The Arizona Diamondbacks fittingly came from behind to beat the San Francisco Giants and win the 2011 National League West Division. It was a tight, playoff type game from beginning to end with clutch hits coming from Ryan Roberts and Paul Goldsmidt in the eighth inning.
Roberts wasn't supposed to make the team and Goldschmidt was a little known prospect in the spring and there they were winning the biggest game of the year.
The much maligned Joe Saunders wasn't brilliant by top standards but he was good enough to give his team a chance to win the game. Saunders gave up just one run, a fifth inning solo home run to Orlando Cabrera, and nine hits in seven innings of work. He gave up lead-off hits in five of his seven innings but he didn't give up any walks which helped him wiggle out of several jams and strand eight runners.
Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain was brilliant all the way until he wasn't.
In the seventh inning up 1-0 he walked Paul Goldschmidt -- the first walk of the game for either side -- and then Chris Young came up to the plate and calmly delivered a double to the base of the left-center wall. Goldschmidt hustled around from first as fast as his thick legs could carry him and beat the throw to tie the game.
In eighth, with the game tied 1-1, Ryan Roberts did what Ryan Roberts does and lead off with a single that he stretched into a double with the kind of aggressive base running that's led to numerous "dumb" outs this year. This time, he slide into second under the throw.
Aaron Hill laid down a beauty of a sac bunt to move Roberts over and the Giants walked Justin Upton and pulled Matt Cain from the game.
Javier Lopez came on in relief and got Miguel Montero to fly out to shallow center. His night ended and the ball went to Giants reliever Sergio Romo with two outs and runners on the corners.
That brought young Paul Goldschmidt to the plate with two outs and runners on the corners against a very tough pitcher. He fell behind two strikes and then etched his name further into D-backs' fans hearts with a line drive triple to right field to give Arizona a 3-1 lead.
For a young player just called up after the All-Star Break, Paul Goldschmidt has quite a few memorable hits in his short career.
J.J. Putz closed out the clinch in the ninth for his 44th save of the season with David Hernandez getting the win. Chris Young recorded the final out on a shallow fly ball to center.
More to follow...
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