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Night of the Living Dead

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Let's start off with the graph from last night's game:

Your daily dose of yummy Fangraphs goodness
[Click pic to see full version in new window]
Today: It's dead! No! It lives! Oops! It's dead again!

By the time Cruz left last night, two outs into the game, our chance of winning had been reduced to 2.8% - that seems very optimistic, frankly. It flatlined from there until Clark's home run; Byrnes' one was actually more significant, and at that point, we had about a one-in-three chance of coming back. However, Giles blast for the Padres took care of that, and we returned to the grave whence we came.

Heroes and Zeroes
Series 14: vs. Padres, at home

The bullpen: 19.1 IP, 18 H, 4 BB, 12 K, 7 ER
Byrnes, 7-for-15, 3 RBI
Green, 6-for-13, 2 RBI
Gonzalez, 2-for-11, 0 RBI
Vizcaino: 2 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 3 ER
Cruz: 0.2 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 9 ER

By popular demand, the bullpen are the heroes for this series, and it's well-deserved, simply as an acknowledgement of their incredible stamina. After four shutout innings in the opener, they were forced into early action in the second game, by the departure of Hernandez: seven innings of two-run ball followed. And last night, with their last ounce of strength, they added 8.1 innings, almost allowing us a heroic comeback. Daigle threw 4.1 innings; Grimsley and Medders three apiece; the V-Force (Valverde, Vizcaino and Vargas) and Aquino two each.

The only criticism for the bullpen is Vizcaino, who should have been fresh on Wednesday, on a day off, after only throwing 13 pitches. But he removed the head and destroyed the brain (sorry, was watching Shaun of the Dead!) of our stirring resurrection, turning a one-run game back into a four-run margin. Gonzalez also merits a demerit, partly for his lack of hitting, mostly for getting thrown out at home during that eight-run sixth inning. He would have been the crucial tying run, had he stayed where he was. And guess who the villain is? No excuses from Cruz though: "That was my worst game in my career... I didn't do my job."

However, we still won two of three games, against the red-hot reigning champions, and that deserves applause. Byrnes and Green continued their phenomenal streaks - in the month of May, the pair are hitting .423 and .424 respectively. Honorary mentions go to the return of Tony Clark v.2005 (2-for-5, 4 RBI), with a pair of very timely homeruns, and Johnny Estrada (4-for-12, 4 RBI), who is on pace for a 100-RBI year. He only needs three more RBIs, to tie the total from all last year by our 2005 starting catcher, Chris Snyder.

Interesting to see a piece in the Republic today, explaining the concept of the %IRSc [Percentage of Inherited Runners Scoring] statistic. While somewhat flawed - Daigle's 0-for-3 in this area is a horribly small sample-size, and proves basically nothing - it's nice to see them attempting to educate readers in the "new baseball math". Thanks to Reaves and Piecoro, the quality of the writing on the paper has definitely improved, and that's a big help in creating the informed, intelligent D'backs fans the team desperately needs. Now, if Thom Brennaman would only get the memo...

Following the record low turnout last night, a good time to point to this thread at Diamondbacks Bullpen about the apathy of the D'backs fanbase. There's one particularly good post from Scott on Page 2, which does sum up a lot of the negative aspects about a night at Chase Field. It is disturbing, and a bad omen for the rest of the year, that the smallest attendance in franchise history, comes on a night when we're leading the division and solidly above .500 ball. If I were management, I'd be conducting research on why people don't want to come to the ballpark, when TV ratings clearly show interest in the team remains solid.