Not a Good Way To Start
We knew that winning the NLCS wasn’t going to be easy. With the Rockies and the Diamondbacks so well matched, no one’s expecting a sweep on either side. The Rockies have been so white-hot for the last month that it’s UNREAL. Yes, I remember when the Oakland A’s won 20 in a row–the Rockies are 19-1 for their last 20–and that was unreal, too. But this is really unreal (huh?) because the Rockies’s run includes the postseason. And they have had Brandon Webb’s number all year.
But, although the Rockies pitched well last night, they weren’t so dominating that the D’Backs didn’t have a chance. I can’t help but feel the Diamondbacks lost Game 1 more than the Rockies won it. Twice, the Snakes loaded the bases with two out, then stranded all the runners when Stephen Drew, who led the attack against Chicago, first struck out, then flied out to right. And there were other LOB situations; Eric Byrnes was on twice and did not score. You have to have scoring opportunities with less than two out and you have to deliver WITH two out at this level. You can’t strand 10 baserunners and expect to win.
Add to the offensive woes two problems on the basepaths: Justin Upton’s interference and Miguel Montero’s overrunning second base on a double and getting tagged out to end the game. Upton is 20 and came up mid-season, and Montero is a rookie catcher who platoons with Chris Snyder. They both have come up big during the season but they showed their youth last night. Overexuberance, especially on Montero’s part. Can’t have that at this level. Both players showed how the art of sliding has deteriorated over the years. Ditto the slide that took Orlando Hudson out for the season.
We also didn’t need the idiots throwing water bottles and other detritus on the field and holding up play. Those weren’t Chase regulars, but tourists with money to burn and nothing better to do on a Thursday night in Phoenix. You get that sort of element when you price out the regular fans. Bleacher seats, for example, were $35 at the NLDS and were bumped up to $60 for the NLCS. This in the market that has the lowest per-capita income in MLB. The stands were filling up at the end of the regular season when ticket prices dropped and no one threw stuff onto the field.
OK, D’Backs, time to regroup. Pitch the game of your life, Double D. The team can’t afford losing both games at home.
P.S. The Diamondbacks’ lone run came in the first inning when Stephen Drew singled and ERIC BYRNES doubled him in. Byrnesie now has "hit for the cycle" in this year’s postseason. This means that three of his four hits so far this post season have been for extra bases. They have also driven in runs. Byrnesie’s warming up. Good.