Record 68-64. Pace: 83-79. Change: +3.
August. Phoenix. I'd been here for a while, but these summer days never quite sat right with me. Long, bright afternoons. Plenty of sunshine. A hot town. But my time as a recapper has taught me that you can never quite trust those impressions. No matter how hot a town was, that didn't mean their team wasn't about to go cold. And on that Wednesday afternoon, I could see clouds on the horizon, gathering. Looked like a storm. It reminded me of what someone had once told me. "The storm clouds are gathering," he said. They damn well were, Jeremy. They damn well were.
The crowd was jawing as I walked into the joint, even before first pitch. Paul Goldschmidt wasn't playing tonight. Paulie was named right, golden boy of the team and the fans alike, but he'd been carrying this outfit for too long. He needed a break, but was this the right time? I was no boardwalk fortune teller, but seeing the lineup card without his name on it left my gut in a knot.
It didn't get any better with the first pitch. Before I could even get the bartender's eye to order my drink, the hit was on. Bam, bam! A single for Chris Denorfia, and a double for Will Venable. Wade Miley was getting shook up early. Two outs followed, but Jesús Guzmán smacked him with another single to score Venable. Guzmán got himself gunned down at home by A.J. Pollock to end the inning, but the Padres took a 2-0 lead before you could even blink.
Say this for Miley, though- the kid's no glass-jaw. The Padres started the second off with two singles, and while some pitchers might have decided to dust out after something like that, Miley knuckled down. It wasn't easy, but three outs later, including a swinging K of Venable, and he was headed back to the dugout.
The Diamondbacks offense didn't do much to help the poor mook out, though, going down 1-2-3 in the first, as meek as a mook dragged in front of his grandma. A hit in the second by Willie Bloomquist might have given a little cheer, but he was cut down trying to steal second base. Good ol' TOOTBLAN Willie, getting right back to what we remember him for.
Miley stuck at it. A two out walk in the third was stranded, and he showed the goons what he could do in the fourth and fifth, sending them down 1-2-3. Guzmán showed up again in the sixth, singling with one out. He took second on a wild pitch, but as the throw skittered into center, he got greedy and tried to take third. His mistake. Willie Bloomquist threw him out easily, and the Padres couldn't score.
The bottom of the sixth inning was when the DIamondbacks started putting the screws to Robbie Erlin. He may have been green as George Washington's face in your wallet, but he'd been keeping our boys off the scoreboard. With two outs, Eric Chavez drew a walk, and scampered to third on Aaron Hill's single. Ol' Bloomquist showed up again, singling right to score Chavez. Gerardo Parra ended the inning with a ground out, but the team seemed to have a bit of luck left yet, and it was 2-1, Padres.
Or so I hoped. But it may have been a fool's hope, for all the good it did us in the seventh. Ronny Cedeno got on base with a dropped third strike, but he got caught napping like he thought first base was a flophouse, and was picked off easily. Tim Stauffer took over for Erlin on the mound, and our boys had a little luck of their own. Tony Campana pinch hit and reached on a single off the third base bag, and then A.J. Pollock singled off the pitcher to give us two on and one out. But it was all a waste. A pop out and a ground out later, and they hadn't moved an inch.
And then the eighth inning happened. And then, Heath Bell happened. He went out to the mound and the Padres made him look like a sucker.
It didn't even start well. Denorfia singled again, and Venable slammed a pitch to deep right to bring them both around for a home run. Jedd Gyorko followed that with a single, and Bell looked like he might escape for a second, getting a Yonder Alonzo ground ball double play. But Guzmán stepped up and hammered his pitch to left center, leaving us all feeling like we needed a drink.
After that, it was just a trudge until the game was over. We got a single in the eighth, and a double with two outs in the ninth. But nothing came of it. The Padres had beaten us, broken up the sweep, and we were left out in the rain with the loss.
Plenty of palookas bumping gums in the GDT tonight, making it past 400 comments. BulldogsNotZags was the big dog, and imstillhungry95 scrapping past cole8865 for second place. We also heard from 4 Corners Fan, AJV19, AzRattler, Dbacks4eva10101, Diamondhacks, Fangdango, FatBoysEatMeat, GuruB, Husk, Jim McLennan, JoelPre, Louchart45, Rockkstarr12, The so-called Beautiful, TolkienBard, Zavada's Moustache, asteroid, azshadowwalker, cheese1213, coldblueAZ, ford.williams.10, hotclaws, onedotfive, rd33, romangod, soco, and txzona. No comment went green on the thread, and the one that got the most recs was mine, so I'll just take this moment to remember the words of Troy Barnes: "Yeah.... I'm funny."
No game tomorrow, so keep your nose clean and don't get pinched, and we'll see you back for Friday's match.