Turnabout, as they say, is fair play.
A mere 24 hours after routing the Chicago Cubs, 7-2, on Monday, the Arizona Diamondbacks got a taste of their own medicine last night in the form of an 11-3 drubbing by the Windy City sluggers. So long, winning streak, we hardly knew ye.
As usual, it was practically a home game for Chi-Town, with their rabid Valley fan base (last seen flocking to the team's spring training games at Mesa's HoHoKam Stadium) descending upon Chase Field en masse and turning the joint into Wrigley Field South. Approximately two-thirds of the 30,351 in attendance were bleeding Cubbies blue instead of Sedona red, and screaming loudly with every run scored.
The roars really got going during the third inning, when Alfonso Soriano slammed a three-run homer off a 0-1 changeup from Yusmeiro Petit, a virtual repeat of Fonz's downtowner from the previous evening. The D-Backs starting pitcher then gave up another four in the following frame (including Mike Fontenot's two-run blast and an RBI single by Ryan Theriot), and was yanked after only three and one-third innings, raising his ERA to 8.62 in the process.
The game effectively ended at that point (reinforced by the fact that many Diamondbacks fans headed for the exits), as Arizona's ineffective relief pitchers continued demonstrating their penchant for serving up homer fuel to opposing teams. Both the embattled Jon Rauch and Esmerling Vasquez gave up a pair of runs each before Scott Schoeneweis was brought in during the eighth to stop the hemorrhaging. (Here's hoping both Petit's inability to last past the early innings and Arizona's continuous bullpen problems will soon be fixed by manager Bob Melvin and the rest of his coaching staff.)
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Meanwhile, Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano was having an outstanding night. Besides battling through seven while nailing three Ks, the Cubs southpaw came close to hitting for the cycle. A single in the third was followed by an RBI double in the fifth and a homer in the seventh. The D-Backs attempted something of a comeback late in the game, with both Miguel Montero and Justin Upton scoring off RBIs in the seventh, but the rally was snuffed out by Chicago.
The Cubs fans couldn't have been happier, as they raucously celebrated the win long into the night at Sliders, including tipping the DJs at the sports bar adjacent to Chase Field upward of $150 to play the team's anthem, "Go, Cubs, Go!"
D-Backs lefty Doug Davis (1-3, 3.67 ERA) will attempt to shut those fools up when he takes the mound this afternoon at Chase Field during the rubber match. Opposing him will be Chicago's Ryan Dempster (1-0, 4.88 ERA), who's looking for his second win ever against the D-Backs. First pitch is at 12:40 p.m. FSN AZ will broadcast the game on the tube, with KTAR-AM 620 taking care of the radio end.
Tickets and more info: www.dbacks.com.