Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson threw a rookie reliever, making his major-league debut, to the wolves on Wednesday night. As you might expect, it cost the D-Backs the game and a chance to gain ground in the standings after the first-place San Francisco Giants lost earlier in the day.
Poor Ryan Cook, a 24-year-old from Clovis, California, was inserted in the top of the 10th inning with the game tied 2-2 against the slugging Milwaukee Brewers. Twenty-four pitches later, Cook had coughed up three runs on three hits, one walk, and a wild pitch. He never recorded an out, meaning that even after pitching in the majors, he still doesn't have an earned-run average.
The Brewers won it 5-2 after John Axford shut down the D-Backs in the bottom of the 10th. Milwaukee took over first place in the National League Central while the D-Backs stayed 4.5 games behind the Giants in the West.
But Cook's dismal debut and the D-Backs' losing the game aren't even the worst that happened Wednesday night. The D-Backs lost shortstop Stephen Drew for the rest of the year to a broken ankle, which he injured sliding into home in the bottom of the fourth inning. He will need surgery.
Drew has not been good at the plate this year, but he is one of the better defensive shortstops in the National League, and he's been the anchor of the D-Backs' infield since -- hard to believe -- 2006. In other words, this injury hurts for the D-Backs, who will likely use Willie Bloomquist at short.
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The D-Backs will try to shake it off tonight as they close out the series with the Brewers. The pitching match-up is a good one: Brewers ace Zack Greinke vs. D-Backs ace Ian Kennedy. Game time is 6:40 p.m. Radio: KTAR 620 AM. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. More info: www.dbacks.com.