We never even had much of a pretense of drama on the offensive side this evening. Kevin Slowey took the mound for Miami to start the game, and Gerardo Parra led off the game with a double. One batter later, Paul Goldschmidt took a fastball deep to left field to give Arizona a 2-0 lead. That seemed like such an exciting time for everyone, so Eric Chavez decided to give it a try himself. He took a pitch to right before the dugout even had time to sit down, giving Arizona back-to-back home runs and a 3-0 lead in the first inning.
Trevor Cahill has had some struggles this season in finding his control. Early on, he still seemed to be having that problem. Fortunately, if you're going to struggle against anyone, it's okay to struggle against the Miami Marlins. Cahill gave up two walks in the first, but got Justin Ruggiano to hit into a double play to end the inning. Second inning, Cahill gave up a lead-off single and then got another inning ending double play. Two walks to lead off the third inning, including the pitcher, and... Okay, Cahill didn't manage a double play there, but not for lack of trying. Three ground balls that all were potential double plays, but he at least got out of trouble.
Meanwhile, Paul Goldschmidt was not done battering the Marlins. In the top of the third, he came to the plate with Didi Grigorius on first base, and engaged in what might be described as an epic battle against Slowey. It was almost like Groundhog's Day- Slowey would take his stance, rear back to throw, Grigorius would take off for second, and Goldschmidt would foul it off. Rinse and repeat. FInally- finally!- on pitch thirteen, Goldschmidt had drawn as much amusement out of this battle as he could, and decided to end it, taking the next pitch to deep left field to put Arizona up 5-0. As Jim pointed out at the time, Slowey had thrown 52 pitches by that point of the third inning- a quarter of them on that at-bat to Goldy. The rest of the offense decided to chip in here, too. Eric Chavez singled after the home run, but was out on a fielder's choice by Cody Ross. Miguel Montero drew a walk next, and a Martin Prado single brought Ross around to score for a 6-0 lead, and the promise of tacos for those who want them.
Prado may be shaking off a little of his rust here- 7 for 14 over his last four games, so maybe there's hope he'll get his bat running and hit the way we've been hoping he'll hit.
Meanwhile, Cahill decided to get down to business to defeat to the, er, Marlins. And how do you do that? Groundballs. What would you say to ten ground outs in a row? That'll do. After leading off the third with two walks, Cahill didn't give up anything other than a ground out until the top of the sixth, when he let Derek Dietrich line out to Grigorius. Then Trevor notched a backwards K of Marcell Ozuna to end the inning, just for variety.
Arizona's offense hadn't been doing too much since Wade LeBlanc came in to replace Slowey after the third inning, threatening to score in the fifth, but unable to score. They finally chipped in for another run in the top of the seventh, with Paul Goldschmidt leading the effort again. He led off the inning with a half home run- I guess they're called doubles?- and took third base on a ground out from Eric Chavez. Cody Ross hit a sacrifice fly to right field, and while many of us pondered the correlation of sacrifices to Ol' Beady Eyes' success, Goldschmidt tagged up to score, 7-1.
Cahill's run of luck finally came to an end in the bottom of the seventh. The Marlins strung together a handful of one-out singles, bringing Placido Polanco in to score and break up the shutout. With runners at the corners and only one out, Chris Coghlan pinch hit for LeBlanc, hoping to make this a game again. But Cahill got back to what he does best, and got an inning ending double play from Coghlan, working out of trouble. Cahill stayed in through the game for the eighth inning, ending the game with two ground outs.
The eighth inning brought a familiar face, as Jon Rauch took the mound for the Marlins, looking to eat some innings. It also brought familiar results, as Rauch returned for the ninth inning and was... less than effective. He faced four batters in the ninth, giving up a walk and three consecutive singles for two runs. This, apparently, was the last straw of Rauch's tenure with the Marlins, as they decided to cut
bait the tallest pitcher in the major leagues after the game. Ryan Webb took the mound to salvage what little dignity could be found for the Marlins, getting a double play from Miguel Montero and then a ground out from Prado to end the inning.
Will Harris came in for the ninth inning for Arizona, and ran into a little bad lucky. He got two quick outs to start off the game, but a double from Greg Dobbs gave Miami a runner in scoring position. Placido Polanco came to the plate to and singled straight up the middle- sort of. The ball deflected off of Harris's leg and bounced out to shallow left field, out of everyone's reach. Dobbs scored on the play to make it 9-2. Harris shook it off, though, and got a swinging strike out of Rob Brantly, and gave Arizona the win in the series opener.
Goldschmidt: Paul Goldschmidt (+26.5%)
Silverschmidt: Trevor Cahill (+15.6%)
Zincschmidt: Didi Gregorius (-3.6%)
A pretty lively thread for a Friday afternoon game, rolling up around the 500 comment mark as the game wound down. Clefo led the race for most comments, with just more comments than our benevolent leader and benhat combined, as they took second and third. We also heard from& AJV19, AzDbackfanInDc, Brendan Porter, Diamondhacks, Fangdango, Gildo, GuruB, JoeCB1991, PR151, Paper Clip, Rockkstarr12, The so-called Beautiful, TolkienBard, Turambar, TylerO, Zavada's Moustache, azcougs, blank_38, coldblueAZ, dbacks25, hotclaws, kishi, oldspartan, onedotfive, piratedan7, rd33, shoewizard, snakecharmer, and soco.
Some good comments in the thread, but I made a rash, ill-considered suggestion early in the GDT, and what's the internet for if not to follow up on those? So, instead of that, take some time to enjoy the smooth sounds of this recap's namesake.
Pretty decent outing for Cahill- only the third time he's got 8 or more innings in a Diamondbacks uniform- and the power of Paul Goldschmidt makes for a great opener in Miami. We'll see if the team can keep this rolling tomorrow.