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AZ 8, Pirates 4 - Anything they can do...

Record 18-12. Change on last season: +6

...we can do better. The night after Jason Bay cracked a 455 foot homer to centre, our lumberjack, Troy Glaus went one (or perhaps, nine) further, knocking a three-run shot 464 feet into the second deck in left field. The sixth-longest blow in stadium history broke a 1-1 tie, and also broke the spirit of Oliver Perez, who gave up another home run later in the innings to Shawn Green.

Mind you, Perez was shaky from the get-go. The first four D'backs reached, on two singles, a hit batter, and a bases-loaded walk to Glaus, but Clark, Green and Snyder could do nothing after that. However, that third innings gave us room, and we added three more on the sixth on two singles and a ground-out, making the score at that point 8-2. Despite Perez being a leftie (see yesterday's report for details on our struggles there), we caned him for ten hits and two walks in 5.1 innings.

Vazquez got the win, though Melvin said, "I don't think Javy had his best stuff today. But the sign of a true top-of-the-rotation is a guy that can go out there without his best stuff and still give you seven innings like he did." Not just seven innings: seven hits, no walks, eight K's and only two earned runs. We'll take that any day. Koplove mopped up the final two frames, and gave up a couple of runs on three hits and an error by Clayton.

A fair number of hits to go around - 11 in all, including multi-hit games for Cintron, Clayton (tho' those two also GIDP'd), Green and Snyder. Six walks and only two strikeouts, which is a good sign. A few line-up changes too: you could perhaps tell from the names mentioned above: Counsell got a vacation, with Cintron leading off and playing second. Tracy was "rested", with Clark getting the start (he went 0-for-4 though), and Terrero got the nod over McCracken (to loud cheers from the peanut gallery here) in centre field.

Perhaps most interestingly, the G-Force which has batted 3-4-5 in the lineup every time they played, was split up: Green got dropped to sixth, behind Clark. Melvin's explanation: "They've got a left-handed starter and two lefties in the bullpen. "A little bit of a different look today." Not that we actually saw their left-handed relievers, of course...

Oh, well, never mind: we won, they could have flipped the whole order and replaced McCracken with a performing seal for all I care. Actually, the seal would probably have better offensive numbers and look slightly less lost on defense. And look! No save opportunity! Indeed, Lyon has only thrown 11 pitches in the past seven games, so perhaps his arm might not be worn to a bloody stump by the All-Star Break, after all.

Thanks to Devin and Ryan for stopping by - s'funny how, the better the Diamondbacks play, the fewer comments we seem to get. Some day, I'll do a statistical regression to plot a correlation between margin of victory and number of commentators...when I have time...currently estimated at November 2007. But it seems a good point to add Devin's blog, Line Drive in the High Desert to the D'backs roster, replacing the dead (again!) Baseballtopia. Welcome aboard, Devin.