Record: 54-61. Change on last season: +19
Clark singled to left,
Terrero to third. Terrero out advancing,
Third baseman Lowell unassisted.
Somehow, yesterday's headline seems equally fitting today. The D'backs had roared back from a five-run deficit in the 7th innings after Glaus had cleared the bases with a double. Now, in the eighth, the tying run was at third with one man out, in the shape of Luis Terrero.
Then Luis Terrero took his lead...and was promptly tagged out by Marlins' 3B Mike Lowell. Lowell had not actually thrown the ball to the pitcher, after it came back from left-field, following a(nother) pinch-hit single from Clark. Oops.
I think that may have been the moment our playoff hopes finally evaporated in a puff of realism. And, I suspect, the cutout switch in the broadcast booth evaporated under the stress of suppressing Mark Grace's reaction, though I'm sure he was far from the only D'backs fan Rated R for Strong Language yesterday.
Yep, the old "hidden ball" trick claimed another victim - not for the first time by Lowell, as he'd snagged Brian Schneider of Montreal the same way on Sept. 15 last year. Terrero "declined comment afterwards", presumably out of sheer embarrassment. At least he is in illustrious company. Here are some of those who, over the years, have fallen for a trick you'd have thought would be a waste of time above the Little League level:
- Cap Anson
- Willie Keeler
- Jimmie Foxx
- Sandy Alomar
- Willie Mays
- Dusty Baker
- Ozzie Guillen (three times!)
- Jose Cruz Jr.
- Rickie Henderson
What is it with Terrero? He has a fabulous night, with a double, a great throw to the plate to nail a runner, and a beautiful bunt single - but it won't be any of those that are remembered. It'll be the unforgivable lapse of concentration by Terrero (and, truth be told, third-base coach Carlos Tosca), which will be a staple of Sports Center for some time to come.
But it'd be unfair to lay the blame for the defeat solely at Terrero's door. No, there's plenty to go around. We've had some bad performances this season, like...oh, pick one at random. A 16-2 shellacking. At home. By the Pirates. But Bob Melvin described the D'backs performance last night as, "Our worst game of the year," which gives you some idea of how bad this was.
Let's start with the four errors. We are now on pace for a total of 106 in the season. That's down from the 139 committed in 2004, but almost exactly the same as the Baby-Back year of 2003 (107), and well up on 2002 (89) and 2001 (84). Hardly the model of defensive excellence promised.
Conor Jackson made two, including one lobbing the ball back to the pitcher after a pick-off throw. Jackson has now got more gaffes in 40 innings at first than the defensive indifference of Chad Tracy, and Tony Clark combined, in 989 innings. Troy Glaus also had one, still easily leads the team with 19, and remains on pace to equal Tracy's franchise record from last year.
Halsey had his worst outing in a very long time - I'm thinking mid-June - allowing eight hits and three walks, which led to six runs in five innings. Aquino was okay in the sixth, while Cormier survived the seventh despite uncorking three wild pitches. However, Worrell had a feeble outing; the reliever faced nine Marlins and retired only two, though an error means his ERA was unhurt by the four unearned runs he allowed. Koplove finally tidied up, though he wasn't ready to come in, oh, six batters earlier, is a mystery known only to Bob Melvin.
Hitting. The 7th and 8th innings, up until the departure of Luis the Blunderful, wasn't bad, though relieved heavily on three straight walks from the Marlins' pitcher, Ron Villone. Glaus delivered a rare clutch hit, which would have been a grand slam anywhere else - or even in most other parts of Pro Player. A wild pitch and a sac-fly later, it was a one-run game, and Terrero's bunt and Clark's single led to...well, y'know. However, outside that: ugh. Overall, 2-for-10 with RISP. Two hits for Glaus, two for Terrero.
And let's move rapidly on, shall we? For this is a game I think few players or fans will want to live on in the hallowed lore of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Thanks to Otacon, Devin, frienetic and icecoldmo for joining me to watch the biggest disaster movie since Titanic - Luis Terrero is is the iceberg, drifting relentlessly off third base, as Celine Dion warbles away.
Not that there was anything to distract us at the Triple-A level, since the Sidewinders game in Tucson was suspended due to rain. They'll presumably finish it off before today's game, if our entire AAA roster hasn't defected to Cuba, rather than risk being called up to play for the (allegedly) top-level team.
Over at Beyond the Box Score, an interesting piece on which currently players might make it to the Hall of Fame. Some interesting choices: Marc Normandin still reckons Palmeiro is a "first-ballot Hall of Famer", which I severely doubt. He may never make it in: his numbers might be good enought, but so are Pete Rose's.
It gets tougher the closer you get to the current day: the Big Unit gets another first-ballot nod, but the piece avoids the debate over which cap he'll wear. Interestingly, Luis Gonzalez gets consideration, though Normandin says he, "is not really a Hall of Famer in my mind." He may have a point, simply because Gonzo's career blossomed too late for him to post the kind of totals required - though 57 homers and the winning hit in the ninth innings of a World Series Game 7 must be worth something.