Record: 17-13. Change on last season: -1
"The Cubs outhit us 8-7. Can't be many times a team does that, and still loses by six runs." Oh, really? What idiot said that? Er, actually, me, in the report on Thursday's game. For that's exactly what has happened to our opponents, two nights in a row. Once again, they outhit us 8-7, but that was definitely not reflected in the final score, in this case thanks to six - count 'em, six - unearned runs which rapidly turned this one into a laugher.
After trading 1-2-3 innings in the first, Cincinnati will be renaming themselves the RedFaces after the nightmare of the second frame, as the Diamondbacks scored seven times, sending eleven to the plate. What's that? You want to relive it, hitter by hitter? Oh, alright: don't mind if I do:
- L.Gonzalez doubled to right.
- Clark flied out to right fielder Kearns.
- S.Green safe at second on Lopez's error, L.Gonzalez scored.
- Estrada doubled to right, S.Green scored.
- Hudson grounded out, second baseman Freel to first baseman Hatteberg, Estrada to third.
- Webb singled to center, Estrada scored.
- Counsell walked, Webb to second.
- Byrnes singled to center, Webb to third, Counsell to second. On Hatteberg's error, Webb scored, Counsell to third.
- Tracy walked on four pitches, Byrnes to second.
- On Ramirez's balk, Counsell scored, Byrnes to third, Tracy to second.
- L.Gonzalez singled to right, Byrnes scored, Tracy to third. On Freel's error, Tracy scored.
- Clark lined out to center fielder McCracken.
Runs: 7, Hits: 5, Walks: 2, Balks: 1, Errors: 3
"We suck!" This was not, I suspect, quite the statement the team with the best record in the National League wanted to make in the series opener. But it's hard to interpret three errors plus a bases-loaded balk in one inning, any other way. By the end of it, I was almost expecting clown horns to honk every time a Reds player took a step, and Thunder and Blazes to come over the Chase Field PA after every play.
Good job too, as we only managed two hits the rest of the way - though, to be fair, I suspect the pressure was taken off our hitters by giving our ace pitcher seven runs head-start. Luis Gonzalez had a pair of hits, as did Johnny Estrada, but Tracy's homer run ended at three games. While Hudson broke a streak of 0-for-21, Tony Clark did little to get more playing time, going 0-for-4, dropping his average to .167. Though ex-D'back Quinton McCracken robbed him of extra bases with a diving catch to end the second. More of a mercy killing, really...
Meanwhile, Brandon Webb was continuing his regal form on the mound. Eight innings, seven hits, no walks and only one earned run, with five strikeouts. The Reds actually did a better job than most teams, getting six fly outs compared to 13 ground outs. But Webb's ERA is now down to 2.05, behind only Tom Glavine in the National League, and he's averaging almost an inning per game more. Is that Cy Young talk I hear? Webb, Pedro, and tomorrow's Reds starter, Bronson Arroyo are the only 5-0 men in the majors...
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Today: Nice to hit 95% in the second inning...
Thanks to Devin and William K for their comments although, much like myself, their interest apparently flatlined like our chances of winning did above. Everyone seemed to get bored and drift off long before Grimsley was brought in to pitch the last inning. Speaking of which, the Rockies scored two in the ninth to beat Houston. so we remain tied with them. The Giants lost, but the Padres won their sixth in a row, shutting the Cubs out, 1-0. Chicago have now scored one run - that bases-loaded walk to Maddux - in 38 innings. Next up for them: Jake Peavy. Ouch.
Meanwhile, we've got Bronson Arroyo, who merely threw a complete game four-hitter last time out. But after the first game, I think it's safe to say that the Red Menace is not quite the threat it was perceived to be, before that second inning...