Tag:Justin Upton
Posted on: October 7, 2011 6:17 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2011 6:25 pm
 

Upton continues Diamondbacks' homer barrage

Justin Upton

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Brewers have the reputation as a big, lumbering slugging team -- and much of that probably comes from the image of Prince Fielder and his bombastic blasts. But Arizona has counted on the long ball more than Milwaukee in the National League division series -- at least so far.

NLDS Game 5

After Justin Upton's solo shot in the top of the third of Game 5 off of Yovani Gallardo, the Diamondbacks have tagged Brewer pitchers for 10 homers in the series, with homers accounting for 17 of the team's 24 runs so far in the series.

All six of the Diamondbacks' runs at Miller Park have come on home runs.

Milwaukee led the National League with 185 homers in the regular season, with Arizona's 172 homers the fourth-most in the league.

Friday's homer was Upton's second of the series, he also homered in Game 2. Five different Diamondbacks have homered in the series and of those five, all but Aaron Hill have more than one homer in the series. Chris Young has three -- including two in Game 3 -- with Paul Goldschmidt, Ryan Roberts and Upton all hitting two.

No Brewer, on the other hand, has hit more than one homer in the series, as Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez, Corey Hart and Fielder have all homered.

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Posted on: October 5, 2011 10:28 pm
 

This time Roberts slams Brewers

Ryan Roberts

By C. Trent Rosecrans

It seemed like the perfect opportunity -- the Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt up with the bases loaded once again. He couldn't come through -- but Ryan Roberts did.

For the fourth straight game at Chase Field, the Diamondbacks hit a grand slam, and for the second time in those four games it was Roberts, giving the Arizona a 4-1 lead in the first-inning. Chris Young followed with a solo homer to give Arizona a 5-1 lead after one.

That's a pretty good sign for the Diamondbacks, who were 83-8 this season when leading by two or more runs.

The Diamondbacks became just the fifth team in Major League history to hit two grand slams in one playoff series and the first since the 1977 Dodgers to do it in back-to-back games.

On Wednesday, Arizona's Willie Bloomquist singled to start the inning before Aaron Hill popped up, Justin Upton walked and Miguel Montero singled. However, unlike Game 1 when the Diamondbacks were aggressive in sending Bloomquist to the plate, third base coach Matt Williams held him up to leave the bases loaded with one out and Goldschmidt, the hero of Game 3, came to the plate.

Goldschmidt was starting at first in the place of Lyle Overbay despite hitting just .162/.279/.378 against lefties. But he was coming off a good game and manager Kirk Gibson put him in the lineup against Randy Wolf. It was the perfect setup to the perfect story, except he looked at a 1-2 pitch low and inside that home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman called for the third strike.

Wolf got no such help from Dreckman or anyone else when he tried to throw a 2-1 changeup past Reynolds, who hit it just to the fair side of the left-field foul pole for the Diamondbacks' fourth grand slam in as many home games. Roberts also hit the walk-off grand slam on the penultimate day of the season.

The Diamondbacks had six grand slams during the season, including one in each of the last two games of the season. But it's not just home runs when the Diamondbacks have the bases loaded, as a team Arizona hit .387/.421/.649 with bases loaded during the regular season.

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Posted on: October 5, 2011 4:39 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 5:37 pm
 

NLDS Game 4: D-Back fever, catch it. Please



By C. Trent Rosecrans

You'd think Tuesday's thrilling victory over the Brewers in Game 3 of the National League division series would be all the advertising the Diamondbacks would need to sell tickets to Wednesday's Game 4. You'd be wrong.

As late as Wednesday afternoon, the Diamondbacks official Twitter feed said there were "good seats still available" for Game 4.

Despite the team's surprising run to the National League West title, Arizona was still 18th in overall attendance on the season, averaging 25,992 per game -- up from 25,394 in 2010. Among playoff teams, only the Rays had a lower attendance. The Rays drew 18,878 per game, more than only the A's.

The Diamondbacks played before an average capacity of 53.4 percent, the seventh lowest in baseball. No playoff team had a worse percentage. Tampa Bay played in front of an average of 55.4 percent full crowds at Tropicana Field.

Game 4: Diamondbacks at Brewers, 9:37 p.m. ET, Chase Field, TBS

Brewers Diamondbacks
No. Name Pos No. Name Pos
1 Corey Hart RF 1 Willie Bloomquist SS
2 Jerry Hairston Jr. 3B 2 Aaron Hill 2B
3 Ryan Braun LF 3 Justin Upton RF
4 Prince Fielder 1B 4 Miguel Montero C
5 Rickie Weeks 2B 5 Paul Goldschmidt 1B
6 Yuniesky Betancourt SS 6 Chris Young CF
7 Carlos Gomez SS 7 Ryan Roberts 3B
8 George Kottaras C 8 Gerardo Parra LF
9 Shaun Marcum RHP 9 Joe Saunders LHP

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Wolf vs. Diamondbacks: The left-hander has had trouble against Arizona this season, losing both his starts and putting up a 6.08 ERA in 13 1/3 innings pitched. On July 5 he gave up seven runs on 10 hits in six innings of a Brewers loss at Miller Park, while he was better on July 18, allowing just two earned runs (three total) on eight hits in 7 1/3 innings at Chase Field. Justin Upton is just 5 for 20 (.250) against Wolf, but two of those five hits are homers. Lyle Overbay, Parra, Roberts and Young also have homers against Wolf.

Saunders vs. Brewers: Saunders earned a no-decision in the Diamondbacks' loss to the Brewers on July 20, allowing two runs on five hits in seven innings. He's 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA in two career starts against Milwaukee. Braun is 2 for 6 in his career against Saunders with two homers. Prince Fielder is hitless in six plate appearances against Saunders, striking out three times and walking once.

NOTES

Full Playoff Coverage
  • The roof will be closed for Game 4 at Chase Field.
  • Saunders injured his left hand in batting practice earlier in the series.
  • Goldschmidt gets his third consecutive start over Overbay. Goldschmidt has struggled against left handers this season, hitting just .162/.279/.378 with two homers in 43 plate appearances. Overbay was 3 for 8 with a double and a homer against Wolf in his career, but had four strikeouts.
  • Gomez and Kottaras are making their first starts of the series. Kottaras has an RBI double and a walk in his only two plate appearances against Saunders. Gomez is 4 for 13 with a double and triple against the Diamondbacks starter.
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Posted on: October 4, 2011 11:42 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 2:38 am
 

Marcum's missed play leads to slam

Shaun Marcum

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Sean Marcum tossed his glove in the air as soon as Paul Goldschmidt made contact for his grand slam in the fifth inning, but possibly as much as the 1-2 fastball he served up to the Diamondbacks rookie, Marcum was upset at himself for being in that situation.

More D-Backs, Brewers

The right-hander has a reputation as one of the best fielding pitchers in the game, and had he been able to field Justin Upton's one-out comebacker cleanly, Goldschmidt would have never had the chance to give Arizona a 7-1 lead in the fifth inning.

With runners on first and second and one out, Marcum got Upton to ground the ball back to him, but the ball bounced off Marcum's glove and between his legs. He managed to recover in time to get one out, but he missed his chance at an inning-ending double play. 

Ron Roenicke then elected to intentionally walk Miguel Montero, who already had two hits on the night, to get to the rookie first baseman. Marcum made a mistake to Goldschmidt -- but it never would have happened had he made the previous play. Instead of Marcum heading to the dugout trying to keep his team close, he was lifted from the game as the Diamondbacks added another run in the inning, and probably another game to the series.

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Posted on: October 4, 2011 6:21 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2011 6:27 pm
 

NLDS Game 3 Preview: Brewers looking to sweep



By C. Trent Rosecrans

Diamondbacks at Brewers, 9:37 p.m. ET, Chase Field, TNT

Brewers Diamondbacks
No. Name Pos No. Name Pos
1 Corey Hart RF 1 Willie Bloomquist SS
2 Nyjer Morgan CF 2 Aaron Hill 2B
3 Ryan Braun LF 3 Justin Upton RF
4 Prince Fielder 1B 4 Miguel Montero C
5 Rickie Weeks 2B 5 Paul Goldschmidt 1B
6 Jerry Hairston Jr 3B 6 Chris Young CF
7 Yuniesky Betancourt SS 7 Ryan Roberts 3B
8 Jonathan Lucroy C 8 Gerardo Parra LF
9 Shaun Marcum RHP 9 Josh Collmenter RHP

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Marcum vs. Diamondbacks: Marcum earned a no decision in his only start against the Diamondbacks this season, allowing four runs on seven hits in six innings. Every Brewer that has faced Marcum has managed a hit against him, but only Upton has more than one (2 for 6). Montero's lone hit in three at-bats against Marcum was for a homer.

Collmenter vs. Brewers: Collmenter was moved up in the rotation in part because of his success against the Brewers. In two starts against Milwaukee this season, the Brewers haven't scored on him in 14 innings. Collmenter started in back-to-back starts around the All-Star break, getting a no-decision after six innings of three-hit ball on July 6 in Milwaukee and picking up the win after allowing just three hits in eight innings at Chase Field on July 18. On the Brewers, only Fielder (2 for 5), Morgan (2 for 6) and Betancourt (1 for 3) have hits off Collmenter. All the Brewers hits off Collmenter have been singles. 

NOTES

Full Playoff Coverage
  • The Diamondbacks had hoped to have the roof open at Chase Field for Game 3, but there was a dust storm before the game that caused the team to close the roof. A final decision will be made later.
  • Left-hander Joe Saunders was the original scheduled starter for Tuesday's game, but an injury to his hand in batting practice earlier int he season pushed him back to Game 4.
  • While Milwaukee struggled on the road this season (32-42), the team split its four games at Chase Field.
  • Milwaukee is looking to win its first postseason series since the 1982 ALCS.
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Posted on: October 3, 2011 12:15 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2011 8:18 pm
 

Diamondbacks return home with hope

Josh Collmenter

By C. Trent Rosecrans
 

The Diamondbacks have two things going for them heading into Tuesday night's Game 3 of the National League division series -- Josh Collmenter and Chase Field.

The right-handed Collmenter has faced the Brewers twice this season, throwing a total of 14 shutout innings against the Brewers in back-to-back starts in July. Collmenter, who has an unorthodox over-the-top throwing motion, struck out 10 and walked just one in those two games against the Brewers. 

2011 playoffs

Left-hander Joe Saunders was scheduled to take the mound for Arizona in Game 3, but he hurt his hand in batting practice recently and the team wanted to give him another day of rest. Collmenter had been scheduled to go to the bullpen.

The Brewers held baseball's best home record in the regular season, going 57-24 at Miller Park and 39-42 on the road. Arizona had the National League's third-best home record at 51-30, behind just the Brewers and Phillies.

Despite the Brewers' road struggles, they did split their four games at Chase Field this season.

"You have to be confident. We were standing there like in the 8th inning, and I was talking to (Miguel Montero), and I think (Justin Upton) was over there, as crazy as it seems right now, this type of game, if you can come back and win, the momentum shifts on it," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said in Sunday's postgame news conference. "And I was specifically thinking about where we were against the Mets in 1988. We were basically three outs away from going down three games to one to Doc Gooden on the mound. So you have a will, you have to try and find a way. It's the attitude we'll take."

It will also mark the return to Chase Field of Prince Fielder, who was booed during the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game because of the new format that allowed the team captains to pick their own team. Fielder didn't pick Upton and instead took teammate Rickie Weeks, drawing the ire of the hometown fans in Phoenix -- he was booed again later in the month when the Brewers played in Arizona and should expect more boos Tuesday. Fielder, though, didn't take much offense at the time:



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Posted on: October 2, 2011 8:37 pm
Edited on: October 2, 2011 9:38 pm
 

Instant Reaction: Brewers 9, Diamondbacks 4

Rickie Weeks

By C. Trent Rosecrans

WP: Takashi Saito

LP: Daniel Hudson

HR: Paul Goldschmidt, Ryan Braun, Chris Young, Justin Upton

Series: Brewers lead 2-0

Hero: Braun started the game's scoring with a two-run homer in the first inning and capped it with an RBI single in the five-run sixth inning. Braun's now 6 for 8 in the series with three RBI and four runs scored.

Goat: Brad Ziegler replaced Hudson with after Jerry Hairston Jr.'s sixth-inning double and had the task of just retiring two of the Brewers' worst hitters, Yuniesky Betancourt and Jonathan Lucroy. Ziegler balked to send Hairston to third and walked Betancourt on four pitches. That's when the Brewers took the lead on Lucroy's successful squeeze -- and Ziegler compounded his mistake by throwing the ball away instead of getting the sure out at first and also put runners on second and third. Ziegler intentionally walked pinch hitter Mark Kotsay before giving up three straight singles to Corey Hart, Nyjer Morgan and Ryan Braun to make it 9-4. Kirk Gibson mercifully ended Ziegler's day after Braun's third RBI of the day.

Next: 10/4 at Arizona, 9:37 p.m. ET. Shaun Marcum (13-7, 3.54) vs. Josh Collmenter (10-10, 3.38)

More postseason coverage: Postseason schedule | Brewers-Diamondbacks series2011 playoffs

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Posted on: October 2, 2011 5:31 pm
Edited on: October 2, 2011 10:56 pm
 

Umpire's blown call costs D-Backs' Hill a double

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Once again, an umpiring mistake has jumped to the forefront of a playoff game, even if it may not end up meaning too much in the large scheme of things. However, Arizona's Aaron Hill did get a base taken away from him in the first inning of Sunday's Game 2 of the NLDS.

With one out in the first, the Diamondbacks' second baseman hit a ball down the left-field line off of Brewers starter Zack Greinke. Umpire James Hoye, positioned on the line, called the ball foul, even as Hill scooted into second for a double. Replays showed Hill's liner hit on the fair side of a yellow stripe on the wall.

Hill went back to the plate and calmly nailed the next pitch into center for a single.

Hoye, who is working in the first postseason of his career, was in the sunlight and the ball landed into what was a shaded part of the stadium at that time. The shadows in Milwaukee have been an issue this series and may have played a part in Hoye's call.  

Greinke then got Justin Upton to pop up weakly to Prince Fielder in foul territory and struck out Miguel Montero on four pitches to end the inning. Despite that, it's impossible to say the inning was changed by the call, as pitchers pitch differently with a runner on second than they do with one on first. Chances are Greinke would get out of the inning, but there's no way to know that for sure.

Postseason games have umpires positioned on the outfield lines just for those calls. Of course, there's another way to fix those kinds of calls, but I think we here at Eye On Baseball have made our position on expanded replay clear, so no need to beat that dead horse (but feel free to do so in the comments).

More Brewers-Diamondbacks NLDS coverage 

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