Record: 26-18. Change on last season: +9
Hear that? It's the sound of things falling apart:
- Our house a/c broke down; high yesterday 109 degrees, today 112.
- At work, the power broke down; rather than being sent home, I got drafted as a security guard, manning a dark post with a torch and a walkie-talkie.
- In Detroit, our new closer broke down; Bruney blew an 11th-innings lead, giving victory to the Tigers.
I would not be surprised if Bruney was taken out in the lot behind Comerica and given a merciless beating by Estes, Cormier and Valverde, for wasting their heroic effort - one run in ten innings of work, and only eight hits and two walks. Alex Cintron might have taken a kick or two, for missing a pop foul earlier in the innings.
Estes was solid, with seven hits and a walk into the seventh innings, before Cormier came in, put out a fire and allowed one hit in 2.2 innings, matching Estes's three strikeouts, and Valverde threw a perfect ninth. As Otacon noted, Cormier has been our "closer" before the ninth innings - the most reliable go-to guy when the game threatens to get out of hand.
And if Bruney has many more performances like this one, Cormier might become the real thing (though I imagine Valverde would be the next option, pending the return of Brandon Lyon). Bruney faced six hitters and got one out, bringing the tying run in, then loading them up for Thames finally to deliver the game-winning knock.
The top of our offense made the Detroit pitchers look fabulous too. Counsell, 0-for-5, eight men left on base; Glaus, 0-for-5, with three K's. All together, spots one through four were 0-for-19 with seven strikeouts. Green (dropped to sixth) and Clayton had two hits each. We left the bases loaded in the seventh and ninth innings, but couldn't bring them home - we're hitting .143 in that situation this year. The only comforting thing was that the Padres lost too, so we remain the same half-a-game back behind them.
Is there some kind of co-ordinated campaign going on to rehabilitate the reputation of Royce Clayton? Both mlb.com and the Banana, on the same day, have stories about how he is hitting the ball hard, just right at fielders. Ah, he's really a .300 hitter, with the luck of a .230 hitter. Er, except that this bad luck streak seems to have been dogging his BA this entire millennium:
2004: Even playing at Coors Field, only .279.
Finally, a spot of unfortunate news; the Diamondbacks lost their first player to drug testing - albeit one I doubt perhaps even William K, guru of our farm system, had ever heard of. Chad Scarbery, a pitcher for Class A Lancaster (Calif.), was suspended for 15 games on Friday, though there were no details available of the reason for the punishment. Said Joe Garagiola Jr., "This news was extremely disappointing to the organization, and we were hoping this day would not come. This is our first player suspension, and ideally it will be our last."
I agree totally. It was probably inevitable, though our record still appears a lot better than many clubs I could mention, but will remain a sad black mark on the organization.