Do you have a friend who either doesn't give two poops about baseball or doesn't know jack squat about the game? Or perhaps you're entertaining some English blokes who would rather sip a spot of tea while watching the cricket than checking out a game of "rounders," as those British bastards call it?
If any of these scenarios apply -- or you like baseball with a lot of action -- then make them watch a replay of yesterday's Arizona Diamondbacks/San Diego Padres game. At the very least, your buddy will be a little more schooled on why baseball is so unique.
Aside from the twists and turns of Monday's game at Chase Field, the storyline of this one for Arizona fans is how the D-Backs choked away another one. Heading into the eighth inning with a 7-1 lead, the AZ bullpen couldn't lock it down in the team's 9-7 loss in 10 innings.
Before all of that, the Diamondbacks were on point. In Arizona's half of the third and with the score knotted up at goose eggs, the D-Backs' much-improved offense produced its five third-inning runs in just about every way imaginable. Chris Snyder cranked one over the left-field fence to begin the inning; Doug Davis tripled to deep center; Gerardo Parra singled home Davis; Parra took second on a balk by Chad Gaudin; Augie Ojeda took first on a hit-by-pitch; Justin Upton singled home Parra, then took second on an error; Stephen Drew sacrifice-flied to bring Ojeda home; Mark Reynolds walked; and Upton scored on a wild pitch. Arizona batted around in plating five runs on four hits and an error.
But the Padres matched Arizona's offensive onslaught by batting around in the top half of the eighth to cut the deficit to 7-6. An excellent pitching performance by Arizona's Davis came to an end following an error by shortstop Drew, a double by Scott Hairston, and a walk to Adrian Gonzalez. Jon Rauch, relieving Davis, went to work, but immediately yielded two run-scoring singles. Then came the killer blow, Drew Macias' bases-clearing double against Clay Zavada.
The Pads knotted the score at 7-7 in the top of the ninth off closer Chad Qualls. Hairston singled home Brian Giles, who had reached on a pinch-hit, lead-off double. Then, in the 10th, Tony Pena gave up a two-run bomb to Chase Headley to deep right center, making the score 9-7. Heath Bell pitched a scoreless 10th for his 13th save of the season.
The Padres, the hottest team in the Bigs, extended their winning streak to 10 while snapping an 11-game slide on the road.
The two teams go at it once again tonight starting at 6:40 at Chase Field. Scheduled starters are Arizona's Max Scherzer (1-3, 3.50 ERA) against San Diego's Kevin Correia (1-2, 4.53 ERA). TV: FSN-AZ. Radio: KTAR-AM 620. More info: www.dbacks.com.
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