Shake and Rake

This four game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers has major implications for the Arizona Diamondbacks. They entered the game with a one game lead over the second place Dodgers and need at least a split to maintain their lead in the National League West. Just before the Diamondbacks got to Chavez Ravine to begin this series there was a mild earthquake that hit southern California. There was no structural damage to Dodger Stadium and play was scheduled to continue for the four game set.

Game one of the series featured Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb on the mound against Derek Lowe of the Dodgers. The Arizona bats which had been red hot during the first six games of this road trip cooled off slightly although the Diamondbacks were still able to collect 8 hits against a tough pitcher like Lowe. The Diamondbacks were only able to piece together some offense in the seventh inning when they scored 2 runs thanks in part to doubles by Conor Jackson and Mark Reynolds. With a pitcher like Brandon Webb, 2 runs are typically enough. Webb proved this correct when he pitched a masterful game allowing only 1 run on 6 hits over 8 innings. Brandon showed why he won the National League Cy Young award in 2006 and why he must be counted upon as one of the favorites to win the award this season. Webb enjoys pitching against the Los Angeles Dodgers as he has accumulated a 10-3 record over his career against them. The win pushed the Diamondbacks lead to 2 games and made it a 6-1 road trip so far.

Game two of the series was another match-up that tended to favor the Diamondbacks. Arizona sent veteran Randy Johnson to the mound to pitch against Dodgers phenom Clayton Kershaw. Like game one the Diamondbacks were able to get hits but found it hard to get those hits to produce runs. Just like déjà vu, the Diamondbacks again saw both of their runs occur in the seventh inning. And like the night before, those two runs were enough to nail down an Arizona victory as they beat the Dodgers 2-1 for the second straight night. Randy Johnson won his fifth straight game which pushed his career win total to 293 leaving him just seven away from the magical 300 win total.

Perhaps that earthquake shook the Diamondbacks up enough that they can build this road trip into a sustained winning streak that will give them a consecutive National League Western Division crown. If this keeps up maybe when the team gets back to Phoenix they should think of having a Shake and Bake promotional night commemorating the Arizona heat and the California earthquakes. This could be huge.

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