Well, there's no question about it - last night's defeat can be placed fairly and squarely at the door of one person: my wife.
When Chris came and picked me up from Go Daddy at 1:30am, I knew immediately that we'd lost the game, because she was wearing, not the Kim shirt, but her Gonzalez one. She hadn't quite understood that luck is not generic - any Diamondbacks shirt will do - but very, very specific, to the point where my Kim shirt will probably not see daylight again this season, while hers appears to be made out of leprechaun skin. However, she is now fully appraised of the situation, and is wearing the correct Kim shirt today. I think a win is all but guaranteed. ;-)
A big thanks to Ryan, cpet1377, frienetic and Otacon for all their comments on last night's game, which were much appreciated, and as good a read on the game as I've found. Of course, the big news is Brandon Lyon's ninth-innings blowup. After a stellar spring, and a hardly less effective first couple of outings, he allowed four runs in the ninth to turn a 7-4 lead into a 7-8 loss.
None of the runs were earned, because of Troy Glaus's error which allowed Antonio Perez to reach with one out: "I just flat kicked it. No better way to put it, just flat kicked it," he said afterwards. This wiped out his positive contribution, a three-run homer in the eighth which gave us the lead his error then largely cost us.
The expected offensive assault against two mediocre starting pitchers didn't materialise: neither produced a quality start, but Dessens and Estes did allow only one run between them through the front five innings. We didn't show the hoped-for patience with Elmer though: he only threw 66 pitches to get through his 5.2 innings. Estes was fine until the sixth, when he allowed four runs, then Bruney and Koplove were perfect over the next two, before Lyon's three hits and a walk.
Cruz also had a homer, a two-run shot, and Gonzo reached base four times, with two walks and two hits. Clayton went 0-for-3, taking his average down to .133, and grounded into his six millionth double play. [Okay, his fourth - still leading the majors] Is Bob Melvin the only one who can not see the problem here? There's no point Counsell getting on base half the time (OBP to date: .556), if Clayton is going to immediately wipe him out.
One interesting point, hinted at in the comments - four games in, Hill has caught our #1 + #4 pitchers, Snyder our #2 and #3, so that should kinda even out in theory:
Record under Snyder: 2-0, runs allowed: 7
Record under Hill: 0-2, runs allowed: 24
Yes, it's hardly a large sample, and it may mean no more than our record being 2-0 when Chris wears her Kim shirt, and 0-2 when she doesn't. But the difference is striking: is Snyder perhaps a better pitch-caller than Hill?
Not that we can really blame Hill for Lyon's inability to execute: "I didn't get it obviously in the location that I wanted to and he put a good swing on it and hit it over the wall. I didn't make the pitches I wanted to tonight. Tomorrow or the next time they give me the ball I'll go out there and do my best and just try to make quality pitches." That's going to be the true test: a real closer will wipe this one from his mind, come back and be lights-out next time. Does Brandon have it? Or will our Lyon be shot, stuffed and mounted again?
Tiny crowd at BOB: 25,813, which I think may be the lowest Friday night attendance in franchise history, and does not bode well for the rest of the season - unless we get on a winning streak. Especially tonight, when the Suns are next door at America West...