Sorry for having to pull a 'Skins with the fake recap tonight. Not that anybody's particularly psyched to read a recap on this suckfest. Though, to be fair, it wasn't all bad - heck, it started off pretty freaking awesomely until Armando Galarraga had something to say about that. Details, both good and horrifying, after the jump.
The game started awesomely, as Kelly Johnson - who hopefully can find (or, better yet, has found) his stroke at the plate now that he's been inserted into the familiar lead-off spot - led of the game with a double against Jonathan (ZOMGZ)Sanchez. After a Ryan Roberts walk, the D-backs had two on and nobody out with the heart of the order up. A pair of fortunate ground-outs to the right side of the infield, while not quite as big of a blow as we had hoped for, moved the runners over and brought in KJ, giving the D-backs an early lead. Unfortunately, with a chance to do more damage, Chris Young popped out to Freddy Sanchez, ending the inning and stranding Roberts at second base.
The second inning brought a similar outcome. After a Xavier Nady flyout, Gerardo Parra singled and stole a base to again put a runner in scoring position, this time with just one out. New Snake Pit favorite Henry Blanco (your guess is as good as mine as to why) whacked a single to score Parra, and Blanco, with his blazing speed, went to second on the throw home, keeping a runner in scoring position. Unfortunately, back-to-back strikeouts by Galarraga and KJ ended the threat with Blanco left on second base. A fourth-inning solo homer padded the lead for the D-backs, making the score 3-0. Without a doubt, it was a good start for the D-backs. However, when Galarraga is on the bump, stranding runners in scoring position just isn't going to cut it.
Meanwhile, though, a funny thing happened. Galarraga cruised through three innings unscathed. He struck out two, walked nobody, induced a few ground-outs, and the only blemishes were some singles and a double to Sanchez. Good news - happiness, rainbows, and bunnies - right?
Sadly, we all know how this gruesome tale ends. Galarraga decided to be his own worst nightmare in the fourth inning, and everything went to crap. The thing that has absolutely killed him this year has been walks, and, well, you all saw what happened. Galarraga allowed a single to Buster Posey to lead off the inning, but quickly gathered a pair of outs, and all seemed well. Then, a walk to Aaron Rowand on a full count extended the inning, allowing Miguel Tejada to bat, and he whacked another single to score Posey. Galarraga wasn't done hurting himself, though, as he walked Jonathan Sanchez and Andres Torres on a combined nine pitches, driving in another run, and the lead was cut to one run.
Oh, wait a minute. We almost forgot, there's another thing that's been Galarraga's worst nightmare - home runs. However, Galarraga certainly didn't let us forget, as he served up a solo bomb to Aubrey Huff to lead off the bottom of the fifth and tie up the game, leaving us all feeling as pessimistic about the outcome of this one as we felt when the game began. Galarraga could get through the fifth, but after giving up a one-out double in the sixth, his night was done. Everyone's favorite reliever, Juan Gutierrez, came into the game (just in case we weren't all depressed enough), and surrendered a ground-rule double to Torres, whose efforts tonight earned him a +20.9% WPA.
Sadly, Jonathan Sanchez had left his early wildness behind him, and dominated the D-backs lineup, Blanco aside, in the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. His line of 6 innings, 3 earned probably doesn't describe just how good he was for most of this game. Then, of course, the D-backs ran into the guillotine that is the Giants' bullpen. Sure, we've been spoiled by a pretty solid 'pen this year, and saw good performances tonight from Joe Paterson, Sam Demel and Aaron Heilman... but San Francisco ran out a trio of relievers who sported respective ERAs of 1.08, 0.63, and 0.93 before handing it over to their closer (whose 4.15 ERA is an unexpected product of uncharacteristic early-season wildness). We made things interesting in the ninth inning, but... yeah, we didn't score again.
Depressing Fangraph time!
Ian Kennedy: Xavier Nady (+11.7%)
Armando Galarraga: Who else? (-15.5%)
Joe Saunders(es): Kelly Johnson (-12.7%), Justin Upton (-12.0%)
Lively GDT, with nearly a thousand comments, though things started getting depressing at understandable points. I have no idea how the picture of Sanchez with the guy in the panda suit didn't get rec'd more, but thankfully another comment made me legitimately lol, so Comment of the Day goes to:
Tomorrow's a new day, and another awesome pitching match-up is headed our way. Daniel Hudson will look to avoid the sweep, taking on Matt Cain. How lucky of us to get both Cain and Lincecum this series...