Record: 23-16. Change on last season: +7
It's a damn good job Brian Bruney didn't give up any more base-runners as he finally closed out Sunday's win over Colorado - albeit with the tying run at second, and the winning run also on base. As is, I was forced to listen to the last out sitting in the parking lot at Go Daddy, before sliding in just before my official start time, with the spring in my step that only yet another one-run win can produce.
For finally, with a fly-ball to Luis Gonzalez, it was over, and by the end of the day, thanks to the Dodgers losing, we were once again top of the NL West. Boy, I'm looking forward to Dayn Perry's rankings tomorrow and hear his whining about how our success can't possibly last...for the sixth week in a row.
It was a very nice sight to see Counsell whack one into the stands - his first in 360 at-bats - to break a 3-3 tie in the seventh, and give us a lead we never relinquished, though Cintron's insurance run in the eighth proved the eventual game winner. Sentences including the words "Counsell" and "x-ray" had been sending shivers up our spine here, since Craig got whacked on the leg earlier in the series; rarely has the subsequent phrase, "bone bruise", been so welcome.
This was a well-crafted win, putting together several well-played aspects rather than relying on one facet. All our hits came from four men: Counsell, Tracy, Cintron and Clayton. While the middle of our line up [the G-force + Cruz] went hitless, they did draw four walks, three of which came round to score.
Estes did well, pitching six innings of six-hit ball, with one walk and five K's. Cormier was very impressive in the seventh, fanning early Rookie of the Year contender Barmes to end it, though his 18-innings scoreless streak came to a halt - his leadoff single in the eighth came around to score, courtesy of Lopez and Koplove. Cormier's ERA shot up as a result...to 0.50.
Why wasn't Brandon Lyon sent in for the ninth? That seemed to be the question of the hour, but he was apparently given another day off with what is described as "minor tendinitis". Odd, given how Melvin had no problem using him on Thursday, with a four-run lead, and that tomorrow is an off-day again. Had Bruney wobbled just a tiny bit more, the second-guessing here would be audible all the way in Denver. Let's hope Lyon's issues stay minor.
However, while Counsell appears to be okay, a combination of the concerns over both Lyon and Glaus - key components of the team - forces me to raise the Threat Advisory Level to yellow:
I am not advising fans to stock up on water, duct-tape and copies of the 2001 World Series DVD quite yet, but we will continue to monitor the situation closely here.
Bruney was less than secure, put two men on with one out, and was facing Barmes, hitting a mere .393 coming into the game. However, Barmes flied out to Terrero in center and with no room for error (and Todd Helton in the on-deck circle!), Miles delivered the aforementioned fly-ball to left, and I got to go to work.
Taking three games out of four in Coors is not to be sneezed at, especially when we were outscored by more than a run per game over the series. I'd have settled for a split on the way in, so this was above expectations. Heroes and Zeroes will follow tomorrow, since Mondays are not a good day for statistical analysis...or anything that does not involve noses and grindstones. :-( At least the D'backs have the day off, so no need for a preview.