The Diamondbacks’ question of the moment is what to do with Trevor Cahill.
After banished to the bullpen, Cahill delivered a few, recent morsels to suggest he may be ready to return to the rotation. That notion quickly dissipated when Cahill imploded once again.
This time, it was in a relief role and it was ugly.
Coming into Saturday’s contest against Philadelphia in the eighth and holding a 5-2 lead, Cahill proceeded to allow five of first six hitters he faced to reach base and the result was unsettling, once again. Three scored, Cahill took the loss and his record now reads 1-5 with possession of a 7.66 ERA.
Cahill’s melt-down led to an all too-familiar scenario and a lead which can not be held. The result was a 6-5 Phillies win before 35,462 on Patrick Corbin bobble head night.
“I left some balls up and it was a bad game,” Cahill said afterwards. “I’m getting used to the bull pen and feel comfortable. The confidence is there but I didn’t execute.”
By using Cahill in the eighth inning, manager Kirk Gibson said he essentially ran out of options. He discounted using Brad Ziegler, Addison Reed and Randall Delgado. The other option was J. J. Putz and Gibson decided to go with Cahill.
“Look, it’s only one game for (Cahill),” said Gibson. “He walked (Marlon Byrd) to start the inning but they did not get solid hits.”
With the game tied at 5-5, Phils’ centerfielder Ben Revere delivered the winner with a soft single to center which scored Carlos Ruiz. Later, Gibson said Revere’s hit just managed to clear the infield and not hard-hit.
The key hit turned out to be a two-run, pinch double from Cody Asche off of Cahill with one out in the eighth. That created a 5-5 deadlock and Revere then delivered the game-winner.
“That was the first time I faced (Cahill) but knew he is a sinker-ball pitcher,” Asche said. “I hit a fast ball which he got up in the zone. I don’t think that was the pitch Cahill wanted to throw.
The start was encouraging as the Diamondbacks reached Philly starter Cliff Lee for five runs in the first three innings.
Bronson Arroyo was the beneficiary of the lode and pitched well into the seventh. The Phillies broke Arroyo’s shut out bid with a pair in the seventh but Cahill could not stand the prosperity and represented the catalyst for a loss the Diamondbacks did not deserve to lose.
MORE ON THE CHALLENGE FRONT
After singling to open the ninth and down 6-5, Martin Prado headed to second on an apparent passed ball by Phillies’ catcher Carlos Ruiz.
Ruiz recovered quickly and fired a strike to Chase Utley at second. Second base umpire Chris Conroy called Prado safe but the Phillies immediately challenged.
After a 3 minute, 36 review, crew chief Bob Davidson then reversed the original call and called Prado out. Phils’ closer Jonathon Papelbon proceeded to strike out Paul Goldschmidt and Miguel Montero flied to left to end the game.
“My foot came off the bag and (Utley) tagged me,” Prado admitted. “Look many things happened and we’re just uncomfortable with the loss.”
Prado’s error in the eighth was a clear factor in the outcome, and he took full blame.
With the D-backs up 5-2, Ryan Howard lead off the Phillies’ eighth with a pop-up to the left side of the infield. Prado camped under but the ball hit the heel of his glove and bounced to the ground. That opened the gates for a four-run, Philadelphia inning.
“I took my eye off the ball,” Prado admitted. “The wind was blowing and that caught my attention. Look, I’m not making any excuses and I have should have caught the ball.”
To help commemorate the 10th anniversary, the Diamondbacks are bringing back an icon.
On May 18, 2004, Randy Johnson pitched the first perfect game in the National League in nearly 13 years. On Sunday May 18, the Diamondbacks will honor Johnson for his feat and ask the left-hander to throw out the first ball.
Catching that first pitch will be Robbie Hammock, his catcher that night. Hammock is currently managing the D-backs A Advanced Visalia Rawhide in the California League.
When he threw the perfect game, Johnson became the oldest pitcher, at 40, to throw a no-hitter and bettered Cy Young, at age 37, in 1904.
In tossing the no-hitter against the Braves in Atlanta. Johnson fanned 13 hitters that night, including Eddie Perez on a 98 mile-an-hour fast ball to end the game.