Record: 39-40. Change on last season: +10
Hundredth anniversary of Moonlight Graham's appearance or not, there was precious little magic to be found at BOB last night, especially from the Diamondbacks' point of view. This was a irritating, flat, and ultimately unimpressive performance from almost every starter.
Even with another quality start for Webb, his old foe, the base on balls, reared its ugly head. A free pass in the third to Vizquel, eventually lead to the Giants taking the lead: "That was the at-bat I wish I had back, the two-out walk," Webb said, "They ended up getting two runs off that. That was pretty frustrating." And on a couple of occasions, he pitched to hitters with a base open, while a likely-easier target was on deck, and got burned. I know it's easy to second-guess with hindsight, but still: Argh.
Meanwhile, we could only get three hits off Rueter in his five innings, and Webb's inability to handle the bat (now 0-for-27 on the season) cost us in the bottom of the third. After the first two reached, Webb's bunt went about 18 inches: Matheny fired to third for the force, then back to first for Webb. The umpire Tony Randazzo called our pitcher safe, but Webb thought he was out, turned towards the dugout (leaving the sanctuary of first base) and got tagged. Argh.
Thanks partly to a pair of Giants errors on a single play, we also loaded the bases with no-one out to start the sixth; instead of putting the game away with a big innings, all we could get was a sacrifice fly by Clark to tie it - Green and Cruz grounded out. And in the ninth, our first two reached, but then we went down, 1-2-3. Argh.
If it had still been a one-run game, we'd likely have made Cinton bunt with two on and no outs, rather than strike out swinging. But the Giants had got a very important insurance run off Valverde, thanks to Green's throw from the outfield, which drifted in aimlessly and allowed Linden to score all the way from first on a single. Argh.
All told, not very good at all, and we have wasted the chance to beat up on a team who arrived in town, staggering badly. Of course, facing a left-handed pitcher didn't help, as a number of our starting players have had little success against those this season - Green (.187), Counsell (.231) and Cruz (.176) in particular. Look forward to more of the same tonight, folks, as there's another lefty up there. Argh.
Okay, enough with the doom 'n' gloom. Well, almost enough. It was nice to see Gonzalez back, though one wonders if another day off might have been better all round. Grace and Brennaman hardly helped; almost every time Gonzo's name cropped up, seemed it was with "the heavy-hearted" slapped before it. As my wife pointed out, they couldn't have been less subtle if they'd played "Taps" when he came to bat.
And Tracy got another hit yesterday - he was pinch-hitting, despite four hits on Tuesday, Clark getting the start at first. Said Melvin, "With two left-handers on back-to-back days, I need to get Tony in there for one of them, so Tony's in there today." Tracy will hopefully be back in the line-up today, because I feel Clark's hot streak may be over: here are his recent stats:
Last two weeks in May: 9-for-26 (.346), 2 HR
First two weeks in June: 18-for-46 (.391), 5 HR
Since then: 9-for-38 (.237), 2 HR
Aroogaa! Aroogaa! Slump alert... :-)
If you didn't notice it in the sidebar, check out Brian's review of first-base prospects which lists Conor Jackson at #1. It's not something on which I feel qualified to comment - my knowledge of other teams' prospects is limited, at best! - but it's very gratifying to see a neutral observer give Jackson such a high rating.
One radical suggestion I recently read involves trading Glaus, and moving Tracy back across the diamond to third, freeing up first for Jackson. It's an interesting idea, and one not without merit, though I doubt it's one the Diamondbacks will even entertain - at least, not this season. But if Tracy continues to hit as he has been, careful thought regarding all options would be a wise move.