AZ 6, Rockies 4 - Mission Kim Possible

Record: 9-4. Change on last season: +4

Quote of the day: "A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." -- Jackie Robinson

I'm beginning to think that the comment I made earlier today, about members of our rotation having sold their souls to the Devil, might have been perilously close to the truth. I mean, how else can you explain Doug Davis today? Thirteen base-runners in a mere five innings, his team only scores six runs - and the starter still gets the win? That's been done only a handful of times since 1999...but naturally, it happens to Davis, who came up smelling of roses, despite a performance which blew chunks. So much for the theory that an adjustment to his mechanics had resolved his control problems. He even delivered our third balk of the year, leaving us just one short of the total for all of 2006.

Two things saved Davis. Firstly, great work by the bullpen, which retired eleven of twelve, up until Jose Valverde decided to start nibbling round the edges with two out in the ninth - hey, you've a two-run lead, with the bases empty, what's the worst that can happen? And secondly, opposing spot-starter, Byung-Hyun Kim was worse still, lasting three innings and giving up five earned runs. Tony Clark, in particular, was Kim's nemesis, taking him deep twice, both times giving Arizona the lead, in the first and fourth innings. That's Big Tony's first three RBI game since May last year.

Even more appropriately on Jackie Robinson Day, what was the score after Clark's first bomb? 4-2. That's almost too spooky to be credible. Orlando Hudson, another player wearing #42, like Clark, also had a two-hit day, though didn't quite get to steal home, as he hoped. I'm wondering where Chris Young was: he was slated to wear the number as well, yet was entirely absent from proceedings. Maybe he tweaked his groin again? Byrnes played center, Callaspo was in right, and Alberto showed some good range there - he seems to be learning the position fast, which can only increase his value to the roster.

Kim left the game immediately after the second homer, claiming a "bruised right thumb". Though I believe that was a mis-translation of a Korean slang phrase which means, "Get me out of here before I have to see that scary giant again." [Actually, I originally had another translation of the phrase there, but especially on JR Day, it was way too offensive for public consumption. Dammit, I'm getting soft and sensitive in my old age. I remember the days when I'd have ploughed on regardless. Curse this political correctness. Still, last thing I need is my sponsors pulling their adverts. :-)]

This is a game we were lucky to win. The Rockies out-hit AZ (10-8), out-extra-base-hit us (4-3) and out-walked us (6-5). We weren't helped by some strange tactics by Melvin: in the bottom of the fourth, with Davis already at 87 pitches, and men on second and third with no-one out, he let Davis bat for himself. We failed to score. Melvin should have pinch-hit, then used Nippert - who looked very impressive in his inning of work...again - for two frames. It seemed like Melvin was just seeking to get Davis a W, one he certainly didn't deserve. And why burn up Lyon in the eighth, after Peña got through the seventh on just five pitches?

But, in the end, as Shakespeare said (or would have, if he was a color commentator on Fox), the win's the thing - even if this was more by luck than good fortune, and in spite of, rather than because of, our manager. We stay atop the division and run our record to 9-4. Not bad, given last year we didn't win our ninth until April 24th, in our twentieth contest. Thanks to those who took part in the GameDay Thread: azdbacks51, DBACKS KICK ARSE, Wimb, VIII, biggerunit1, DiamondbacksWIn, foulpole, Muu, Devin, Ridster, FatLeprechaun, seton hall snake pit, singaporedbacksfan, johngordonma and soco.

Let's close [since the GameDay graph isn't available yet, and hey, this is the fourth story I've put up on the site today...] with the last-named's thought for the day: "There may be a lot of things for us to dislike or question about how the team is run, or various players, or the uniforms, or whatever, but sometimes it's nice to just sit back and be grateful we have this wonderful game in the Valley." No arguing with that: though being atop our division certainly doesn't hurt! :-)

Gameday Graph (slightly belated)

[Click graph to enlarge, in new window]
Master of his domain: Tony Clark: +30.3%
God-emperor of suck: Doug Davis: -10.6%

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