A Giant Pain

Looking at the schedule I am sure the Diamondbacks had hoped that a three game series against the San Francisco Giants would be an opportunity to pencil in three victories and hopefully allow them to increase their lead in the National League Western Division standings. After the first game on Monday it looked like that hope may just be realized. The Diamondbacks took the first game 5-3 on a strong pitching performance by the bullpen after Livan Hernandez struggled early. Struggle in this case is a relative term since Livan gave up only 3 runs in 6 innings. The problem was that the Diamondbacks were facing Giant uber-phenom Todd Lincecum who has been trouble for Arizona this season. All of that was mute though with pinch hitter Jeff Salazar launched a Brian Hennessey pitch into the stands for a 3 run home run and the victory. This was a great start to the series and a definite momentum builder. That momentum somewhat faded in game 2 of the series when the Diamondbacks bats went silent in a 1-2 loss on a sacrifice fly by Giant Pedro Feliz in the eighth inning. It’s funny how a series will ebb and flow like the tides of the ocean. Just when you think things are going your way and the waves of momentum are swinging your direction they come crashing down being carried out to sea. This made today’s game extremely important and fortunately for the Diamondbacks they had their Giant killer on the mound.

Last season at this time all eyes in the National League were on Brandon Webb as everyone marveled at how he was mastering his opponents. Webb was on his way to his most dominating season of his professional career. This path would lead him to 16 victories and ultimately the National League Cy Young award. Fast forward a year and you will find Brandon Webb again listed near the top of most pitching categories and his name is again being mentioned as a serious candidate for a second Cy Young. Even more importantly the Diamondbacks were looking to Webb to dominate an opponent and eliminate at least 1 team from play-off contention. Webb would not be asked to do it alone. The young Diamondbacks hitters would need to step up if the team was going to take yet another series. Offense today would take the form of the long-ball with third baseman Mark Reynolds and catcher Chris Snyder hitting back-to-back home runs in the 2nd inning. This would be followed by a 4-run sixth inning capped by a double by rookie Justin Upton and a single by first baseman Conor Jackson. With the San Diego Padres losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers the Diamondbacks increased their lead in the National League West. For the first time in five years the Diamondbacks have a chance to win the season series against the San Francisco Giants. All that is left to nail that down is a couple of victories next week at home.

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