As cute and spirited as it is to hate the Dodgers, there can be no rivalry if one team does not win at least some of the time.
Incurring a sweep on their home turf (and near their home pool), the Arizona Diamondbacks have slumped to 0-5 against Los Angeles on the year, and more importantly, 4-11 for the season.
Not shockingly, Trevor Cahill did not pitch well against the game’s premier fearsome lineup. That’s not as much a knock on Cahill, as it is a recognition of the supremacy D-Backs fans are dealing with. Despite a late, last gasp, the Diamondbacks fell by a score of 8-6 at the hands of the best team money can buy.
Such a platform of things went wrong for Arizona on a sunny Sunday afternoon that it almost brought the imaginary dark clouds out. Most glaring was the D-Backs atrocious 2-for-16 day with runners in scoring position. Losing a game by just two runs to a vastly superior team indicates the fact that the game was winnable. Had just one or two hits fallen in, a sweep could have been potentially avoided.
Next up, poor Tuffy Gosewisch had a miserable day behind the dish. Then again, he went 0-for-4 with six runners left on base with a bat in his hands, so his day wasn’t all that productive in any fashion. Granted, Dee Gordon is fast; like, supremely. Moreover, one of his steals wasn’t particularly off Gosewisch, more of a leading candidate for embarrassing baseball moment of the year. Still, five bases stolen with zero caught stealing cannot be acceptable. A team that can club the ball around the yard like the Dodgers is way too dangerous to have even more men in scoring position because of their legs. Following Murphy’s Law to a near tee, anything that could have gone wrong for the Diamondbacks in this series, did go wrong.
On top of Matt Kemp taking Cahill deep to lead off the top of the second to allow the Dodgers to jump ahead early, a safe bet would have been placed on Adrian Gonzalez cranking another one as well. If you’re so inclined to betting, you would have made a nice chunk of change. Staying true to his form, Gonzalez homered at Chase Field once again, now marking his fourth consecutive game with a long ball. At 5-0 through two and a half innings, the D-Backs could have easily folded up their tent and gone home; but they didn’t.
Resiliency is something that sabermatricians have yet to quantify. After taking a left hook from the Dodgers, Kirk Gibson’s squad seemed to stitch up the lip and proceeded to pound Dan Haren. Gerardo Parra doubled, Aaron Hill tripled, Paul Goldschmidt brought him in on an RBI groundout, and then Eric Chavez went deep for his first round tripper of the campaign. Immediately, there was a ballgame in the desert again.
As soon as there was some momentum and fervor in the ballpark, the bullpen had to come on to “save” Cahill. That’s like asking the fan base if they’d prefer to go via drowning or chloroform asphyxiation. Promptly, the newest member of the ‘pen, Randall Delgado, made his presence known accordingly, by giving up two runs (one of which was unearned) to squelch any possible momentum that was brewing.
The aforementioned last gasp of breath came from the heavy lumber of Mark Trumbo, who clubbed his sixth bomb of the year off ancient veteran reliever Jamey Wright, who was playing professional baseball before the Diamondbacks were even born.
Maybe the most difficult aspect of Los Angeles to crack is the closer. Kenley Jansen is a modern-day Mariano Rivera, who throws a wicked cutter that dances and darts in ways Mariano could only dream of, and adds an additional five-to-six extra MPH on it. It comes as no surprise that both Mark Trumbo and A.J. Pollock whiffed on it to conclude the contest.
Even as they outhit the Dodgers 13-7, it was the timely hitting of the boys in blue that pushed them over the top. Thankfully, the pitching staff gets a break from Adrian Gonzalez for a week before he reappears in their nightmares alongside Chucky and the Grim Reaper.
Welcoming in the New York Mets on Monday could be a soothing sight. While the Mets possess the game’s premier third baseman in David Wright, the rest of his teammates don’t quite stack up to par. Getting a bit of an unlucky draw, the D-Backs must attempt to hit off young gun Zack Wheeler as he takes the mound opposite of Josh Collmenter, who will be making his first start of the season after his promotion out of the desolate place they refer to as the bullpen.
The game will get underway with the first pitch at 6:40 P.M. as the Diamondbacks attempt to get back to their winning ways.