24 June 2011
After a very disappointing homestand where the D’Backs lost 4 of 6, they hit the road, where thus far they have had an even .500 mark (17-17). This Kansas City Royals team is not like the Royals teams of old: the youth movement has arrived. Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas are highly touted prospects in the best farm system in baseball, and they would match up against the Diamondback pitchers. Two years ago this series would draw a “who cares?” from national viewers but this year even MLB Network aired a game of this series. How exactly did these two young teams play each game? Find out below.
Tuesday- Game 1 vs. Kansas City- Joe Saunders (3-7) vs. Luke Hochevar: The very first pitch in the bottom of the 1st was hit into the seats by Alex Gordon. Some nights this would upset Saunders and prevent him from finding a rhythm, but not tonight. Although he did allow a base runner an inning (save for a perfect 6th, the Royals only managed to plate one more run all game off Saunders. And his offense was more than willing to help him, including a new face. In the 5th with the D’Backs down a run, Wily Mo Pena stepped to the plate for only the second time in Sedona Red. He made his debut memorable, as even on a swing that even he will concede was not his best, he was still able to launch a rocket just to the right of the fountains in center. That was the spark the D’Backs needed, as they hit the ground running from there. Justin Upton stayed white hot with an RBI double, Gerardo Parra tripled in a pair, and CY added a long ball en route to a 7-2 D’Backs win.
W: Saunders (4-7)
L: Hochevar: (4-8)
POTG: Welcome to Arizona Wily Mo Pena: you are welcome here anytime, 1-4, HR, R, RBI
Wednesday- Game 2 vs. Kansas City- Ian Kennedy (7-2) vs. Jeff Francis (3-7): An ace is someone who even on days that are not his best is able to get you deep into the game and get his team in position to win. That’s what Ian Kennedy did this night. He allowed 8 hits and 2 walks, but most importantly, only 1 run, that coming via a double play ball in the 3rd. It tool until the 5th for the Diamondback bats to wake up, but the 3 they scored was all they were going to need. Xavier Nady doubled in a run, Willie Bloomquist had a sacrifice groundout, and Ryan Roberts had a beautiful safety squeeze play (*writer’s note: we don’t see enough of these) to back Kennedy. J.J. Putz decided to make the game interesting in the 9th, as with a 3-2 lead and already two outs, he allowed Chris Getz to single. It was a good defensive attempt by Kelly Johnson but a single nevertheless. Getz proceeded to steal 2nd, and 3rd, to put himself as the tying run 90 feet away. Melky Cabrera then walked (the winning run) and was promptly replaced with the fleet-of-foot Jarrod Dyson at first. Now Eric Hosmer came to the plate with a chance to be the hero. It was somewhat anticlimactic as he popped up on the first pitch to end the game, and secure a 3-2 win for the D’Backs.
W: Kennedy (8-2)
L: Francis: (3-8)
S: Putz (19)
POTG: Really no one stands out, so Ryan Roberts and the safety squeeze, the eventual game decider, gets the nod. 0-3, RBI. This may be the only time a man goes hitless and gets the POTG.
Thursday- Game 3 vs. Kansas City- Daniel Hudson (8-5) vs. Felipe Paulino (0-4): A single by Ryan Roberts started this game, and the D’Backs never really looked back from there. Justin Upton was hit by a pitch and two batters later, Chris Young drove them both in. In the 2nd, they continued to add on, with a Miguel Montero solo shot to lead off the inning putting the Snakes up 3-0. The Royals would fight back however, as a Montero throwing error put them in position to score two runs, and they did just that. Stephen Drew doubled in a run in the 3rd, Juan Miranda homered in the 4th, and the Royals scraped one more across in the bottom half of the 4th, and that was it for the scoring. Both Hudson and Paulino settled in, not allowing another hit until the 9th. Despite being tagged for 5ER, Paulino managed to complete 8 innings to give their bullpen a break. Hudson went 7, allowing 3ER and only striking out 1. Heilman had a perfect 8th, followed by a perfect 9th from J.J. Putz to complete the sweep, and a 5-3 victory.
W: Hudson (9-5)
L: Paulino (0-5)
S: Putz (20)
POTG: Chris Young’s at bat in the 1st really set the tone for the game. His final line was 1-3, 2RBI, BB.
Series/Roadtrip: 3-0, it’s a sweep!