|Batter||Team (B)||Inning||Pitcher||Team (P)||Situation|
|Mike Lamb (1)||Twins||6th||Armando Galarraga (4)||Tigers||0 on, 0 out, 4-0|
|Gary Sheffield (3)||Tigers||7th||Jesse Crain (3)||Twins||0 on, 2 out, 3-5|
|Reed Johnson (2)||Cubs||5th||Sean Burnett (2)||Pirates||2 on, 0 out, 5-0|
|Shelley Duncan (1)||Yankees||2nd||Erik Bedard (8)||Mariners||2 on, 0 out, 0-1|
|Jarrod Saltalamacchia (2)||Rangers||3rd||Jorge Julio (3)||Indians||3 on, 0 out, 5-3|
|Grady Sizemore (8)||Indians||3rd||Kason Gabbard (2)||Rangers||2 on, 2 out, 3-11|
|Bengie Molina (4)||Giants||4th||Scott Olsen (7)||Marlins||0 on, 1 out, 5-1|
|Aaron Rowand (6)||Giants||4th||Scott Olsen (8)||Marlins||0 on, 1 out, 6-1|
|Dan Uggla (15)||Marlins||9th||Vinnie Chulk (3)||Giants||0 on, 0 out, 1-8|
|Stephen Drew (7)||Diamondbacks||1st||Jo-Jo Reyes (2)||Braves||0 on, 1 out, 0-0|
|Eric Byrnes (5)||Diamondbacks||1st||Jo-Jo Reyes (3)||Braves||1 on, 2 out, 3-0|
|Conor Jackson (6)||Diamondbacks||5th||Jo-Jo Reyes (4)||Braves||0 on, 0 out, 7-1|
|Chris B. Young (10)||Diamondbacks||6th||Chris Resop (2)||Braves||1 on, 1 out, 8-1|
|Mark Reynolds (8)||Diamondbacks||8th||Royce Ring (2)||Braves||0 on, 0 out, 10-1|
|Wily Mo Pena (1)||Nationals||2nd||Jeff Suppan (7)||Brewers||0 on, 2 out, 0-0|
|Pat Burrell (12)||Phillies||2nd||Brandon Backe (11)||Astros||0 on, 1 out, 0-0|
|Hunter Pence (6)||Astros||5th||Adam Eaton (6)||Phillies||0 on, 0 out, 0-1|
|Hunter Pence (7)||Astros||7th||Adam Eaton (7)||Phillies||0 on, 0 out, 1-1|
|Torii Hunter (6)||Angels||5th||Gavin Floyd (6)||White Sox||0 on, 1 out, 0-0|
|Garrett Atkins (8)||Rockies||1st||Oliver Perez (6)||Mets||1 on, 2 out, 0-0|
|Carlos Delgado (7)||Mets||6th||Greg Reynolds (3)||Rockies||1 on, 2 out, 1-2|
|Fernando Tatis (1)||Mets||6th||Greg Reynolds (4)||Rockies||0 on, 2 out, 3-2|
|Matt Holliday (7)||Rockies||9th||Billy Wagner (1)||Mets||0 on, 1 out, 5-6|
|Frank Thomas (7)||Athletics||1st||Tim Wakefield (8)||Red Sox||1 on, 1 out, 1-0|
|Mark Ellis (4)||Athletics||3rd||Tim Wakefield (9)||Red Sox||2 on, 2 out, 4-0|
|Dustin Pedroia (3)||Red Sox||4th||Rich Harden (2)||Athletics||0 on, 1 out, 0-7|
|Adam Dunn (12)||Reds||9th||Trevor Hoffman (3)||Padres||0 on, 0 out, 2-2|
|Ryan Ludwick (13)||Cardinals||3rd||Derek Lowe (6)||Dodgers||1 on, 2 out, 0-0|
Another Comebacker from Cancer
The Arizona Diamondbacks were all about trying to make some sort of a comeback in the first game of a four-game series against the Atlanta Braves. The Diamondbacks’ offence has completely faded away, as they were only able to score 3 runs against the Florida Marlins during the entire series. Putting that aside, this game was very significant because it was the day starting pitcher Doug Davis made his first appearance since undergoing thyroid cancer surgery six weeks ago. With Davis providing some inspiration against the Braves, not to mention all cancer patients, let’s see if the Diamondbacks could provide him with some offence to snap a three-game losing streak, as well as a five-game winning streak that the Braves had going on. Jo-Jo Reyes (2-1, 4.12 ERA) was Davis’ opponent and has had only 2 more appearances than Davis, which means both of their stats don’t really say much at this point. However, what they do in this game will really reflect on their stats after the game.
The Diamondbacks didn't give the Braves any leeway in this game at all, from the 1st inning to the last inning. However, it was mainly the 1st inning that killed the Braves. The D-Backs scored almost twice as many runs in the first inning than they did in the entire series against the Marlins! First up was Chris Young, who did not really have the best average for a leadoff hitter, but could run like a speeding bullet. He flied out, which didn’t help his .247 batting average. Stephen Drew was the next batter, and he crushed a 1-2 pitch over the right field wall to get the offence going. Following him was Orlando Hudson, who struck out swinging to make the second out. With Jo-Jo needing only one out left, he wasn’t looking all that great. He gave up two straight walks to Conor Jackson and Justin Upton. Chris Snyder then doubled them both in with what he called a “cue shot” just past first baseman Mark Teixeira to give the D-Backs a 3-0 lead; it was only the top of the 1st inning, and the Diamondbacks already scored the same amount of runs they did in the entire D-Backs/Marlins series. Eric Byrnes stepped up to the plate after the two-run-double, and he hammered the first pitch he saw: a fastball right down the middle; that just made it over the left field wall to early lead to 5. Reyes finally got out of the inning after getting Mark Reynolds to ground out on a soft ground ball to catcher Brian McCann for the third out.
"We got a few breaks early on," said Snyder. "I hit probably the ugliest two-run double I've ever hit in my life, but those are the things that open it up.”
"Sometimes all you need is an inning like that in the first inning, and everybody relaxes a little bit," Diamondbacks' manager Bob Melvin said. "You struggle for a while and one hit, two hits, three hits -- all of a sudden, it's a five-run inning and the floodgates open."
"When you get five runs, it takes a lot of pressure off," Davis said. He said (later on) that he didn’t let his emotions get to him during this game, which was a key factor how he pitched so well.
"It goes away after the first pitch," Davis said of the added emotion. "The first strike call, it all goes away.”
Davis went on to pitch a really good game for a guy who just came back from cancer surgery. However, he got a lot of help from the Arizona defence. The 2nd inning was his worst inning, as he gave up a walk, hit a batter, and surrendered an RBI single; Justin Upton misplayed the ball, but the run was still an earned run. Fortunately for Davis, Jo-Jo Reyes was up, and he grounded out to the pitcher for an easy second out. Next up was Yunel Escobar, a very dangerous batter in the Braves’ lineup. The second pitch by Davis was driven to right field. It could’ve been a two-run single, but Justin Upton redeemed himself, as he made a remarkable catch to stop what could’ve been a rally for the Atlanta. Instead, it resulted in only one lousy run.
The 4th inning just put a bigger smile on Davis' face, as the D-Backs scored some more insurance runs in order for Davis to earn a win on the day he came back from cancer surgery. Jo-Jo Reyes was still pitching, but at least he settled down. He didn’t give up any more runs after the 1st inning, at least until the 4th inning came along. After an Eric Byrnes leadoff single and an Chipper Jones error, allowing Mark Reynolds to reach first base safely, Doug Davis laid down a bunt to move Byrnes to third and Reynolds to second. Davis did what he had to do, and was all in Chris Young's hands, the leadoff man with a batting average of .247, regarding to whether or not the Diamondbacks would add any more runs. Young didn’t disappoint, as he drove both runs in with a two-run single. The bottom frame was nothing different than most of the past innings: not much offence going on for the Braves and no runs scored, as they went down in order. At this point, Doug Davis was pitching better than ever. Not only did he cruise right through the 4th inning, but he retired the side in order in the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings as well. Sure, he gave up two singles, but he was able to get both runners out thanks to a couple of double plays.
"It was just good to be back out there competing at the Major League level," he said emotionally. "I said I wanted to be back on the mound by [May 10], and I was back on the mound by the 10th, just in the Minor Leagues.” He then went on saying, "Everybody gave me a hug and said, 'Good job,'" Davis said. "Every time I hugged somebody, I just felt very blessed to have them behind me as much as they are."
"Amazing," Melvin said. "Pretty much picked up right where he left off. I mean, he pitched the same type of game."
As far as the D-Backs' offence, they were not done yet. The 5th inning came along, and Conor Jackson hit the third home run for the D-Backs off of Jo-Jo Reyes. It was only the second time he surrendered 3 home runs in his MLB career, with the last time being on July 27, 2007. Bobby Cox let Reyes pitch it out, and he eventually got out of the inning, with some people still finding it surprising that he didn’t take out Reyes long before the 5th.
"I didn't get ahead with the fastball and that was the biggest key," Reyes said. "My other pitches weren't able to get in play because I wasn't getting ahead with [the fastball]."
"That's his first real bad ballgame," Cox said of Reyes. "He'll learn. I like him a lot. I think he's going to be a dynamite guy. You've got to have patience with guys. Right now, we're going to have to try to have some patience. He should pitch well his next start.”
Cox finally took out Reyes when the 6th inning came along and the Diamondbacks were leading 8-1. He was replaced with Chris Resop, a man who needed to get some innings under his belt to reduce his ERA. In the 10 games he appeared in before this one, he went through 10 2/3 innings and reduced his ERA from 15.75 to 5.52, and during those 10 games, he only surrendered 2 runs, which both came in the same game (April 23rd against the Marlins). When looking at the stats, we all knew that there would come a time where he’d surrender at least one run soon. He did just that. After hitting Mark Reynolds with a pitch, and another successful sacrifice bunt by Doug Davis, Chris Young was up again. He jacked a 95 mile-per-hour fastball over the left center wall. I guess everyone just wanted to pitch in to make sure that Davis got a win on his first day back to work. A Mark Reynolds solo home run would in the 8th inning was the 11th and final run of the ballgame, and was the 5th home run for the D-Backs.
"I think we got a little inspirational help from him today," Bob Melvin said. "Just the fact that we knew he was taking the mound again just gives you a little extra. Today was probably just a little bit more than a baseball game."
"It's baseball," Reyes said about the devastating loss. "It's a humbling sport, where you know you're going to have these days where you're going to hit rock bottom. But you've just got to go out there and work hard the next four days [before the next start].”
"It's just one of those games that snowballed," catcher Brian McCann said, who was accountable for 2 of the 6 hits for the Braves. "We've just got to come back out and get them tomorrow. This is the same as losing a one-run game.”
"I tell you, I had some reservations about the timetable," Melvin said in his final thoughts about Doug Davis. "But he did everything he possibly could to keep himself in the type of condition to be able to come back six weeks later and give us a performance like that.”
Just think, Jon Lester was diagnosed with lymph node cancer, and it took him 11 months for him to gain his strength back and finally make a comeback. It took Doug Davis only six weeks. Unbelievable!
On another note:
- The Braves have finally been stopped in their tracks, as they only lost a second time in 8 games.
- The Diamondbacks scored 11 runs in this game, which is now a season record. The last time the D-Backs scored in double digits was on May 3rd against the New York Mets.
- The D-Backs also hit 5 home runs in this game. That’s the most they’ve hit in a game since July 31st, 2005.
- Although Doug Davis is known for walking a whole lot of batter in almost every game he starts, he only walked 2 batters in his comeback. "That's always been my problem," he said. "I hate walks, and one of them scored tonight. So that just shows you right there, walks will kill you.”
- In case you were wondering, Davis’ thyroid was removed 2 days after his last start before going into the hospital for surgery.
- So, this just goes to show you that when you read the “Homer of the Day” articles: don’t always expect a close game. ;)
Homer of the Day (May 22, 2008)
And the Homer of the Day for May 22, 2008 goes to...
Others who received votes:
On Another Matter:
Thanks to everyone who has been voting, especially those who have since the very beginning (you know who you are). Like I said, the more votes we have in these articles, the better. It makes it more interesting, and makes me feel better when I post these articles.