RISP = Runners In Scoring Position = something the Chicago Cubs had but could not bring home very often in this weekend’s four-game series against the D-backs.
Not that the Diamondbacks were much more successful at getting those runners home — Chicago was 1-for-14 and Arizona 2-for-13 on Sunday — but the D-backs managed to steal one, 4-3.
The big inning was the fourth for Arizona. Cubs starter Casey Coleman was rattled into a balk by Ryan Roberts, who caused it by breaking for second base and surprising Coleman. The D-backs’ Daniel Hudson laid down a sacrifice bunt on which Roberts broke for home, and the result was perfect — Roberts scored and Hudson was safe on a fielder’s choice. Then Coleman, shaken and trying to get out of the inning with no further damage, threw a wild pitch that allowed Gerardo Parra to score.
That made it 4-1 D-backs, after Roberts hit his sixth home run of the year in the second inning. A line drive blast to left field.
Hudson was in command for the most part until the seventh. The Cubs scored two runs to make it 4-3. Hudson did get the win, however, and got through the first inning (his bugaboo of late) without allowing a run. He had done so in the past four starts.
The Diamondbacks had to hold on, and setup man David Hernandez did his part with a good eighth inning. On came Putz for the ninth, and his first pitch to Marlon Byrd was ripped to right for a double.
Slumping Carlos Pena’s bid for a go-ahead two-run shot came up just short as Justin Upton caught Pena’s long fly ball right in front of the fence in right. Putz walked Geovany Soto and there were runners on first and third with one out.
We’ve seen Putz disintegrate in such moments, but he got together with Miguel Montero for a mound meeting. The outcome? First-pitch slider to pinch-hitter Jeff Baker for a double play, and let’s go home.
It worked exactly as planned, Baker grounding into the 6-4-3 double play, one of three for Arizona on the day.