While I tried to make the title something along the lines of "Runsier, Cleaner, and Just Plain Better", it was just a bit too long. In a battle of "Well, which starting pitcher can give up fewer runs?", the title went to Josh Collmenter by the length of a nose - and Jonathon Niese didn't help his own cause. In a battle of bullpens and offense, though, Arizona was clearly the victor. A 6-run second inning and three scoreless innings out of the bullpen propelled the Diamondbacks to victory over the New York Mets.
|Final - 7.27.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|New York Mets||0||2||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||5||7||1|
|WP: Josh Collmenter (3 - 2)
LP: Jon Niese (7 - 5)
After trading zeros in the 1st inning, the Mets scored in the 2nd. Local boy Ike Davis, who's fan club was parked behind home plate throwing popcorn around in excitement, hit a home run to right field. David Murphy doubled and, with two out, was batted in by former SF Giant, Andres Torres.
Arizona got even, and then some, in the very next frame. After a harmless groundout by Paul Goldschmidt, the wheels went round and round. Justin Upton, Chris Young, and Stephen Drew hit consecutive singles to load the bases. Henry Blanco put on a good at-bat, taking close outside pitches, to work the walk and force in the first run. (It was Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese's first walk in 25 innings.) Josh Collmenter then got his first hit of the season and Young scored to tie the game.
Then Willie Bloomquist came up, with the bases still loaded, and took some truly awful swings. But on one of those swings, he squibbed the ball just past the pitcher and in front of third baseman David Wright. Niese helped the Diamondbacks out big time by attempting to throw the ball to first, and throwing it wide. All three runners came around to score, including Josh Collmenter, chugging it all the way from first! Aaron Hill hit a sacrifice fly to deep center to score Willie, and the Diamondbacks were very quickly ahead 6-2.
I certainly hoped the rest of the game would go quietly, because at this point the Opening Ceremonies were about to start here on the west coast, but nooooooooo Collmenter just had to go and make things interesting. As soon as he got back to the mound, Collmenter gave up two consecutive singles to Ruben Tejada and Jordany Valedspin in front of David Wright, who promptly deposited a pitch into the left field bleachers. Perhaps Collmenter was a bit tired from his race around the bases, but he settled down after that home run. Josh allowed a single and a walk in the 4th, but struck out the side in the 6th. Overall, five run in six innings is certainly not his best outing, but that Collmenter settled down after the 3rd inning was impressive.
Also impressive was how Arizona's offense didn't take anything for granted and pushed back at nearly every scoring opportunity they got. Jason Kubel doubled to lead off the 5th and scored on a Paul Goldschmidt single. In the 7th inning, Hill and Goldschmidt singled, Justin Upton brought Goldy in with a single of his own, and Chris Young just barely missed a home run - both Hill and Upton scored on his double to make it 11-5.
The bullpen pitchers who followed Josh Collmenter made easy work of the rest of the Mets. Brad Ziegler worked the 7th inning and allowed a leadoff walk, and Craig Breslow pitched two clean innings to close out the victory.
Gold: W Bloomquist, +27.3%
Silver: S Drew, +9.1%
Bronze: J Collmenter (offense), +8.1%
Way Off the Podium: J Collmenter (pitching), -12.6%
It was a great night for Arizona's 4-7 hitters tonight: Goldschmidt, Upton, Young and Drew each went 2-for-4 with at least one run scored. And of the starting nine, only Kubel and Drew did not have an RBI. On the mound, neither starter had a great night, but each pitcher managed throw six innings. Niese's immediate successor, Elvin Ramirez, allowed three runs to the Diamondbacks, whereas Ziegler and Breslow kept the Mets off the scoreboard.
As expected, the Olympics Opening Ceremonies kept people otherwise occupied, moreso than usual on a Friday night. Only 25 people made the 440 comments. SongBird took gold with 67 posts, just ahead of Clefo for silver, and bronze goes to hotclaws, who admittedly had a slight advantage for already have seen the Opening Ceremonies. All present were: AzDbackfanInDc, MarinerHousewife, BattleMoses, Clefo, blank_38, kishi, Jim McLennan, SongBird, asteroid, hotclaws, 4 Corners Fan, snakecharmer, Muu, xmet, Augdogs, egboyz, Rockkstarr12, Baseballdad, Airwave, rd33, dbacks79, $-The Moneyman-$, Husk, Zavada's Moustache, and since_98.
Muu ran away with Comment of the Night this brilliant... parody?
Ian Kennedy, quickly regaining form and favor, goes tomorrow against Evil Chris Young in a 5:10pm evening start. Be here, or be watching the Olympic games. (Really, are there any other options for sports fans?)