Photography: Jordan Megenhardt
Haven’t done one of these live blogs in a while, so here goes… live bloggin’ Dontrelle Willis’ first start with the D-backs.
– Dontrelle’s pitching music – “Paper Planes” by M.I.A., which you may remember from 2008 Best Picture Slumdog Millionaire. So he’s already scoring some points here on D-blog. Good tune.
– First batter, Carlos Gonzalez, flies out to left to start the ballgame.
– After a walk to Ryan Spillborghs, first baseman Jason Giambi grounds into a 3-6-1 double play. Willis gets through the first inning scoreless and relatively unscathed.
– Stephen Drew gets the D-backs going with a single up the middle, polishing off an excellent nine-pitch at bat.
– With a 2-2 count on Adam LaRoche, Drew steals second and takes third on a throwing error by Rockies’ catcher Chris Iannetta. LaRoche goes down swinging on the next pitch though, so it’s still scoreless here after one.
– Willis goes upstairs to strike out Brad Hawpe swiging, one down here in the second.
– It looked like Willis had Troy Tulowitzki – who singled to lead off the inning – picked off at first, but a good jump and high throw over to first gets Tulowitzki into second safely with a steal.
– A little bit of trouble in the second, with two on and one out after a walk to third baseman Melvin Mora, but Iannetta flies out to right and second baseman Clint Barmes lines out to Chris Young, so we’re still scoreless in the middle of the second.
– Little bit of trouble again in the third, but no biggie, as Tulowitzki grounds out to Drew with runners on first and second to end the threat.
– Didn’t take Willis long to remember what it was like in the National League. In his first at bat, he takes a fastball to right field for a single, and then advances to second on a Kelly Johnson groundball that Giambi fielded and threw into left.
– Dontrelle gets dirty and gets a great reception by the D-backs bench as he charges around third base and slides hands-first into home to score on a Drew single to left putting the D-backs ahead 1-0 here in the third.
– Another couple reach base, and another couple are stranded on a groundout to Drew. We’re still 1-0 D-backs into the middle of the fourth.
– Young gets things going with a lead-off single to left field here in the fourth. Young steals second with Conor Jackson up, and CJ walks. It’s runners on first and second with nobody out for Chris Snyder.
– On a 2-0 count, Dontrelle puts a charge into one for a deep fly ball to center field, as Jackson moves to third. Some pitchers move runners along with seven-foot bunts, some with 395-foot fly balls.
– For the fourth consecutive inning, the Rockies put two guys on base. And for the fourth consecutive inning, they strand ‘em both as Willis strikes out Giambi and Brad Hawpe (with a Tulowitzki flyout in the middle of the two Ks).
– Dontrelle gets the D-backs through six with a groundout to Reynolds ending the inning. At 106 pitches and with activity in the bullpen, that’s probably it for Dontrelle. The D-backs have to be happy with their first look at their new lefty, six shutout innings. The Rockies had their share of baserunners, so you’d like to see that cut down as the season goes on, but it kind of looked like a Livan Hernandez circa 2007 game, in and out of trouble all night. Still 1-0 D-backs.
– Another steal for Chris Young, his sixth of the year and second of the night.
– Ryan Roberts does it again. With runners on second and third — Young stole third after stealing second, Jackson moved to second on a wild pitch — last night’s hero lines a double down the left-field line to triple the D-backs’ lead, it’s 3-0 here at Chase.
– On the first pitch from Rockies reliever Randy Flores, Kelly Johnson hits a ball as far as you can possibly hit it in Chase Field without it leaving the ballpark, just to the right of the overhang in left-center field. It goes for a double, driving in Roberts to put the D-backs ahead 4-0. Upton was then intentionally walked, so Drew now bats with runners on first and second and two outs.
– Drew goes down swinging and with that, D-blog is going to hit the showers and enjoy watching the rest of this ballgame. Good night all, and go D-backs.
Photography: Jon Willey