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AZ 10, Giants 3 - Cain Gets Thrashed

Record: 7-8. Change on last season: -1

Early start today. MTV are currently here, talking to Mrs. SnakePit and the SnakePitette about the filming they're going to be doing. So we were rousted from our bed at some ungodly hour - 7:30 am is the earliest I've been up in about 18 months. There will be more of the same over the weekend, but it's not going to be here, so the ladeez will be left to their own for that.

I think last night might have been a glimpse for the Giants of what life will be like after Barry Bonds - and it's not pretty. Or maybe we just played exceptionally well: after the first time through the order, we smacked the Giants' great white hope around like a heavyweight pretender, continued the assault on their bullpen, kept the SF offense on a tight leash until Webb tired, and played good defense, turning four double-plays in the first six innings. Just 147 more performances like that, and we'll be playoff-bound.

Oddly, it was the Giants who scored first though, and as in the series opener, we were not at our finest through the first three innings. We didn't get a single hit off Cain, while Webb allowed six - his sinker was sinking, just coming into the middle of the strike zone. Fortunately, two runners were erased on double plays, while Estrada did a fine job of blocking the basepath to tag Durham out at home plate, so all the Giants had to show for it was Sweeney's four-bagger.

Webb adjusted nicely, however, mixing in a lot of off-speed pitches, and only gave up one hit from the fourth through seventh innings. Meanwhile the offense got busy, putting those much-beloved (by Melvin) crooked numbers on the board in the fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth frames. Davanon was the star, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs: his homer tied things in the fourth, and after Tracy doubled, Gonzo tripled and came home on a balk, Cain dropping the ball while on the rubber.

Craig Counsell, who also had an excellent game (two hits and two runs scored, plus some good defense) manafactured the fourth tally, tagging up on two shallow flies to advance from second to home, even if Tony Clark then rendered the effort moot with an RBI-double down the line. Tracy and Gonzalez also had two hits each, and Shawn Green extended his hitting streak with a pinch-hit single in the eighth - he has seven hits for his last 15 at-bats. And, hello! More walks than K's. Hooray.

Brandon Medders came off the DL before the game (sadly, it was Daigle rather than Grisly who was cut from the roster), and pitched a scoreless ninth, striking out two. At least the rest of the bullpen all but got the night off - Lyon faced one batter after Webb was obviously flagging during the eighth. Given we're in the middle of a sixteen-game series without any rest days, and our relievers had to bail Ortiz out for six innings on Tuesday, this was a welcome - no, almost essential - pause.

Despite a loss in the first game of the series, 26 runs in three games is our best output in almost two years (April 25-27, 2004, when we scored 12, 9 and 10 runs), and our team average is up to a respectable .263, now good enough for 10th in the NL. The past couple of games have probably been the best all-round performances we've put back-to-back - though it is only the second time this year we've actually won games back-to-back. I'd almost forgotten what it feels like to have a streak. Not that two really counts. Three: now that's a real streak, but our shot there will have to wait for tonight.

Good. MTV have left the building, so I can seep out of the office. Y'know, there's something to be said for these 7:30 am starts. You actually can get a whole lot done when the day starts at this time. Or alternatively...hmmm, what's on cable? Ah, Fever Pitch. I think Mrs. SnakePit wanted to watch that. Coffee, donuts and obsessive baseball fandom. Sounds like a decent morning to me.