(photo by Matt York/AP)
"I was able to throw my curveball and changeup in different counts, which frustrates hitters."
— Doug Davis, whose best performance so far in this early season gave the D’Backs their third straight victory and snapped the Giants’ win streak at eight.
It’s so nice to have a solid starting pitching! A year ago, Diamondbacks fans held their breath when their starter took the mound. How many runs would he yield before the team got their first ups? Would he even last five innings?
That hasn’t been a major concern this month. Rather the question has been whether the rest of the team would be strong enough to support a quality start. Last week, when Doug Davis took the mound against the San Francisco Giants at "Ballpark by the Bay," fielding errors, baserunning errors, and lack of timely hitting wasted a good effort by Davis. But last night, Davis was even stronger than he had been in San Francisco, and the timely hitting that was absent last week was there now, courtesy of a Stephen Drew two-run double.
The Diamondbacks also avoided Barry Bonds trouble by intentionally walking the slugger twice. Those walks were the only two that Davis gave up. Davis has evened his record at 2-2. And although José Valverde gave up a home run, he notched another save, his ninth.
Eric Byrnes batted cleanup again and managed to do nothing against former teammate Barry Zito again. Zito got him to strike out, line out to center, and pop out to shallow left. He did draw a walk from reliever Vinnie Chulk. He also made a tactical error in the field. Barry Bonds had singled and moved to second on a single by Ray Durham. Then Bengie Molina flied out to Byrnes in right, and Byrnes threw past the cutoff man in an effort to get Barry Bonds going to third. Durham moved to second on the throw. Bonds is definitely running better now than last year and so the wise move was to throw the ball to second base. Fortunately for the Diamondbacks, Bonds was then tagged out trying for home on a grounder to third. The contact play must have been on.
The Diamondbacks are now back to two games over .500 (13-11) as they take on Matt Cain today. If Edgar Gonzalez is anywhere nearly as effective as he was last week, the Diamondbacks have a strong chance to make it four straight wins.