In many eastern cultures, the rubbing of the Helmet of Furcal brings good fortune for the upcoming harvest.
The D'Backs returned home after a sort of "meh" 5-5 road trip across the East Coast. They faced the defending World Series winners in the St. Louis Cardinals. Joe Saunders took the mound against real-life-game-of-telephone-victim Lance Lynn.
How can I describe Joe's pitching performance? You know the more hyperbolic person in the comments here? You know how they probably reacted to the Saunders trade/signing? You know how they claimed Joe Saunders would pitch every start? He pitched like that.
A brief glimpse of a comeback teased us, but it was not to be. A lot of us saw this game from two different perspectives, thanks to our pals at the excellent Cardinals SBNation blog Viva El Birdos. (I think it is a law that you have to use the adjective "excellent" for every team-specific blog).
|Final - 5.7.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|St. Louis Cardinals||3||0||2||2||0||0||2||0||0||9||13||0|
|WP: Lance Lynn (6 - 0)
SV: Jason Motte (5)
LP: Joe Saunders (2 - 2)
The game had barely started and Rafael Furcal decided to hit a solo home run. How rude of him. Saunders then got two outs but gave up a hit to Allen Craig and then allowed World Series Hero Type Person David Freese to double in the run. Yadier Molina then singled home Freese, with some help from the Uptonzooka shooting a bit high. After the first, it was 3-0 Cardinals.
The bottom of the first started out well enough. Gerardo Parra got a leadoff triple. Your average D'Backs fan was probably thinking "Hooray for good things!", but your 2012 Arizona Diamondbacks are not kind. With runners on second and third with two outs, Cody Ransom promptly struck out. Business as usual.
Top of the 3rd. Joe had an idea. That idea was "Hey, if I can give up one home run, why can't I give up more?" and he proceeded to give up back-to-back jacks to Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday. So yeah. 5-0. In the 4th, Tyler Greene singled and Lynn got on when Miggy "The Not Microwave" decided to throw a slurve to the bag. Furcal then proceeded to bloop one into no-man's land to make it 6-0. After walking Holiday to load the bases, Saunders was done. Enter Brad Ziegler, who promptly walked in the run in four pitches. However, he induced a double play and that was that. 7-0 Cardinals.
The D'Backs hit some balls hard off of Lynn, but they always seemed to find their way into St. Louis mitts. Or, in A.J Pollock's case, they hit a mitt and fall to the ground and it turns into an awkward force play (Reminds me of my college days... which are still, er, happening.)
The D'Backs broke the shutout in the 6th when Cody Ransom continued to play like someone not named Cody Ransom and hit a towering 2-run bomb (452 feet!) off of new pitcher J.C Romero. This was apparently a bad omen for our friends at VEB, who reacted to him like we would react to a Chad Qualls circa 2010 sighting (if you can imagine). He certainly lived up to that reputation. He walked Overbay, gave up a hit to Hill, and then Ryan Roberts laced a two run double to make it 7-4. ZOMG POSSIBLE RALLY.
That ended it for Romero, but Fernando Salas gave up an infield hit to Pollock, and Parra laid down a sick bunt that scored a run and caused him to be safe at first. 7-5. Miguel Montero had a hard and grueling at-bat, but grounded one that got through the hole in the middle and made it 7-6. Squee. Ransom struck out to end the inning, but considering his first at-bat in the inning, I will let it slide.
Bryan Shaw came in and fulfilled his lifelong dream of being Joe Saunders and gave up a long homer to center to Craig. Then again to David Freese. Bryan Shaw cares not for your "momentum". Nothing happened after that, runs wise. 9-6 Cardinals. David Hernandez came in the next half inning and not only flirted with disaster, he gave it his phone number and bought it a few drinks, but it didn't go anywhere and the score stayed the same.
Meekly they went into the night in the 8th, and the Cards did the same in the top of the 9th. To the last half! Jason Motte in to close it for the Cards., Jason Kubel lead off with a single, Miguel "The setting on the toaster for bagels" Montero struck out. Ransom got a single, and Overbay struck out. Aaron Hill grounded out weakly and that was that.
Cardinal Number: Gerardo Parra +11.7%
Cardinal Bellarmine: Shaw, -18%
Cardinal Sin: Saunders, -34.2%
Giving up five home runs between two pitchers will do that to your WPA.
As far as the thread... There were many! The folks at VEB invited us over for a joint GDT, and much fun and consternation and use of aquatic things we can't mention were had. I want to give some thanks for those guys for having us over. Sorry for puking on your rug
In the Snakepit GDT: AzDbackfanInDc almost touched 200 comments, while nobody else was close to 100, present were: 4 Corners Fan, Zavada's Moustache, Clefo, SongBird, asteroid, kishi, snakecharmer, txzona, GuruB, Cardscrazy247, a fink, dbacks25, jjwaltrip, dback4life, luckycc, hotclaws, imstillhungry95, Jim McLennan, Bryan J. Boltik, shoewizard, Muu, Majabe, Wimb, Nauk, Augdogs, fandbacks, azshadowwalker, rfffr, sayheyupton, mrssoco, PR151, Dan Strittmatter, egboyz, Baseballdad, Bcawz, CaptainCanuck, soco
COTN goes to kishi for his explanation of the rec/flag system:
[Note to new posters - this is not actually true, and is in fact the opposite of the truth.]
In the VEB joint thread the following people were there: scoot, a fink, tehzachatak, tomsteele, Clefo, BattleMoses, ISawGodInGibby'sRightArm, lightbulb, tom s., txzona, Zavada's Moustache, luckycc, snakecharmer, CodyG, OurSaviorAaronMiles, TBender, First mammal to wear pants, cschepers, The Continental, joker24, Paulspike, imstillhungry95, il rosso, mysterui, The Ghost of Todd Burns, guayzimi, dbacks25, mojowo11, Hardcore Legend, KlausChadman, lauderdale, stlcardinalsfang, cbk, Britback, YesWeOquendo, hr, mattyp, David201, TheBirds, SongBird, Red Blazer, hangingfromatree, jestanley, burgsonthebat, VolsnCards5, The Classical, stlfan, Bryn21, vico, Robth, ViperLjs, DanUpBaby, saul wright, spants, cardinalswsbound.
That COTN goes to VEB member OurSaviorAaron Miles for this piece of advice that was ultimately ignored:
So we get to do this again against the Cardinals tomorrow at the same time. Are you having fun yet? You should be.
EDIT: I forgot to mention that SnakePitter SongBird sang the National Anthem at tonight's game with her choir (I blame Baseball Ennui). Congratulations to her!