Joe Saunders probably wishes that last night's Arizona Diamondbacks loss to the Miami Marlins never, ever took place. Especially since the southpaw starting pitcher gave up a whopping nine earned runs to the Florida team on Monday evening at Chase Field and laid the groundwork for an epic 12-3 drubbing.
You read that right: Nine runs. Even worse, it all happened in just one inning.
It was a personal record and career low for Saunders, as well as yet another humiliation for the D-backs in a season that's been filled with shame, disappointment and failure. Overall, Arizona's pitching squad allowed a total of 20 hits during the game.
Giving up a dozen hits and a huge amount of hits wasn't the only bad news that transpired in Diamondbacks-land yesterday as the team also traded shortstop Stephen Drew, who has been with Arizona for his entire career, to the Oakland A's in exchange for minor leaguer Sean Jamieson.
Despite the fact that the oft-injured Drew hasn't hat the hottest bat this season, the D-backs could've used Drew in the lineup during Monday's rout by the Marlins. Hell, he probably would've been a better pitcher than Saunders, who's epic fail came in the fourth.
The Arizona lefty was pretty stable up to that point, having notched zero runs and struck out a pair of batters through the first three frames. Then the Marlins decided to hold an impromptu batting practice session, using Saunders as their personal pitching machine. It got so bad that Miami ran through its entire lineup during the fourth.
Donovan Solano, Jose Reyes, and Carlos Lee each got singles to start the inning (one of which resulted in a run) before Giancarlo Stanton cleared the bases with a 442-foot three run homer and Justin Ruggiano popped a solo jack into the center field seats at the Chase. While D-backs manager Kirk Gibson would've been wise to yank Saunders at this point, given that the score was now 5-1, the skipper left his pitcher twisting in the wind, resulting in a few more runs.
John Buck, Emilio Bonifacio, and Donovan Solano each produced singles, followed by an RBI double to deep left by Reyes. It was only at this point the Gibson sent Saunders to the showers, as Brad Bergesen was brought in from the bullpen to get the final out of the inning. He eventually did, but not before giving up another run when Reyes plated after Carlos Lee's rib-eye single.
The Marlins would later go on to add a total of three additional runs to the scoreboard in the fifth and seventh. Meanwhile, save for a Jason Kubel homer in the first and RBIs from Chris Johnson later in the latter frames, the D-backs didn't offer much offense.
Hopefully, Miami used up all its scoring mojo last night, which will provide Arizona with the chance to still win the series. Thankfully, Saunders won't be handling the ball, as Trevor Cahill (9-10, 3.75 ERA) gets the nod for tonight's game and faces Ricky Nolasco (9-12, 4.94). First pitch is at 6:40 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620-AM. More info: www.dbacks.com.