Record: 7-7; Pace: 81-81; Change from 2011: +1
I'm not saying it's time to panic yet, but after the Diamondbacks lost their fourth straight game tonight, it's safe to say fans are concerned. Last night's 10-2 loss to the Braves was only the Diamondbacks' first loss of the season by more than one run, and the team was so sorry that they chose to lose by 8 runs to the Braves again tonight. Before I even get to the rest of the game, let me say that they should feel free to lose by fewer than 8 runs tomorrow. Or not losing at all would be great too.
Trevor Cahill struggled to get runners out in the 6th inning, the bullpen didn't really help, and Arizona's offense was once again missing in inaction. Details after the jump.
It looked like it was going to be a long night just based on Trevor Cahill's first inning. Leadoff hitter Michael Bourn singled to left and stole second, followed by a walk and later a hit-by-pitch [to other players, naturally] to load the bases in front of Chipper Jones. Thankfully, at least in this particular at-bat, Chipper Jones was just Old Chipper Jones and not Chipper Jones of Old and ground out harmlessly to end the inning. Cahill allowed at least one hit in the first six innings except for the 2nd. Atlanta took a 1-0 lead in the 3rd on a single followed by a double. A two-out walk to Freddy Freeman preceded a Brian McCann home run in the 5th to make it 3-0.
The wheels really fell off the wagon in the 6th inning. First, Jones reached on an error by Aaron Hill. With runners on the corners and one out, Mark Grace read Freddy Gonzalez's mind by suggesting a squeeze bunt, which pitcher Brandon Beachy executed flawlessly, scoring Jones from third base and even reaching first base safely himself. Bourn doubled in Tyler Pastornicky (whose name is just as much fun to type as it is to say), then Martin Prado's sac fly scored the pitcher Beachy, and when Craig Breslow relieved Cahill, Freeman doubled over the head of Kubel in left to score Bourn, making it 7-0 by the end of the 6th inning. (Somebody with more baseball scoring knowledge than I have will have to explain how Cahill was only tagged for four earned runs of those seven, considering that fourth run, Chipper Jones, reached on the only error of that sixth inning.)
It's not that the Diamondbacks were going to have trouble scoring seven runs, it looked as though they weren't going to score any runs. Paul Goldschmidt singled in the second inning, but he pulled a Pollock and overran an easy steal of second base to get tagged out. Ryan Roberts tried shaving his beard to find his mojo, but his mojo must still think he looks a bit too much like Randy Johnson because Ryro was 0-for-2 with a strikeout before being replaced in the double switch in the 6th. I would suggest that A.J. Pollock try to shave his own beard for luck because he's still 0-for-10 to start his career; however, I'm not convinced he can grow one, so he may just have to skip right to the shower-in-your-uniform-including-spikes thing that Sutton and Gracie were debating the safety of. (Note to kids, please don't try that at home, I don't think SBN's insurance policy would cover you.)
So, Beachy allowed only three Diamondbacks hits through the first seven innings, and it looked like Arizona might be able to break through in the 8th inning. Goldschmidt led off with a walk, pinch hitter Lyle Overbay singled, then Willie Bloomquist singled to load the bases with two outs, but Pollock struck out, stranding all three baserunners. Atlanta added two more runs in the 9th off of lefty Joe Paterson, who allowed four consecutive singles and a walk before being relieved by Brad Ziegler. Ziegler struck out Pastornicky and induced Eric "He's Still Playing?!?" Hinske to ground into a double play. Arizona did manage to score a run in the 9th inning to avoid the shutout when Goldschmidt's groundout scored Hill. Only for the Diamondbacks would their one run score while also making an out. It's been that kind of week, folks....
Golden Boy: Paul Goldschmidt, +1.7%
Fair Haired Maiden: A.J. Pollock, -6.1%
Big Bad Wolf: Trevor Cahill, -19.0%
The Diamondbacks have now fallen to 7-7, in 4th place in the NL West and four games back of the ne'er-do-wrong Dodgers. I know it's only two weeks into the season, but I just don't like seeing the Dodgers with that much of a lead. Then again, it could be worse - we could be the 3-12 San Diego Padres.
It's no secret that with Chris Young on the disabled list and Justin Upton practically there himself, the Arizona offense is missing its normal pop in the middle of the lineup. A 3-4-5 of Jason Kubel, Miguel Montero, and Paul Goldschmidt just isn't scaring pitchers these days, at least not those from the NL East. In fact, since that 4th inning Tuesday afternoon, the Diamondbacks have only scored five runs, and none of them were scored by those three guys I mentioned above (though Kubel did have an RBI). Like I said before, I'm not saying it's time to panic yet, but... well, maybe this would get everybody else on the team to finally shave their beards too?
Quiet night tonight, as we didn't even reach 700 comments but had 30 people pop round. blue bulldog, in his last GDT for a while due to this little thing called "The Bar Exam", led the way with 114 comments; Clefo had 69 and jj had 64 for second and third. CotD goes to Clefo:
Time to pull out the ol' Saturday Black Unis tomorrow evening, 5:10pm faceoff [err...] between Joe Saunders and Tommy Hanson. Prepare your Chris Hansen jokes now....