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AZ 4, Giants 8 - When It Rains, It Pours

Record: 61-76. Change on last year: +19

75 wins is now beginning to look like an optimistic assessment. To reach that mark, we'd have to go 14-11 over the remaining 25 games, and it's been a long time since we've come anywhere close to that. Indeed, in the past 25, we've gone 8-17: project that forward, and we'll end up at 69-93, which would have to be classed as a disappointment.

Last night's game had strange echoes of Friday's: again, we took the lead, but couldn't hold on, and the Giants steamed back against our starter in the middle innings. Here, we leapt out with a three-run first innings, on a two-run shot by Cintron and an RBI single by Terrero, but didn't score again until the ninth innings.

We had our chances, putting the lead-off hitter on base in the third and the fourth. And the fifth. And the sixth. But when you've got Royce Clayton failing to catch up with a not-so-blazing fastball from Noah Lowry - clocked at all of 91 mph! - there isn't much you can do. Andy Green came in to replace Glaus, who aggravated his ongoing knee injury, but went 0-for-3. Cintron, Gonzalez and Jackson (hooray!) all had two hits.

Meanwhile, the Giants scored four in the third, with Vargas offering up both long bombs and walks. In six innings, he allowed seven hits (two homers) and four walks - both are a disturbing trend for Vargas, who has posted the following line over his last three starts:
Vargas: 17 IP, 24 H, 9 BB, 13 K, 16 ER, 6 HR
His season ERA is now at the highest it has been since July.

The Giants added four more in the seventh, all charged to our pair of recent disaster relief projects, Lance Cormier (now 20 earned runs in 14.2 innings since the start of August) and Brandon Lyon (6.2 innings, 14 ER since returning). Villarreal made his first appearance in the eighth, and allowed a home-run on the very first pitch he threw, but Bulger pitched a scoreless ninth, and is now within striking distance of an ERA in single digits.

There may be some more help coming, as Double-A phenom Dustin Nippert has been called up. Nippert had Tommy John surgery little more than a year ago, has come back throwing gas, reaching 97-98 mph and went 8-3 in 18 starts for Tennessee, with a 2.38 ERA. I doubt he'll get to start here though.

Indeed, the writing also appears to be on the wall for Brad Halsey, who is seeing his start in the rotation skipped, thanks to tomorrow's off-day. Shawn Estes had another solid rehab start down in Tucson. allowing one run on three hits in six innings. I imagine that might be it - even at most, one more start will be all that's needed, then he'll be plugged back into the rotation.

Thanks to Devin and azdb7 for popping in last night; at least we didn't need any umbrellas. Umbrellas? Yep. For we need a new stadium: our one leaks. The rain-storm on Saturday night seeped it's way through the seams where the retractable roof comes together, causing drippage [it's not sealed because it's where the hot air escapes when the AC is turned on] The worst spot was right on the front of the mound, requiring some in-game maintenance from the grounds crew. Kinda sums up the whole season, really: wet and sludgy.