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Diamondbacks 5, Padres 6: Arizona Comes Up Short, Story of the Season

Sept. 20, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs (37) throws during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE
Sept. 20, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs (37) throws during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Record: 74-75. Pace: 80-82. Change on last year: -13.

This was the type of game that is best spent at arm's length, in a cubicle, typing up comments and staring a loan documents, while Jeff Mund's voice drones on the radio in the background. Okay, maybe that's just how I spent the game, but I'm glad I wasn't too invested.

I did feel a certain thrill to the beginning of the 9th, and it made me think about much I'd miss the game when the cruel winter months start in a couple weeks. But it's also probably good to take a break.

The game didn't start in a spectacular manner. Tyler Skaggs got out the first two batters, then ran into a figurative wall. Chase Headley walked, then Yasmani Grandal singled to put runners on first and third. Jesus Guzman took two strikes, and it looked like Skaggs might Doug Davis his way out of the jam. But then he and Miggy tried to get a little too cute, hanging a fastball that was meant to be up, and Guzman launched it for a 3 run homer. Candiotti speculated that perhaps they were hoping to use a high fastball to set up Skagg's curveball as an out pitch, but it obviously didn't work out so well.

The Diamondbacks would be behind the rest of the way, but at least they tried to make it interesting. Aaron Hill responded in the bottom of the first with a solo shot to get the D-backs on the board.

Justin Upton had himself a game, ending just a homer short of a cycle. He went 3 for 4 and scored 2 runs, but was denied a chance to get a home run to finish it off when the Diamondbacks ended the game before his spot in the order came up.

That 9th inning was something, wasn't it? Down 6-5 and Arizona loads the bases with no outs. You can't ask for a better arrangement, and even if you just get 1 run then at least you're extending the game. Chris Johnson got it started with a leadoff single, and was joined on board by Ryan Wheeler, who was safe on a fielder's choice. Johnson was also safe due to an error at second where Logan Forsythe didn't keep his foot on the bag. Jason Kubel walked, and the table was set.

Then the shenanigans began. I almost wish for the DH just so I don't have to suffer through another game where two below average teams grind out the end of the game with 5 pitchers and 4 offensive changes (3 pinch hitters and a pinch runner, though Chris Young did not actually get a plate appearance, as he was switched out when Bud Black brought in a lefty). I guess you could say it worked for the Padres, though, as the D-backs did exactly nothing with their golden opportunity. Foul out by Mike Jacobs, fielder's choice by Adam Eaton, and strikeout by Hill. And that's the ball game, and the D-backs season in a nutshell.

Obviously more runs scored then ones I detailed, but the only one of real note is that Eaton hit his first career homer in the 7th inning. From the sounds of it, the ball barely cleared the wall, but a home run is a home run is a home run, as Gertrude Stein famously opined.

Source: FanGraphs

Ba ba ba ba: Chris Johnson (26.3%)

Gaaaaaaah: Jason Kubel (21.9%), Ryan Wheeler (18.4%)

ah bloo bloo bloo: Aaron Hill (-24.6%)

mmmmmmmmrrrrrrrmmmmmmmm: Mike Jacobs (-20.3%), Tyler Skaggs (-18.1%)

Tepid Game Day Thread today, which is to be expected given that it was in the afternoon during the work/school week. Just under 300 comments, populated by the following: biggoron, kishi, Clefo, hotclaws, BattleMoses, Bcawz, onedotfive, Jim McLennan, GuruB, 4 Corners Fan, marionette, blank_38, dbacks79, BrokeNBattleX, snakecharmer, JoeCB1991, Zavada's Moustache, Diamondhacks, azshadowwalker, and imstillhungry95.

Comment of the Day goes to Zavada's Mustache (the poster, not the actual facial hair) for this comment about Bud Black's bullpen strategy:

"If I'm goin' down, I'm takin' every arm in this bullpen with me!"

Free Daron Sutton.

by Zavada's Moustache on Sep 20, 2012 6:25 PM EDT up reply

Tomorrow the D-backs start a three game set against the Rockies, who should barely be called a major league team at this point. That's right, I went there. What're you gonna do about it Colorado? First pitch is at 5:10pm, so be here, or somewhere else.