The Saturday night loss the Arizona Diamondbacks suffered to the Los Angeles Dodgers kept them from taking over first place in the NL West. They faced a pitcher in Nathan Eovaldi that had ever started before, but he was no surprise. While the loss itself probably made more than a few fans sick, manager Kirk Gibson couldn't even make it through the game.
He left around the second inning due to illness and bench coach Alan Trammel managed the rest of the way. Trammel also was the one to speak to the media after the game.
Going into the game, the Diamondbacks knew that Eovaldi had good stuff. "We were hoping, from our standpoint, that he would be a little more nervous," Trammel explained. However, his control was fine and he made pitches he wanted to. "You know, first go-round, you get a little nervous, maybe put a couple guys on base and maybe leave a couple balls in the middle of the plate," was part of the hope the team had, as Trammel discussed. "Well, he didn't do that."
They didn't go into the game blind, though. They did have video on him and recent call-up Paul Goldschmidt actually faced him this season in AA ball. When did he face him? "About ten days ago," he said. Goldschmidt managed to get a hit off of him in his first atbat, scoring the second run of the game for Arizona, but finished 1-4 with two strikeouts.
For starting pitcher Joe Saunders, it was a frustrating game. "I made some good pitches, they hit balls that weren't hit very hard," he said after the game. "You tip your cap, but they put the ball in the perfect spot."
One of the hits he referred to was the second inning blooper by Rod Barajas with two outs that got the Dodgers on the scoreboard. with Juan Rivera on second, Barajas looped a hit that Willie Bloomquist at shortstop could not quite reach. As noted before, that would have been a play that Stephen Drew would have made, saving at least a run. The same could be said about the play before Barajas' hit in the sixth. Bloomquist failed to field the ball cleanly to get a force out at second, perhaps even a double play that inning. Both those runners eventually scored.
When Barajas came up in the sixth and drove in another run, he did not face Saunders. Trammel pulled him, replacing him with Brad Zeigler, hoping for a double play. "It just didn't work out," Trammel said after the game.
A night in which they could have taken over the lead in the NL West, that statement kind of sums it up.
Arizona concludes the series against the Dodgers on Sunday at 1:10 PM, hoping to avoid a sweep. They will send ace Ian Kennedy against Clayton Kershaw.
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