Good afternoon-evening, Snake Pitters! I hope everyone's had a nice week, that the coming of spring is treating everyone and their allergies well. Personally, I was in snow last Sunday and today it's pushing 85. Go figure.
The Diamondbacks followed a familiar pattern this week, starting Sunday against the Padres. Sunday's loss was Round 1 of Randy vs Randy, with the former beating the latter . (Err.. yeah.) Randy Johnson gave up 6 runs and also struck out six, but the bullpen couldn't keep the game close enough to stoke a comeback. The Dbacks had beaten the Padres pretty soundly on Friday and Saturday and, much like the weekend before, our opponents seem to get revenge on the third game of a series.
Monday and Tuesday were hard-fought wins against San Francisco in a quick two-game series. All of Arizona's 4 runs on Monday came on the long ball, while the Giants managed to scratch only two across. Tuesday was a rematch of Very Good vs Very Poor (albeit rich), but this time Webb did not have his usual command and battle through 6 innings of work. He did, however, have two more two-out RBIs against Zito! Webb came around to score what would be the winning run in a 5-4 contest. Webb improved to 5-0, a career best start, and Zito fell to 0-5, a career worst start.
Arizona then traveled to the City of Dodgers to face the boys in blue. The Diamondbacks dropped the first game of the series and a struggling Dan Haren took his first loss of the season 8-3 . The Mad Scientist tweaked the lineup on Thursday, starting Salazar (for Byrnes' leg problems) and Montero. Jeff rewarded his manager by mashing his first career non-pinch-hit home run off of a Billingsley hanging curve ball. The best part of the game, though, (aside from the 6-4 final score) was watching Jeff Kent get tossed out for arguing with the umpire over a play in the field that the umpire was totally right on.
Friday was Round 2 of Randy vs Randy, this time with the right Randy winning the matchup! (And tying their season series.) Randy Johnson looked like the Randy of Old, rather than Old Randy. His fastballs were in the mid 90s and his sliders were wicked, and he was even good in the field. The Diamondbacks scored 5 runs in the 3rd inning for a 5-1 win.
Let's see, win win loss, win win loss, win win... loss. Yes, Saturday's "nationally broadcast" game vs the Padres ended up in a loss. After falling behind 4-0 early, it could have been much worse, but Micah Owings (3 for 3) and the offense came back to go 7-7 into extra innings. Unfortunately, the Padres walked off on a home run in the 13th. Micah and Justin Upton both left the game due to minor injuries and are listed as day-to-day.
And guess what? Since I didn't get this written until after the game today, I am happy to report that after the loss yesterday came a WIN today! (Following that pattern again?) Webb and Peavy both looked spectacular, with Peavy really only making one mistake on the home run to Chris Snyder, but Webb's changeup and sinker were totally working today and got him out of several bases-loaded jams. Webb allowed one unearned run to Peavy's two earned, and Webb goes to 6-0!
The biggest news of today is top prospect Max Scherzer's promotion. As noted in Nick Piecoro's blog, he is up to go into the bullpen, though there are worries about his development as a starter. Josh Byrnes is calling the situation "fluid", which isn't exactly reassuring to me. Further discussion here in this fanpost.
A couple of people on Friday noted Miguel Montero (recently called up with Alex Romero going back to Tucson) catching Randy Johnson as opposed to Robby Hammock. Bob Melvin says to expect it to happen more often, as he feels Miggy can learn from it. I appreciate BoMel putting his players into positions in which he feels they can excel, I like his vision for that.
- Pitching trio feeds off of each other - Discusses Webb, Haren and Owings pushing each other to do so well
- Another trio of Diamondbacks are battling the flu, other nicks and bruises
- Justin Upton read the Diamondbacks starting lineup for FOX on Saturday. This is worth a good chuckle or two. (Sadly, no video.)
- Justin Upton has been getting a lot of positive attention lately. Article by Nick Piecoro and from Yahoo's Tim Brown
I'm sure there are things I missed, so post a fan shot (those are helpful to help me catch up ;)) or comment here! Until next week...