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AZ 8, Marlins 7 - A hero shall rise...

Record: 46-49. Change on last season: +15

We have said many things over this season about Quinton McCracken. Most of them harsh. Many of them, largely justified. But credit where it's due: anyone has a four-hit, three-RBI night deserves applause. Doing it after coming off the bench in the fifth innings is, frankly, remarkable. Oh, and he drove in the game-winning run with an 11th innings triple. I think it's safe to say someone will be wearing an H rather than a Z this series.

However, it looks like Cormier will be struggling to find his way out of the basement: four hitters faced, all reached base, on three hits and a walk, and all scored as Valverde couldn't stop the bleeding, the Marlins batting around in the eighth, to tie the game at seven each. "Oh, no - not again," could be heard from all over the fanbase - not least from Otacon - as we faced another bullpen disaster.

But Bruney + Medders held the Marlins scoreless until McCracken's fourth hit drove in Stinnett. Any wheezing from our veteran catcher as he legged it all the way from first, is understandable; he's not known for his running game (his last triple was 1998. The one before that? 1995) and last night was his third straight start. "We're going with the hot hand at a time when we're struggling offensively," Melvin said.

It's a tricky decision. Stinnett is, no doubt, hitting better at the moment. But he is not the future of the franchise. The future is sitting on the bench, and isn't going to improve by so doing. Snyder, interestingly, has lost about ten pounds since spring training, so perhaps there was concern he might wash away in the monsoon, which appears to be starting in earnest.

I think it's safe to say the bullpens of both teams were taxed: ours pitched 6.2 innings; the Marlins' 5.1 innings. Almanza was the only Arizona arm not used, though at least we had a couple of efficient outings. Medders used just nine pitches for the win in the 11th, while Koplove took the same to get five outs, so those two can probably work again soon. Three Marlins relievers threw 25 or more pitches; only Bruney did on our side. And we have Vazquez

Part of the problem was Gosling only pitched 4.1 innings, taking 85 pitches to get that far; he allowed seven hits, and gave up three runs, two earned. I didn't see him pitch, so can't comment specifically, and I know he's a fill-in, but if you can't reach the half way point of a game, you're less starter, then a long reliever.

Fourteen hits for Arizona: besides Q's four-pack (which as englishdback points out, is a mixed blessing - giving Melvin an excuse to play him more often), Green had three, Clark and Counsell two each. At the other end, Chad Tracy's run came to a grinding halt with an 0-for-6 night; he was playing LF, a position that seems to be cursed lately. Speaking of Gonzo, he struck out as a pinch-hitter with the bases loaded and only one out in the eighth innings. Which pretty much sums up his entire month. Thanks also to William K for stopping by.

The good news, is Shingo Takatsu was designated for assignment by the White Sox, so if the Diamondbacks do get him, the cost is likely to be little more than a bag of balls - or Jose Cruz Jr. I imagine, with the rumblings about Green moving to CF, Cruz's situation with the club grows ever more precarious.