Maybe the first inning should have been a sign that it was going to be a rough game. It start off right, sure- Tony Campana hustled out a run to reach on an error, and followed that up by swiping second. Speedy runner in scoring position with nobody out? Great start to the game. But that pendulum of luck swung back to New York's favor in an instant, as a line drive from Martin Prado was just within reach for Daniel Murphy, who fired it quickly to second for a freak double play.
While Ian Kennedy worked through the Mets lineup, Dillon Gee did the same for the Diamondbacks. Gee sent the team down 1-2-3 on five pitches in the second, and then struck out the side in the third. Kennedy gave up a single in second inning, but that was the only baserunner he allowed in the first three inning.
The fourth inning brought us some bad news, starting with another bad out from Campana at second base, as he singled and then was thrown out trying to steal. The Mets showed more luck in the bottom of the inning- David Wright doubled with one out and took third on a wild pitch from Kennedy, and then came in to score for the Mets on a ground out to give New York a 1-0 lead.
But luck is a fickle thing, as the fifth inning showed. A leadoff walk to Cody Ross was followed by, of all things, a bunt double from Gerardo Parra, something I don't think I've ever seen outside of a video game. Wil Nieves singled to center to bring both runners in, and Arizona had a lead! Hooray! Fireworks and hot dogs for everyone!
Well, not quite yet. Because New York answered with a one-out double from Omar Quintanilla, who came around to score on a two-out single from Dillon Gee. Giving up a tying RBI to the pitcher? Oh, why not? 2-2 game after five.
And after that, it got a little frustrating for a while. The offense gave us some lead off hits, but couldn't do anything with them. Lead off single for Paul Goldschmidt in the sixth, stranded. Lead off double for Wil Nieves in the seventh, stranded. Lead off single in the eighth for Martin Prado in the ninth, stranded. The only saving grace was that the Mets weren't doing much better, stranding two runners in both the sixth and seventh innings. And before we knew it, we were looking at extra innings.
The tenth inning started off with some familiar patterns. A one out single for Tony Campana gave us a base runner to start with, but he had problems reading the bloop hit that Prado lofted into center. He hung up between bases, seemed about ready to head back to first as it dropped, and was thrown out at second easily. Meanwhile, Josh Collmenter took the mound for Arizona, gave up a lead off single, and then stranded the runner. Hey, the Mets thought it looked like fun when we kept doing it.
Tony Sipp gave our hearts a little worry in the twelfth, when he walked Eric Young Jr., who then stole second, which was followed by another walk from Sipp. J.J. Putz came in and as we all pondered what the team meant by lower-leverage situations, Putz got a ground ball to end the inning.
The thirteenth inning started off familiarly, with a lead off single from Martin Prado. But wait! Paul Goldschmidt followed that with a double to shallow left, giving us runners at second and third with nobody out. An intentional walk to Eric Chavez loaded the bases, and then an unintentional walk to Cody Ross gave us a lead! Hooray! More sparklers! Let free runs ring! The Diamondbacks couldn't add on to that lead, though, after Gerardo Parra grounded into a fielder's choice, with the runner out at home, and then was called out for interference, bringing the runners back to their bases. That hurt even more on the next ball in play, as Wil Nieves singled to right, but Eric Chavez was thrown out trying to score from second.
But we had a lead! In extra innings! The team could handle it! Bring on- oh. The Heath Bell experience. Who got two quick outs, raising our hopes, and then expertly dashed them by giving up a solo home run to Anthony Recker to tie the game. Sighs echoed. Bell finished the inning, and we went into the fourteenth to try again.
The fourteenth inning! Could we manage some more runs? Well, no. Not plural. But the Diamondbacks took a lead off single from Cliff Pennington, added a sacrifice bunt from Didi Gregorius and a fielder's choice from Aaron Hill to move him to third, and then brought him with a bloop single from Prado. Hooray! Another late inning lead! As is our rights as Americans- or Brits or wherever many of you hail from.
To the bottom of the inning! Chaz Roe on to close it out! He'd done a perfectly reasonable job in the role in Reno, and we're sure that he could- wait, no. Solo home run to Kirk Nieuwenhuis, on a ball that just seemed to be a lazy ball, but carried on forever. Or at least just enough. Cries of agony carried to the skies. Spouses looked at their watches and wondered if those burgers were ever going to make it on the grill, and if they should just put the potato salad back in the fridge.
But no. These are the Diamondbacks. And if there's one thing they're good at, it's- okay, it's blown saves. But if there's two things they're good at, it's coming back in extra innings. And the Diamondbacks were not about to give up this game so easy. Not in my America! Which is why Gerardo Parra (Venezuela) gave us a two out single in the top of the fifteenth, and Wil Nieves (Puerto Rico) singled to center to give us runners at the corners with two outs. Cliff Pennington (Texas, which has lived under the rule of several different countries including its own sovereign nation) stepped to the plate and sliced a single to center field to score Parra, and give us a lead! Again! Fireworks, if we have any more left! Now we turned to the bullpen and shook it to see who we had left.
And that was Brad Ziegler. Who came in and... walked the first batter he faced. Not heartening. That was followed by a fielder's choice that the DBacks couldn't turn into a double play. Another walk followed, and the Mets grounded out to put the tying run at third and the winning run at second, but Ziegler got another ground ball to end the game, and the second longest game in DBacks history came to an end with an Arizona win, 5-4.
Liberty: Josh Collmenter (+25%), Cliff Pennington (+21.4%)
The Pursuit of Happiness: Brad Ziegler (+18%), Paul Goldschmidt and Wil Nieves (+16.1%)
Possible Members of the Communist Party: Heath Bell and Chaz Roe (-32%)
Well, that was a slog. Ended happily, at last. Easy to forget some good starting pitching from Ian Kennedy there, since we played eight more innings after he left. Good outings from some of the bullpen to keep the game tied long enough for the offense, and good work by the bats to keep coming back after the bullpen blew it later on. And, all in all, a win. So the Diamondbacks come home to face the Rockies tomorrow, and we'll see if we put up another win and count this as an actual winning streak.