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!