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Relief Pitching

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If you have been a baseball fan for any length of time, chances are you have heard this saying before: Hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in sports. There is some truth there. When I showed up at the batting cages for my first — and last — year of high school baseball, my coaches set the…...

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Diamondbacks reliever Ian Kennedy in the dugout after giving the Cubs hit two home runs at Wrigley Field.

It was the bottom of the ninth on a cool Tuesday evening at Petco Park. The Padres had runners at first and second with two outs, as nervous excitement stirred in the stands. The Diamondbacks led, 5-4, and were an out away from sealing their fourth consecutive series win against a playoff contender. That out never came.

With a walk to Jose Azocar — Ian Kennedy’s second walk of the inning — the Diamondbacks’ righty had loaded the bases for Jorge Alfaro. Alfaro smacked the first pitch he saw up the middle. Two runs scored. Despite leading 5-0 half-way through the game, the D-backs lost, 6-5.

It was like a movie Diamondbacks fans had seen too many times over — the type of movie you would love were it not for that damn ending that always leaves you unsatisfied.

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