Arizona Diamondbacks Clobber St. Louis Cardinals Pitching Just a Little Bit Harder in Slugfest at Chase Field
The Arizona Diamondbacks got into a slugfest at Chase Field last night, and even though the St. Louis Cardinals got a few good shots in, the D'Backs managed to take the win, 13-8.
Just about everyone in the Diamondbacks' lineup had a great game, with Justin Upton, Chris Young, and Juan Miranda going yard for the Snakes, and five hitters reaching base more than once. Unfortunately, the Cardinals mashed Diamondbacks' pitching, with Armando Galarraga putting on a plodding performance and relief pitcher Kam Mickolio nearly giving up the game in the sixth.
Manager Kirk Gibson got himself ejected in the third inning, teaching millions of Arizonans and the home plate umpire a few new obscenities.
Galaragga started the game well enough, allowing a two-out single to Albert Pujols between Colby Rasmus and Matt Holliday strikeouts and a Ryan Theriot groundout. But it was all downhill from there for the tall righthander from Venezuela.
In the second inning, Galaragga gave up back-to-back homeruns to Lance Berkman and David Frees, the latter of which flew out to dead centerfield. Skip Schumaker followed with a hard double but Galarraga got Yadier Molina to fly out out.
Colby Rasmus banged out a homerun to lead off top of the third, which was otherwise uneventful.
He gave up two more runs in a sloppy fifth inning, and was lucky it was only that many. Theriot started the inning with a hard hit double and Rasmus flew out. Pujols singled Theriot to third, and Holliday singled him in. Berkman grounded into a field's choice. Freese walked to load the bases, and Galaragga then walked in Schumaker to score a run. Molina grounded out to end the inning, and that was it for Galaragga, who was relieved by Kam Mickolio, who gave up three runs in .2 innings and had to be bailed out by Joe Paterson.
Galarraga might be the most frustrating pitcher to watch in baseball. He's a mediocre starter who paces his game as if he were Roy Halladay. When he pitched his perfect game* last season he was feted by every sportswriter across the land for his grace under pressure, but his stoic qualities are what make his performances so hard to enjoy. When Galarraga walked in a run, for example, he just sort of stood around, taking the experience in. He throws each pitch as if it were part of a bullpen session, que sera sera, with no sense of urgency or any indication that he's working to improve his pitching line.
Fortunately for Galarraga and Mickolio, the offense was on last night, and the relievers shut down the game after the sixth.
Justin Upton walked in the first, then Stephen Drew doubled him home. Chris Young continued to show that he's made for the middle of the order by banging a single up the middle to drive in Drew. Upton hit a three-run bomb onto the walkway by the Fatburger in the second, scoring Willie Bloomquist and Kelly Johnson.
Young scored on a Galarraga groundout in the fourth, then Young hit a two-run bomb in the fifth, scoring Drew. The Diamondbacks scored in the sixth on a Ryan Roberts double, plating Russell Branyan, and then Juan Miranda homered with Miguel Montero and Roberts on base. And that was it for both offenses.
Kirk Gibson got himself thrown out in the bottom of the third for arguing balls and strikes with the umpire during a Miguel Montero at-bat. Gibson was furious, and refused to immediately leave the dugout. It's hard to say whether his antics had an effect on the game -- Montero struck out weakly -- but it was fun as hell to watch.
Jake Westbrook will start against the Diamondbacks tomorrow opposite Ian Kennedy, who is off to the best start of his young career. The two are almost perfect opposites of each other: an older starter in decline and a young pitcher on an upswing. But Westbrook can still get it done, sometimes, so it will be fun to see how the two do. That's a 6:40 start at Chase Field.