It'd be easy to lay complete blame on Edwin Jackson for the Arizona Diamondbacks' 6-3 loss last night to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Particularly since one of his 94 miles per hour heaters became the difference-maker after Manny Ramirez plonked the pitch deep into center field for a three-run double.
But as it turns out, Snakes skipper A.J. Hinch is just as big a goat in the situation. Just before ManRam's fatal at-bat, Hinch specifically ordered his starting pitcher to intentionally walk Andre Ethier with two outs away in the seventh inning and intentionally load the bases.
It seemed a somewhat illogical call (considering both of El Lay's sluggers are relatively equal in terms of deadliness), and as Hinch himself admitted after the game, it was most definitely the incorrect one.
"It's a difficult call, a tough call, and the way it turns out, obviously, it's a bad call," the skipper told reporters. "Two of the hottest hitters in the league with all of the money on the table. Unfortunately, we'll never know if we go the other way how that plays out."
No shit, A.J.
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If there was any bright spot to the loss, it was Adam LaRoche's hitting. While the southpaw has been relatively inconsistent in his offense this season, he generated all three of the D-Backs runs last night. It started in the fourth inning after the Dodgers had gone up by two, thanks to a two-run jack by Ethier. LaRoche nailed a grounder into right field after singles by Stephen Drew and Mark Reynolds, plating both his teammates and tying the score.
When the Snakes found themselves down 6-2 after ManRam's coup de grâce, Adam made a sacrifice fly in the eighth to bring Connor Jackson home. Co-Jack had advanced to third after Hong-Chih Kuo and Ronald Belisario intentionally walked Justin Upton and Reynolds. Even with LaRoche's heroics, the D-Backs lineup couldn't provide another two runs to save the game, despite having runners on first and second with only one out.
Man, its gonna be a long season.
With Wednesday's loss, Arizona (14-21) has not only lost its sixth straight, but has also been swept in back-to-back series. The D-Backs will attempt to avoid a three-peat when they head to the Deep South on a five-game road swing. First up is Atlanta (16-18), who -- unlike the Snakes -- are streaking instead of sucking. The Braves have won their last three games and will send Kenshin Kawakami (0-6, 5.73 ERA) to the mound on Friday against Ian Kennedy (2-2, 3.48) to kickoff the three-night stand at Turner Field. First pitch is at 4:35 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620-AM. More info: www.dbacks.com.