Record: 65-83 Pace: 71-91 Change on last season: -8
The Dbacks came one game closer to winning the NL Wild Card tonight, knocking the Rockies off a game and bringing themselves within 19 games of the WC leader with 14 left to play. No, but seriously, the Diamondbacks continued to play the Rockies tough in 2009, bringing the season series between the teams to 7-9, but needing to win the next two games in order to overcome that ugly sweep in Coors two weekends ago and earn a season split.
After getting off to a rough, Kevin Mulvey-driven start, the Diamondbacks rallied for a come-from-behind victory and held on to win against the Colorado Rockies. Brandon Allen had a two-run, game-tying homer, Ryan Roberts had two hits, two walks, and a solo shot of his own, Stephen Drew decided to read Jim's article and had two line-drive singles, Gerardo Parra had a two-RBI double off the glove of Brad Hawpe, and Mulvey and the bullpen combined to allow only 1 run after the 3rd inning. Details, as always, after the jump.
Kevin Mulvey started out his second major league start by giving up a double to Carlos Gonzalez, a former Dbacks farmhand who hit a homer off him in his Dbacks debut last week. After getting Snakekiller Seth Smith out on a fly ball and Todd Helton on a grounder, it appeared as though he might escape without damage. However, consecutive walks to the Tool and Rockies All Star Brad Hawpe loaded the bases for Yorvit Torrealba, who is currently hitting over 1.00 with RISP. (Seriously. He's like 18-16 or something) Torrealba lined a single to CY in center. BAM! Rox 2, Dbacks 0. Mulvey struck out Ian Stewart to end the threat and advance to the bottom.
However, the Dbacks were facing mighty Jason ZOMGZ USED TO BE LEEDING THE NL IN WINZ!!! Marquis, (Not to be confused with ZOMGZSanchez) who promptly gave a run back. Chris Young singled to lead off the bottom, Stephen Drew followed with a single of his own, but Justin Upton, the best hitter on the team, tried to lay down a bunt, presumably for a hit. He was tagged out, and one has to wonder why, exactly, he would do such a thing. In retrospect, it ended up paying off as a sac bunt, as Miguel Montero drove the ball deep to RF to bring in CY on an arc that nearly left the park. Mark Reynolds, who finished 0-3 but with a walk, popped out to end the inning.
The teams traded 0's in the second, which was probably slightly less impressive for Mulvey, who was facing the Rockies' 8, 9, and leadoff hitters. After issuing a 2 out walk to his nemesis, Carlos Gonzalez, a terrible jump and a strong throw by Miguel Montero caught CarGon trying to steal 2nd for the 3rd out. In the bottom of the inning, Gerardo Parra reciprocated by erasing his own leadoff walk on a CS, and after a Ryan Roberts walk, Brandon Allen and Mulvey struck out to end it. In the third, Mulvey continued his "2 on, 2 off, 2 on, 2 off" pattern by allowing a single to Smith and a homer to short left by Tulowitzki, and Marquis struck out the Dbacks' 1-2-3 hitters in the bottom of the inning. Sign of things to come?
Um, no. Mulvey followed with his own 3-up, 3-down inning, and Miggy led off the bottom of the 4th with a deep double. Reynolds bounced into a very strange play where Miggy took off for 3rd, thought better of it, then slid back into 2nd. Meanwhile, Toolo fielded the ball but, seeing Miggy running right in front of him, ran towards him to get the out, before realizing that he needed to toss it to Clint Barmes instead, who completely miffed the tag. First and second, no outs.
The no out situation was quickly rectified by Gerardo Parra, who did one of the two things he does best: grounded into a double play, erasing Mark at 2nd but sending Miggy to 3rd. Roberts, however, singled with a liner of his own to score Montero, and Brandon Allen flexed his muscles, sending a 3-2 pitch low in the zone out onto the pool deck in right center and tying the game, for his 4th home run of his brief rookie season. Trent Oeltjen pinch hit for Mulvey but struck out. Following the game, AJ Hinch commented that if the Dbacks had still been behind his next time up, Mulvey would have hit for himself, but with a tie game and a chance to win it, he opted to bring in the bullpen.
At the time, the decision to bring in Daniel Schlereth was met by a collective groan in the Snakepit Gameday Thread, as Dbacks fans everywhere penned their suicide notes. Son of Stink responded by pitching two perfect 1-2-3 innings in a row, while the Dbacks wasted offensive opportunities in the 5th and 6th. A 2 out Upton double went for naught in the 5th, as did two 1-out walks and one 2-out walk in the 6th, when the New And Improved Chris Young reverted to Old And Fail Chris Young, popping out to Barmes with the bases juiced.
Leo Rosales pitched a perfect 7th for the *SPOILER ALERT* win, and the Dbacks finally broke through against the Rockies' bullpen in the bottom. Manager Jim Tracy brought in LOOGY Randy Flores, who promptly gave up another line-drive single to Droo into LF. Tracy pulled his lefty for a righty, who got two quick K's of Upton and Montero before Reynolds showed remarkable patience in drawing a full-count walk. Parra came to bat again, and did that OTHER thing he does really well, by getting a double with RISP -- well, maybe we should call this a "Coors Field double". The deep fly ball to RF bounced off the tip of Hawpe's glove, bounced off the wall, and rolled around to give Droo and Reynolds time to score. Parra was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple for the 3rd out, but the Dbacks had their first lead over Colorado since the 6th inning of the first game in the Coors sweep.
Hinch brought in Scott Schoeneweis for a perfect 8th, and Power Hitter Ryan Roberts led off the bottom with his 7th home run of the season, in a sign that it might just be Arizona's night.
Juan Gutierrez, the Dbacks' de facto closer, pitched himself out of a sticky situation in the 9th for his 6th save. Gutierrez walked Hawpe to lead off and gave up consecutive singles to Torrealba and Stewart to make it 7-5, allowing only his 2nd run of the last 13 innings. With no outs and runners on 1st and 2nd, Gutierrez responded by striking out pinch hitters Jason Giambi and Garret Atkins and getting CarGon to pop out harmlessly to Miggy to end it.
It was a game that got pretty dark, pretty quickly, but the Arizona side fought their way back for another comeback win, and have now taken 3 of 4 after going 1-9 in their previous 10. After allowing 5 earned runs in 3 of his last 4 starts against the powerful Giants, Mets, and Padres offenses, Jason ZOMGWINZ Marquis rebounded against the Dbacks to give up merely 4 earned over 6. Mulvey, on the other hand, preserved his perfect Mark Grace-esque ERA of 9.00, a trend we'll be glad to see end eventually... hopefully.
[Click to enlarge, at fangraphs.com]
Badass of the Day: Ryan Roberts, +19.0%
Also mavericky: Parra, +16.9%; Schlereth, +14.5%; Allen, +13.4%
Boarding the bus to Reno: Kevin Mulvey, -21.7%
Should have stayed in bed: Chris Young, -12.3%
Pretty typical come-from-behind WP graph, with the Dbacks coming back from about an 80% chance to lose in the 4th inning. Also, the Diamondbacks got into Taco Territory for the first time in September, with a run to spare, no less. Oh joy!
In the gameday thread, which ended up with nearly 660 comments, the top poster was.... well, me, with soco coming in second with 156. NASCARbernet (63) and Jim (62) were the next two, and the only other posters with more than 47. Commenters included kishi, 4 Corners Fan, DbacksSkins, katers, friendly visiting fan coolopotamous, soco, AcucracK, snakecharmer, hotclaws, Jim McLennan, emilylovesthedbacks, eel, luckycc, asteroid, NASCARbernet, mrssoco, jazzbo13, piratedan7, Scrbl, and Wailord. Our GDT was narrowly pipped by Purple Row's, who outcommented us 664-657. (Note that both GDT's were narrowly pipped by Purple Row's Overflow Thread, with an additional 795 comments. Oh well, you win some, you lose some?)
Normal 5:10PM saturday start tomorrow, with young Mad Max Scherzer facing off against young Jason "Kinda Looks Like A Monkey" Hammel. Will the Dbacks win to take the series and keep the hopes alive of a season split? Or will the Rockies drive another stake into the hearts of the Giants? Will more random Rockies-eating bears show up in the Gameday Thread? Tune in tomorrow to find out!