Record: 28-20 Change on last season: +10
Ouch. If Wednesday was Showgirls, last night was more like Catwoman. High expectations, so much potential - all cruelly dashed, virtually as soon as the lights dimmed. Instead, the longer it went on, the lower we slumped, and by the end, I'd have gnawed off a limb to escape, thoughts of "I paid money to see this?" dancing in my head. Er, if I'd paid to see the game, that is; originally planned to sneak out and see the game during some of the minor comics at our show, but watching bad jokes die proved infinitely less painful than sitting through this one.
All credit to Peavy though, who certainly played his part in making the Diamondbacks look like rank amateurs, mowing us down like ripe wheat, and with about as much resistance. We managed just two hits - one by Glaus, one by Green - and Peavy was ahead of virtually every hitter he faced. 0-1, 0-2, 1-2: it felt like the entire lineup was in a hole every at-bat, before they came to the plate.
On the plus side, if Webb was going to have a bad outing, this was the night to have it, when our hitters were up there using toothpicks. Any pitcher would have needed to be perfect to beat Peavy, and Brandon was far from that, allowing nine hits and three walks over 6.2 innings.
The writing was on the wall from the third, when Webb's control deserted him, and he walked two, including the opposing pitcher. It took Webb 73 pitches to get through the front four - in contrast, Peavy needed only 94 for his complete game. As soon as the Padres scored two in the third, this was effectively over; the way Peavy was pitching, it might as well have been 20.
Ligtenberg and Koplove did their best to help there though, each allowing two runs in an innings of work: this kept the former's ERA boiling over twenty, and the latter is now over 6.00. But, again, might as well use them in meaningless situations and save the (slightly) more reliable arms for when it matters.
This is not a game on which I want to dwell at all; my powers as a seer were clearly found wanting, and there is not much positive to take from it in any other area. Thanks to Stefan, Otacon, William K and azpenguin for their comments. Otacon came close with his prediction; Glaus didn't get a double, but did at least have a hit. Which is rather better than most Diamondbacks. :-(
So the series ends, not with a bang, but a whimper, as for the fourth time in a row, our reign at the top of the NL West lasts just a single game. More food for our run differential critics here: our fourth double-digit defeat, as opposed to...er, zero wins. And speaking of zeroes:
Heroes + Zeroes, Series 16: vs. Padres, at home
Glaus: 5-for-11, 2 RBI
Clark: 3-for-5, 3 RBI
Webb: 6.2 IP, 9 H, 3 BB, 3 ER
Lopez: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 ER
Ortiz: 6 IP, 8 H, 6 BB, 4 ER
After good pitching last series, the reverse was true here; our three starters allowed 25 hits and 10 walks in 18.2 innings. Halsey escapes - just - thanks to five unearned runs and a blown call by the umpire, but Webb and Ortiz have no such excuse. Our bullpen didn't help: every reliever who got more than one out in any game, also conceded at least one earned run. Our 32 hits were well spread out: Glaus was the only one with more than four, while Clark made the most of a rare start.
Vazquez has denied yesterday's rumours about his desire to leave Arizona. "With the way things are going right now, I'm happy. I'm not counting down the days, believe me. I'm feeling good here. I'm very comfortable here. I like Phoenix... It's early, man. It's just May. We've got, like, four months and a couple weeks to go, so I don't have to make my mind up yet."
USA Today has a lengthy piece on the D'backs turnaround. I think, if anything, it's a little too optimistic, giving "the new guys" a grade of B+, which seems to overlook the failures of Green + Ortiz in particular. And since they're both locked into long contracts, they're the ones that worry me most.