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AZ 0, Pirates 3 - Keel-hauled

Record: 18-15. Change on last season: 0

In the Pirates' defense, they aren't actually that bad a team when playing at home. In fact, this win brings their record at home to 7-7 - it's been the 3-17 road record that has killed them. But, still: losing any game to a team currently on course for a historic number of losses is never good. Being shutout by them? Is there a rock nearby we can crawl under? The only rational explanation is that jet-lag must have kicked in, big-time. Though admittedly, it wasn't helped by Melvin's questionable lineup construction. Let's make it perfectly clear. Large font please...

Putting Clark in yesterday made no freakin' sense.

Thank you. There was an off-day Monday, so Jackson doesn't exactly need the rest. Brandon Webb is pitching today, so that would be the time to use Clark's superior glove. But yesterday, against a left-handed pitcher. I feel I speak eloquently for all knowledgeable D'backs fans, when I say, "WTF? Bob Melvin, R U on crack? LOL." Ah, or something like that, anyway. And for once, I did call this particular Poseidon Adventure before the game - the envelope, please:

  • 2nd: Clark flied out to left fielder Bay
  • 4th: Clark grounded into a double play
  • 6th: Clark grounded out to first baseman C.Wilson
  • 9th: Clark struck out

The last two were with runners in scoring position; in both cases Clark represented the tying run. Yesterday's "performance" - and I use the word in a way usually reserved for the stars of films with titles like Dirty Debutantes #33 - brought Clark's batting average for the season down to .149. To shed the cold light of reality onto that particular statistic, we have three starting pitchers with higher averages: Hernandez, Webb and Batista.

In a broader context, 288 major-league players have 50+ at-bats this year. Clark ranks 254th for OBP (.273), 273rd for SLG (.277) and OPS (.549), while that .149 puts him dead-last in batting average. I cheerfully admit, we are talking small sample-size; one 3-for-3 game would jack his average up fifty points. But crank that time machine back a week or two, to these lines from Clark: "My concern has been and will continue to be what's in the best interests of the Arizona Diamondbacks." Until Clark has showed he can hit again, making Jackson the starter, every day, would appear to be for the best.

Of course, it would be wrong to blame Clark alone for the loss, since there were seven other hitters in the lineup who failed to score. Gonzalez had two hits (but now has one RBI in 41 at-bats, a span of almost Greensian indifference), while Tracy and Green hit doubles. Overall, excluding pitchers, we went 5-for-30 with two walks and six K's. That ain't gonna get it done very often. And while I'm bitching, Orlando Hudson as a #2 hitter. No. He's batting .188 in the two hole, with an OBP of .246. As a #7 or #8, he hits .283, with an OBP of of .367.

Batista was marginally okay, but seemed, as in his previous start, to be forever teetering on the edge of disaster: last night, five of the eight hits he allowed were for extra bases. Still, three runs over seven innings with six strikeouts and only one walk should be good enough to keep us in the game. But, in this case, three runs proved to be two more than the Pirates needed...

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Today: Uphill struggle

Thanks to William K, npineda, Englishdback, and an Anonymous Hero for their comments, in what was generally a dispiriting display, far from our sterling efforts on the homestand. From the moment the Pirates took the lead, I never really felt like we were likely to come back. Indeed, I think as soon as Hudson made his first error as a D'backs, I had a suspicion that it was not destined to be our day.