After David Hernandez had another rough outing on Saturday night, he was optioned to Reno with the corresponding move to be made this morning. Things were bit surprising when, given the depth (or lack thereof) in the Diamondbacks' bullpen, it became known that Matt Davidson was being called up. Shortly after that news broke, it was announced that a second move from the 25-man roster had been made, with Eric Chavez being placed on the 15-day DL with knee and back soreness.
So the Diamondbacks went into Sunday's rubber game with LHRP Eury De La Rosa in the bullpen, and Matt Davidson on his way. Despite being called up Sunday morning, Davidson was unable to arrive in Phoenix in time to start the afternoon affair.
Zeke Spruill was tabbed to start against the meager New York Mets lineup Unfortunately, the Mets showed far more plate discipline then they were generally known for and managed to make Spruill labour through the first. After getting one out, a hit and two walk loaded the bases, prompting an early first inning visit to the mound from Kirk Gibson. Spruill then promptly induced a groundball to first, and it looked good. But, as luck would have it for the Diamondbacks, Goldscmidt committed a rare fielding error at first and the bases emptied, leading to three unearned runs. With Mike Baxter standing on second, Anthony Recker hit a line shot down the third base line that Prado had glance off the heel of his glove. This allowed Baxter to score. The shot was credited as a double, but since Baxter was on second as the result of Goldschmidt's flub, the run was still unearned. With Josh Collmenter warming up, Spruill managed to stop the bleeding and send it to the Diamondbacks' half of the first.
The Diamondbacks got off to a good start in their half of the first. A.J. Pollock led off with a single, bringing speed to the base paths. Prado would foul out, and Goldschmidt would give a ball a ride for a long out, and the Diamondbacks would find themselves with two out and Pollock still on first. That would bring up Aaron Hill to try and get something going. Sure enough, Hill crushed a double down the third base line that bounced of the Diamondback bullpen, scoring the speedy Pollock from first. That would bring up the revitalized Cody Ross. With two out and Hill on second, Ross hit a ball hard to deep third, and took off for first. Running down the line, Ross had a misstep and, while trying to recover his balance, had his right leg spasm and slightly hyper-extend. Ross crumpled to the ground and said something which incited Mets first baseman Ike Davis to immediately call for the trainers. Ross would have to be carted off the field on a stretcher. Later it would be revealed that Cody Ross had dislocated his right hip, very bad news indeed for the Diamondbacks. That would bring in Matt Davidson (who only arrived about an hour before game time) to play third, with Prado shifting to left.
The second inning would fly past rather unremarkably, though Tuffy Gosewisch may very well remember it as he got a base hit on his first at-bat at Chase Field.
The Mets tacked on another run in the top of the third on a hit-and-run play with two out and Quintanilla up to bat. While Davis managed to score easily from third, Mike Baxter attempted to score from first on a single to A.J. Pollock and was thrown out at home by five feet to end the inning.
A.J. Pollock continued to do his job as a leadoff hitter in the bottom of the third, slapping a single to center. With Ross already out of the game, one of the last things that the Diamondbacks could afford was the loss of another position player. A bad call on strike three by home plate umpire Laz Diaz nearly resulted in exactly that as Prado had a long, heated conversation with the veteran umpire about his lack of visual acuity. After Kirk Gibson retrieved his irate left fielder Paul Goldschmidt walked and Aaron Hill climbed into the box. On an o-1 count, Hill deposited a thigh high fastball into the left field bleachers closing the gap to 5-4 in favour of New York. Matt Davidson came up next recording his first major league at-bat, a high fly ball to center field.
The game was fairly quiet until the bottom of the sixth. Matt Davidson led off the inning with a single to left field for his first major league hit. Parra followed that up with a horrible bunt back to the pitcher, Niese for a fielder's choice. Gosewisch knocked one back to Niese as well, but Quintanilla bobbled the throw from Niese trying to turn the double play and everyone was safe. As a result of the error, Pennington came to the dish with one out and runners at first and second. He promptly struck out looking. It was the fourth strikeout of the game for Niese, all four of them coming looking. Jason Kubel then came up to pinch-hit for Josh Collmenter, only to strike out swinging at a pitch up around his eyes.
Joe Thatcher came on to pitch the seventh and got Daniel Murphy to pop out to Davidson in foul ground. Next was Ike Davis. Thatcher quickly got ahead of the former Sun Devil 0-2 before he lost him and issued a walk, putting Davis on for the eighth consecutive time in the series. A single by Flores would chase Thatcher from the game, at which point Joe Thatcher started giving Laz Diaz a piece of his mind in regards to the strike zone. Will Harris came on in relief and surrendered a three-run home run to Andrew Brown.
With the Diamondbacks down four runs, he led off the bottom of the seventh with another single for his third hit of the game. Prado followed that up with a shot to third that Wilmer Flores turned into a fielder's choice at second on a bang-bang play. Paul Goldschmidt walked to bring up Aaron Hill with runners on first and second and only one out. Those who have been following the Diamondbacks closely this season can likely surmise what happened next. On a 2-1 count, Hill rolled over the top of the pitch and grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the Diamondback threat.
The bottom of the eighth brought some excitement. With one out, Gerardo Parra doubled. Gosewisch followed with a fly out to right which brought up Cliff Pennington. Pennington slapped a single to center and Gerardo Parra was off to the races. Despite Matt Williams getting down the line and throwing up the stop sign, Parra took it on himself to go home anyway and beat the throw. Wil Nieves was up next to pinch hit for De La Rosa. He slapped a single to right which brought up A.J. Pollock. Unfortunately for the Diamondbacks, Pollock grounded to Quintanilla who took the short route and threw out Nieves at second to end yet another Diamondbacks scoring threat.
The top of the ninth brought another edition of the Heath Bell ExperienceTM. Bell managed to do what no pitcher had been able to do for two games, and got Ike Davis out on a swinging strike three. Of course, in true Heath Bell fashion, he followed up the Ike Davis carving by surrendering the first career home run of young Wilmer Flores' career. Mike Baxter would also strike out and Recker would pop out to center, but the damage was already done.
The Diamondbacks went quietly in the bottom of the ninth, dropping the game and the series.
AzDbackfanInDc, AzRattler, Clefo, Diamondhacks, Edwong81, EzioExManAZ, Fangdango, FatBoysEatMeat, GuruB, JoeCB1991, John Baragona, Marc Fournier, RobbieFVK, Rockkstarr12, TolkienBard, asteroid, azshadowwalker, cheese1213, cole8865, ford.williams.10, hotclaws, onedotfive, peachBazket, preston.salisbury, rd33, txzona, xmet
The lead commenter was preston.salisbury with 34 comments followed by Rockkstarr12 with 31.