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AZ 10, Padres 14 - We "Juan" a do-over...

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Record: 22-18. Change on last season: -1

Do not screw with the baseball gods. My attempt to convince them I wasn't watching last night's game, by turning up in the comments pretending to be an AI [er, it seemed a good idea at the time, what can I say?] proved an utter disaster. Our starter was caned all over the field, allowing nine runs and not even getting out of the first inning. I eventually caved, and started posting as myself - and the funny thing is...
Score while posting as an AI: 0-9
Score while posting as myself: 10-5

Like I said: do not screw with the baseball gods. They do not appreciate it. I present the following, as a salutory reminder of what happens when you do:

  • D. Roberts doubled to left
  • M. Cameron walked
  • B. Giles singled to left, D. Roberts scored, M. Cameron to third
  • M. Piazza hit by pitch, B. Giles to second
  • K. Greene doubled to deep center, M. Cameron and B. Giles scored, M. Piazza to third
  • M. Bellhorn struck out looking
  • G. Blum singled to right, M. Piazza and K. Greene scored
  • A. Gonzalez hit by pitch, G. Blum to second
  • M. Thompson grounded into fielder's choice, G. Blum out at third, A. Gonzalez to second
  • D. Roberts walked, A. Gonzalez to third, M. Thompson to second
  • M. Cameron walked, A. Gonzalez scored, M. Thompson to third, D. Roberts to second
  • B. Giles doubled to deep left, M. Cameron, D. Roberts and M. Thompson scored
  • C. Daigle relieved J.Cruz
Nine runs on five hits, three walks and two hit batters.

What else, really, is there to say. The day after their bullpen has to pitch seven innings, Arizona falls behind by nine runs before they come to bat. That's a nice gift for a pitcher making his major league debut - "Sorry, son: you've got to go hit before you can pitch. Oh, and here's a nine-run lead for you." But then, with the Padres still holding that advantage in the sixth, the Diamondbacks suddenly exploded:

  • E. Byrnes singled to left
  • C. Tracy singled to right, E. Byrnes to second
  • L. Gonzalez singled to right, E. Byrnes to third, C. Tracy to second
  • C. Jackson doubled to deep right center, E. Byrnes and C. Tracy scored, L. Gonzalez out at home
  • S. Green flied out to left
  • J. Estrada doubled to right, C. Jackson scored
  • O. Hudson safe at first on shortstop K. Greene's fielding error, J. Estrada to third
  • T. Clark homered to deep left, J. Estrada and O. Hudson scored
  • C. Counsell singled to center
  • E. Byrnes homered to deep left, C. Counsell scored
  • C. Tracy grounded out to second
Eight runs on eight hits and one error

And we might have tied the game at 11-11, had Gonzalez not apparently run through a stop-sign at third-base, and been thrown out at home plate. I say "apparently" since I had all but given up on the game, and gone to watch Gong Show episodes with Mrs. SnakePit. It's strange. I never grew up with the show [I did see Confessions of a Dangerous Mind though], while Mrs. S. loved it - makes for a surreal experience. Odd to see Dodger first baseman Steve Garvey as one of the judges, while Chuck Barris staggered round, three sheets to the wind, clapping semi-randomly.

Anyway, In the 20 minutes between me scoping out the TV, not only had the D'backs come back to make it a one-run game, but the Padres had restored sanity with a three-run homer by Giles, after an uncharacteristically-wild Vizcaino had walked one batter, and hit another. [Mind you, we are talking Mike Cameron, so it was a sizeable target...] That was the end of scoring, though the Padres, just be sure, brought in Trevor Hoffman for the ninth, even though a four-run lead was not technically a save situation. Tonight, however, they clearly wanted no further mistakes.

Two hits each for Byrnes, Tracy and Gonzalez. Three RBIs apiece for Jackson and Clark, the latter delivering a pinch-hit three-run homer during that sixth. Only one walk, however, to pinch-hitter DaVanon. After Cruz departed, the depleted bullpen was in deep trouble, especially with long relief man Grimsley having been used yesterday. Casey Daigle stepped up, allowing one run in 3.1 innings, and Aquino one over two frames. Vizcaino was the only disappointment, and after he went, we had to turn to Friday's scheduled starter, Claudio Vargas for two shutout innings.

So, our tenure at the top of the division is mayfly-brief once more. Still, given I was certain after the first frame that we would be seeing a position player on the mound by the end of the night, the mere fact that we kept this credible is something of an achievement. There can't be many teams who've scored eight runs in an inning, and lost, because it was the same night they allowed nine. Franchise records were tied and set respectively: it's somewhat ironic that it was viewed at Chase Field by the smallest crowd in Arizona Diamondbacks history - only 18,012.

The good news is, even with the potential loss of Hernandez, the off-day still allows us to continue the rotation without requiring an additional starter. Batista and Webb will pitch Friday and Saturday on their regular rest. Sunday could be either Vargas or Cruz again - either would be on three days rest, but they only threw 28 and 46 pitches respectively tonight (so my money's probably on Vargas). Whoever doesn't go on Sunday, would start Monday on their regular rest; then we hit Tuesday, when we need to work out who the fifth starter will be. Hernandez? Jarvis? Nippert? Gonzalez?

But thanks to all those who posted comments for the game: npineda, VIII, William K, Spencer, Devin, azdb7, 4CornersFan and azshadowwalker. Another season-high here, even as attendance at the actual game reaches franchise-low levels. The Fangraph chart will follow tomorrow - that should be fun - along with Heroes and Zeroes for the series. Though absolutely no prizes for guessing who the greatest Zero of this particular series will be...