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AZ 6, Phillies 7 - The Wailing Wall

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Record: 30-27. Change on last season: +8

When Bob Melvin got tossed for arguing a home-run call in the second innings, it hardly seemed relevant, especially after the Phillies leapt out to a 6-0 lead by the third innings. However, that blown home-run call - replays clearly showed it hit the top of the wall, not over it - represented the final margin of victory, and we're left to wonder what might have been.

Interestingly, it comes on the same day the Banana has an article that says, "Instant replay would be a disaster." I don't necessarily agree, though admit that my reaction has been coloured by today's events, and if I was a Phillies fan, my view might be somewhat different. I think a fifth umpire, with a connection to the crew chief, who could offer advice, especially on obviously blown calls, would be a non-intrusive and workable solution.

Credit to the Diamondbacks for fighting back, but yet again, they simply wasted too many good chances. Three times, we had a runner on third with one out - three times, we failed to bring him home. Truth is that, as much as any umpiring mistake, is responsible for the loss here.

However, as Otacon points out in the comments (extra thanks to him for his thoughts during this series), our pitching has been poor, and Halsey had one of his worst outings of the season, especially early on: nine hits and six runs over six innings pushed his ERA up half a run. Cormier pitched a scoreless seventh, but Koplove allowed a homer to Pat Burrell, and again, that could be pointed to as the final margin of victory.

Tony Clark continued his ferocious offensive streak, with three hits and three RBIs - since the start of the last home stand, Clark he's gone 16-for-26, with 4 HR and 10 RBIs. It's going to be almost impossible to take him out of the starting lineup while he's hitting like that.

Cruz had a pair of hits, while Gonzalez had three, taking him back above both .300 and Craig Counsell for the year. Gonzo also notched career homer #300, and the ball was kindly thrown back to the field by the Phillie fans, who were clearly aware of its special significance, and opted to return it to him... :-)

Not much to add beyond this, except that this is becoming a serious slump. It's almost reminiscent of last season, in that we are no longer able to win by scoring runs or preventing them, we have to do both. The 7-0 win over the Mets was the only fully satisfactory performance in about the past couple of weeks.

And a final comment from William K on the Devore deal, worthy of a higher profile: "The main question I think is why the Giants did the trade, as DeVore mainly plays in LF. Do they know something about Bonds that we don't? :)" The conspiracy theories start here!