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AZ 3, Reds 4 - Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory

Record: 42-46. Change on last season: +11

Halsey certainly lived up to his end of the equation - for the second game in a row, our starter left, to much applause and with a zero to his name. Much like Wednesday, the lead didn't survive the innings, thanks to our bullpen, but unlike that game, there was to be no ninth-innings heroics. Well, not from the Diamondbacks, at any case; I'm sure the Reds were happy enough.

After an impressive, albeit brief, first appearance for the Diamondbacks, Almanza went from hero to zero, surrendering a three-run shot to Ken Griffey that wiped out the lead we'd built on Counsell's homer to open the game, and Glaus's 2-run blast in the third. In the ninth, Cormier walked the leadoff hitter, who then came around to score the eventual winning run.

We should have buried this one early: after Counsell, Tracy and Gonzalez both walked, but - almost inevitably - Glaus, Green and Cintron proved unable to move them. Indeed, though Green got two hits, they were meaningless; the two times he didn't get a hit, we had runners in scoring position.

For yet again: another game, another ohfer with runners in scoring position. As far as I can tell, the last time was had one of those was in the 8th innings of Monday's 10-3 loss against the Cardinals, when Glaus drove in Green from 2nd (not with a single, but a homer, naturally). Since then:
July 5th: 0-for-7
July 6th: 0-for-4
July 7th: 0-for-3
July 8th: 0-for-7

You think we'd have got one, purely by luck; assuming a .250 average, the chance of going hitless in 21 at-bats is about one in 420.

The main bright spot was the return of Halsey to his early season form. I had been wondering whether that was a flash in the pan, but even against one of the NL's poorer teams, this was fine. Even though he tired in the eighth, he allowed two runs over 7.2 innings, on eight hits and - perhaps the key - no walks. As our rotation creaks heavily, this kind of performance is encouraging...for 2006, more than 2005.