SAN DIEGO, CA - APRIL 12: Jason Kubel #13 of the Arizona Diamondbacks hits an RBI double during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on April 12, 2012 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Record: 5-1. Pace: 135-27. Change on last year: +2.
The beginning of the season is a terrible time to gauge a team. Maybe the games are all blow-outs, a la 2008, and you think everything will be perfect. Or maybe all the games are 1 run affairs and your ace pitcher looks shaky. We haven't reached our groove yet, and I'll admit that the first inning made me feel awfully nervous.
|Final - 4.12.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|San Diego Padres||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||5||1|
|WP: Ian Kennedy (2 - 0)
SV: J.J. Putz (4)
LP: Micah Owings (0 - 2)
It certainly wasn't a barnburner offensively. The two teams combined for 11 hits, and either PetCo Park is up to its usual tricks, or the Diamondbacks haven't put it all together yet. Luckily the pitching was stellar, which makes it awfully easy to ride out minimal hitting.
Kennedy certainly didn't start strong. After he gave up a lead-off triple to Cameron Maybin, and then followed it with allowing an RBI single from Will Venable, this recap starting floating up from the deepest fears of my subconscious. I imagined writing a recap fraught with Diamondbacks pitchers self-conflagrating, the oily smoke filling the air of the Snakepit. It smelled like napalm, sure, but it didn't smell like victory.
My bizarre fantasy was all for nothing, though, when Kennedy proceeded to strike out the side, and giving up only 3 hits after letting in the first run. Although he only lasted 6 innings, he was en fuego. 9 K's, only 1 walk, and only 1 ER is pretty dang good. Getting a little deeper, there is some concern about the slight loss of velocity on Kennedy's fastball, and all of his pitches had less movement than what he normally gets (at least if my cursor look at Brooks Baseball's Pitch/FX data says anything). We'll see if this ends up being anything more, but Kennedy lucked out by facing an inept Padres offense.
The Padres countered Kennedy with A Bass, and I think this might be the first time a fish has started a major league game. Oh, wait. Anthony Bass was the pitcher, and although he was also fairly dominant, he was pulled after only 4.1 innings, even though he only gave up 3 hits, 1 ER, 2 walks, all while striking out 5. The Padres would have to piece together the rest of the game through the bullpen, and they got burned twice.
The less said about the offense for either team is probably for the best. Jason Kubel did what Parra couldn't, literally, because Parra was on the bench, by giving the the Diamondbacks the lead in the top of the 6th. He hit a double off Micah Owings that scored the ever lucky Willie Bloomquist, who was on base due to an error. The lead would be extended and finalized in the 8th inning with a solo blast by Chris Young, who, by the way, has quietly started off to one hell of a season.
JJ Putz was called to come in for the save, and outside of the pesky Orlando Hudson, made it look easy with no baserunners allowed. He's now 4 for 4 in save opportunities this season, and hasn't blown a save since last June against the Indians. Also of note tonight was the extraordinary appearance of Josh Spence, Former Sun Devil, who managed the feat of 1 pitch and 1 out for .1 inning of work. No word on whether Spence knows Andre Ethier.
This Guy: Aaron Hill (20%)
Other Guys: Chris Young (17%), Ian Kennedy (15.9%)
Busta: Ryan Roberts (0.2%)
Also Hangin' Out the Side of His Best Friend's Ride: Justin Upton (2.1%)
I don't remember ever recapping a game where there was no one in the negative for WPA. I'm suspicious of this outcome. Fairly busing GDT today, with 39 users combining for over 700 comments. No one crossed the century mark, but at the head of the pack was AzDbackfanInDc. He was joined by: Roll Call: Muu, Stupendous Man, Bcawz, CaptainCanuck, txzona, Clefo, 4 Corners Fan, asteroid, rd33, Dan Strittmatter, NASCARbernet, BattleMoses, Zavada's Moustache, Bryn21, hotclaws, SongBird, snakecharmer, piratedan7, SenSurround, Rockkstarr12, luckycc, AzDbackfanInDc, The so-called Beautiful, ShucksBoWalter, Tucson d-back fan, Augdogs, dbacks25, Jim McLennan, PR151, Backin'the'Backs, rfffr, DivineWolfwood, TinySarabia, Dallas D'Back Fan, blank_38, azshadowwalker, DbacksSkins, jjwaltrip, AZDBACKR.
Comment of the day goes to asteroid for this gem:
Out of San Diego and onto Denver. Hopefully the change locale will reawaken the Diamondbacks' bats, and get things going. Still, we're two series into the season and sit at 4-1, effectively at the top of the division. Tomorrow we pray to the bear gods, so that they may grant us the strength to destroy the Rockies once and for all.