I don't have a whole lot to say about tonight's game, you guys. It was one of those fairly boring, utterly forgettable losses. Zack Greinke started the game for the Diamondbacks and was very, very good. Greinke has had his ups and downs in his career, but when he's up, he's sky high. Today was that kind of day.
At the beginning, it looked like it might not be a sky high day for Greinke. The first three Cardinals batters reached in the bottom of the first inning: Matt Carpenter with a double, Tommy Pham with a single, and Paul DeJong with a single to score Carpenter. 1-0 Cardinals with two on and no one out. But then Greinke woke up from his long slumber to retire the next three batters in a row, and then basically all the rest of them through the seventh inning.
The Cardinals threatened in the fifth, after Randal Grichuk hit a lead off double and Harrison Bader followed with a walk. Alas, Luke Voit struck out and Carpenter grounded into a double play to end the threat. I yelled some choice obscenities at the television.
Carpenter did hit another ground rule double in the eighth (don't you miss the days when Matt Carpenter was a doubles machine??? I do... so much), but no one else had any interest in driving him in, so there he stayed until it was time to play first base again.
Meanwhile, Mike Leake was average and not great, and even though I am a Leake Believer®, he disappointed me tonight. In the fourth inning, he hit Jake Lamb, then gave up back to back home runs to Paul Goldschmidt and shiny new Diamondback J.D. Martinez. Leake only pitched five innings, which...I don't know, he wasn't doing THAT poorly. He'd thrown 87 pitches through five, I probably would have left him in for one more inning to face the bottom of the Diamondbacks lineup. Like, Daniel Descalso does not scare me.
Now, to be fair, Leake's spot was up in the bottom of the fifth inning with two on and no one out. Down two runs, I think I would have trusted Leake to bunt the runners over. But IHB, I imagine my faithful readers are saying, isn't that exactly the time that you would WANT Matheny to take the pitcher out of the game? In fact, haven't you railed on Matheny in the past for leaving his pitcher in the game in these exact situations? To which I respond, This is my recap corncobs, so I will bitch and moan however I see fit.
I will concede, it was not a bad move by Matheny to take Leake out there. In the end, it didn't matter anyway, because when you only score one run, it's hard to win the ball game.
Things fell apart in the eighth inning when some butthead thought it was a good idea to let Kevin Siegrist pitch. I thought we weren't doing that anymore? So he gave up three walks, a single, a double, and a home run before someone finally put him out of his misery. A close game became a basically impossible game, as the Dbacks led 6-1. My hands were covered in quick drying mortar, otherwise I might have shut the game off. Tyler Lyons came in to pitch and that was the highlight of the game, as it usually is. A sac fly to Goldy, BUT THAT WASN'T HIS FAULT, and a strike out to the Arizona Hero J.D. Martinez.
The rest of the game was not important. We lost, it was dumb, and yet we're only four games out of first place! The playoffs are somehow still completely attainable! I don't understand this season. I would love to see a 2006 repeat. I don't care if we finish 81-81 and go on a tear and everyone whines about the ridiculous way the MLB playoffs are set up and the Cardinals' devil magic or what the hell ever. I will revel in it. In fact, I say let's keep losing games and barely squeak into the playoffs just to really drive the point home. Look, all I'm saying is that it's an odd year and the San Francisco Giants are 33.5 games back. We have a chance to take back a prime number year and I say LET'S DO IT.