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AZ 6/3, Phillies 10/5 - Doubled Over

Record: 30-26. Change on last season: +9

Double-headers. Pah. Who needs 'em. Both of them followed a similar pattern: we got a lead, but couldn't hold it longer than an innings and half. We got the same number of hits as the Phillies (19), but were outscored 15-9, and as a result, were outwon 2-0.

The opener was a shock, with Vazquez's worst performance since Opening Day, although he extended his walkless streak a little longer. But only a little; he lasted four innings, and was torched for ten hits and eight runs. Matt Herges made his AZ debut, pitching two scoreless innings, but Valverde allowed two runs in his innings of work, before Lopez got a 1-2-3 eighth.

About the only plus point was that Vazquez's short outing - 78 pitches - might give him a slim chance of appearing on Wednesday's night game against the Twins. Before yesterday's rainout, this was scheduled to have been Santana vs. Vazquez, which would have been very nice, as it'll also be my first trip to BOB this year. [I won a $50 Visa card in a contest at work, and am taking my princess to the ballgame with it! :-)]

However, the current pitcher likely to get the job is Claudio Vargas. Who? Good question. He was claimed off waivers from the Nationals on the 4th. He's made four starts this year, and has an ERA of 9.24, having allowed 22 hits and seven walks in 11.2 innings. And we might be putting him up against the 2004 AL Cy Young award winner. There is a universe in which that makes sense. Just not this one.

Anyway, back in Phillie, after we'd slumped to a 10-1 deficit, this one looked totally over, but it wasn't quite; we scored five runs in the eighth, and even had Jose Cruz Jr. at the plate with the bases loaded and only one out, representing the tying run. However, our nemesis, the GIDP rose from the murky depths to bite us on the ass again. Three hits for clark, including another home run, and two for Gonzo + Counsell.

That was our third loss in a row, and a fourth followed soon thereafter, making this our longest losing streak of the year. It was perhaps more expected, with Estes on the mound, though this would count as one of his better performances. He was fine through five innings, allowing one run on five hits, and had a 3-1 lead before a single, a triple and a two-run homer wiped that out.

Cinton and Gonzalez hit back to back homers in the fifth, and Gonzo had three hits, but blotted his copy book, being caught stealing to end the ninth. This was a double steal, with Counsell on the front end, and seems a very questionable tactic, given Troy Glaus was at the plate and Gonzo represented the tying run. We've seen, far too often this season, Glaus won't choke up to drive runners in, preferring to swing for the fences - and a homer would get Gonzales home just as well from first as from second. Cintron and Tracy also had two hits.

The D'backs made the necessary roster moves to accommodate Herges and Vargas. Matt Kata gets some more use of his season pass for the Greyhound service to Tucson, but at least he'll have company, as Kerry Ligtenberg will be joining him. Ligtenberg has to clear waivers, but really, with a 13.97 ERA in 9 2/3 innings, that shouldn't be a problem.

The draft approaches next week, amid varying reports of who we're going to choose with the first pick. While Upton is the consensus choice, according to scouting director Mike Rizzo, "We're still down to Justin Upton and one of the three college pitchers. We're having some internal discussions about what it means now that Drew is in the fold, and we're looking at where our depth is and where we may have needs. The decision on the No. 1 pick will be independent of the Drew deal, but we'll look realistically where our depth is and where we are a little lean, and then we'll make the pick accordingly." Rizzo doesn't foresee moving Upton, if selected, to another position.

But according to Baseball America, "Two baseball sources say the Diamondbacks have told them they will use the No. 1 overall pick Tuesday on Great Bridge High (Chesapeake, Va.) shortstop Justin Upton." However, Joe Garagiola, Jr. insists that no decision has been made: "I can tell you that we're still having discussions about who we should take and haven't made any decisions. I don't know who the source with knowledge would be."

Over at Minor League Ball, where they're having their mock draft today, there's no such doubt: with the first pick, the D'backs representative selected Upton. It's an ongoing event, so feel free to drop in and see what other picks we end up with.

And, as expected, game #57 is already well under way; before going in to work today, I should be able to get a report written up on that, and do a preview of tomorrow morning's game. I'm going off these early starts. :-(