It's been a while since they've had cause for such celebration, and Justin Upton is a little out of habit.
After the past few days of Diamondbacks baseball, I think we're all a little tired. A little worn. A little concerned about just what this team is going through, and how we're suffering through it. And with Joe Saunders on the mound, after his less than stellar past few outings, maybe we didn't really come into the game with a lot of hope. Okay, maybe we didn't come into the game with any hope. Maybe we came into the game with a lot of dark, cynical, bitter pessimism.
Ugh! Leadoff double to Elian Herrera to start the top of the first inning. Obviously, Joe Saunders was still struggling, this game was going to just be another struggle to get through for the entire Diamondbacks organization, let's juzst give up on the whole season an- Oh, wait, sorry, then Joe decided he got his early inning jitters out of the way and struck out the side. Well. Okay then. Vast over-reaction returned to it's holster for the time being.
But our offense! Surely our offense, after a momentary outburst yesterday, would shudder and tumble back into the invetiable decay that it has been suffering from lately. Ah, yes, Willie Bloomquist begins it with a fly ball to right field for an out. Ah, yes, we're we know how this is going. And Ryan Roberts follows it up with a fly out... of the park to deep left field. Huh. For a 1-0 lead. Well, fine, but obviously just a fluke. See? Justin Upton can't even connect on a pitch here, he- walks? Okay... And Goldschmidt does the same thing with two outs! These are our power guys? Guh, and then we have to rely on Aaron Hill. Well, okay, fine, Hill gets a single that scores J-Up. But Parra Ks to only allow two runs in! That's all! It'll never hold up!
Fine, and then maybe, just maybe, we'll get a Willie Bloomquist triple to score Henry Blanco in the bottom of the second. And Willie B. will score on a sac fly. And we'll see Paul Goldschmidt double and steal third in the third, scoring on a Parra single. Maybe we'll be up 5-0 after three innings. But the fourth! Oh, what horrors will the fourth inning hold for us!
An A.J. Ellis home run, that's what! A solo shot, sure, and no other hits, but it's the beginning of the end! The deluge begins here, while our offense collapses! Right?
Well, Bloomquist and Ryan Roberts reached to start the inning, and then a triple from- Jason Kubel? Well, it was aided by the park, to be sure, a ball that clanked off the wall in right and rolled far, far away from the glove of Bobby Abreu. A slightly speedier player may have turned that in to an inside-the-park home run, but Matt Williams held Kubel up- from the right-handed batter's box. An Aaron Hill single simultaneously brought in Jason Kubel and chased Ted Lilly from the game, with the DBacks up 8 to 1. Lilly's 5-0 record was not looking so pristine.
But not content with just embarrassing the Dodgers on the mound, Joe Saunders decided to show off his prowess at the plate. Okay, well, a single is prowess for a pitcher. And his prowess on the basepaths! Taking second on a passed ball counts, right? Saunders took third on a Bloomquist single, and then scored on a groundout from Ryan Roberts, which officially gave every Diamondbacks starter a run or an RBI on the night- or both, in most cases. Justin upton followed that up with a home run to right, and the Diamondbacks piled on a commanding 11 to 1 lead over Los Angeles after five.
Saunders continued to be effective through the sixth inning, but ran out of gas in the seventh. A walk and two singles loaded the bases, and the Dodgers got runs on a Dee Gordon ground-out and a James Loney single. Saunders was pulled for Shaw, who gave up a fielder's choice that allowed another run to score, though he eventually got Tony Gwynn Jr. to ground out and end the inning. Saunders's line on the night was 6.1 innings, 4 earned runs and 7 strike-outs. Not a bad outing from him.
The Diamondbacks threatened in the bottom of the eighth, with Josh Collmenter walking to load the bases- not often you'll see your reliever get a plate appearance- but couldn't get a run in. Collmenter gave two good innings from the bullpen, going 1-2-3 in the eighth, and then getting a game inning double play from James Loney. DBacks pull out a big win 11-4, and avoid the sweep.
Parra's -1.7% was the only negative outing from anyone else (other than Saunders's batting total) so let's just enjoy the team going out and doing some damn fine work today. Yeah, not going to see that too often, with positive WPA contributions from 11 of the 12 players who appeared on the field. A good solid outing from everyone, really. Nice to see it after so many struggles lately.
Busy day in the comments, passing 1000. imstillhungry95 had the top spot, but I believe the UN is sending in monitors for a hand recount. AzDbackfanInDc and Bryan J. Boltik, who took second and third, will be eagerly awaiting the results of that report. Also stopping by were blank_38, dbacks79, hotclaws, Muu, luckycc, Clefo, asteroid, duckthenchuck, Jim McLennan, BattleMoses, piratedan7, JoeCB1991, shoewizard, CaptainCanuck, snakecharmer, porty99, Rockkstarr12, Ridster09, ISawGodInGibby'sRightArm, kishi, SongBird, Zavada's Moustache, soco, Marc Fournier, and DbackCardsFan.
So the Diamondbacks avoid the sweep, and we struggle to fight off the encroaching feel of baseball-induced ennui for another day. Maybe we've seen the offense remember how that weird sticks are supposed to work at the plate? Or maybe we've just gone up against Ted Lilly and Aaron Harang the past few days. Only time will tell. But, for at least another day or so, we, the fans, should relax and enjoy this win.