Record: 71-72. Pace: 80-82. Change on last season: -11
Okay, if you watched the first few at-bats of this one, you may have been swamped with a sense of ennui. Sure, we got a first out quickly, but things went swiftly downhill. Trevor Cahill hit the same first inning struggles he's shown us before, the Dodgers high-priced mercenaries seemed to be paying off, and after the brilliant pitcher's duel yesterday, today was looking like it would be a bit of a let-down.
Of course, you can guess all of that wasn't true, if you just read the score and headline at the top of the post.
Instead, we saw an abrupt switch back to a pitcher's duel like we saw yesterday, and once again the Diamondbacks managed to put together just enough offense to get the job done. Some more speed from our first baseman, some timely contact from our right fielder, and lights-out work from the bullpen, and it all added up to a Diamondbacks win.
|Final - 9.12.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||4||0|
|WP: Trevor Cahill (11 - 11)
SV: David Hernandez (4)
LP: Aaron Harang (9 - 9)
First inning, worst inning for Trevor Cahill. This has been an ongoing concern for Trevor- he came into the game with a 6.11 ERA in the first inning and a 3.56 ERA for the rest of the game. Tonight did nothing good for his first inning numbers, either. After getting a lead-off grounder, Cahill struggled. A single to Shane Victorino was followed up by a HBP to Matt Kemp. With only one out, the Dodgers had runners on, and Adrian Gonzalez came to the plate and took a pitch to right center, a double that brought both runners in to score and put him in scoring position. It was looking like it might be a long night for the DBacks fans. Except then Cahill settled in. Hanley Ramirez flew out and Andre Ethier struck out swinging to end the inning.
And then Cahill really settled in.
How settled in? Well, he gave up a lead-off single to Luis Cruz to start the second, but Cruz never moved on first base. After that, he didn't allow anyone on base until, again, Luis Cruz, with a two-out single in the fourth. He was erased in a fielder's choice. Then the Dodgers next baserunner was... Well, I don't know. We'll find out when they play St. Louis on Thursday.
Yeah, after three bad batters in the first inning, the Diamondbacks pitching locked it down. The Dodgers may have been thinking they had a shot at a blowout on their hands with one out in the first inning, but then Arizona sent 26 of the next 28 batters back to the dugout. No walks, and Los Angeles didn't even get a ball out of the infield after the fifth inning. All signs of panic in the first inning were laid gently to rest by absolute domination from Cahill, backed up by Brad Ziegler and David Hernandez, who gave us 1-2-3 innings out of the bullpen.
On the other side of the diamond, the DBacks didn't get a whole lot more done. But they got just enough. A quiet first inning slipped swiftly past, but Paul Goldschmidt opened up the offense with a single to right. Goldschmidt did his best to manufacture scoring opportunities, swiping second base and then taking third on a wild pitch as Miguel Montero walked. That paid off for Arizona, as he was in position to score on a sacrifice fly from Justin Upton. Gerardo Parra grounded into a double play to end the inning, but the lead had been cut in half.
Arizona put a runner in scoring position again in the third, but nothing came of it. It wasn't until the sixth inning that the Diamondbacks would make a move. The damage came with two outs, as Goldschmidt and Montero drew back-to-back walks to threaten. Justin Upton came up and singled to left field, with Goldschmidt coming in to tie up the game and Montero taking third on the throw home. The ended Aaron Harang's night, and Randy Choate came in for the Dodgers. Before you could say "More like Randy Choke, amiright?" he lived up to our pretty obvious pun, giving up a single to Gerardo Parra to bring Montero in and give Arizona a lead.
That was the last hit for Arizona, but it was enough, as the bullpen came in to lock things down. Ziegler and Hernandez shut the door, with Putz still out due to his back issues, and Arizona took the two game series against Los Angeles.
Pretty busy thread, after the disinterest of the past few days, passing 500 comments. Of course, half of that came at the top of the list, as AzDbackfanInDc and imstillhungry95 took first and second. We also heard from soco, Jim McLennan, asteroid, hotclaws, onedotfive, snakecharmer, GuruB, Rockkstarr12, Zavada's Moustache, Husk, deerhaven, and kishi.
So, a sweep! Sure, only a two game sweep, but both pretty exciting games with sharp pitching. It was also the last time we face the Dodgers this season, and we pretty solidly owned the season series- we took ten of the last twelve games against them. Though, I have to say, while some may think this should give us a resurgence of hope for the DBacks post-season hopes, I still remain skeptical, so long as we remain hovering near or below the .500 mark. We're still way back in the wild card race.
Day off tomorrow, and then we welcome the Giants in to Chase Field to face our trio of rookie starters for a weekend series.