State of the Home Stand Address – August 19-24

After yesterday’s game the Arizona Diamondbacks packed up and headed to San Diego for a brief 3 game road trip. They will return home on Thursday to begin preparing for a 6 game home stand which includes the final home series with the Los Angeles Dodgers next weekend. This means it is time once again for the next edition of “State of the Home Stand Address” where I give a fan’s perspective of how the games went during the recent home stand. This entry covers the three game series with the San Diego Padres and the three game series with the Florida Marlins. As always I’ll start with my standard disclaimer that the opinions expressed within this post and this blog are my own and in no way are indicative of how others see the games or the series.

The home stand began on a positive note as Doug Davis took the mound against the San Diego Padres. Davis has had success this year against the Padres including a near perfect game during the team’s recent trip to San Diego. Likewise the Diamondbacks hitters have been comfortable with Padres pitching. This was especially true tonight when the Diamondbacks erupted for 4 runs in the first inning to stake Davis a lead. Double-D waivered a little in the second allowing the Padres back in the game but then settled down allowing only 2 runs on 7 hits in his 6 innings of work. Arizona would add to its lead and win the game 7-6 barely missing awarding everyone in attendance chalupas (we needed just one more run).

Game 2 was to be a pitcher’s duel featuring Dan Haren for Arizona and Jake Peavy for San Diego. The duel failed to materialize as Haren gave up 4 runs in the top of the first only to see Peavy give up 3 runs in the bottom of the first and another 3 runs in the bottom of the second. The two starters would combine for 11 runs on 16 hits. It turned out well for the home team as the Diamondbacks beat the Padres for a second straight night to clinch the series.

The final game of the Padres series had Brandon Webb going for his 19th victory. The Diamondbacks bats were quieted against Chad Reineke who was making just his second major league start. Reineke was called upon when the Padres traded starter Greg Maddux to the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier in the week. Webb and the Diamondbacks were able to shut out the Padres for the first 8 innings and the game ended with the Diamondbacks winning 4-1.

During the 2008 season the Florida Marlins have owned the Diamondbacks having beaten them soundly in each series. The first game of this series had Randy Johnson going for his 295th win. It was a classic Big Unit that night with Johnson striking out 13 batters over 7 innings. He allowed 3 runs but left the game with a 4-3 lead. Jon Rauch continued his struggles giving up 2 runs in the 8th inning and the Diamondbacks lost the game 5-4. Were it not for a lack of run support and poor bullpen play Randy Johnson would have already been a 300 game winner.

Arizona would come back in game 2 of the series in dominating fashion beating the Marlins 7-1 behind the strong pitching of Yusmeiro Petit. The offense was led by Chris Young going 2-4 including a home run. Miguel Montero continued his hot hitting streak collecting 2 hits including another home run. The bullpen dominated the game allowing only 1 hit in 3 innings and not walking anyone. This gave the teams a split making the final game the deciding game. That did not go well for Arizona as the hot bats from game 2 failed to carry over. Arizona was able to scrape together only 4 hits and fell for the 7th time in 9 games against the Marlins.

The series against the Marlins was especially interesting as we saw several celebrities and dignitaries in attendance. Presidential hopeful John McCain was in attendance for one game and sat with the Arizona Diamondbacks ownership group. His entourage has gotten larger now that he has secret service assigned to him as the Republican nominee for the upcoming election. McCain was overshadowed by the attendance of Olympic Beach Volleyball Gold Medalist Misty May Treanor. Misty’s husband is Marlins catcher Matt Treanor. On Saturday’s game Misty received a standing ovation as she was announced. She stood and waved and retrieved her gold medal from her bag bringing about chants of “U-S-A”. On Sunday Misty May Treanor threw out the ceremonial first pitch to her husband Matt. In a strange turn of events Misty wore a Diamondbacks jersey which did not set well with Matt or his teammates. It was all in fun and ultimately the Marlins made the best of the situation.

The field looked to be a little ragged this home stand as signs of wear were noticeable in the outfield and along the first base line. The grounds crew is doing a great job but with the heat and monsoon season I don’t think the field is getting the amount of sunlight that it really needs. Still it is starting to show signs that the season is nearing the end.

Saturday’s game with the Marlins featured Eric Byrnes bobble head day. It was a fairly large crowd in attendance which is not normally the case against the Florida Marlins. The crowds for both the Padres and the Marlins were very much pro-Diamondbacks which you would hope would always be the case but that’s not necessarily true. Hopefully with the Diamondbacks being in first place for most of the season this will begin to become a trend in the future as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *