PHOENIX — Both Joe Saunders and Randy Wolf, starting pitchers for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Milwaukee Brewers, respectively, in Game 4 of the NLDS lasted only three innings Wednesday.
In those three innings, 10 runs were scored on 13 hits and five walks.
Saunders gave up three runs, five hits and two walks.
“It was a slugfest at the time, both ways, and they came out aggressive, we came out aggressive and luckily we came out on top,” Saunders said, adding that he was frustrated with his outing.
Saunders gave up a run in each of the three innings.
“[I] didn’t like the way Joe was throwing the ball; he was elevating, overthrowing the ball,” manager Kirk Gibson said.
Standing in the on-deck circle in the bottom half of the third inning with runners being moved over to second and third with two outs, Gibson decided to pinch-hit for Saunders and give Collin Cowgill a chance to drive the runs in.
The move paid off as Cowgill drove in both runners with a single through the left side.
“We had an opportunity to score some runs, so I took advantage of that,” Gibson said of the decision to pull Saunders at that moment.
Wolf’s line read seven runs, eight hits and three walks.
His struggles started right from the beginning when Willie Bloomquist led off with single.
“If I can get hit by a pitch, or a walk or a base hit, just somehow to get on base, to help us get things going and jump start us, that’s my job,” Bloomquist said.
Before the Diamondbacks first inning was over, he had given up two home runs leading to five total runs for the D-backs. Ryan Roberts hit a grand slam and Chris Young followed with a solo shot.
In the third Wolf was the one who gave up the hit to Cowgill. He would get out of the inning but that was the end of his night.
“I think sometimes you get in situations,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “You come out early, you try to make pitches, you try to establish some off-speed stuff, you get behind in the counts, you have to come in with some fastballs and sometimes you get hurt on them.”
The bullpens would take over from there.