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D-backs begin 2012 looking like 2011 version

A crowd of 49,130 saw the 2012 Arizona Diamondbacks beat
the San
Francisco Giants on Opening Day in Phoenix, Arizona.

A crowd of 49,130 saw the 2012 Arizona Diamondbacks unveil
their 2011
NL West championship banner, as well as receive a plethora
of awards for
what happened last season.

A crowd of 49,130 saw the 2012 Arizona Diamondbacks use
the same
recipe as the 2011 version did in winning their season
opener 5-4.

“Great, great start, great baseball game,” an as jovial as
he gets Kirk Gibson
said after the game. “Many contributions. It’s way
different than managing
a spring training game.

“A lot of excitement, there’s a lot of fans.”

OK, so maybe it wasn’t exactly the same, at least not
compared to the early
parts of last season.

However, what transpired on the field was familiar, as the
D-backs got
home runs from Chris Young and Paul Goldschmidt in the
first inning and
then, after Ian Kennedy surrendered Arizona’s lead in the
sixth, a clutch
two-run double from Ryan Roberts.

“It was just like the D-backs of last year, definitely,”
Chris Young said. “It’s
not automatic, but the pressure’s on and the guys find a
way to come

A little power, some clutch hitting, a solid performance
from Kennedy and a
bullpen that locked the game down? That’s how the D-backs
won the
division last season, and it’s why they started this one
with a win.

“You’re hoping it’s going to be like that,” starting
pitcher Ian Kennedy said.
Kennedy allowed nine hits and three runs in 6.2 innings of
work, and while
he said he wasn’t at his best, he was good enough.

“Our bullpen, I think, is one of the best,” Kennedy added.
“I feel really
happy with it. And our offense did great today.”

Said Roberts: “It’s good to see everybody pick up where
they left off.”

Goldschmidt takes Lincecum deep…again

Paul Goldschmidt entered Friday’s game with five hits —
including a pair of
home runs — in nine at bats against Giants starter Tim

So maybe it shouldn’t have been surprising when he took
the right-hander
deep the first chance he got.

Goldschmidt took a 3-1 pitch deep to left field, with the
solo home run
giving the D-backs an early 3-0 lead.

“I was able to get a good hitter’s count,” the first
baseman said of the home
run. “As with any pitcher, it’s what you’re trying to do,
get a good pitch to

Like Goldschmidt, Gibson had no explanation for the
youngster’s success
against the two-time Cy Young winner.

“Hopefully it continues,” the skipper said. “It’s one of
those things, there’s
probably no reason for it.”

That said, Gibson joked he may have to re-evaluate how he
handles his
first baseman going forward.

“I told [the media] I wanted to put him down there, didn’t
want to put any
pressure on him,” he said, “except when Lincecum’s
playing, I guess.”