Record: 37-32. Pace: 87-75. Change on last season: -2
A night after preventing the Royals from scoring for ten straight innings, they exploded against the Big Unit and the B-bullpen for 17 hits and a dozen runs - each number only achiveved once before this season against our pitchers.
It just didn't feel good from the very start. The first batter smashed a laser-beam that Hudson had to catch, or it would likely have drilled a hole in the outfield wall and vaporized a few attendees. The Royals had Johnson's number, and had one run on the board before the end of the inning, on a double, a ground-out and a single. We got that run back in the second inning, thanks to an RBI from Jackson, but one of the betes noire of recent Diamondbacks' performances, poor defense, came back to savage us once again in the third. Drew's relay throw to home hit the runner as he headed down the line from third. Reynolds added a bad throw, later in the inning, and we were 4-1 down.
If not quite out. We plugged one of those runs back in the bottom of the third, and got the tying run on base, before Tracy flew out. That was as close as we got: Arizona and Kansas City traded 1-2-3 innings in the fourth, but four of the first five batters Johnson faced in the fifth reached base. The last one delivered the killer blow, a three-run homer that made the score 8-2 to the Royals and sent our future Hall of Famer sloping off the mound, having allowed eight runs on ten hits and 4.1 innings. That's the first time the Big Unit has given up double-digits since August 2005.
The bullpen had, once again, to suck it up, even though there was at least precious little chance of this one going into bonus baseball - the mercy rule was in much greater risk of being invoked at Chase this evening. Buckner and Gonzalez were the designated suckers - as in "suck it up and take one for the team," pitching in what was basically a hopeless cause: Buckner could not reproduce his success of the previous night, giving up back-to-back homer in the sixth, and Gonzalez - pitching more than one inning for the third time in four days - mopped up in the seventh and eighth, allowing a couple more runs. Cruz brought things to a merciful end with a scoreless ninth, though the few remaining fans were no doubt using their giveaway caps to cover their eyes by this point.
The offense were who we thought they were, getting only three runs, though they did get ten hits. No walks, however - even Upton couldn't manage anything there, going 0-for-2 with two K's - and since they were playing catch-up from before they got to the plate, it was a thankless task. Three hits for Hudson, two hits for Jackson;; on the other hand, Chris Young seems to be the latest Diamondback to be entering a cold streak. In the past five games, he is 4-for-26 with no walks and eight strikeouts.
I got nothing much to add. This is not the kind of game you want to dwell on, it's the kind best forgotten, usually with the line, "It's a long season." Dodgers lost, naturally. Present in the Gameday Thread were...well, I think this is the shortest roll-call in quite some time: DbacksSkins, Muu, foulpole, srdmad, UofAZGrad, hotclaws, mrssoco and soco. Looks like everyone had something better to do: that'd include Kishi, who was at our show tonight. Hope he enjoyed it. As for the rest of us, let's go to bed, engage in some wound-licking and get 'em tomorrow.