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Diamondbacks 0, Giants 2: Stumbling Out of the Gate

The Diamondbacks kicked off the second-half with a quiet offense and a much better looking Ian Kennedy than we saw throughout most of the first half of the season, barring a rocky first inning.


Final - 7.19.2013 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Arizona Diamondbacks 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
San Francisco Giants 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 2 8 0
WP: Chad Gaudin (4 - 1)
SV: Sergio Romo (22)
LP: Ian Kennedy (3 - 7)

Complete Coverage >

First, you get a little bit of a background story. I was off recapping duties while in school, and will now swap off with BattleMoses for Friday duties. While at school, I sacrificed my TV (also my second monitor) for the greater good, donating it to a good cause (the living room, to allow roommates to watch MLB Network). As a result, I didn't watch a ton of baseball. I followed it a ton, read about it a ton, and listened to it a fair bit. However, if I really wanted to sit down and watch a game, I'd have to full-screen it (not big on the whole baseball-game-for-ants deal), which would mean I couldn't work on anything else, play any games, or read more fantasy baseball analysis. However, purely by coincidence, I received a new monitor that I purchased last week earlier today, perfect to watch the game. All was right in the universe -- save for the incredibly unreliable internet connection that I have here in Vegas -- to begin the second half of the season. Well, mostly everything was right. That, unfortunately, hinged upon the success of now-beardless Ian Kennedy. Could IPK shave off the bad and return to former glory?

Said internet connection (rapidly becoming more of an internet disconnection) prevented me from watching the first inning, but based upon the replays shown later and the play-by-play, I believe I can still tell you what went down. After the Dbacks went quietly in the first, it seemed like Kennedy picked up where he left off in his last start before the break against the Dodgers; that is, he didn't pitch very well. He walked the vaunted leadoff hitter Gregor Blanco, which allowed Buster Posey to double home the game's first run two batters later. After Posey slid over to third on a Pablo Sandoval groundout, the ever-goofy Hunter Pence knocked Posey in to give the Giants their second run. It was at this point that my internet returned, albeit momentarily: after a Brandon Belt single and Kensuke Tanaka walk, the ISP Lords decided to bless me with some more outage. However, when it came back up, the deficit remained just two going into the next inning.

And then, well, Kennedy settled down. He hit 60 pitches by the third, but the pitch count was really the only thing of worry. Nick Piecoro noted that Kennedy, "seemed to lock in during the Belt at-bat in the third", and it'd be hard to argue otherwise. After a one-out single from Pence, Belt whiffed on strike three, beginning a run of outs for Kennedy. Tanaka lined out, and the next seven Giants failed to reach as well. The first inning certainly could lead one to believe that the game would be mired in sadness due to poor pitching, especially given Kennedy's track record this year, but it seemed to just be a shaky frame. Maybe -- hopefully -- this is a sign of things to come in the second half. He exited after notching his fifth scoreless frame, ending the night with a line of 6 IP, 5H, 2 ER, 3BB and three Ks. It just so happened that five of the eight baserunners reached in the first.

The game was, however, mired in sadness due to the lack of any sort of offense. I mean, Chad Gaudin shut us down. Yeah, he's been great this year, but it doesn't change the fact that the guy holds a career ERA of nearly 4.5 and a WHIP of almost 1.5. Gaudin went seven scoreless, only surrendering a hit to Adam Eaton and two to Miguel Montero. The offense also failed to take a walk from Gaudin, but I admittedly can't say much about that, as I didn't see enough of the actual at-bats (good ole internet once again) to know if that was a function of Gaudin pounding the zone or the Dbacks just having a poor plate approach. I'm sure someone can chime in on that in the comments.

The game went on with both teams turning to their respective bullpens. In the eighth, the Giants went through four relievers (Lopez, Rosaria, Mijares, and finally Casilla), as the Dbacks managed to load the bases with two down thanks in part to a nice bunt single from Adam Eaton. Paul Goldschmidt strutted to the plate, needing to come through: bases loaded, two down, down two in the eighth. He was 0-3 to that point on the night -- redemption! -- and a bouncer to short was quickly flipped to second for the third out of the inning. Bah, humbug.

Source: FanGraphs

Baxter: Miguel Montero, +4.3%
The Luchador: AJ Pollock, +4.1%
Dinger: Paul Goldschmidt, -17.0%

No one hit three digits comment-wise, but Clefo led the pack with 81, with Zavada's Moustache coming in a distant second with 53. Comment of the Night goes to blank_38, who would have probably won it even if he didn't lead in recs, simply 'cause of the Pokemon. For context, someone asked the whereabouts of one Mr. Fuji:

Lavender Town

Trapped by Team Rocket.

Your constant harassment of the female gender makes me sick.

We'll try to get things rockin' and rollin' again tomorrow against Matt Cain. Wade Miley will be on the bump for the 'backs, and hopefully we'll see the 2013 Matt Cain that resembles a Heath Bell that goes for more than an inning at a time. Well, for most of his starts.