Ah, back in the first inning. When we had hope.
Record: 64-67 Pace: 79-83 Change on 2011: -8
Oh, what can be said about the things we've seen from our 2012 Diamondbacks this past week? Plenty of things, but very few that are both coherent and polite enough to slip past the profanity limits on the 'Pit. But there's very few variations on the story. Today's edition was another classic of a decent outing from our starter, matched up with an absolutely paltry showing by our offense. There may have been hope early on, and we at least got a few variations. One of those variations was a pleasant lead, one that we managed to hold on to for quite a while. The other variation, however, was bullpen struggles. That was less pleasant.
Let's consider the damage after the jump...
|Final - 8.29.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Mat Latos (11 - 4)
LP: Patrick Corbin (5 - 6)
Okay, let's start with the good news. Patrick Corbin? Looked good today. He took the loss, but he was solid.. Only two hits and one walk allowed in the first six innings, he put up 8 Ks on the day. He must have been listening when they told him to attack the strike zone, too- he threw 87 pitches, and 61 of those were for strikes. Reds hitters just couldn't figure out where Corbin was going to go next- seven of his eight strike outs were swinging. Through six, Corbin was lights out.
On the other hand, the offense generally seemed to just have turned the lights out. Let's consider the first inning. Chris Young led off with a solidly hit single. Unfortunately, he thought it was a double, and was thrown out trying to take second base. Aaron Hill walked, and after a Jason Kubel pop out, Paul Goldschmidt laced a single to center field, bringing Hill around to third. The Diamondbacks took the lead in the most uninspiring way possible- thanks to a balk by Mat Latos. But a run is a run! And we had a lead! Man, it seems like we haven't had that since... Wait, yesterday? We've actually been the first to score in each game this series? That seems hard to believe.
But! Unlike each of those other games, this time the Diamondbacks managed to add on to it! Not in the first inning, of course. Bring a runner in from scoring position with two outs? That'd be crazy. No, this had to wait until the fourth inning. Justin Upton singled to left field, and with two outs, Jake Elmore doubled to left field. Upton set his speed to warp 7 and sped around the bases to score, giving Elmore his first RBI in the major leagues, and putting the Diamondbacks up 2-0. Hooray!
And then... The offense decided that was enough. Oddly enough, it wasn't.
Remember how, back in that opening paragraph, I kept saying "the first six innings" and things like that? Well, that's because the seventh wasn't quite so pretty for Corbin. It's like lazy foreshadowing. Well, after getting the first batter to fly out to start the seventh, Corbin started giving up hits of the extra base variety. Todd Frazier did not go down, instead doubling to shallow left field, and bringing up Chris Heisey. Heisey, proud owner of four home runs this season, took a pitch from Corbin and hammered it to center field. We're talking up to the concourse, in the part of the park where the home run line runs up and over the batter's eye. It was a high, deep home run, and it tied the game up for the Reds. Corbin tried to settle back in, striking out Miguel Cairo for the second out of the inning, but... Well, let's not be in denial about this. Corbin gave up another home run to Dioner Navarro, this one a solo shot that gave the Reds the lead. Allowing a single to Latos after that was the last straw, apparently, and thus Corbin's afternoon ended, in line for the loss- six hits allowed, four of them in his last inning on the mound.
Brad Ziegler came in to finish the seventh, but the trouble wasn't over for us. Matt Albers took the mound in the eighth inning and, well, the results were less than ideal. He gave up a single to Drew Stubbs to start the inning and followed that with a home run by Brandon Phillips. Albers scrounged up two outs on ground balls, but then gave up another home run to Chris Heisey- really, guys? 6-2, Reds lead.
And still the offense slumbered. The Diamondbacks managed a single in the seventh and the ninth innings, but that was all, just token efforts, it seemed. Not even a threat of a run.
So we fall again. The homestand comes grinding to a dismal 2-8 halt, with our only wins coming on the doubleheader last week- remember those happy days? So long ago it seems.
Something Good: Aaron Hill (+6.6%)
Something Also Okay: Jake Elmore (+4.9%)
Something Not Good: Matt Albers (-22.1%), Patrick Corbin (-12.7%), Chris Young (-11%)
Depicted above: our spirits in the GDT. The tally on the abridged edition of the thread came to just north of 500 comments, not bad for a weekday afternoon game with a team that is playing so poorly. AzDbackfanInDc led the commenting, with imstillhungry95 in second and hotclaws taking third. Also contributing to the discussion were Turambar, Gildo, 4 Corners Fan, DivineWolfwood, kishi, onedotfive, Jim McLennan, dbacks79, PR151, biggoron, Rcastillo, egboyz, Medusas_Daughter, porty99, Diamondhacks, GuruB, Augdogs, Clefo, Baseballdad, grimmy01, and Circa4life. Still no green comments, so instead, I'll remind you of the wisdom we were all dispensed at the end of Little Orphan Annie: "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine."
I wouldn't quite call that homestand a disappointment. Somehow, I think we would have needed to win a few more games for it to aspire to that level. But what I will say about it is that it is over. The team will shuffle their way out of Phoenix, heading westward to take on the
Billion Dollar Roster Los Angeles Dodgers in a series that, well, really don't hold much significance for the standings anymore. I just hope the team will stop playing like that, though.