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AZ 1, Tigers 0 - Another (off)day, another ray of hope.

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Record: 27-18. Change on last season: +10

Today, electricity is not my friend. The computer just ate a large chunk of today's entry, and we discovered that the problem with the A/C is related to the power, so we're going to have to call in an electrician. Which sucks, especially after we greeted the A/C repairman with open arms and throwing rosepetals at his feet. :-( The idea of moving into a hotel for a day or two seriously appeals.

However, for the third time this season, the Diamondbacks reach the top of the NL West heap before an off day, allowing all connected with the club to enjoy the break with a solid feeling of well-being. Let's hope it lasts longer than the previous experiences of being number one, neither of which survived longer than the next game. With San Diego - a half game behind - our next opponents, it's entirely possible that our reign could be short-lived once more.

But for the moment, let us simply turn our faces to the sky and enjoy a great performance from Javier Vazquez, who threw a complete game five-hitter, striking out seven and, yet again, walking no-one. Never mind reaching 4.00, he brought his ERA for the season - including the Opening Day blowout - down to 3.49. Here's a trio of stat lines for you:

           IP  H HR BB SO  K/9 W-L WHIP  BAA  ERA 
Pitcher A  67 67  5  8 63 8.46 5-3 1.12 .258 3.49 
Pitcher B  64 60  8 12 55 7.73 4-3 1.13 .247 3.94 
Pitcher C  53 58  8 11 30 5.06 3-2 1.29 .280 3.54

All three look to have good arms; however Pitcher A is 28, and C is only 24, while B is 41, so it's clear who has the brighter future. Otherwise, A looks to have slightly better control, B is maybe a little better at getting hitters out; C is below the other two, but is still performing credibly.

It's probably not too hard to work out who these are, especially when I tell you that B plays, somewhat grumpily, in the Big Apple. Yes, it's Javier Vazquez and the player for whom he was traded, Randy Johnson. It's a trade which is, so far, making the D'backs feel very, very good, especially since they also got Arm C, Brad Halsey in the deal.

Again, our offense did a good impression of a damp squib, Royce Clayton scoring the only run on Counsell's single. Our leadoff man also had another hit, but the rest of the team only managed three singles between them. We continue to be masters of the art of scoring just enough to win...

Heroes and Zeroes, Series 15: on road, vs. Tigers
Vazquez: 9 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB
Webb: 8 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB
Estes: 6.1 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB
------------------------------
Cruz: 1-for-11, 4 K
Glaus: 0-for-13, 4 K,
Bruney: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, Loss

Any series where your starters concede three runs in 23+ innings, while your hitters bat .245, is inevitably going to skew towards the arms. So let's give a warm reception to our starting trio this series: heroes to a man. Cormier, who inherited and pitched out of a based-loaded one out jam, was also a contender, while Counsell's 6-for-14 was the only hitter to come close.

It seems a little shallow to pick zeroes as we finish the best ten-game road trip in franchise history, but Cruz's performance in the Bermuda Triangle of the #2 spot was very poor. Glaus didn't get a single hit (and was 6-for-36 on the trip overall) while, after a perfect ninth in the opener, Bruney giftwrapped the middle game, and handed it to Detroit. He may have forgotten the latter perfomance; we haven't.

Thanks to Otacon, azpenguin, William K [who does appear to have heard of Scarberry!] and Stefan for stopping by, at various points over a somewhat mixed-up, and certainly overheated, weekend. Even if, under the circumstances - the thermostat in the unairconditioned hallway here currently reads 85 degrees and rising - Otacon's use of the word "meltdown" was perhaps a little tactless. ;-)

So we come back home, having gone 7-3 on the road, albeit against teams that are not expected to contend. But in what looks like a tight NL West race, any games you can pick up outside the division are not a bad thing. We only outscored the opposition 46-44, so that's another black eye for Pythagenport.

The next series already has the makings of being crucial, as we face the Padres. Fortunately, they lost again in Seattle, which might give us the edge in momentum as we head into the series. They are still 15-5 or so (the stat might be a game or so off - it was one of the things lost to the computer crash!) since Anna Kournikova made her guest appearance at Petco and snogged one of the Padres.

Lesser blogs might take that as an excuse for a picture of Ms. Kournikova in a bikini, but not here. No, sirree. We're well over that treacherous Russian floozy anyway. But perhaps we need to send Arizona's own finest out there to work some of her own mojo and send us off on a winning streak. Let's get Lynda Wonder Woman Carter to throw out the first pitch tomorrow!