Diamondbacks 5, Padres 6 - Headley's Homers Hurt, Snakes Sink Late

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 7: Everth Cabrera #2 of the San Diego Padres jumps over Justin Upton #10 of the Arizona Diamondbacks as he turns a double play during the second inning of a baseball game at Petco Park on September 7, 2012 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

Record: 68-71. Pace: 79-83. Change on last season: -11

The Tour of California continued today in San Diego, the last stop on this 10-game road trip. After what I'm sure was a lovely day off yesterday, it was time to focus and get back down to business. And by "business", I mean this business of the Padres having won six games in a row against the Diamondbacks. I mean this business of not falling to fourth place in the division. And I mean this business of winning! Time to make it three games in a row!

... Or not. Try as they might, the Diamondbacks could not beat the Padres for the seventh straight matchup. Rookie Tyler Skaggs had his first rough outing, the Diamondbacks gave us a brief moment of hope, and then the Padres snatched it back for late-inning victory over Arizona.

Tyler Skaggs, the youngest pitcher in MLB right now, hadn't allowed more than two earned runs in any of his first three starts. But tonight, he decided to follow in fellow rookie Patrick Corbin's steps and see how the "giving up a lot of runs early on" methodology worked. In the very first inning, Skaggs gave up back-to-back singles to Chris Denorfia and Logan Forsythe, and they scored on a double by Yasmani Grandal that got stuck in the left field corner. That put the Diamondbacks behind 2-0 early, but since the team scored 22 total runs in San Francisco, maybe two runs wasn't out of the question.

But Skaggs dug the hole deeper in the third inning. Denorfia and Forsythe again reached base with no outs, then Chase Headley brought them home by hitting a home run to deep left field that made it 5-0 Padres. Skaggs was done after three innings, five runs, and five strikeouts.

Meanwhile, Arizona wasn't having a lot of early success against Andrew Casher. Justin Upton had reached on an error in the second inning, but it took until two outs in the fourth before we got our first hit, a double by Jason Kubel. The Diamondbacks broke the string of zeros in the fifth inning. Miguel Montero and Chris Johnson both singled, and Ryan Wheeler scalded a double off the right field wall to make it 5-2. Wheeler doubled again in the seventh inning to score Montero, who had reached base via a strikeout+passed ball, and made it 5-3.

In the 8th inning, it was Montero's time to be the RBI Man. Adam Eaton singled and Kubel walked, and with two out, Miggy laced a double to the Petco Park version of triples alley to tie the game up at 5-5!

Now, until the bottom of the eighth inning, the Diamondbacks relief corps had been in stellar form. Brad Bergesen and Takashi Saito pitched perfect frames, and Josh Collmenter gave up a hit and a walk in two innings in between. So in the bottom of the eighth inning of a tie game, you go to your set-up man. After his fourth game in five days led to a meltdown in San Francisco, David Hernandez had had plenty of time to rest up since Monday afternoon. In fact, maybe too much time, since his first batter - Chase Headley, yet again - hit a home run to immediately break the tie in favor of San Diego. Not only did Hernandez give up a home run in Petco Park at 9:40pm, it was to straightaway center field. "Not good" would be an extremely docile way of describing the pitch Headley hit out of there.

Hernandez retired the next three Padres, but the Diamondbacks were down to their final three outs. After two fairly quick outs, pinch hitter Chris Young drove a single to left field, and was immediately replaced by pinch runner Tyler Graham in his D'back debut. But it was for naught, as Eaton's ground ball up the middle was easily snared by Luke Gregerson, and the ballgame was over.


Source: FanGraphs

Great: M Montero, +35.6%
Not Great: T Skaggs, -32.2%

That fangraph - and the whole night, really - reminded me of this Shakespeare quote, which I am making Comment of the Day:

True hope is swift, and flies with swallow's wings;
Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures kings.

- William Shakespeare, "King Richard III", Act 5 scene 2

How swift it was indeed. Unlike the pace of tonight's Gameday Thread, which was much, much slower than swallow's wings. Here's how slow it was tonight - Gaslamp Ball's GDT had more comments than we did. That's just sad, people. soco had the most, at 44; myself, piratedan, and Jim - though he claimed to be ignoring the game - were all in the 20s. All present were: BattleMoses, Augdogs, PatrickPetersonAZ, soco, AzDbackfanInDc, txzona, kishi, Jim McLennan, Zavada's Moustache, Clefo, hotclaws, 4 Corners Fan, dbacks79, SongBird, piratedan7, Husk, snakecharmer, Ridster09, and onedotfive.

A late afternoon game tomorrow, with first pitch scheduled for 5:35pm local time. Wade Miley looks to continue his quest to be a light for us when all other lights go out. We'll be here - where will you be?

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