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AZ 0, Astros 7 - Less a smile, than a grim grin

Record: 52-57. Change on last season: +17

LOST
Diamondbacks Offense

Answers (occasionally) to the name 'G-Force'.
Last seen in Chicago on Sunday.
Has gone 3-for-22 since.
If found, please return to Bank One Ballpark.
Sadly missed.

"That was a very disappointing game for us."
-- The Tao of Bob, #477

No kidding. A slightly more verbose summary was offered by Luis Gonzalez: "You can't win with zero on the board... We didn't make plays behind Vazquez when we had to, we didn't get hits, we didn't score runs."

It's hard to retain optimism in the face of a performance like that, where three errors in the same innings gift the Astros three runs, but let's try, shall we? Vazquez pitched okay; two earned runs over 5.2 innings, though it took him 108 pitches to get that far - not helped by the additional outs handed to Houston by our defense. He was in trouble a lot of the time, but up until the sixth innings, it was still a one-run game.

After he left, Koplove ended the sixth, and Buddy Groom had a nice, tidy 1-2-3 seventh for his D'backs debut. Bruney was let out for the eighth, and allowed a run, but only one hit [the run scored on a hit batter, who stole second, reached third on a groundout and came home on the single]; he seemed largely to be in there to work on his breaking ball. Then Worrell struck out the Astros in the ninth...albeit around three hits.

Counsell, Clayton and Green all had two-hit games, and Conor Jackson made his home debut, also getting his first hit at BOB. Probably best if we largely draw a veil over his first BOB error and his game-ending GIDP. And the Padres lost too, as did the Dodgers and Giants, so no matter how incompetent and useless the Diamondbacks were, we didn't lose any ground on the Padres, nor did anyone of significance gain ground on us. In fact, if you're going to turn in a performance of serious suckitude, this was as good a night to do it as any.

G-Force Homer Watch
[At-bats by the G-Force since their last home run]

  • Collectively: 27 at-bats [since Gonzalez, 6th innings, 31st July]
  • Troy Glaus: 12 [6th innings, 30th July]
  • Shawn Green: 64 [6th innings, 15th July]
  • Luis Gonzalez: 8 [6th innings, 31st July]

andrewinnewyork, Devin, William K, Otacon and new commentator snakecharmer endured the pain of last night, so my thanks to them for covering in my absence...again! Will definitely be here tonight, and hoping for much better things. Hey, it's Dollar Hot-Dog Night, so indigestion is already all but guaranteed!

To answer snakecharmer's question, #16 used to be Chad Moeller; think nobody had it in 2004. I know this, largely because it's the number on the personalized jersey I got for my birthday (the 16th April), so I take a deep, personal interest in it. Naturally, happy to share it now with the future of the franchise, especially compared to my poor wife, who has shirt #31 (her birthday being 31st July) - which was owned by Matt Mantei, and now belongs to Matt Herges. :-(

Speaking of pitchers who suck... In case you missed William K's report in the comments, Russ Ortiz's rehab start was not a screaming success:

  • Ortiz: 2 1/3 IP, 12 H, 1 BB, 1 K, 10 ER
    And that was in Lancaster. Which, as andrewinnewyork points out, is against class-A hitters, for whom Casey Daigle (now closing in Double-A) counts as an overpowering matchup. Is it, do you think, possible that Ortiz might simply be no good? He's expected to start in Tucson on Monday, and presumably, rejoin the big boys soon after that.

Must confess, I am having to re-evaluate my position that Green was the worse long-term signing. He has shown flexibility in moving to center field, and his average has increased every month so far. Ortiz is being paid too much money to do anything but start (or, god forbid, close!) and so far, both Gosling and Vargas have proven themselves more than his equal.

I imagine Gosling will likely go, regardless - where it will get interesting, is when Estes comes back... That's still some way off, as Estes has only recently got his left foot out of the protective boot he's been wearing. He's still wearing an insert in his shoe, however, and hasn't got as far as throwing off the mound, so I'm thinking it'll certainly be towards the end of the month before we see him.