Late Rally Falls Short, Diamondbacks Drop Series Finale To Padres, 7-6

A late charge fell one run short and the Arizona Diamondbacks dropped their series finale, 7-6, against San Diego on Sunday afternoon.

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Late Rally Falls Short, Diamondbacks Drop Series Finale To Padres, 7-6

Despite a late flurry of runs, the Arizona Diamondbacks fell short to the San Diego Padres, losing 7-6 to drop the series finale on Sunday afternoon. The loss snaps a four-game winning streak and is just the third for the team in the month of September.

Down 7-0 heading into the sixth inning, Arizona exploded for five runs to narrow the gap. Henry Blanco kicked things off with a homerun to deep left field. Chris Young and Colin Cowgill followed with two-run cracks off San Diego reliever Erik Hamren.

An inning later Justin Upton tacked on with a pinch-hit fielder's choice that scored Blanco. With two outs and Upton on second base, Paul Goldschmidt walked to the plate improbably representing the winning run. Though the comeback would fall just short, as Goldschmidt grounded out to end the inning.

San Diego chased Arizona starter Josh Collmenter early, capped by a Nick Hundley two-run homer to deep left field. It marked the first time since August 2nd that the young righthander failed to pitch five full innings. Collmenter lasted just four innings, giving up six runs, seven hits, and three walks in his ninth loss of the season.

The Diamondbacks took three of four from San Diego over the weekend home stand, pushing their NL West lead to 8.5 games. The team's magic number is down to eight.

Next up for Arizona (85-62) is a three-game divisional series at the Los Angeles Dodgers before heading to San Diego for another three-game set against the Padres. Veteran lefthander Joe Saunders (10-12, 3.88 ERA) opens the series against Los Angeles' Ted Lilly (9-13, 4.37 ERA). First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. PT/10:10 p.m. ET.

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Arizona Diamondbacks Deliver Another Magical Performance, 6-5

If by now you don't believe in the magic of this baseball team there's probably no convincing you. Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy might not be real but there's no denying something extraordinary is going on with this 2011 Arizona Diamondbacks team.

On a day dedicated to honoring the heroics of the 2001 World Series team that came back on Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning to win it all, it was a member of that very team that came through with a game-tying home run off another great closer, Heath Bell and earned a game-winning RBI walk in the 10th inning.

Arizona was down 5-3 to the Padres going into the final frame. Starter Wade Miley gave up five runs and eight hits but to this team, it didn't matter. Chris Young, who is showing signs of life after an extended slump, lead off with a solo home run to make it 5-4. Lyle Overbay, who was honored along with his 2001 teammates before the game tied it with another blast to send it to extra innings.

The D-backs weren't able to seal the deal in the ninth but in the tenth, Justin Upton walked and then advanced to third on a single by Montero. An intentional walk to Blum brought up Chris Young with the bases loaded and one out. Young struck out which brought Lyle Overbay back to the plate with a chance to be the double hero. It wasn't quite as exciting as a big hit, but the RBI walkoff walk got it done.

Manager Kirk Gibson said that former team owner Jerry Colangelo pointed out the coincidence of Lyle Overbay being called up in September of 2001 and coming up as the hero in this game. And oh, by the way, Overbay had another RBI double earlier in the game giving him three on the night and three hits. Not bad for a guy who was released by the Pirates and sitting home doing nothing when the D-backs called.

"It was a really special night. It was awesome," Gibson said. "It was great to see all those guys. The ceremony was outstanding. I'd like to say the way we played tonight was very reflective of the way they played in 2001."

With the win, the D-backs hold a half-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers and are eight-and-a-half games up on the Giants in the NL West.

Are you are believer now?

For more on the Diamondbacks, visit AZ Snake Pit.


 


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Hudson And Kennedy Best One-Two Punch Since Randy Johnson And Curt Shilling, Wins Matter

On Saturday afternoon before the Arizona Diamondbacks took the field in their throwback purple uniforms worn to honor the 2011 World Series Championship team, manager Kirk Gibson was asked about the greatest one-two pitching duo he's ever seen in baseball. He didn't hesitate to name Randy Johnson and Curt Shilling. But then, unprompted, he went on to indulge in a rare moment of bragging. 

"You guys usually ask me everyday about the Cy Young Award and I was thinking last night, Hudson and Kennedy have 35 wins...Our one-two guys are pretty damn good," Gibson said.

The Philadelphia Phillies aces Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay have 33 wins.

Judging pitchers based on wins has fallen out of favor with many stat-driven, fantasy baseball playing fans. It certainly has flaws, especially when you get a really good pitcher on a team that can't generate any runs. 

But in this case when you are looking at the Phillies with the best record in baseball and the upstart Diamondbacks, it's hard to make excuses for the Philadelphia aces. Besides, Gibby argued, winning is all that matters.

"I don't think there's any more important stat, period, than wins. That's what we're here for. If you win, you've accomplished your task."

I don't think Gibson's point was to suggest that his aces are better than well known, more accomplished guys in Lee and Halladay. At the same time, he's understandably proud of his two young pitchers and when he talks about them it almost always comes back to how hard they compete and how hard they work on their off days to keep their bodies ready.

If people around the country aren't paying attention to the pitching in Arizona, that's just fine by Gibson, "Don't tell anybody. Seriously, it's great. It's great. Just keep talking about those other guys. Just let our guys just relax and pitch."

This is one cat that's on the verge of escaping from the bag. The pressure and attention on Gibby's team is about the ratchet up come October and come next spring, big things are going to be expected from the Diamondbacks. You can only fly under the radar so long. Once you start dropping bombs, people tend to notice.

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