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AZ 8, Giants 9 - Schmidt, (and) out of luck

Record 15-11. Change on last season: +3

I was kinda hoping last night that the Giants ace would pull a Gary Sheffield and attack a spectator - just so that I could use the headline, "The Schmidt hits the fan." We didn't get that, but we did get virtually everything else last night: 30 hits, 16 walks, 17 runs, 25 runners left on base, four home runs including a grand slam and another in the ninth to tie it, extra innings, someone whiffing for the third out but still scoring.

So, where to start? How about with these two words: Ortiz sucked. To the extent that he threw less than half his pitches for strikes: 3 2/3 innings, seven hits, five walks and seven runs. That he didn't end up with the L on his forehead is something of a travesty. It does, however, say something about our tenacity that we were able to claw our way back from a 7-2 deficit after five innings. Well, perhaps more about the failings of the Giants bullpen, which makes ours look like the Relievers Hall of Fame.

The highlight for us was the seventh innings, where we scored four runs to tie the game. Green struck out to end it, but Matheny (who'd hit the grand slam earlier) missed the ball and Green reached first to load the bases - also giving Scott Eyre the following fascinating line:
    Eyre: 0 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 R, 1 K
Pinch-hitter Tony Clark then came up to clear the bags with a double, on a night when our bench went 3-for-4.

From there, San Francisco took the lead in the eighth, we came back to tie it in the ninth, the Giants scored off Bruney in the tenth, and we fell annoyingly short in our half. We loaded the bases up with only one out, but Glaus struck out and Green followed tamely to give the Giants their sixth win in a row. Three hits for Gonzo, two for Green and Clark. McCracken went 0-for-5 - Jose Cruz should be back soon, thank the Lord - and Royce Clayton, hitting seventh, 1-for-5.

Cormier added another 2 1/3 innings to his scoreless streak. which is now at 11 1/3. [I believe the record for a Diamondbacks reliever is 21 2/3 innings, set by Willie Blair back in 1998] It was also good to see Jose Valverde back, and hitting 95 mph on the radar gun - he was called up from Tucson before the game, with Scott Hairston going down to AAA. No great loss: Scott had managed only eight at-bats since being called up on April 17.

A fine selection of comments last night: Otacon provided the play-by-play, while William K added color commentary, with Enoch on the wrap-up show this morning. ;-) William reckons Bruney will leave when Cruz is ready, and especially on last night's performance (two hits and three walks in two innings), it seems not unlikely.

And I'd like to draw your attention to azpenguin's excellent contribution on the right. He looks at the Johnson trade, one month into the season, and how the various pieces have performed for their teams since. Certainly, if you'd had to pick which would have been 11-15, and which 15-11, not many people would have guessed the right answer...

The disturbing thing is to realise that we remain only three games ahead of where we were at this point in 2004 - and we know how that ended up. However, from there on, it was downhill all the way last season, starting with four straight losses and nine of 11. I fully expect to see the plus number at the top of these things whizzing off with the speed of a startled Georgia bride...