Oh, those lovable losers known as the Arizona Diamondbacks. They are always finding creative, new ways to lose baseball games.
Monday night was no exception, as the team wasted an outstanding pitching (and hitting) performance from Dan Haren and a late offensive power surge to fall 6-5 to the St. Louis Cardinals.
With two defensive errors in the bottom of the ninth by the D-Backs, the Cardinals were gift-wrapped a win. All three runs scored were unearned. And the hearts of D-Backs fans are in pieces again.
With Haren out of the game and the D-Backs clinging to a 5-4 lead, Aaron Heilman was summoned from the bullpen in the top of the ninth.
With nobody out and runners at first and second, Heilman fielded a bunt and threw the ball past Mark Reynolds at third to score one run. That's error number one.
Two batters later, with one out and the score 5-4, Adam LaRoche (who homered earlier in the game) scooped up a grounder but hurried his throw home as the ball bounced to the backstop. That would be error number two.
Two St. Louis runs scored and the game was over. Ho hum, another dismal day for the D-Backs. This game had to be one of the most painful losses of the season.
After a lackluster six innings, the score was tied at two. And then things started getting crazy.
With one out in the top of the seventh, Haren connected for his first home run of the season to give the Snakes a 3-2 lead.
The best hitting pitcher in the game today, Haren is now batting .435 this season. That is almost unheard of this far into the year. Most pitchers are lucky to be batting above .100.
Not only did Haren show up at the plate, but he was also strong on the bump, pitching eight innings while surrendering four runs.
With the 3-2 lead in the top of the eighth, Haren was given some insurance runs on a wacky home run by Reynolds. The third baseman lifted a deep fly ball to right, where St. Louis' Randy Winn leapt at the wall.
The ball bounced out of his glove and over the fence for a two-run blast and a 5-2 lead. Only in this game would a play as strange as that take place.
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It's too bad these odd games always seem to fall in favor of the D-Backs opponent.
Dontrelle Willis (2-2, 4,90 ERA) takes the hill at 5:15 for the Snakes against Adam Wainwright (10-5, 2.47 ERA) in the second game of the three-game series.
TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620 AM. More info: dbacks.com.