Anemic Diamondbacks Unable To Support Kennedy's Strong Outing, Lose 2-0 In 11 Innings

Zero offense. Ian Kennedy pitched eight strong innings but didn't get the well-deserved win. Aaron Heilman gave up two runs in the eleventh inning to seal Arizona's fate.

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Diamondbacks Postgame Notes And Quotes: Great Loss, Protect Your Kids

Despite the Diamondbacks loss to the Giants, Kirk Gibson was pleased with the game overall. He cited three great plays including Gerardo Parra's diving catch in the ninth inning to prevent the go-ahead run; Stephen Drew's fantastic backhand grab and throw to first from deep short in the sixth; and Miguel Montero picking off a runner to end an inning in the seventh.

"As I sat there late in this game after we made those plays I said that I really wanted this team to feel the reward for the way they played. Unfortunately, we didn't but again like I said this is what we want to experience every day. This is what it's all about. I was very proud of them today. They did a heck of a job," Gibby said.

Notes

  • The decision to take Ian Kennedy out and not let him pitch the ninth inning was mostly from the pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre, Jr.
  • Ian doubled to lead off the eighth inning and instead of following the 80 percent rule for pitchers effort running the bases, Kennedy said he went full speed on the tag-up that moved him over to third. He didn't have a problem with the decision to not let him start the ninth.
  • It was an interesting decision in the first place to let Kennedy hit to lead off the eighth inning in a scoreless game with 91 pitches but his double (the only D-backs extra base hit of the game) made that decision seem brilliant.
  • In the seventh inning, Montero got hit on the arm by a pitch. Gibby said he went and argued the call by the umpire which was that Miggy didn't make an effort to get out of the way of the pitch and therefore didn't award him the base.
  • "If you're a hitter, you're trained to stay in there especially if you have two strikes on you. If you bail and it's a breaking ball then you're out. So you just train yourself to hold your ground," Gibby said.
  • In fact, not only was that call questionable, the umpire (Bruce Dreckman) didn't award Montero a ball on the play which according to the rules he should have. It was a 2-2 pitch and he called neither a ball or a strike. The next pitch was a ball which made the count 3-2 but would have been ball four had Dreckman called the play correctly.
  • Gibby said he made a mistake by not arguing that point and didn't realize until later.
  • Fox Sports Arizona's Jack McGruder attempted to talk to Dreckman or the crew chief Gary Darling but both refused to comment.
  • Gibby made a point to mention Mark Reynolds being "one tough SOB." He pinch hit in the 10th and struck out after getting a ball thrown in on his hands and then went out in the 11th and made a good defensive play.
  • Reynolds had the day to rest his thumb. "I'm not sure you quite understand what his hand feels like," Gibby said.
  • Gibby said he not only felt Enright was the best bunter he had available in the 10th inning after Parra walked to leadoff the inning but said he wanted Barry to have that experience of having to handle the bat in a crucial situation. Enright struck out.
  • Aaron Heilman was the goat today, giving up the two game-winning runs in the 11th. He got the first two batters out then gave up two singles before hanging a change-up to Nate Schierholtz who pounded it for a triple.
  • "I felt a lot better today. I felt like I made some really good pitches, a couple of them (hits) fell in and I left one pitch up and it hurt me," Heilman said. That's the game of baseball. One mistake can kill you but at the same time hitter don't hit mistake pitches all the time. 
  • Justin Upton said his shoulder is improving. He's trying to strengthen it and get the soreness out. He is frustrated and wants to be on the field but with the way the team is playing he wants to be 100 percent when he comes back.
  • Ian Kennedy talked about the improved communication he has with his catcher, Miguel Montero. They are more able to discuss game plans before the game and Kennedy is comfortable making sure his point of view is heard. The results can't be argued with. Kennedy has pitched 23 solid innings over this last three started giving up just three earned runs over that stretch.
  • Ian credited better command of his off-speed pitches and being more aggressive and willing to throw strikes and not be afraid of throwing to contact.
  • Ian's thrown 173 innings this season which is approaching the 185 limit the team set for him this season. He's not been told anything about the limit recently and will keep pitching until they tell him not to.
  • Kennedy said that he thinks the nets should extend all the way to the dugouts to protect fans from hard hit balls. In today's game a 13-year-old boy sitting about four rows up just outside the net was hit in the head by a bat from Buster Posey. 
  • The boy was taken off on a stretcher and went to Phoenix Children's Hospital. In this game there was also a 2-year-old girl in the upper deck that got hit in the head by a foul ball and also was taken to PCH. Be careful when you bring your kids to the game, folks.

 

Postgame audio:

Gibby postgame 090610

Kennedy postgame 090610

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Diamondbacks Battle Tough Until Heilman Hangs A Change in the 11th Inning, Giants 2-0

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Nate Schierholtz ended a pitchers' duel with a two-run triple in the 11th inning, leading the surging Giants to a 2-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks to start a three-game series.

Aubrey Huff and Edgar Renteria each finished with a pair of hits for the Giants, who climbed to within a half-game of the struggling Padres in the NL West and to within a game of the Phillies in the wild card race. San Francisco has won five of six overall.

Madison Bumgarner threw a gem, shutting out the D'Backs for 7 1/3 innings. He allowed five hits and a walk while fanning seven. Santiago Casilla (6-2) earned the win, and Brian Wilson tied a career-high with his 41st save.

Ian Kennedy's eight shutout innings went for naught, as the Diamondbacks lost their third straight. Kennedy, who allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out six, has a 2.12 ERA in his last four starts.

Aaron Heilman (5-7) took the loss.

The Giants used a two-out rally off Heilman to score the game's only runs.

The first two batters of the 11th were quickly retired, but Huff and Buster Posey both singled in front of the right fielder, who was playing deep to prevent an extra-base hit. Schierholtz followed with a drive into the right-center field gap for a two-run triple.

Wilson pitched around a leadoff walk in the home half to lock down the victory.

Neither team put a runner on third until the Diamondbacks threatened in the eighth.

Kennedy drove a Bumgarner pitch over the drawn-in outfield for a leadoff double and moved to third on Stephen Drew's deep fly ball. Sergio Romo relieved Bumgarner and walked pinch-hitter Ryan Church on four pitches, leading the Giants to put in Javier Lopez.

Lopez got out of the jam, striking out Kelly Johnson before inducing a fielder's choice groundout from Chris Young.

The Giants answered by putting together a scoring threat in the top of the ninth off Juan Gutierrez.

Andres Torres hit a one-out single and attempted to steal second. On the pitch, Freddy Sanchez hit a soft ground ball to where Drew is normally stationed at shortstop. The ball dribbled into shallow left field, allowing Torres to reach third.

Gutierrez, though, induced a harmless pop up from Huff before Posey lofted a fly ball to shallow right-center. Gerardo Parra charged in and made a spectacular sliding catch to prevent a run from scoring and end the inning.

Bumgarner has been excellent on the road and has a 5-2 record with a 2.25 ERA in eight starts...The Giants lead the season series, 9-4...San Francisco is 52-17 when scoring first...Wilson tied Gary Lavelle for third place on the franchise's all-time saves list with 127.

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D-backs Manager Pregame Notes: Upton 'On The Shelf'

Not to bury the lede, Gibson had this to say about Justin Upton, who's now missed five games despite initial reports that his shoulder tweak was not serious.

"Justin, I don't know. Probably, he's pretty much on the shelf right now. It's not progressing as quickly as it has. Just going to have to give him more time. It's not that it's not progressing. Again, at this point in the season we're not going to push it," Gibby said.

And if that didn't make perfect sense to you don't worry, it didn't.

Upton is available in emergency situations and might have come in to run in for LaRoche in yesterday's game had he reached base.

Gibby wasn't aware of any scheduled test (MRIs, etc.) but said he's basically the "available, not available" guy and deferred additional questions to the medical staff.

Gerardo Parra will start again in right field where his glove has certainly helped his team and his bat hasn't been too bad either. Parra has hit safely in seven of his last nine games at a .424 clip.

Mark Reynolds is also out of the lineup but available to pinch hit today if needed. Ryan Roberts will start at third.

Gibby said the team is as beat up as they've been all year and he's trying to get a couple of guys healthy.

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