What was Ryan Roberts thinking after his inside the park home run? He wanted some oxygen.
After a game like last night's, you have to worry a little bit about the team recovering. A offensive outpouring from everyone, squandered by some incredible ineptitude on the mound and, perhaps, some questionable decision making in the dugout. Baseball is a long season, and the team seems to be fighting their way up a hill. Momentum going up feels impossible, but it seems like one solid knock has them tumbling back down again. After a loss like yesterday, would they be sent sprawling?
Well, one game is hard to judge by, admittedly. But while the pitching still seemed to struggle a little, the offense certainly didn't seem daunted by last night's outing. Chase Field hosted a crowd slightly over 29 thousand this afternoon, including myself, Clefo, and several summer camps worth of over-active children, and the show we saw certainly wasn't short on fireworks.
|Final - 6.20.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Trevor Cahill (6 - 5)
LP: Jason Vargas (7 - 7)
The game started off innocuously enough. Trevor Cahill started his afternoon with a quick inning, including strike outs to Ichiro Suzuki and John Jaso. But the bottom of the inning gave us our first hints of what was to come. Chris Young flied out to lead off, but then Aaron Hill stepped to the plate. Apparently whatever cheat codes Hill has been using are still in effect, because just a couple pitches after the kid sitting behind us requested a home run, Aaron Hill was happy to oblige, taking Jason Vargas to deep left field to make this his third consecutive game with a home run. Justin Upton continued his struggles at the plate, whiffing for the second out, but Jason Kubel decided Hill had the right idea, and hit his own solo home run. Okay- if we were going to alternate outs and home runs, this was a game I could live with.
Alas, it was not to be- both teams went down 1-2-3 in the second- and as we entered the third inning, Trevor Cahill stumbled a little. A one-out single to Jason Vargas was the start of things- an American League pitcher, Trevor? For shame. Ichiro put a single into shallow left, and then Jaso doubled to right to score Vargas. Casper Wells singled to left to score Ichiro and Jaso for a Mariners lead, and then Kyle Seager launched a home run of his own to bring the score to 5-3, Seattle. It was a rough inning, and one that entailed a bit of luck for the Mariners- the singles from Ichiro and Wells were both just about a foot out of reach for John McDonald. But luck or no, runs scored, and Seattle took a lead into the fourth inning, as the DBacks wasted an Aaron Hill double in the bottom of the third.
Brendan Ryan led off the fourth with a single for Seattle, but Cahill drew a perfect double play ball from Munenori Kawasaki to clear the bases. In the bottom of the inning, Jason Kubel lead things off with a walk. As Clefo reminded us, "Leadoff walks something something always something," and never was a more true phrase every obfuscated. With one out, Miguel Montero hit a home run deep to right field. One out later, John McDonald decided to join the fun and hit a home run of his own, tying the game up at 5 all. As starts go, this one was not one to look on fondly for Jason Vargas- after four innings, he had given up five hits- four home runs and a double.
It didn't get any better from there for Vargas. In the bottom of the fifth, Chris Young started off with another double, bringing the extra base hit tally to six. Aaron Hill drew a walk, bringing up Justin Upton. Vargas threw Upton three pitches out of the strike zone, and as many of us leaned back and pondered if it might be best for Upton to take this pitch and draw a walk... Well, he demonstrated why he's making millions and we're not. Upton didn't hold up and hammered a home run to deep right, his first home run since May 23. After striking out Jason Kubel, Vargas managed to do something he hadn't done yet in the game- give up a single. Goldschmidt and Montero hit back to back singles to reach, and Vargas's afternoon was over. He was replaced by Shawn Kelley, who didn't quite inspire a lot of confidence either- he gave up a single to Ryan Roberts to score Goldschmidt and a double to John McDonald to score Montero, bringing the score to 10-5.
Seattle tried to fight back in the sixth inning, with Kyle Seager leading off with a double. He advanced and scored on productive outs, but 10-6 doesn't seem like much less of a daunting lead than 10-5. And the Diamondbacks offense wasn't finished. Justin Upton got his second hit of the game with a one out single in the bottom of the sixth, and then went to third on a Paul Goldschmidt double. It looked like Upton might have pulled something a little on his race around the bases, as the trainer and Gibby came out to check on him, but he stayed at third. He and Goldschmidt both scored on a Miguel Montero single, and then, with two outs, Ryan Roberts lined a ball hard off the wall in right center. It rolled away from the Mariners outfielders, and Roberts hit the afterburners, coming around and diving into home as the throw skipped past Jaso. Inside the park home run, and Arizona took a 14-6 lead.
Justin Upton came out of the game in the top of the seventh, replaced by Gerardo Parra in right field, and Craig Breslow came in for Cahill, giving up a single to Chone Figgins and then getting Miguel Olivo to hit into a double play. But an eight run lead, we should be solid, right?
Look, I'm sure he's a fine person. But Mike Zagurski came in and it went like this: walk, single, single (with a run scored), walk, a K, and a home run to Franklin Gutierrez. Zagurski was assisted by Jason Kubel gunning down Seager as he tried to stretch a single to a double, but just not a good outing from him. Our scored was looking more akin to a Cardinals-Seahawks game than a DBacks-Mariners outing, 14-10.
But don't worry, boys and girls. David Hernandez will take care of it. Since Zagurski was pulled before he could turn a blowout game into a save situation, J.J. Putz remained in the bullpen, and Hernandez trotted out to the mound for the ninth inning. Strike out swinging, strike out swinging, strike out swinging, and the Mariners went down flailing. Another high scoring affair from Chase Field, but this time the home team came out on top, we took the series, and returned to being just shy of .500 on the season.
Taking Names: Justin Upton (+16.4%), John McDonald (+15.4%), Aaron Hill (+14.8%), Jason Kubel (+11.8%)
Stepped in Bubble Gum: Trevor Cahill (-28.1%)
A pretty good performance from everyone on offense- every starter (save Cahill) had a hit and scored a run, and the six home runs tied a Diamondbacks franchise record for one game. Some good defense from Kubel, Roberts, and Goldschmidt also stood out in from watching the game. The pitching may not have been up to par, but it was a fun game to watch otherwise.
Not a bad thread for a weekday afternoon,with AzDbackfanInDc just beating out imstillhungry95 in comments and $-The Moneyman-$ in third. Also stopping by: Bryan J. Boltik, txzona, Jim McLennan, onedotfive, PR151, egboyz, GuruB, hotclaws, Cardscrazy247, biggoron, DC_Dbacks_Fan17, Turambar, dbacks79, blank_38, Zavada's Moustache, grimmy01, CaptainCanuck, Gildo, JoeCB1991, Tucson d-back fan, Backin'the'Backs, and Augdogs.
So we win the series. And brace ourselves as the hordes of Chicago Cubs fans descend upon us this weekend. Be strong, Diamondbacks faithful. We can weather this.