Grit Index: D-backs top Dodgers despite stagnant offense

Sep 17, 2013, 5:56 AM | Updated: 5:57 am

When Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson set his lineup on Monday, he did his best to gain an edge against the Los Angeles Dodgers’ left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu, penciling in eight right-handed bats and placing utility man Willie Bloomquist in left field.

Nonetheless, his team only managed two hits against Ryu, who pitched a complete game for the Dodgers.

Somehow, though, the pair of hits — which included a Paul Goldschmidt two-run home run in the first inning — was enough to beat the southpaw 2-1, handing him his seventh loss of the season.

Trevor Cahill, on the other hand, cruised through the game’s first five innings, allowing just one hit and one walk to the division-leading Dodgers. The right-hander worked four straight 1-2-3 innings after the first inning.

Ryu also scored his team’s only run, after earning a leadoff walk off of Cahill in the sixth. Following Ryu’s free pass, leadoff man Nick Punto — Hanley Ramirez’s replacement at shortstop for the night — knocked a double to deep left-center field, advancing Ryu to third base. The Dodgers’ next man up, second baseman Mark Ellis, also walked, loading the bases for all-star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Diamondbacks catcher Tuffy Goesewich trotted out to the mound for a discussion with Cahill and the tandem ultimately got Gonzalez to fly out to shallow left field.

Then, up stepped cleanup hitter Yasiel Puig to the intermixed boos and cheers of the Chase Field crowd. The rookie rightfielder worked a full count against Cahill, before ultimately taking ball four on an outside offering. The discipline brought home Ryu, decreasing the Diamondbacks’ lead to one run and inducing a double switch from Gibson, who swapped out his pitcher-catcher duo with Josh Collmenter and Wil Nieves.

Collmenter, the invaluable bullpen asset, struck out the first hitter he faced, Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis. Then, he ended an eight-pitch Skip Schumaker at-bat with a broken bat one-hopper to second base, stranding Punto, Mark Ellis and Puig with the final out of the Dodgers’ sixth.

Collmenter returned for the seventh inning, getting the Dodgers’ 7-8-9 hitters out in order.

The Diamondbacks’ second hit of the night came in the bottom half of the 7th inning, when Aaron Hill lined a two-out single to left field.

Recently recalled reliever David Hernandez was, once again, a sight for the sore eyes of Diamondbacks fans in the eighth inning, returning to the mound for his vintage 8th-inning setup role Monday and getting through the top of the Dodgers’ order with a pair of strikeouts and a flyout, despite hitting Mark Ellis. Hernandez hit 97 mph on the radar gun several times in the outing. He battled through a nine-pitch at-bat with Gonzalez, who had speedy pinch runner Dee Gordon on first base. And he got Puig to chase an 83-mile-per-hour curveball off the plate for the final out of the inning.

Brad Ziegler, who was battling a sinus infection, came in to close out the 9th inning and he got into immediate trouble.

Aafter giving up back-to-back singles to start the inning, Ziegler fielded a sacrifice bunt attempt off the bat of Juan Uribe and fiered to third baseman Martin Prado to get the lead runner and the first out of the inning. The next at-bat ended in a groundout, advancing the runners to second and third base for pinch hitter Matt Kemp, who was reinstated just before Monday’s game.

But Kemp’s first at-bat since July 21 ended with him flailing at a way-off-the-plate slider from Ziegler.

With the win, the Diamondbacks kept the Dodgers from inching closer to clinching the NL West, improving to 9-7 against their division foe on the season.

The Good:

David Hernandez’s trip to Reno has proven more than effective. In seven outings since being recalled on September 3, the hard-throwing right-hander has allowed just two hits and two walks, and no runs, while hitting a batter and striking out eight. His velocity seems to be up, with his fastball being clocked as high as 97 mph over the weekend, and his command has been on point.

The Bad:

Martin Prado’s hot second half seems to be sizzling out. Over his last 11 games, he’s hitting .146 with a .163 on-base percentage, two RBI and a walk.


– Trevor Cahill is 6-0 with a 2.01 ERA in his career against the Dodgers.

– Brad Ziegler took sole possession of ninth place on the D-backs all-time relief appearance list (172.0 IP), breaking a tie with Chad Qualls (171.0 IP).

– Paul Goldschmidt has homered in back-to-back games for the first time since August-3-4, hitting his 33rd on Monday.

He Said It:

“He came into a very tough spot right there and that’s one of those things when you think about what you’re going to do that you take into consideration. You know, bases loaded with one out and he comes in and he gets two guys, then he goes out and gives you another inning. It was clutch and it was a very good performance by him. He’s got a great demeanor for that situation.” – Gibson on Collmenter’s performance

Up Next:

Left-hander Patrick Corbin (14-6, 2.92 ERA) will look to give the Diamondbacks yet another solid outing as he faces Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke (14-3, 2.74 ERA), who hasn’t lost in his last nine starts. First pitch is at 6:40 p.m. MDT and can be heard on Arizona Sports 620 AM.

Arizona Sports’ Kyndra de St. Aubin contributed to this story

Los Angeles Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw pitches to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles Monday, May 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon) Arizona Diamondbacks starter Ian Kennedy pitches to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles Monday, May 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon) Arizona Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollack is tagged out by Los Angeles Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis, trying to score from second on a Willie Bloomquist double in the third inning of a National League baseball game in Los Angeles Monday, May 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon) Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Sellers dives into the stands to make a foul catch off Miguel Montero of the Arizona Doamondbacks in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles Monday, May 14, 2012. The Dodgers won, 3-1. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon) Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Sellers celebrates after diving into the stands to make a foul catch off Miguel Montero of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles Monday, May 14, 2012. The Dodgers won, 3-1. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

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