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AZ 4, Padres 3 - Hello! Still here...

Record: 72-84. Change on last season: +25

The Black Magic Number to eliminate Arizona remains stuck obstinately at two, after Chad Tracy's single brought the Diamondbacks a 4-3 victory, to complete the first series at Chase Field, and the 2005 home season on a winning note.

Of course, as is traditional, we had to do it the hard way. We out-hit San Diego 11-2, and it still took us ten innings to get the best of them, even though they only had five base-runners all game. However, three of those came home on Randa's barely-adequate 337-foot homer, just inside the left-field line. [The cherry on this particularly irritating pastry, was that one of those who scored, Giles had actually struck out, but reached first on a wild pitch.]

That wiped out a painstakingly-constructed two-run lead: Vazquez drove in the first run, with one of his two hits. That raised his season average to .250, putting him =4th among pitchers with 50+ plate appearances for the year. Here's the top 10:

  • 1. Jason Marquis: .318
  • 2. Carlos Zambrano: .295
  • 3. Noah Lowry: .281
  • 4. Livian Hernandez: .250
    Dontrelle Willis: .250
    Javier Vazquez: .250
  • 7. Jeff Weaver: .235
  • 8. Brandon Backe: .233
  • 9. Horacio Ramirez: .221
  • 10. Roger Clemens: .214

The bottom third of our order came through again later, with Cintron making the lead 2-0, before Vazquez gave up the bloop homer. He was, however, otherwise stellar, striking out 12 Padres through seven innings of work, and allowing only two hits and a walk. It would have been a terrible shame for that performance to be rewarded with a loss.

However, once again we clawed our way back, staving off elimination after the seventh-inning stretch. We loaded up the bases with one out, and Melvin opted to pinch-hit for Snyder. Despite having Glaus on the bench, he opted for McCracken - it seemed like an odd move, but McCracken grounded out and scored the tying run, and Glaus then fanned, pinch-hitting for Vazquez, to end the inning.

Then, in the tenth, Otsuka - whose ERA against Arizona this year must be about ten million (hey, I'm late for work and don't have time to look it up!) - didn't retire a hitter, and Tracy lined the ball down the right-field line, to leave the Padres looking nervously over their shoulders for the four-game series against the Giants that starts today...

Thanks to andrewinnewyork, Devin, frienetic and icecoldmo for their comments. That's all I'm able to write today, but fortunately we don't have a game. Will be back in full force tomorrow!