Record: 39-39. Pace: 81-81. Change on Last Season: -4.
A day after the Diamondbacks got blown out like a starlet with a red carpet appearance, the team faced off against their old nemesis Yovani Gallardo on Italian Heritage Day in the hopes of taking the series and sending a message that the best is yet to come. But lack of offense and defensive miscues late left the D-backs feeling as if they really did get hit in the eye by a big pizza pie. Come fly with me over the jump for details.The Diamondbacks can’t hit Gallardo. They really really can’t hit Gallardo. Which would explain why they went down in order in the top of the first. The good news is that the Brewers have similar problems solving Josh Collmenter. Making his first start after being sent to the bullpen in place of the injured Hudson, luck really was a lady for him and down went the Brewers.
Side note: Sometimes when I’m bored I like to think of other things Collmenter could have thrown to learn his unusual delivery besides tomahawks. Like sandwiches. Or hedgehogs. But I like to make my own fun.
Leading into the top of the second, the game was delayed as emergency services treated someone in the Brewers bullpen. Limited information was available but reports were that a non-uniformed member of the Brewers staff was being treated. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious and thoughts go out to the person who was hurt. Wishing them a speedy recovery.
After a long wait, play resumed. After Kubel flew out to deep center and Montero struck out, Hill continued to have the world on a string, singling and giving the D-backs their first baserunner. When he took second on a wild pitch and Lyle Overbay walked, there was hope that maybe the Diamondbacks had finally gotten under Gallardo’s skin.
But no such luck.
Parra struck out looking on a pitch so far off the plate it needed a new zipcode and Gallardo escaped unscathed.
The good news was that Collmenter was doing things his way. Neither side would have a baserunner again until the fourth inning. After Upton grounded out to begin the fourth, Kubel singled with a pretty piece of hitting and Ransom nearly fell over trying to make the play. I don’t know about anyone else but I enjoyed that. Unfortunately that was all there was to enjoy. The next two batters flew out.
In the bottom of the frame, Collmenter allowed his first hit of the game - a ground rule double to Aoki. So surprised by this, Josh tomahawked a pitch that got away from Montero, allowing Aoki to move to third. With no outs, Collmenter was in his most dangerous situation of the game. The wild pitch came back to bite him. Nyjer Morgan grounded out to score the runner. This would be the only run Collmenter would allow.
The next few innings were quiet for both teams as each were on a quiet spree, fighting vainly that old ennui. Although both sides managed a couple of hits, no one else scored. The Diamondbacks came closest in the seventh, missing an opportunity they’d kick themselves for later. With two outs, Chris Young pitch hit for Collmenter and walked. Gallardo was up over 100 pitches at this point and clearly running out of gas. After Bloomquist was safe on a Rickie Weeks error (sing along if you know the words: AHAHAHAHAHAHA), Drew walked to load the bases.
That was enough to yank Gallardo. Anyone getting excited, thinking ‘anyone but Gallardo’ should probably sit down and relax. Upton chased balls three and four out of the zone and the bases were left full.
In the bottom of the seventh, Shaw allowed a leadoff single just to make things interesting and Cody Ransom walked because apparently he’s much harder to get out than we thought. With two outs and runners in scoring position, Shaw got Maldonado to ground out and end the threat.
Now you can get excited about facing anyone else but Gallardo. On the first pitch of the eighth inning and facing Francisco Rodriguez, Kubel flew a ball over the moon. Tie game. Montero walked and then Aaron Hill ran the count full. The booth discussed the merits of sending the slower Montero on the pitch to try and stay out of the double play. They did not do this. Hill did not show up the All-Star Game voters and GIDP. Overbay then dashed everyone’s hopes by grounding out.
Hernandez and his signature pull at the collar of his jersey took over in the eighth. He gave up a two-out walk but limited the damage - thanks to a truly spectacular sliding catch by Upton after a long run that saved a run - and sent the game into the ninth with the score still tied at 1.
Nobody told Brewers closer John Axford that he’s been struggling. He hit 99 on the radar gun, striking out Parra and pinch hitter Paul Goldschmidt. And then Bloomquist. Think of everything you like and do not like about Bloomquist. All of those things happened this inning. All of them. Bloomquist singled, of course, and then tried to swipe second. To the surprise of approximately no one, he was thrown out. Doomquist gonna Doom. He’s now been caught stealing eight times compared to only five successes, suggesting that maybe he and Kirk Gibson rethink this entire stupid strategy CAN’T YOU SEE WHAT’S HAPPENING? SO MANY BAD THINGS. STOP MAKING POOR CHOICES.
Onto the bottom of the ninth. Warning: reading the following paragraphs is not recommended for those with high blood pressure, heart disease, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant. Clearly wanting to save Putz for an extra-innings save situation, Gibson sent out Corbin to lock things down until we could send out the offense in the top of the tenth inning. Instead, Cornin couldn’t find the strike zone with both hands and a map. If he’d been driving instead of pitching, his girlfriend would have made him pull over and ask for directions. It was bad. It was really bad.
He allowed a leadoff walk to Ramirez, who was promptly pulled for Gomez as a pinch runner. After somehow managing to get a truly terrible Hart to fly out and inching us one out close to extras, it all came crashing down. Gomez took off for second because that’s what pinch runners do but Montero attempted to throw him out from his knees. Only fools rush in. It was bad. It was really bad. The throw sailed into center field where Gold Glover Parra picked it up and attempted to get the ball into third. He threw it away. He threw the ball away. Gomez scored on a walk-off fielding error. It was pure 2010 and absolutely the worst way to end this roadtrip.
Pizza Chicken: Jason Kubel (28%) Italian Beef: Josh Collmenter (15.9%), David Hernandez (10.5%) Little Caesers: Patrick Corbin (-36.6%) Domino's: Aaron Hill (-22.3%), Justin Upton (20.5%)
Shout out to the best thing to happen today: footage of a game of Words With Miley - where they make Wade Miley answer trivia questions and spell things because baseball has a long season, you guys. After making Miley spell All-Star, they flashed his picture on the screen because the team takes this game so seriously it comes with a power point presentation and Gibson presented Miley with his invite to Kansas City. So Miley’s swinging on a star. The rest of us need a drink.
27 people got together to suffer through this game and nearly 800 comments. AzDbackfanInDc led everyone with over 200 comments. and he was joined by: GuruB, Clefo, LiamNeeson, shoewizard, Jim McLennan, JoeCB1991, hotclaws, txzona, CaptainCanuck, fandbacks, blue bulldog, Bryan J. Boltik, luckycc, 4 Corners Fan, Fangdango, snakecharmer, Turambar, sonic barracuda, BattleMoses, onedotfive, DbacksSkins, edbigghead, Muu, TinySarabia, blank_38, and Augdogs
No green comments so I’m giving CotD to this link of Nyjer Morgan fail.
Wagner Mateo: 8 G, .290 AVG, 3 Runs, 3 2Bs, 2 RBI, 4 BB, 11 Ks for Visalia
by Bryan J. Boltik
[soco edit]: Woof. Let's never talk about the Brewers, and their cheating, roiding players ever again, shall we? Thanks to luckycc for the wonderful recap. Up next the D-backs head home to face the Padres, yet another terrible team that we'll likely get embarrassed by. First pitch tomorrow is at 6:40pm, so be here, or somewhere else.