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AZ 1, Rockies 8 - Papal Displeasure

Record: 7-7. Change on last season: +3

Ouch. Our lesson today comes from the Book of Proverbs, Chapter 16, Verse 18: "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." Yes, the lesson to be learned from yesterday is, do not make fun of a pontiff, for he has friends in high places. Hence, today's entry will contain no further references to Pope Udo I, for fear of bringing down more divine wrath upon the Diamondbacks.

The irony is perfect. Remember yesterday's entry, written in the comfortable afterglow of Ryan Speier's spontaneous human combustion? Guess what: following yesterday's performance, Randy Choate's ERA is 15.75, exactly the same as Speier's. As Depeche Mode once said, "I don't want to start any blasphemous rumours, but I think that God's got a sick sense of humour." The highlight was perhaps Choate's part in a stand-up bunt triple, thanks to a throw to first which was about as well-directed as...er, most of Randy's pitches this season.

As I mentioned in the comments (thanks also to Otacon, enoch and azpenguin), you know your left-handed pitcher isn't getting the job done when the opposing manager, hardly with the fear of God on him, cheerfully sends up a left-handed pinch-hitter - who promptly smacks a double to deep right field. Choate departed, having thrown four pitches and seen both Rockies get on base. Albeit in only 12 at-bats, lefties this year are hitting .417 off Choate...

Koplove then let things really get out of control, allowing both inherited runners to score, then loading them up again and giving up a three-run triple. About the only positive thing was that the bullpen didn't actually blow the lead, Shawn Estes did; the go-ahead run came home courtesy of the third of three straight, two-out walks in the Rockies third innings. Estes did not look good, having filled the bases with no outs in the previous innings, and escaped major damage thanks to an RBI double-play and a line-out. Six hits and six walks in five innings? That won't get you a win anywhere, least of all Coors.

Speaking of which... One run on five hits? Against a pitcher with nine major-league starts? In Coors Field? If anyone finds our offense (probably comfortably nestled in one of the many LoDo bars in Denver, of which I have fond memories from last July's trip!), please say we miss it, and hope it decides to return soon. That's now nine straight games scoring five runs or less; five straight with three or less.

Francis did look rather good, it has to be said; the 2004 minor-league pitcher of the year kept us to four hits. And we did have our 'B'-team out there, without Gonzalez, Tracy, McCracken or Counsell. Of the rest, Kata had two hits, and the rest can look back on the day's proceedings without much enthusiasm.

I can relate; spent much of the afternoon twitching, following the arrival of an entire swarm of bees in the garage, each approximately the size of a basketball. Okay, there was only one, but it was quite large, and hung around far longer than it should have in an area entirely devoid of flora. I cowered inside until it left; I'm still recovering from my first summer here, where I mistook a Palo Verde beetle for a bag of beads and tried to pick it up. Ever since, I run away first, look up entomological specifics later. Plague of locusts to follow, no doubt.

Then Go Daddy called, to ask if I wanted to go in and do some overtime. I came up with some lame excuse about our daughter having taken the car, which was made no better by being true. It'd probably have sounded more credible if I'd declined on the basis we were currently fighting off an assault by a gang of heavily-armed weasels.

Actually, I might have gone in, if Monday hadn't been so grim - filled with Arnie-imitating phone reps, you may recall. If I'd been subjected to more of the same...well, let's just say it'd probably have ended in assault weaponry. [Note, largely directed at Wil of Baseballtopia, who works in Go Daddy's legal department: the proceeding statement is ironic comedy licence, and not to be taken seriously. Note #2, directed at Wil: update your damn blog. :-)]

But today's another day, and another series, in fact. Two games aren't sufficient to pick out Heroes and Zeroes (though I think Messrs. Choate and Koplove should find themselves seats close to the aisle), so I'll postpone handing them out until after the Giants series. At the moment, however, there is an elegant symmetry about the D'backs season: in the five series so far, we've gone 3-0, 2-1, 1-1, 1-2 and 0-3.

It's our first battle against the Evil Empire (West Coast Division). While a season may be defined by the overall win total, not all games are equal - I'd far rather go 19-0 against the Giants than, say, the Rockies or Padres [though after our performances vs. our NL West rivals in 2004, I'd settle for 10-9 against anyone]. I'm not sure how much is my personal antipathy for Bazza, but in general think I'm more an LA person than an SF one. I guess, just as there are cat and dog people, so there are Northern California and Southern California ones.