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AZ 3, Marlins 6 - Far from perfect

Record: 47-49. Change on last season: +16

The Tao of Bob, #371
"He's still out there, I guess. He isn't here."
-- Melvin plays a game of Where's Shingo?.

The hoped-for perfect game didn't last long. After Vazquez struck out the first Florida hitter, the next one singled up the middle - ok, I thought, I'll settle for a shutou...Well, that didn't exactly hang around either, as the Marlins hit back-to-back homers and took a 3-0 lead before we got to bat. When they tacked on more in the second and third, I feared a catastrophe, knowing our bullpen was thin, but Vazquez settled down, and ended up lasting five innings. Medders and Koplove went two scoreless innings each, so credit there too.

And even if the Diamondbacks didn't win, I did - or at least, my fantasy team did, as Burnett got the W for the Marlins. He wasn't exactly overpowering, only occasionally showing his 96-mph fastball, largely to keep our hitters honest, but it was effective enough. Except against Royce Clayton: after McCracken yesterday, another favoured whipping-boy had his day in the sun, with four hits and all three RBIs, falling a homerun short of the cycle.

Glaus had a pair of hits, but while Gonzo went 0-for-3 again (and is 8-for-64 since coming back from bereavement leave), the worst performance of the night at the plate has to go to Koyie Hill: 0-for-4, 4 K's, and six men left on base, four in scoring positions. Poor Hill; he was unceremoniously yanked up from AAA, because Stinnett has been DL'd. At first, I thought the strain of scoring from first had been too much, but it was actually his wrist, sprained in an at-bat earlier in the game.

It may only be a few days before he's fit, but we couldn't cope with one catcher, so Hill was called - and got to start because Snyder had a stomach bug. That's why they didn't pinch hit for Hill in the 8th with men at second and third; there wasn't another catcher available. And the BOB boo-birds were out in full force as a result - welcome back to the big leagues, Koyie. Otacon bailed early, and Devin wasn't exactly impressed by this performance either. Can't say I blame them.

Here's a comment to file away for future use. Bob Melvin on Lance Cormier's recent failures: "You can use him for multiple innings because he was a starter and he's got a resilient arm. There's just been a couple of bad outings, that's all. It's not because of overuse." Speaking of injuries, Ortiz and Lyon have now reached the "simulated game" stage of their rehab; Villarreal is still throwing bullpen sessions.

As the quote heading this story suggests, reports of Shingo Takatsu's imminent arrival may have been premature. But there was another relief pitcher discarded yesterday: Alan Embree was designated for assignment by Boston. With a 7.65 ERA in 43 appearances, I'm not certain how exactly he would help even the Arizona bullpen, but as we appear to be trying to corner the market in questionable relievers, so expect him to be in Tucson shortly.