Record: 5-16. Pace: 39-123. Change on 2013: -7
Anyone hoping for a return to life for our team was sorely disappointed today. Hopefully, there was time spent with family and hunting eggs to take away the misery. At this point, our summer may be better spent concentrating on families and holidays than watching the Diamondbacks.
Gerardo Parra led off the game, showing us that maybe that new batting stance wasn't all that it was cracked up to be. Unlike his hot start last season, he would end today's game hitting below .250. It all started with a swinging strike out. Josh Beckett would get the 1-2-3 inning by getting Cliff Pennington to pop out and Paul Goldschmidt to fly out to center.
In the battle of the Joshes, Josh Collmenter had his own 1-2-3 inning. The bottom of the first started with a slick barehanded play by Collmenter, throwing Dee Gordon out at first. He would follow that up by striking out Carl Crawford, then getting a beautiful curve across for strike three on Hanley Ramirez. So far, so good.
The D'Backs would go down meekly 1-2-3 in the top of the second, as well. Although, Miguel Montero did lead off with a single, he got thrown out by Yasiel Puig trying to stretch it into a double. Some of the Arizona players could have made it. Miggy needs to learn that he is not one of them. Aaron Hill would line out to Juan Uribe, followed by an Eric Chavez strike out.
The bottom of the inning would present some problems for Collmenter. Adrian Gonzalez did what Adrian Gonzalez does--leading off with a double. Puig struck out, with Andre Ethier following that with a fly out to Mark Trumbo in left. Uribe got the pitch-around base on balls, putting runners on first and second. Josh would end the threat by getting Tim Federowicz to pop out to Goldy in foul territory.
Were the next several innings a matter of good pitching or crap hitting? Maybe both, because neither team did much. Arizona drew a couple of walks, with Trumbo getting one to lead off the third and Pennington drawing another in the top of the fourth. In fact, Arizona had its chances in the fourth, as Pennington's walk was followed by Goldy getting to first on Federowicz's catcher's interference. Miggy would GIDP to lessen that threat, and Hill would strike out to end the inning.
The real damage came during the hated third time through the order for Josh. In the bottom of the sixth, he started by striking out Jamey Wright, who had been brought in to pitch the top of the inning for some bizarre reason. Gordon got a one-out single, and was brought around to score by a Crawford triple. When Ramirez popped out to Chavez, it looked like the lone run would be the damage. But Gonzalez was up to bat. Gibby did the right thing, by calling for the IBB. Puig did what he's supposed to do in such cases, hitting a 3-run homer. Ethier ended it with a fly-out to Tony Campana in center.
On a side note, Campana had entered the game as a defensive replacement for A.J. Pollock. The booth reported the issue as a neck strain. Which leads to the COTD by SenSurround:
A natural side effect
When you’re constantly turning to watch those balls sail over your head
"How much money can we offer Brandon Lyon without making him suspicious?"by SenSurround on Apr 20, 2014 | 2:58 PM up reply unrec (7)
(I almost went with hotclaws from the game preview, but this one changed colors, so...)
The Diamondbacks tried to fight back in the seventh. Goldy led off with a looper to center. Montero worked a full count, then got rewarded with the walk. Mattingly brought in Chris Perez to replace Wright on the mound. (I still cannot figure out the way he chose to relieve his pitchers and have them hit in this game, but it worked.) In the double switch, Matt Kemp came in for Ethier. After the pitching change, Hill flied out to left. Chavez would do the only Diamondback damage by hitting a double over Crawford's head. This scored Goldschmidt, and moved Miggy to third. Trumbo and Campana both went down swinging.
That was it except for the crying. Parra robbed Crawford of a hit in the eighth, but both offense and defense would be routine for the rest of the game. Let's hope for better things at Wrigley. Or, damn, that will be embarrassing.
Happy birthday, JoeCB1991! And I hope the rest of Don Mattingly's birthday is miserable.
Bells and whistles
JoeCB1991 led the commenters today, followed by SongBird and onedotfive. Also taking a break from consuming chocolate were: AzDbackfanInDc, Clefo, DeadmanG, Diamondhacks, GODSCHMIDT, GuruB, Jim McLennan, MrMrrbi, Paper Clip, Rockkstarr12, SenSurround, TylerO, USAFIDMT, Zavada's Moustache, asteroid, azshadowwalker, cole8865, hotclaws, imstillhungry95 and txzona. And it case you're wondering, this was hotclaws summary of the 2014 season from the preview:
Gotta stick by them
but it’s so painful.It’s like picking a scab.
Baseball players are smarter than football players. How often do you see a baseball team penalized for too many men on the field?