With two outs in the ninth inning Ryan Roberts singled to right field, bringing Willie Bloomquist to the plate. With two on and the game, as well as his nine game hitting streak on the line, the 33-year-old’s at bat was made a bit more difficult when San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy made a call to the bullpen, bringing in closer Brian Wilson.
Ball one, 96 mph. Strike one 89 mph. Ball two, 95 mph. RBI single to right field, scoring Miguel Montero. Bloomquist was able to save the hitting streak but not the Diamondbacks, as they fell to the defending World Champion Giants 5-2 Friday night to open a three game series at Chase Field.
The loss, which dropped the Diamondbacks to 5-7 on the season, tempered any excitement Bloomquist may have had over extending his streak – that is, if it was even something he could get excited about. He said he couldn’t care less about a hitting streak as long as he’s helping the team win.
“As the leadoff hitter you’ve got to try to get on base and score runs and create some things on the base paths if you can,” he said, “you know, just do what I can.”
Maybe surprisingly, at least so far, Bloomquist can do a lot. Having hit safely in each of the 10 games he’s played as a D-back, Bloomquist also swiped another base Friday, bringing his total to seven on the young season.
And, for a guy who has only topped the 20 stolen base mark once in his previous nine seasons, ranking near the top of the National League in steals is something that may be a bit of a surprise.
But even with a green light to run, Bloomquist said he has to pick his spots.
“I’m not a burner, so I have to be, I guess, extra smart about when I go and my jumps that I get I have to be kind of a perfectionist if I want to be safe,” he said.
Still, Bloomquist acknowledged the stats, like the hitting streak, are fun for the rest of us. That he reached 10 is a surprise, but that it took a ninth-inning single off Giants closer Brian Wilson to extend the streak may be considered a minor miracle.
“To me that’s what baseball is about,” he said about facing The Beard. “You’ve got the game’s, as of right now, probably the game’s best closer on the hill. If you can’t get up for that and get a little extra juices going to face him then maybe you should take your spikes off, I guess, because he’s an intense individual out there.
“That’s fun to me.”