck, dbacks25, Muu, DbacksSkins, Baseballdad, jinnah, oldspartan, blue bulldog, Stile4aly and hotclaws (get well soon!).
And finally before I go I want to give something a try. On another one of my SBN sites, Turf Show Times they do something cool called the quick five - which is just like it sounds, giving five quick observations on the game by giving a player a thumbs up or thumbs down. So here it goes...
Thumbs up: Joe Saunders, he pitched a beautiful ballgame and gibby should have let him finish it off.
Thumbs up: Goldschmidt, A Homer and three RBI's nuff said.
Thumbs up: JJ Putz, save number 41 of the season
Thumbs Down: Chris Young, couple of K's again didnt do much today
Thumbs Down: Gerardo Parra, Went 1 for 4 with a rare error
Comment of the Game: Only one turned green but it had nothing to do with the game so im going to give it to Rockkstarr12
Forget the Cowbell...
I've got a fever, and the only prescription is MORE GOLDSCHMIDT!