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Diamondbacks 3, Astros 1 - Rookie Rockets to Lucky 13th Win

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HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 17:  Wade Miley #36 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on August 17, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 17: Wade Miley #36 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on August 17, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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There are only three teams in major league baseball who have fewer than 50 wins. The Astros are the only one with fewer than 40 wins. After a late comeback in St. Louis last night, the Diamondbacks were looking to build some momentum, and Rookie of the Year candidate Wade Miley was looking to bounce back after a rough outing last week against Washington. Both of those achievements were unlocked tonight in Houston. Read on to find out how this feat was accomplished...

Final - 8.17.2012 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Arizona Diamondbacks 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 3 6 1
Houston Astros 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 11 2
WP: Wade Miley (13 - 8)
SV: J.J. Putz (24)
LP: Dallas Keuchel (1 - 5)

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Wade Miley got off to an auspicious start, and why do so many of our starters have "auspicious starts" on my Friday recaps? The Astros got three hits in the first inning - back-to-back leadoff singles by Jose Altuve and Tyler Greene, and another one by Justin Maxwell with one out - but the Astros did their best Arizona Diamondbacks impression and failed to score. After those first 19 pitches, Miley settled down and allowed only two hits the next three innings.

Arizona had one baserunner in the 1st inning when Jake Elmore reached via the shortstop's fielding error and one in the 2nd inning when Justin Upton worked a leadoff walk. It took until the 4th when the Diamondbacks got their first hit off of Astros starter Dallas Keuchel, an Aaron Hill grounder just through the right side. However, Paul Goldschmidt promptly took care of any excitement we felt by grounding into a double play on the next pitch.

The 5th inning went much better for Diamondbacks hitters. With one out, Gerardo Parra singled to left, briefly making fans worry when he came up grimacing on the turn from first base. But he should be just fine - when Wil Nieves singled to center, Parra made it to third. Miley put down a beautiful squeeze bunt that scored Parra and gave the Diamondbacks a lead. Then Chris Young, who always enjoys the home cooking here in Houston, nearly hit a home run to the short porch in left field, but instead it was a double high off the wall, and Nieves scored to make it 2-0 Diamondbacks.

Houston got one run back in their half of the 5th inning. Marwin Gonzalez lead off with a double (on an 0-2 count), and an infield hit by Jose Altuve put runners on the corners with one out. Miley nearly struck out Tyler Greene, but instead he hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Gonzalez and make it a one-run game.

Miley had a 25-pitch 6th inning in which his first batter, Maxwell, reached on an error, but he was picked off. Ben Barnes singled with two outs, and Castro struck out but reached on a wild pitch. Miley dug deep and on pitch 102 of the night, struck out Gonzalez to get out of the jam. While he appeared frustrated at several points of the game, it was overall a solid outing for the rookie: 6 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 5 K.

Brad Ziegler pitched an interesting 7th inning. He allowed a leadoff single to Brett Wallace, who was out at second on a fielder's choice by Altuve (and he probably should've been safe). Then Altuve was out on another fielder's choice to second by Greene. Ziegler ended the inning with a strikeout.

Arizona tried to add on in the 7th inning - a leadoff walk by Chris Johnson, followed by a bunt single by Parra - but couldn't. They did add a run in the 8th inning on back-to-back doubles to the left field wall by Hill and Goldschmidt.

David Hernandez came in to pitch the 8th, and after a leadoff walk and a single, Hernandez got a failed-bunt pop-out, a regular pop out, and a strikeout to keep the score 3-1.

J.J. "The Easy Button" Putz had a bit of trouble getting the last out of the game, but got two strikeouts in the 9th for his 15th consecutive save and the team's first win here in the series.

Source: FanGraphs

The Rookie: W Miley, +25.1%
Mr. 3000: The Bullpen, collective +29.2%
Rudy: R Wheeler, -8.6%

Pitching was the name of the game tonight. Despite allowing 11 hits, they allowed only one run, and as Jim pointed out, it's only the third time in their history they've done that. That gave them an amazing 54.2% WPA; the hitters, meanwhile, totaled a minuscule -4.2%. Poor Ryan Wheeler gets the lowest because his 0-for-1 came at a key time in the game.

It was a quiet night in the neighborhood. There were 30 of us around for the game, and 750+ comments. ish95 and DC were in the century club. All present were: AzDbackfanInDc, dbacks79, PatrickPetersonAZ, Clefo, piratedan7, txzona, blank_38, onedotfive, imstillhungry95, BigLeagueAZ, Turambar, hotclaws, Jim McLennan, Husk, 4 Corners Fan, asteroid, snakecharmer, marionette, Rockkstarr12, rd33, echilos, deerhaven, DivineWolfwood, GuruB, Fangdango, CaptainCanuck, Muu, DentArthurDent, Backin'the'Backs, and Joel Preston.

Comment of the Night goes to onedotfive for her quip in the 1st inning:

Are supposed to panic already? This soon...

’cause like, I was hoping to wait a few innings to rend my garments and gnash my teeth, ya know.

Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good too.

by onedotfive on Aug 17, 2012 5:19 PM PDT reply actions

The Dodgers lost in extra innings in Atlanta, so at least we picked up a game there, but the Giants have built a large lead against the Padres in San Diego. Time to build on the time to build, as Arizona goes for a third straight victory tomorrow night. Patrick Corbin will take his turn against... I don't know who, but I'd bet it's a Houston Astro pitcher. Same place, one hour earlier tomorrow night!