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Diamondbacks 10, Dodgers 5 – Double Delicious

Record: 6-2. Pace: 121-41. Change on last season: 0

Quote: "It was definitely emotional coming off the field, for sure. The fans got into it…I tried to stay strong – didn’t want to come out of there crying or anything. I’m just thinking positive; everybody’s been real positive." – Doug Davis.

We must be stuck in some sort of bizarro universe. Timely hitting, runs aplenty, large margins of victory, shaky bullpen…it’s like a strange dichotomy from last season. But when things are going this well, how can anybody argue with the results?

Once again, the Diamondbacks got off to a fast start (that’s 13 first inning runs in eight games), and once again, Mark Reynolds was right in the middle of it. Apparently Special K has decided that if you're going to get a home run, you might as well smack the damn thing 450 feet or so, as he lifted another towering shot to center to bring in Hudson (ground rule double) and Jackson (HBP). It helped that Chad Billingsley was battling his familiar control problems, as he threw more balls than strikes (38-32) and had a WHIP of almost 4 in his two-and-a-third innings.

The boys in red tacked on two more in the third, with a sac fly by Upton and an RBI single by a certain light-hitting pitcher. In the seventh, the D-backs tacked on some more insurance runs, all of them coming with two outs. Hudson drew a bases-loaded walk, and Jackson used his newfound speed to leg out a bases-clearing triple on a ball that took a strange hop in the left field corner. Romero remained at 1.000 for his career with a two-out infield hit in the eighth that drove in Drew, who led off the inning with a triple.

Still, the biggest story of the day by far was Doug Davis. Two days before heading off to see the doctors and take care of his personal health, Double D used a surgeon's precision to pick apart the Dodgers. Sporting his usual assortment of slow, nibbling pitches, Davis cruised through the first five innings before giving up a Jeff Kent double for two runs in the sixth. He still got through the inning for a quality start, tossing 103 pitches and striking out seven. He also added two hits and a sacrifice bunt, raising his average to an absurd .667. Davis already has half the number of hits he had all last season.

The magical bullpen carpet ride continued. Unfortunately, there still hasn’t been anyone paying attention to the signs warning of turbulence or falling to one’s death. Juan Cruz took over the overworked Qualls' spot in the seventh and got two quick outs, but then walked Furcal and gave up a single to Kemp, bringing in Slaten to face the lefty Ethier. Apparently Slaten graduated from the Jose Valverde school of heart attacks, as he got out of the inning with about a 370-foot flyout to deep right that Upton caught up against the wall. Medders came in to pitch the eighth, since a seven-run lead was seemingly safe, but gave up two runs and couldn’t even get through the inning, being replaced by Peña. Finally, Petit coughed up a meaningless run in the ninth. The pen continues to be nothing if not…interesting. And generic adjectives are the PC flavor of the day.

As Jim pointed out in the Gameday thread, the four HBP tied a franchise record last seen in 2001 against Baltimore. Jackson and Snyder each got pelted twice, although they fared better than Chase Utley, who got pegged three times. Add on six walks and 12 hits, and there were baserunners aplenty, which also led to 25 men left on base. Chris Young was particularly off -- contract jitters, perhaps? -- going 0 for 6 with three strikeouts and 10 LOB by himself. Still, Reynolds, Davis, Jackson and Drew each had two hits, and Byrnes and Upton added a pair of walks apiece.

[click to enlarge, in new window]
Master of His Domain: Mark Reynolds, +24.1%
(A Well Deserved) Honorary Mention: Doug Davis, 18.4%
God-emperor of Suck: Chris Young, -11.9%

Ultimately, the focus (rightfully) is on Davis. Melvin said in the press conference after the game that Davis seemed more emotional, yet more focused, than in his first start of the year, and the results would seem to reflect that. Hopefully he will have a speedy and uneventful return to full health. He got a standing ovation when he came out of the game, as well as some acknowledgement from Jeff Kent, according to Todd Walsh, who teared up briefly when interviewing DD after the game.

Now that the game is finally in the books, everybody gets to snag a few hours of sleep before tomorrow’s day game. Attendance was listed at a disappointing 28,973, somewhat surprising given the team’s success over the past year plus and it being the first series of the season. Then again, it was a weeknight, and as it turned out the kids would have been up like six hours past their bedtime anyway. At 3:36, it was the longest nine-inning game since a 5-1 victory over the Red Sox on June 10 last season (RJ beat Dice-K). The Gameday thread suffered no such ill effects, however, spilling over into a second thread for the first time and totaling almost 800 comments.

With a series win already wrapped up, Ownings will take the mound against Hiroki Kuroda at about 12:30 tomorrow looking for a sweep. Both pitched exceedingly well in their first start of the season, so it’ll be interesting to see if the offense can keep up their torrid pace. Losing Davis’ hot bat in the lineup to bring in that Micah fellow, whoever he is, can’t possibly help.