Ouch. For the second consecutive Saturday (yes, my baseball world revolves the days on which I recap), the Diamondbacks were delivered a very swift punch to the stomach. As with last Saturday, we entered the bottom of the ninth with hopes of winning and left the ninth with a heartbreaking loss. There was a pretty poorly played start to the game, there were questionable managerial decisions, and there was a very disappointing end. What's not to want to read about? Hit the jump, once again, and relive some Saturday sadness. Hey, at least we get to see Patrick Corbin pitch in less than 48 hours.
|Final - 4.28.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Steve Cishek (2 - 0)
LP: Brad Ziegler (0 - 1)
Neither Anibal Sanchez nor Ian Kennedy pitched like they were in an actual game early on. Sanchez allowed consecutive doubles to start the game off for
Florida Miami, then walked two more batters before inning's end. Kennedy walked two as well in the bottom half, and a crazy defensive play from Willie Bloomquist is the only reason the inning didn't get worse (it would have been first-and-second, no outs instead of a man on first with an out). Anibal, not wanting to be outdone in the terrible department, then walked Kennedy himself, following it up with a wild pitch to move Ian to second. Yeah, the game's first two innings did not really reflect how the rest of the game went. At all.
Looking past the surface, though, it wasn't that terrible (well, it was, but bear with me). Through two innings, Sanchez had allowed four walks, two extra-base hits, two runs, and had thrown a wild pitch. He did, however, have six strikeouts as well. Unfortunately for the Diamondbacks, between the awful control and the ability to strike batters out, Sanchez gave up just one of the two and it was the walking that stopped.
Both pitchers settled down after the rough start, with the two starters allowing just one run between them for the rest of the night. That's not to say that it was smooth sailing for Ian, though; in the third, a bases-loaded strikeout of Gaby Sanchez kept Miami's zero on the board for Kennedy, and a lockdown 1-2-3 follow-up in the fourth stranded Greg Dobbs at third, who had tripled to lead off the inning. Sanchez had a much easier go at the rest of the night, striking out fourteen Diamondbacks before being pinch-hit for in the seventh. Fourteen times? Sanchez only ("only") faced 28 batters in his seven innings, and managed to strike out half of them. He tends to strikeout batters, but when it happens that often, things cannot go smoothly for anyone but the pitcher's team.
The guy that pinch-hit for Sanchez in the seventh was Omar Infante, who promptly tripled to center to once again put Kennedy in a tough spot. After striking out former-Diamondback Emilio Bonifacio, I figured there was a chance Ian could replicate what he had done earlier, and strand the leadoff triple at third; aye, but it was not to be. Jose Reyes knocked him home, cutting the Diamondback lead to one and ending the night for Ian Kennedy, who exited the game with 6.1 innings pitched that went along with seven hits, a run, and five strikeouts. Certainly a better line than what the first inning would have predicted. Shaw came in and cleaned things up, keeping the game at 2-1 for David Hernandez in the eighth.
He, as things go, quickly allowed a bomb to Logan Morrison, immediately tying the score at 2 apiece. Kennedy had already secured his thirteenth consecutive start without a loss (as a decision), but I can't help but feel that the stat didn't really make things all that much better. Hernandez struck out the next three he faced, but the damage had been, and the Diamondbacks would have to go into the ninth with a tied-up ballgame. Paul Goldschmidt started the inning with a solid drive to right, but my hope proved fleeting as
Mike Giancarlo Stanton caught it for out one. Q quick ground-out/strikeout sent the game into the bottom of the ninth, and Brad Ziegler was brought on to pitch.
Chris Coghlan struck out. Stanton singled. Bonifacio grounded out, but moved the winning run to second. With first base open, Jose Reyes was walked to bring the slumping Hanley Ramirez to the plate with two out and runners at first and second. The face of the Marlins franchise was put in a situation where he could have snapped his team's skid with a walkoff anything, in front of the home crowd nonetheless. Though, he was also 0-26 in his last 26 at-bats. Didn't matter. Ramirez knocked one to left, scoring Stanton from second and winning the game for the Marlins. The Diamondbacks are now 10-11 and own a sub-.500 record for the third time this season. Sigh.
The Retractable Roof: Bryan Shaw, +10.9%
The Abomination in Centerfield: Brad Ziegler, -37.5%