Record: 58-59. Pace: 80-82. Change on 2011: -6
It was a pretty busy day in baseball.
Melkor Melky Cabrera was sent off for a 50 game suspension for testosterone, Felix Hernandez pitched a perfect game for the Mariners, and the Diamondbacks... Well, they didn't actually add much to the excitement.
No, instead, we had a fairly uninspired performance from the Diamondbacks offense, a decent start from Joe Saunders that then derailed, and a return to that dreaded territory of baseball- below .500. We may still have plenty of games ahead in this season, but you can't help but start to think the Diamondbacks shot at the postseason is slipping away...
|Final - 8.15.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|St. Louis Cardinals||0||0||0||2||1||2||0||0||X||5||8||0|
|WP: Adam Wainwright (11 - 10)
SV: Jason Motte (27)
LP: Joe Saunders (6 - 9)
No, really, I watched this game, and I honestly didn't find a whole lot motivating about it. The early innings were fairly quiet. Miguel Montero singled with two outs in the second, but was stranded when Chris Johnson grounded out. Jason Kubel made a great diving catch to snag a fly ball for the final out in the bottom of the second. The Cardinals threatened with a one out double in the bottom of the third, but Joe Saunders got a K and a foul out to strand the runner.
For the Diamondbacks, probably the highlight of the game came in the top of the fourth. Paul Goldschmidt came up with one out and the bases empty, and took the first pitch deep. I mean really deep. 456 feet, according to the estimates, the longest home run that the current Busch Stadium has seen from a visiting player. Of course, it all counts the same either way, but it was a good start, and the Diamondbacks took a 1-0 lead.
It would not last long.
The Cardinals struck back quickly in the bottom of the fourth inning. A one out double by Carlos Beltran was followed by a home run from David Freese to put the Cardinals up 2-1, moments after we were reminded in the broadcast that Freese has great power to right field. Okay, sure, he hit it to left, but whatever. The Cardinals added on in the fifth, with a solo home run from Allen Craig, though the most potentially concerning moment occurred on the next batter. Matt Holliday grounded a ball back up the middle. Saunders reached out for it, and deflected the ball off his pitching hand to Aaron Hill. Hill got the ball to Goldschmidt for the out, but Saunders's hand was obviously swelling up as he walked to the bullpen. However, the team didn't bring anyone up in the 'pen, and Saunders stayed in the game with the Cardinals up 3-1.
The Diamondbacks did threaten in the top of the sixth. Back to back singles from Aaron Hill and Jason Kubel gave the team runners at the corners with nobody out. With Goldschmidt, Montero, and Upton ready to come to bat, could the Diamondbacks take advantage of it? Well... Sort of. But not enough. Goldschmidt came up and grounded into a perfect double play. Hill scored, but the bases were left empty. Certainly hope for more there.
Meanwhile, in the bottom of the inning, things went bad for the Diamondbacks. Saunders got two quick outs- a swinging K of Beltran and a fly out for Freese, but the Cardinals started stringing together hits. Daniel Descalso and Tony Cruz both singled to get runners on, and then Rafael Furcal brought them in with a triple. The Cardinals tried to tack on another run by bringing in a Shane Robinson to pinch hit for Wainwright, but he flied out to center to end the inning with the Cardinals up 5-2.
And then the Diamondbacks offense shut down after that. No, really, they pretty much did. The Cardinals sent in Edward Mujica in the seventh, Mitchell Boggs in the eighth, and then Jason Motte for the save in the ninth inning, and the Diamondbacks went down 1-2-3 for each of them. Matt Albers gave us a good inning from our bullpen, striking out two, and Brad Bergesen worked out of trouble, but the Cardinals didn't need to do any more than they already had. St. Louis won the game, the series, and their fifth straight game against the DBacks this year, 5-2.
Hero: Jason Kubel (+7.5%)
Or at least as close as we've got: Matt Albers (+1.1%)
Scape Goat: Joe Saunders (-30.8%)
It was kind of a drudging, dreary game. Nothing exciting from our side, really, other than a long bomb from Goldschmidt. The team didn't look awful, but they didn't look good.
Kind of a middling thread, too- just under 600 comments, with AzDbackfanInDc leading Clefo and imstillhungry95 in the comment counts. We also heard from Bcawz, Rockkstarr12, dbacks79, hotclaws, onedotfive, soco, Jim McLennan, txzona, GuruB, kishi, xmet, rd33, Muu, deerhaven, asteroid, Baseballdad, Rcastillo, marionette, jjwaltrip, PatrickPetersonAZ, blank_38, Bryn21, and Husk. No green comments, either, keeping in with our theme on the night.
So we drop the game, and fall further back in the standings as the Dodgers win again. We're 6.5 games back, with 45 games left to play. The clock is ticking...