Dominant first inning propels D-Backs to victory

PHOENIX–J.J. Hoover won a cow-milking contest, and the D-Backs told the White Sox to moooo-ve on over, winning the game 5-4 Tuesday evening.

Not only did Hoover win the contest, he might’ve helped the D-Backs preserve the win. He got them out of a one-out, bases loaded jam in the top of the eighth, up by a run.

“I knew the situation, and I knew I had to pitch to my strengths,” Hoover said.

As for the cow-milking contest, Hoover absolutely thought winning the contest helped him pitch better.

“That just set the tone for the day,” Hoover said.  “It was awesome. I’ve got a farm, love animals and livestock. The trophy is sitting in my truck. It’s going in my barn in a place of honor,” Hoover said.

The D-Backs piled on four hits and Jake Lamb hit a three-run homer all in the first inning.

Lamb has been on a TEAR as of late, smacking five balls out the park over his last seven games, and is hitting .356 over the past 15 days.

“He continues to stay hot,” D-Backs Manager Torey Lovullo said.

Chris Hermann hit a solo homer in the bottom of the second inning on a 2-1 count to extend the D-Backs lead to 4-1. Herrmann has played in just three games, including this one, since May 15, but he’s homered in each of those games. Herrmann is hitting .467 on a 2-1 count over the course of his career (30 at-bats).

I’m going to keep saying it. When the D-Backs are home, Brandon Drury is in the zone. The man is a beast at Chase Field, doubling home a run to extend the D-Backs lead to 5-3. He’s hitting .400 at home.

Patrick Corbin pitched well, going six innings, surrendering three runs on eight hits, walking just one batter and striking out five. He threw 91 pitches, and Lovullo usually has a magic pitch number of 100. So, a bit of surprise as Corbin was taken out to start the seventh after allowing a baserunner. Had he finished the inning without giving up a run, he could’ve picked up a quality start.

“I think he just tired and ran out of gas,” Lovullo said.

White Sox starter Dylan Covey left the game in the bottom of the third inning after experiences soreness in his left oblique. He’d pitch 2 1/3 innings giving up four runs on five hits, striking out one batter.

Fernando Rodney picked up his 11th save of the season. He has yet to allow a run in the month of May.

The D-Backs take on the White Sox in the third and final game of the series Wednesday afternoon at 12:40 p.m. Randall Delgado will take the mound and oppose White Sox ace, Jose Quintana.

Heating Up: Todd Frazier’s homer in the top of the third raised his average to .192. He’s hitting .259 over the last seven days, and he’s a .248 career hitter, so things are trending in the right direction for the former home run champion. 2 1/3, 5 H, 4 ER, 1K,

I want to say something here, alright. Now, maybe I’m speaking out of line here, and if so, I apologize. There’s probably more to this than meets the eye but, is it just me, or am I seeing softer athletes in baseball than ever before? I mean we’ve got pitchers not only leaving games because they’re sore, or have a bleeding finger, or a blister, but they’re put on the DL. It’s not just pitchers either. Position players, sore wrist, groin injury, come on. Where is the toughness? I don’t know how bad it is. Maybe the blister prohibits the pitcher from pitching effectively, and if that’s the case, I concede. If the groin injury indeed affects the way the position player can play baseball, ok, I get it.

However, I know for some of these players, that isn’t the case. Some of them are put on the DL when they could probably play. Now, yes, it’s early on in the year, and you can say well if it was September they probably would. Ok, but, their team might not even be in a playoff position in September where that would come into play if this guy doesn’t play in May. I’m just saying, look at Hockey players for instance. These guys have played through some of the most gruesome injuries.

Also, don’t give me the whole “well the manager is just trying to be careful,.” Cool. I get that. You don’t want to make an injury worse than what it is. Still, I’m telling you, this isn’t about that. This is about the times where the guy could damn well go back out there and play, and he doesn’t. Where is the toughness in baseball anymore? Where are the Kirk Gibsons and Curt Schillings today?

There was a player, Greg Harris. Harris missed two starts once, due to an inflamed elbow because, for an entire game, he was flicking sunflower seeds at a friend in the stands nearby. Another player, Jose Cardenal missed a game because he was ‘tired.’ The story goes that crickets had kept him awake the night before. Then, Cardenal also missed a game because he claimed his eyelid was stuck open, and he couldn’t blink. Seriously. Ernie Camacho, once hurt his elbow because he signed too many autographs. Sammy Sosa once hit the DL due to a violent sneeze. Whatever THAT is. You get the point. Soft.

The D-Backs have won seven of their last eight though, so, at least THEY are doing something right.

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