The Diamondbacks gave us all a trip down memory lane yesterday in their finale at Coors Field in Denver, CO. Keeping in line with their horrible inconsistency at the plate this season, the team was kept to just one run in hitter friendly Coors on Wednesday night following a 13 hit winning effort against the Dodgers the night before.
May 15, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks outfielders Jason Kubel (left), Gerardo Parra (center) and Justin Upton leap in celebration after the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Image: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE
They failed to plate a single run on Thursday afternoon until the top of the fifth when things became awfully reminiscent. Just as they did a major league leading 48 times in 2011, the Dbacks went on to plate nine runs in the final four innings proving they’ve still got some of that magic we all keep waiting on-at least that’s our daily hope heading into the weekend. Either way, in a game that ended with J.J. Putz on the mound recording his seventh save and Upton hitting the go ahead- and eventual game winning- 2 run HR with two outs in the top of the 9th-it sure feels like 2011. NOTE: You’ll have to see the replay to believe it, but Upton’s homerun was on an outside pitch that he actually drove into the right field seats (I know-crazy huh?). Some pretty thick sarcasm but it might be just the opposite field hit the right fielder needed to get it going.
The Dbacks came back from down 4-1 in the fifth to take the lead 7-4 in the top half of the eighth. The lead didn’t last long as we watched David Hernandez uncharacteristically struggle to find the strike zone on his way to walking in two runs and allowing the Rockies to tie the game at 7 apiece at the end of eight innings. It would be the first runs Hernandez has allowed in May- a span of seven scoreless innings- and could have sent the offense into their lowly ways opening the door for the Rockies to finish them in the ninth. But after a Gerardo Parra double, Upton gave Putz all the run support he needed (barely-jeez Putz, lock it up) and the Diamondbacks have a great game to build on.
We’re at an interesting point in the season with the D-backs. Each game has us resting on the edge of our seats waiting for that one great play or spark that will send this team on the same type of tear they enjoyed last May. Each time Upton hits a homerun it seems like he may be crawling out of his slump. When the offense comes alive to finish strong with nine runs over a four inning span it seems like the fire is back within the guys.
So far we’ve seen a brutally inconsistent team and haven’t been able to enjoy consecutive wins since April 30-May 1st, a span of 15 games. This wishful thinking of an-around the corner- streak is what has all of us grinding through these painful games just hoping, or simply believing, that tomorrow will be the start of something great with this club. Nobody doubts it’s hard to sit through a lousy showing against a 49 year old pitcher with a 79 mph fastball-imagine actually being the guys hitting against him. But there’s an energy within this team that has everybody believing when they do get rolling. We’re all just waiting patiently for that energy to jump out at us.
So here’s to these winning ways carrying over into the weekend series with the Kansas City Royals as interleague play begins. If there were a time for the Diamondbacks to come to life, this would be as good of a time as any- especially if all goes as planned and our center fielder joins the team over the next day or two. Spark? Yes please.