Struggling offenses! High profile pitchers that haven't quite lived up to their billing! All the hallmarks of exciting baseball!
Well, no, maybe not. But oddly, something about this matchup still seemed pressing to me- like a playoff game that somehow ended up in late May, rather than October. Was it just low expectations? Was it just a desire to always see Tim Lincecum lose? Who knows. Whatever it was, maybe there was something to look forward to in this game...Ian Kennedy and Tim Lincecum both came with questionable numbers this month, but Lincecum looked like he was in previous form- two Ks in the first inning. Kennedy, for his part, gave up a lead-off single to Gregor Blanco, but he was caught stealing by Miguel Montero's upgraded bionic cannon arm.
Montero was quick to show off he could hit, too, taking a Lincecum pitch to start off the second inning for a quick double. Miggy took third on a ground-out by Paul Goldschmidt, and then scored on a fly-out to Blanco by Ryan Roberts, assisted by Blanco dropping the ball as he transferred it from his glove to his free hand. DBacks take a lead, 1-0.
Kennedy cruised through the next few innings, going 1-2-3 to face the minimum through three innings, but he ran into trouble at the start of the fourth again, when Gregor Blanco decided to make up for his fielding blunder with a lead-off triple. Ryan Theriot's single brought him in easily, and we were in a tie ballgame.
Lincecum continued to allow runners- about one an inning, but the Diamondbacks couldn't get another run in for the next few opportunities. Until the sixth inning, when a very familiar situation came into play, as Paul Goldschmidt faced Lincecum with two outs. Guess how that one ended up. The Giants may be paying Lincecum $18 million this year, but he's owned by Paul Goldschmidt, who took a pitch to deep left to give the Diamondbacks the lead again.
Given the lead again, Ian Kennedy... Well, he stumbled a little. He started the bottom of the sixth by walking Lincecum and Blanco. But, back against the wall, he held. Ryan Theriot tried to put down a bunt, but Kennedy got Lincecum out at third, and then K'd MelkyBuster Posey to keep the Giants from doing anything.and
The Diamondbacks wasted a ground rule double from Aaron Hill in the seventh inning, but they were probably glad to see Tim Lincecum gone after seven. Especially once they saw how effectively his replacement would be. Steve Edlefsen came in to pitch for San Francisco, and was less than effective. He walked Justin Upton to start off the inning, then gave up back to back singles to Miguel Montero and Paul Goldschmidt, with Upton scoring off Goldschmidt's hit. A GIDP from Chris Young moved Montero to third, where a Ryan Roberts single brought him in to score. 4-1, Arizona.
Ian Kennedy stayed in to start the eighth, getting outs from Aubrey Huff and Gregor Blanco, thanks to solid defensive work from Gerardo Parra and Aaron Hill. Kennedy was pulled after a single from Theriot for David Hernandez, who made us worry a bit when he gave up a hit to Cabrera. But a fly out from Buster Posey ended the Giants threat in the eighth, and we were ready to see J.J. Putz come in to close it.
Or not- Putz didn't warm up, suffering from a sore neck, according to Nick Piecoro. Hernandez stayed in to close out the game and take the save. He gave up a single to Angel Pagan to start it off, but sent the next three down to take the save, give the DBacks the win, and avoid the sweep as they head to San Diego.
The Hammer: Paul Goldschmidt (+32.9%)
The Anvil: Ian Kennedy (+24.6%)
The Discard Pile: Willie Bloomquist (-9.3%)
A solid outing from Kennedy- much better than his last few outings. Paul Goldschmidt continues his dominance of Lincecum- four home runs. That's the most any batter has against Timmeh. Not bad for a guy who was called up to the majors last month.
Busy thread tonight, with imstillhungry95 taking first place, with AzDbackfanInDc and hotclaws following up. Also stopping by: Clefo, BattleMoses, JoeCB1991, blank_38, Rockkstarr12, shoewizard, txzona, edbigghead, onedotfive, asteroid, 4 Corners Fan, Jim McLennan, kishi, duckthenchuck, piratedan7, luckycc, Bryan J. Boltik, Turambar, Muu, Joel Preston, since_98, Diamondhacks, Marc Fournier, Bryn21, snakecharmer, PR151, Fangdango, Zavada's Moustache, Circa4life, and DbackCardsFan. Comment of the night goes to luckycc for her comments on the expected events:
Her signature seems fitting, too.
Off to San Diego next, to face the floundering Padres. Can we see some more success there? Really, guys, please? It'd be great.