Joe Saunders, animal sacrifices and D-backs-Rockies

Joe Saunders' mojo may be coming back after last night's outing against the Colorado Rockies.

What do Joe Saunders and Michael Vick have in common? They’re both wanted by PETA.

“I am going to go home, sacrifice a live chicken and turn this thing around,” Saunders said jokingly after the Diamondbacks loss to the Phillies last Wednesday. “You have to keep your head up, turn the page and get ready for next time because I don’t think I am pitching that bad.”

Saunders, who is in his first full season with the D-backs, is still winless after a much better effort against the division-leading Rockies last night. In his five previous starts this season, the southpaw allowed 19 runs and 35 hits, accruing three losses and a 5.93 ERA. On Tuesday, he gave up three earned runs on six hits in six innings, lowering his ERA to 5.67 en route to a no-decision. To date, he remains the only starting pitcher on the D-backs’ staff who hasn’t recorded a win.

Hopefully, Saunders didn’t run “afowl” before the game, but he did something right to keep the Rockies big bats somewhat quiet.  Troy Tulowitzki was hitless in three plate appearances against Saunders, but Carlos Gonzalez provided a crick-in-the-neck moment with a 453-foot homer to right in the fourth.

More Diamondbacks-Rockies Notes

  • Tonight, the D-backs’ Barry Enright (1-2, 5.76 ERA) is slated to face the Rockies’ Jhoulys Chacin (3-2, 2.91 ERA) and Thursday will feature Armando Galarraga (3-2, 5.46 ERA) and Jason Hammel (3-1, 3.23 ERA).
  • Look for D-backs manager Kirk Gibson to drop slumping second baseman Kelly Johnson lower in the batting order. Johnson has been a glaring vacancy at the top of the otherwise strong D-backs order this year. He has the second-most strikeouts in the National League with 33 and an abysmal on-base percentage of .259.
  • Ryan Roberts is the D-backs hottest hitter. Prior to picking up two walks in an 0-2 effort last night, Roberts was batting .328 in the previous 10 games with six home runs, 16 RBIs and a 1.072 OPS.

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