02 June 2011
And so the first place Arizona Diamondbacks return home. After an incredible roadtrip, they were met at Chase Field Monday night by the Wild-Card leading Florida Marlins. Would the Marlins cool off the red hot D’Backs? Or would the D’Backs show why fish don’t belong in the desert? Let’s find out.
Monday- Game 1 vs. Florida: Single, single, walk is how the night started for Joe Saunders, and it looked like it was another “Here we go again Joe” night. But then something clicked inside Saunders; flyout, popout, strikeout, and suddenly Saunders is out of the 1st. Saunders and Marlin starter Chris Volstad traded zeroes until the 3rd when the Marlins plated two runs. Then the floodgates opened for the Diamondbacks. Four runs in the 3rd, one in the 4th, one in the 5th, five in the 6th, and four in the 7th officially put this game out of reach. Kelly Johnson had a huge night, going 4-6 with two homers and finishing a single shy of the cycle. Justin Upton connected for five hits, including a mammoth blast of a home run into Friday’s. Miguel Montero, Stephen Drew, Gerardo Parra, everyone seemed to have a big night backing Saunders (Montero and Parra also hit homers). The D’Backs win in decisive fashion, 15-4.
Player(s) of the Game: Kelly Johnson (4-6, 2 HR, 3B, 2B, 3 RBI, 3 R) / Justin Upton (5-5, 3RBI, 3R).
Tuesday- Game 2 vs. Florida: Tonight, the most exciting pitching matchup of the series: Anibal Sanchez vs. Ian Kennedy. Kennedy got through the first inning very quickly, but unfortunately it went downhill from there. Upton did connect again for a majestic, towering bomb, but it proved not to be enough against Sanchez. Kennedy didn’t allow a run until the 4th, but he labored through his innings, throwing a lot of pitches. He ended the night with one hundred pitches through only five innings. He walked in the tying run in the 4th, and then the opposing pitcher was able to get an RBI groundout. Sanchez added another RBI groundout later in the game. Before Kennedy left, Marlins left fielder gave him a parting shot, in the form of a 5th inning laser beam homerun into the overhang in left-center field. Sanchez settled in, not allowing another hit until a Sean Burroughs pinch-hit single in the 6th; he did not score. The only other run was a Kelly Johnson (yes, again) home run. Gaby Sanchez homered to give the Marlins their fifth run. Closer Leo Nunez closed the game with a 1-2-3 9th. Marlins win 5-2.
Player of the Game: Since the D’Backs were essentially futile against him, POTG is Anibal Sanchez: 8IP, 6H, 2ER, 1BB, 8K, 117 pitches
Wednesday- Game 3 vs. Florida: So for the second straight start, Daniel Hudson struggles. And for the second straight start, the D’Backs come out on top. After quickly falling down 4-0, the Snakes desperately needed an offensive spark. Ryan Roberts. Roberts hit a two run homer into the left field bleachers after a failed bunt by Hudson to bring them within two. Then a Kelly Johnson triple and a Justin Upton RBI groundout made the deficit only one run. A costly error by Marlin third baseman Greg Dobbs with the bases loaded tied the game in the 7th. A Stephen Drew single, then a pickoff attempt that went into right field, and a Chris Young double turned the game into JJ Putz’s reliable hands. He blew it. A leadoff homer by John Buck (who had done nothing this series) sent the game to the bottom of the 9th. Willie Bloomquist, who did not start the game, led off with a single. Pinch hitter Sean Burroughs struck out after failing to get a bunt down. Roberts then tapped out to the third baseman, and Bloomquist never stopped running as he ended up at third, the winning run. Johnson walked, which brought up Upton. For the second time this season, he blooped one just in front of the right fielder, bringing home Bloomquist. Putz blows the save but got the win, as the D’Backs scratched and clawed to a 6-5 win.
Player of the Game: Justin Upton. He may have gone 1-5, but he had two key RBIs including the walkoff.