Diamondbacks 7, Mariners 1: Cycles and Miley Make Everyone Smiley

This guy.

Record: 33-34. Pace: 80-82. Change on 2011: -4. Change on 2010: +7.

Before this game, I had never heard anyone pronounce Hector Noesi's name before. Apparently, it's pronounced similarly to "No easy." As in:

Diamondback fans: "So you guys aren't going to get shut out again, are you?"

Diamondbacks: "No."

Diamondback fans: "Does that mean you're going to win tonight?"

Diamondbacks: "Easy."


Final - 6.18.2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Seattle Mariners 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 9 1
Arizona Diamondbacks 3 0 1 0 0 2 1 0 X 7 11 0
WP: Wade Miley (8 - 3)
LP: Hector Noesi (2 - 8)

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Wade Miley would genuinely be hard-pressed to repeat his results from his last start, where he went 7.2 innings against the best offensive team in baseball, going a grounder to Ryan Roberts away from throwing a shutout. But luckily, his endeavor was aided by the fact that the Mariners are decidedly not the best offense in baseball. Wade Miley exploited this fact in the first inning, dismissing the M's in nine pitches, with only a two-out single as a blemish. Then came the offense.

Hector Noesi's BABIP going into the game was .223. And as people who don't understand probability would say, this means he's due to give up some more fluky base hits. However, these people would be vindicated in the first inning. Wilie Bloomquist did his thing, which is to say he hit a ground ball single to right field. Aaron Hill followed up with a seeing-eye single (file this away for later), and Justin Upton did likewise. Upton's single prompted Matt Williams to send Bloomquist, setting up a play at the plate where Bloomquist steamrolled Jesus Montero. Well, insofar as Bloomquist can "steamroll" anyone. Montero dropped the ball and the Diamondbacks scored their first run in literally forever 21 innings.

Weirdly, the scoring didn't stop there. Jason Kubel and Paul Goldschmidt both made outs productively, and the Diamondbacks left the first inning up 3-0.

The second inning saw two radically different plate appearances from pitchers. Hector Noesi, who had somehow gone his entire professional career without logging an at-bat, realized that it would go more quickly if he just swung at everything. To his credit, he actually nicked strike two foul. Good for him. Meanwhile Wade Miley, who is within decimal points of being tied with Justin Upton for offensive fWAR, chuckled and laced a double down the line in the bottom of the inning. Unfortunately, he forgot he was a pitcher and got thrown out on the play at third. This paragraph only exists to emphasize how enjoyable it can be to watch pitchers hit. Silly American League.

Evidently not realizing they were playing the Mariners with Wade Miley on the mound, the D-Backs felt the need to add on some more runs. Aaron Hill tripled (file this away for later) to start off the bottom of the third, and was driven in on a Justin Upton fly-out. 4-0 dudes in red, and Wade Miley pretty much took it from there.

It's probably not accurate to say that Miley was at his best tonight. He looked fairly hittable at times, leaving balls up in the zone that occasionally got flicked into the outfield. He gave up nine hits to a ball club collectively batting .234 one start after holding the best offense in baseball to three hits. But the nature of those hits was what truly mattered. Only two went for extra bases, and only one occurred with runners in scoring position. More importantly, he didn't walk a soul. At one point, I wrote in my notes "Franklin Gutierrez doubles to right, stranded because Wade Miley," which pretty much sums up the start. He gave up some hits but pitched well despite them. Because Wade Miley.

Other than a run in the top of the sixth that the Diamondbacks responded to in the bottom of the inning, the Mariners never came close to threatening. So why am I still writing? Because of history, that's why. Aaron Hill doubled down the line in the fifth inning (file that away for later), and then finally hit a home run in the seventh. Have you been filing these away? Because AARON HILL JUST HIT FOR THE MONKEYFIGHTIN' CYCLE! According to Baseball-Almanac.com, Aaron Hill became the fifth Diamondback to hit for the cycle, joining Gonzo, Stephen Drew, Greg Colbrunn, and Kelly Johnson in rarefied air.

But really, the cycle was just a delicious cherry on top of an absolute sundae of a game. Every Diamondback hitter other than Chris Young reached base at least once. Yes, even Josh Bell. Wade Miley was typically good, and the Diamondbacks also made some nice defensive plays. It was one of the more complete victories of the season, and it was great fun to watch.


Source: FanGraphs. And based on Seattle musical artists:

Nirvana: Wade Miley (21.9%)
Soundgarden: Aaron Hill (11.6%)
Sir-Mix-A-Lot: Chris Young (-0.25%)

As for the gamethread, AzDbackfanInDC led the way, followed by Clefo and Imstillhungry95. Also appearing were:

Roll Call: Ridster09, luckycc, asteroid, GuruB, hotclaws, Clefo, dbacks79, AzDbackfanInDc, txzona, porty99, $-The Moneyman-$, SongBird, Jim McLennan, Dallas D'Back Fan, imstillhungry95, marionette, Zavada's Moustache, 4 Corners Fan, Rockkstarr12, shoewizard, onedotfive, Muu, PR151, BattleMoses, piratedan7, jinnah, since_98, TinySarabia, Wimb, CaptainCanuck, Majabe, Bryan J. Boltik, Stupendous Man

Comment of the day goes to Rockkstarr12, who got this in just under the wire:

Aaron Hill

A=Awesome
A=Amazing
R=Relentless
O=Outstanding
N=Natural

H=Hard-working
I=Incredible
L=Lovely
L=Legendary

Welcome Back Bazooka Joe!!!

Geoff Blum: BEST hair in the Major Leagues!

by Rockkstarr12 on Jun 18, 2012 9:16 PM PDT reply actions 2 recs

Tune in tomorrow to watch Trevor Cahill face off against Erasmo Ramirez.

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