Record: 2-4. Pace: 54-108. Change on last season: -2
Last season, the Diamondbacks went 8-10 against the Dodgers, and winning only 3 of 10 in the final three series last year was what doomed the Arizona's post-season chances. Arizona ends the opening week of the 2009 season against the Dodgers, and unfortunately, if this series against them is any indication, the DBacks have a _lot_ of work to do! After winning 9-4 in Game 1 on Friday and losing 11-2 in Game 2 on Saturday, the rubber match today seemed like a good matchup - new staff ace (see below) Dan Haren against the Dodgers' #2 man Randy Wolf.
Wolf struggled against San Diego last week (6 innings, 4 runs), but he quite simply dominated the Diamondbacks up and down the lineup. The Diamondbacks scored their first run on some small ball in the 1st inning - Felipe Lopez doubled, Chris Young sacrificed him to third, and Stephen Drew drove him in with a sac fly to the weakest L.A. outfielder, Juan Pierre. Lopez's double would be the only hit the DBacks would get until the 8th inning.
It was Wolf who drove in the Dodgers' first run, on a play that caused a lot of confusion in the gameday thread and the broadcast booth. (In fact, Yahoo's play-by-play doesn't even recognize how the run scored.) Haren was in trouble after walking Ethier to lead off the 2nd inning and Pierre singled to right and stole second base. Haren caught Wolf's line drive to start a 1-4 double play - but Lopez took his time tagging out Juan Pierre rather than simply stepping on second base. That extra time allowed Ethier to score from third. But wait, you're saying, Ethier didn't tag up after Haren caught the line drive, the run doesn't count!! That's true - if the Diamondbacks had appealed the play in time. It is up to the defense, not the umpires, to make sure the runners leave on time. According to Rule 7.10:
Any runner shall be called out, on appeal, when —
(a) After a fly ball is caught, he fails to retouch his original base before he or his original base is tagged;
Any appeal under this rule must be made before the next pitch, or any play or attempted play. If the violation occurs during a play which ends a half-inning, the appeal must be made before the defensive team leaves the field.
For the purpose of this rule, the defensive team has "left the field" when the pitcher and all infielders have left fair territory on their way to the bench or clubhouse.
Audio courtesy of KTAR 620