Record: 65-67. Pace: 80-82. Change on last year: -8.
When your team is stuck in a losing streak of any kind, it feels like life can never get better. It's like being down in Murakami's well, staring up at the passing stars and sun, hoping for a way out. But there seemingly isn't a way out, not one that isn't metaphysical. You worry you'll starve, or be forgotten. And then you forget what you were worried about and only the numbness remains.
Somehow you escape the well, you don't know how. Things looks better again. It seems like the time in the well was merely a bad dream, or maybe it was a story someone else told you. Until you're back in the well again, staring up to the distant sky, worrying you'll never be out again.
The only runs of the game were earned in the top of the 4th. Miguel Montero led the frame off with a double to right, and Chris Young immediately followed this up with a homer to left. The Diamondbacks would end up getting the bases loaded with only one out for the inning, but Jake Elmore ground into a double play to end the threat.
That wasn't the only offense by the D-backs, it was just the only time it actually resulted in runs. Arizona managed 9 hits and 3 walks, yet it seemed like every time they'd get something going they'd then immediately bungle it. Bases loaded with one out? Ground into a double play. Get a base runner in the 6th? Have him get caught stealing, have the next batter get a hit, then get thrown out stealing, and then a walk. Yep, could have had bases loaded in the 6th with Ian Kennedy up to bat, but instead he faced 2 outs and struck out.
The Diamondbacks really should have had more runs at the end of this, but that's how it goes sometimes. We should just consider ourselves lucky that the pitching and defense was more than enough to make 2 runs work.
Ian Kennedy was very good, going 6 1/3 innings while striking out 7. He only gave up 2 hits and 2 walks, with 1 batter hit by pitch. In fact, 2 of these baserunners didn't appear until the 7th when he was pulled in favor of Brad Ziegler. It was almost a disaster, except that Aaron Hill pulled off a tremendous play to start a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. Juan Rivera chopped a grounder that seemed to be going to the one spot of the infield no one would get to, but someone how Hill laid out and made the grab, popped up and shuttled the ball to Elmore, who was waiting at second base. Elmore made a quick exchange and threw out Rivera at first to finish the twin killing. It was a pretty remarkable effort by the two D-backs middle infielders.
Clayton Kershaw was good in some respects, going 6 innings and striking out 9. But he also gave up a ton of hits and was lucky to not get tagged with more. He was also lucky to not get tossed in the 4th when he vehemently argued against the balk that was called on him as he attempted to pick off Gerardo Parra at first. He was probably right, but it didn't end up hurting him so it's really nothing more than an anecdote.
The Dodgers did threaten one last time, and at the really most stressful time: the 9th inning. Adrian Gonzalez led things off with a fly ball that Upton probably could have played if he hadn't been playing so deep. This was followed up by a Hanley Ramirez single, who must have thought he won the World Series by the way he reacted. A ground ball eliminated Ramirez, but the double play couldn't be completed and it left runners on the corners with 1 out. Luis Cruz then flied out to left, and a nice deek by Parra not only kept Gonzalez from trying to tag up but the good throw to second prevented Andre Ethier from advancing, either. Juan Rivera then popped up to short, ending the game and the D-backs losing streak.
Dodgers losses for some, tiny American flags for others.
True Patriot: Ian Kennedy (25%)
Tiny American Flags: Brad Ziegler (14.8%), Chris Young (13.4%)
An Other, So Therefore Worthy of Shunning: Jake Elmore (-10%)
Sometimes the Fangraph perfectly represents how a game feels from the fan's perspective. Tonight it does not. The 9th felt a hell of a lot more stressful than the way that graph looks. Not a very busy GDT, but I blame the D-backs being not very good and college football returning (Jim must be super stoked!). Just under 500 comments, with hotclaws taking the lead. She was joined by: AzDbackfanInDc, onedotfive, piratedan7, dbacks79, GuruB, Rockkstarr12, Clefo, 4 Corners Fan, Jim McLennan, soco, blank_38, rd33, SongBird, Zavada's Moustache, Rcastillo, kishi, since_98, shoewizard, and Bryn21.
Comment of the Day goes to Bryn21 for summing up the D-backs:
Tomorrow is just another day in LA. It's good that the D-backs have snapped their losing streak. We can only hope that this means the start of a nice long winning streak. First pitch is at 7:10pm, so be here or somewhere else.