Ninth Inning Execution was Key in D-backs Win
By Greg Dillard
In 2011, the D-backs have proven time and time again that they can never be counted out in a ballgame. And as they’ve proven this season, it’s the execution of the little things that makes all the difference.
During the team’s surge to the top of the National League West, they have continually found ways to win with a new hero every single game.
In Wednesday night’s series finale against the Marlins, the D-backs pulled off another miraculous comeback to seal the 6-5 win and the series victory. It was the team’s third walk-off win of the season, and the D-backs now have a 16-3 record in their past 19 games.
“We just try to weather the storm, just stay calm about it, and don’t get too frustrated,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “When you get in games like that they can frustrate you.”
After the Marlins came back to tie the score at 5-5 in the top of the inning, it was time for the D-backs to rally once again.
Upton delivered the striking blow with a two-out, broken-bat single to left, but Willie Bloomquist and Ryan Roberts deserve a ton of credit for the way the game ended.
Bloomquist singled to start the inning. When Roberts was up with a 2-1 count and one out, Bloomquist took off running. Roberts made contact, chopping the ball to third. When third baseman Greg Dobbs fielded it and threw Roberts out, Bloomquist was able to advance to third, taking two bases on a ground out.
Upton’s hit then plated Bloomquist and sealed the walk-off win.
“We just kept battling,” Upton said. “Huddy gave up some runs early, but he kept us in it. He gave us a chance to battle back, and we just fought.”
Hernandez continues 8th inning excellence
After rallying to tie knot the score at 4-4 in the seventh, Gibson called on David Hernandez to pitch the eighth, as he has so many times this year. The right-hander did his job, and then some in his lone inning of work.
Hernandez fanned the first batter, Gaby Sanchez, to start the inning and then froze Gregg Dobbs on strike three. Mike Stanton then strode to the plate in need of just a double for the cycle. Instead, Hernandez struck out Stanton to fan the side and end the inning.
“I was feeling good,” Hernandez said. “It’s actually funny, Gibby came up to me yesterday during batting practice and was like ‘Hey we need to work on getting your pitch count down’. He told me he wanted to get down to about 15 an inning so it was 13 tonight so that’s a start.”