Record: 44-47. Pace: 78-84. Change on last season: -5
Okay. We haven't exactly come out of the All Star Break on fire. Well, I guess we did, but most like we were on fire and in a nose dive into the middle of the Pacific with no way to restart our engine. Yeah, that was pretty much it. We managed a good few at-bats to start our series in Cincinatti, but let's be fair- it's been a rough time. It seems like it's been forever since we actually had a good outing. Which also seems like the last time Ian Kennedy got a win- okay, maybe that was only back on June 29th, but it seems like quite a lot longer.
Already facing the shakeup of Trevor Bauer being sent back to Reno, we at least had the bright spot of Jason Kubel being put back in the lineup. But was it enough? Could one player really make that much of a difference? Well...
|Final - 7.18.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Ian Kennedy (7 - 8)
LP: Mat Latos (7 - 3)
Much like Monday's game, the Diamondbacks did not wait long to start their offensive output for the day. Stephen Drew grounded out to start the game, but Aaron Hill singled. Kubel stepped to the plate, his first at-bat since Saturday's pinch hit appearance against the Cubs. Was his hamstring feeling better? Would he have problems running the bases with lingering pain? Well, he had a plan for that. Just jog- because that's what you do when you crush a pitch deep to center field for a two-run home run.
In the bottom half of the inning, Ian Kennedy looked... less than stellar to start it off. Drew Stubbs started things off for the Reds with a double, and though the DBacks got lucky on a bunt that was a pop-up out back to Kennedy, a single by Brandon Phillips put runners at the corners with one out. But Kennedy worked out of it, getting a pop up and a line out to center to strand the runners, and Arizona managed to keep Cincinnati off the board in the first.
But they weren't quite as lucky in the second. After the DBacks bats went down 1-2-3 in the top of the inning, Kennedy went back out on the mound and struggled a little more. Lead off out, but back to back singles gave the Reds two on. Mat Latos hit into a fielder's choice, and it looked like IPK had a chance to escape again... But a Drew Stubbs single brought Ryan Hanigan around to score and cut the DBacks lead to 2-1. IPK got a swinging K to end the inning, but it looked like another poor outing from Kennedy was in the works.
Or were we? Because if you'd told me that, after two innings, Kennedy had given up five hits and a run and would go eight innings, I wouldn't really believe you. But that's pretty much what happened. After the second inning, Kennedy looked much better. A few rough spots- doubles allowed in the third and fourth inning, and he hit a batter in the eighth, but the Reds never managed to advance a runner after they got on base. It was only the second time Kennedy has gone 8 full innings this season, and his 7 Ks tie for his third best total in 2012. Good to see him getting things done.
Meanwhile, on the offensive side? Well, our bats were not done. Specifically, the bat of Jason Kubel, to start with. He led off the fourth inning with a solo home run. The DBacks also put up a flurry of activity in the fifth. Gerardo Parra and Ryan Roberts led off with singles, and a failed sacrifice bunt by Ian Kennedy had Parra out at third. Stephen Drew flew out to left, not deep enough to advance the runners, but Aaron Hill doubled to left to bring Roberts in to score. Jason Kubel came up and the Reds considered what he'd done already- and intentionally walked him to load the bases. Miguel Montero came to the plate and... unintentionally walked. Ian Kennedy came in to score, Mat Latos's evening ended, and the DBacks took a 5-1 lead.
The other excitement of the evening came in the eighth inning. Justin Upton doubled to center, Paul Goldschmidt doubled to bring him in to score, and then after a Parra single moved Goldschmidt to third, a wild pitch let Goldschmidt come in to score. 7-1, DBacks. Meanwhile, Kennedy stayed in until he finished the eighth, Brad Ziegler got a 1-2-3 in the ninth, and Arizona put up a 7-1 win. Not bad.
Kicking Ass: Jason Kubel (+27.4%), Ian Kennedy (+25.1%)
Taking Names: Aaron Hill (+10.5%)
Stepped in Bubble Gum: Stephen Drew (-8%)
The thread ended just shy of 600 comments, with imstillhungry95 just hitting triple digits. benhat and FletchLives! took second and third. We also heard from dbacks79, hotclaws, Clefo, kishi, txzona, blank_38, porty99, Jim McLennan, AzDbackfanInDc, onedotfive, azcougs, PR151, BattleMoses, Azreous, sonic barracuda, Britback, azshadowwalker, Airwave, marionette, bradley281, xmet, rd33, biggoron, shoewizard, Circa4life, Zavada's Moustache, Gildo, 4 Corners Fan, Rockkstarr12, and CaptainCanuck. I think I'll give biggoron the Comment of the Day for this one- a retrospective on the season, but fortunately one that was not needed tonight...
So, a good outing from the team, and a win means we have, at worst, split the series. Tomorrow is a very early start- noon in Cincinnati, which means it's a 9 am game for Arizona, and not on TV to boot. So sneak that radio into your office, and we'll have some pre-lunch baseball to look forward to.