Record: 65-80. Change on last season: +21
"That's the way I was brought up. My mom has always instilled the value of treating people the way you want to be treated, about not taking things for granted, appreciating what you have, and to go out there and work hard and try to give back."
-- Luis Gonzalez
For the second game in a row, Glaus scored all our runs and collected all of Arizona's RBIs too, his homer being the sum total of our production. Oh, as usual, we had our chances, particularly early on: Capuano had to throw more than forty pitches to get through the front two, and we had the bases loaded with one out in the second, and also had a man on third with one out in the next inning. Inevitably, we failed to score in either case.
The latter was perhaps the more galling, since in the second, it was at least the catcher and pitcher at the plate. In the third inning, however, we had Glaus and Conor Jackson at the dish, but Capuano struck both men out with his feared 84-mph fastball, described by Royce Clayton as "batting practice". Clayton went 1-for-5 last night. I would suggest more batting practice is required. Glaus is batting .232 with RISP, sixty-three points less than with the bases empty.
Vazquez wasn't too bad, but his season-long weakness for giving up the long-ball hurt - only Eric Milton has allowed more homers in the NL, and the final margin of victory here was back-to-back ones surrendered in the sixth innings. That's now six home runs in the past three starts by Vazquez, covering only 18.1 innings.
Seven hits and two walks over seven innings does qualify as another quality start, but while our offense slumbers, it wasn't quality enough. We actually had more baserunners than the Brewers (11-10), but Capuano showed a great ability to get the big outs when needed.
Not exactly the huge turnout hoped for at BOB, with 23,708 in attendance, despite the charity angle which has been relentlessly pushed over the past couple of weeks. It would seem most people would rather hand over the bucks and not sit through a Diamondback game - and who can blame them, on this offensively-limited performance. Not exactly an overwhelming number of comments either, but since I was responsible for, oh, none of them, I can't complain. Credit to azdb7 and Devin for turning up, at least!
In brighter news, Luis Gonzalez won the Branch Rickey award which, "honors individuals in baseball who contribute unselfishly to their communities and who are strong role models for young people." This is one of the (many) reasons he is so totally adored in Arizona. The quote which leads off this entry would seem horribly forced coming from many players: can you imagine Derek Jeter or - God forbid - Barry Bonds saying those words? But it's very easy to imagine Gonzo not only saying them, but meaning them.
And not just words, but deeds. The paper reports that since coming to Arizona, he has raised more than a million dollars for charitable causes, and volunteered 1,000+ hours. That's about three hours every week which, I suspect, is rather more than 95% of the general public (including myself) does to help others. Interestingly, the Diamondbacks seem to have something of a lock on the award - since it was introduced in 1991, it's also gone to Todd Stottlemyre (2000) and Curt Schilling (2001). First-base coach Brett Butler won it in 1996, and former team executive Roland Hemond in 2003.
Mixed news for our minor-league teams in their playoff series. The Jethawks were swept by Lake Elsinore 3-0, conceding 26 runs in those games, but the South Bend Silver Hawks delivered a sweep, beating the West Michigan Whitecaps 6-3 and 5-0. They are now facing the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers [if anyone knows what a "timber rattler" is, please let me know. My guess would be a wind of some sort...] and won the first game 6-4, despite making three errors in the first inning.
And, to no-one's great surprise, Andy Green was named the Diamondbacks' Minor-League Player of the Year. Interestingly, he becomes a minor-league free agent in the winter, having played since being drafted by us in 2000, so I guess this means we have to compete for his services. Said Green, "I know if I produce here and play well here, when the opportunities come, there'll be a job. So there will be no reason to worry about being a free agent. Hopefully, I'll be locked in here for years to come." Dustin Nippert got the Pitcher of the Year award.