Record: 5-2. Pace: 116-46. Change on last season: +2.
Denver, Colorado. It is a hive of scum, villainy, altitude, and toll roads. It is also where the Arizona Diamondbacks played tonight. While the city may have rid itself of one irritating TT recently, another still reeks in their midst. Vanquishing him and his army is the ultimate goal of the righteous Arizona Diamondbacks.
Daniel Hudson got the start. His first one got a little homer-happy. This one was also homer-happy. Nice to see consistency.
This game had the pacing of War and Peace being read out loud by an Elcor. And the early season RISP woes continued...
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In the beginning of the game, Juan Nicasio got two quick outs, then decided to enroll in the Edison Volquez school of not throwing strikes and walked the bases loaded. Paul Goldschmidt lined a single into center and two runs scored giving the D'Backs an early 2-0 lead. Nicasio threw 44 pitches in that inning, shades of the game against San Diego on Wednesday, except this ended one better.
Fast-forward to the bottom of the first. Dexter Fowler hit a solo home run off of Hudson. Hmmmmm. Somehow that doesn't seem to convey it. Dexter Fowler? Hit a solo home run?!? OFF HUDSON!?!!? That's better. Huddy flirted with disaster, but disaster threw a martini back in his face, and the inning concluded without any more damage.
However, in the next inning, Ramon Hernandez hit a lead off solo shot off Huddy. The game was 2-2. Despite committing the mortal sin of walking the pitcher on four pitches, Daniel got out of it without any more damage.
In the NEXT half inning Justin Upton decided to bunt his way on. Miguel "PAY THE MAN" Montero decided to keep the Homer-fest going and blasted one to right. 4-2 D'Backs. The D'Backs were not content with this loot. Chris Young walked, and went to third on a Goldy single. Geoff Blum, in a moment of total-solar-eclipse like rarity, was productive and hit a sac fly to bring Young home. Ryan Roberts then doubled over Michael Cuddyer to score Goldy and make it 6-2 D'Backs.
Nicasio didn't last long after that. After walking Hudson, he was pulled. 91 pitches in 2 and 2/3 innings. Not a great outing for him, but after his neck injury last year, it's good to see him pitching again. I wish him the best the rest of the season. Esmil Rogers came in to relieve.
The next half inning Tulo doubled and Cuddyer walked to set up Ramon Hernandez again on the old "Hit it hard and confuse the Right Fielder" play. It was played to perfection as Upton misplayed the ball and it whizzed over his head. Two runs scored. 6-4 D'Backs.
Arizona wasted a perfectly good opportunity the next half inning. Jason Kubel continued the tradition of people named Jason doing well at their craft on Friday the 13th with a single. Upton, possibly mad about that misplay, doubled. Second and third with nobody out with the 4-5-6 hitters coming up. If you're a longtime reader of this site, you know what happened next: Groundout, K, K.
In the bottom of that inning, Huddy was an out away from getting out with no damage. But, a shutout inning is too mainstream, and Daniel was a hipster. The law firm of "Single, Single, Wild Pitch, and Single" tied the game up at 6-6. And that did it for Huddy.
Hudson's final line: 3.2 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 3 Ks, 3 BB.
Brad Ziegler came in and promptly gave up a single, but he struck out Hernandez to limit the damage. He would go on to pitch the next inning flawlessly. He also had his first major league at bat! It wasn't a good one, but it happened!
Innings five, six, and seven were relatively calm on both sides. Craig Breslow suddenly became hot, (two definitions there) and pitched two scoreless innings. The Colorado bullpen/Arizona offense was just as effective/ineffective, however.
Bryan Shaw came in in the 8th, and threw cutters everywhere, including to Goldschmidt (h/t Dan for that one) when he was holding Carlos Gonzalez on first. CarGo went to third on that and proceeded to score on a Todd Helton double. 7-6 Colorado. Despite a Miggy single, the D'Backs went quickly into the night in the last inning.
Spent almost four hours of my life on this one, jeez. There was a grand total of 14 runners left on base, and not getting anything in the 4th with runners on second and third with no outs hurt quite a bit. Oh well. Cest'la'vie.
A Decent Portion Of Awesome: Breslow, +17%
Definitely Not Awesome In The Least And Should Be Ashamed: Hudson, -37.3%, Young, -20.1%, Shaw, -19.9%
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Since I'd feel dirty giving the COTD to Mark Grace (technically), Jim gets it with some Padres and Aaron Harrang lulz.
Tomorrow's game is at 5:10 Arizona time, apparently on FSNAZ Plus again. Have a good something something.