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Diamondbacks 2, Braves 3: Saunders strong but Snakes' slide continues

"Hey, if you guys aren't going to use one tonight, I'm not going to either!"
"Hey, if you guys aren't going to use one tonight, I'm not going to either!"

I'm not saying it's time to panic yet, but after the Diamondbacks lost their fourth fifth straight game tonight, it's safe to say fans are concerned. Last night's 10-2 9-1 loss to the Braves was only the Diamondbacks' first second loss of the season by more than one run, and the team was so sorry that they chose to lose by 8 runs felt so out of place that they reverted to their one-run losing ways 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 win tomorrow. Winning a few more after that would be great too.

- snakecharmer in yesterday's recap, my edits in bold

Lazy recap intro, or resourceful? Hit the jump to see how it all played out tonight. That is, assuming that you're cool with reliving losses or optionally experiencing them for the first time. At least Saunders was good. And we aren't the Red Sox.

Final - 4.21.2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Atlanta Braves 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 6 0
Arizona Diamondbacks 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 1
WP: Tommy Hanson (2 - 2)
SV: Craig Kimbrel (5)
LP: Joe Saunders (1 - 1)

Complete Coverage >

With the delightful flurry of work I found myself caught up in this weekend, I managed to forget that there was a game going on today. "But Wailord! There's always a Saturday game!", you say. And you'd be correct, my little SnakePitling. Thankfully, during my daily MLB Networking, they flipped to the Diamondbacks game, to a point in the top half of the opening frame that looked fairly terrible. Entering the game, Joe Saunders owned a sub-one ERA. Against the Pirates. And the Padres. In PetCo. Needless to say, I fully expected the true Saunders to show tonight, and when the newly introduced game showed the bases loaded with just one out and Dan Uggla at the plate, I knew where the game was headed.

Well, I was half right. Saunders managed to miss his spot by a good margin on his 2-2 pitch to Uggla, but Uggla chased for the inning's second out. Joe walked the expiring Chipper Jones to put Atlanta on the board (an unearned run due to an Aaron Hill error), but Jason Heyward took a called strike three to end the inning. Wait, what? Surely I have the wrong Joe Saunders here. Whoever it is pitching, I'd like them to keep it up (meanwhile, I'll sit here and mumble the foul words of "regression" and the like).

Joe pitched admirably for the third time this season, and for the first time against a decent team. With the Lord of Shoulders raining down upon us with his fiery vengeance, with Collmenter's struggles and with the skid we're on, it's nice to have things go the other way. The only other runs allowed by Saunders came in the second (off of two singles and some small ball) and in the third (a solo shot from Uggla), and past those first three innings, Saunders was spotless. He allowed just one baserunner over the next four frames to finish the night with 7IP and just two earned runs to go with five strikeouts and a walk.

The offense, however, managed to make Tommy Hanson look just as good -- if not better. Hanson went seven strong as well, allowing one less hit and one less run with two more strikeouts. So, if you were feeling good with the previous paragraphs, you can feel just as bad and then some. There's your happy thought for the day. Jason Kubel managed to deliver his first home run in a Diamondbacks uniform to account for half of the team's runs on the day. The other Arizonan run came in the second, when Justin Upton (yay) doubled Gerardo Parra to third, setting up Miguel Montero for an RBI on a groundout. Past that, the game was a whole lot of nothing. That speaks largely to the pitching, but makes for a pretty boring textual highlight reel. Kubel was given another chance in the ninth to be awesome, but he chose to strike out instead on an inside 2-2 pitch. What a bum. DFA?

Source: FanGraphs

Doubleplusgood: Bryan Shaw, +5.4%
Plusgood: Joe Saunders, +4.8%
Doubleplusungood: Willie Bloomquist, -15.7%

I sure do hope we get a lot more of Willie Bloomquist's leadoff awesomeness. Anyway, you can tell from the graph that the tl;dr for the game was "a whole lot of nothing". It's a graph, and everyone knows you can't argue with pretty visual representations of data. NASCARbernet led today's commenters with 60 of the 377 comments; no one else reached fifty. All present today were: Augdogs, txzona, Zavada's Moustache, asteroid, SongBird, soco, Husk, rd33, luckycc, kishi, Jim McLennan, dbacks79, iheartdbacks, snakecharmer, Clefo, Turambar, JoeCB1991, fandbacks, rfffr, piratedan7, jjwaltrip, TylerO, dbacksfann, and AzDbackfanInDc.

No comment had more than a single rec, so it was only between a few for Comment of the Night. Looks like Clefo's run as CotN king has ended, as ZM took tonight's with the following, as it made me smile:

Nothing says

"Fan friendly organization" like putting your fans in danger of heatstroke.

"this whole thing is gonna be awesome, especially if it turns out this bad."
-Fake Jeffrey Loria

by Zavada's Moustache on Apr 21, 2012 4:51 PM PDT 1 recs

Tomorrow's game will feature Ian Kennedy facing off against Randall Delgado (who, admittedly, I hadn't heard of before just now). Maybe Ian can pitch as well as Joe did today!

Sorry, had to get that line in there for posterity's sake. See you all tomorrow.