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AZ 3, Rockies 18 - Nightmare on Friday the 13th

Record: 21-16. Change on last season: +7


Welcome to Coors Field: the House of Whacks
Paris Hilton just learned she's pitching in Denver

That banging sound you hear is the Pythagenport standings slamming its head, repeatedly, against the wall. Because, outscored 158-185 as we have been, our record "should" be 69-93 over the course of a season.

That's the joy of baseball: it's played on the field, not in your calculator. In real life, we maintained our uncanny knack to keep losing big, winning small, and remain one game out of first. [Was also amused to discover that this blog is on the front page of Google when you search for 'Pythagenport'!] 37 games in, we have conceded a total of 185 runs, an average of exactly five per game. But just three of those games are responsible for fifty runs - 27% of the total. The rest of the time our average is below four.

And, being honest, all games at Coors should perhaps be tossed out of the statistical sample as unrealistic. Either that, or include runs scored in batting practice everywhere else. ;-) Last night was a Mile High Massacre, one of those where you wonder whether MLB shouldn't perhaps have a mercy rule. Purple Row put it very well, in this beautiful illustrated reconstruction. I laughed...among my tears. ;-)

Halsey allowed eight runs in 4.2 innings; only four of those were earned, but he didn't get a single ground-ball out. Fly-ball fever is not the best thing to catch in Coors. Add in little things like a bases-loaded walk to the opposing pitcher to gift-wrap the Rockies their opening run, and this was not a Rookie of the Year calibre outing.

He wasn't helped by three fielding errors inside the first three innings - two of them to yesterday's hero, Royce Clayton - which led to four unearned runs. But, as in the previous blowout, it wasn't until later that things really got out of hand. We were still in this one at 5-3 in the bottom of the fifth - and at Coors, even 9-3 in the seventh isn't totally insurmountable.

But then Lopez and Ligtenberg were what mlb.com calls "infected by doubles" - the pair allowed five in that innings.All told, the Rockies sent fourteen to the plate: homer, walk, K, RBI double, RBI double, fly out, RBI single, RBI double, RBI double, HBP, 2-RBI double, RBI single, ground out. Ligtenberg's line over his last two outings:
Kerry Ligtenberg: 2.2 IP, 12 H, 1 BB, 3 HR, 1 K, 12 ER, 58 pitches

There was some good news. And no, I didn't just save money on my car insurance. Troy Glaus cracked another homer, giving him eleven for the year. Gonzalez and Cintron had a couple of hits each, and Cruz was the only position player to miss out entirely. Valverde mopped up effectively in the eighth, though with a fifteen-run deficit, describing that as a "no pressure" situation is being generous.

Obscure note: our pitchers again threw exactly 173 pitches. This is why you pack an extra arm, along with a warm jersey, when you go to Denver. Otacon and azpenguin peered into the abattoir and, understandably, didn't hang around. The latter points out it's only one game, and he's right: the comforting thing is, after the previous blowouts, both times, the next game has been back down to being decided by one-run. Cross it off, forget it and move on...