Record: 34-27. Change on last season: +2
"We didn't get to be in first place for the last month and a half by going to church and kneeling."
-- Miguel Batista
Finest Miggy quote ever. No wonder the guy has written a novel - he must spent his off-days coming up with these shafts of wit. Anyway, the Diamondbacks slump to their fifth defeat in a row. The Mets club five homers off our pitching. Our starter is toast after 4.1 innings, and allows seven runs, all earned. We left twelve men on base. The Dodgers have now caught us at the top of the NL West.
Despite all the above, it was probably still our best performance since GrimsleyGate started. It would have been easy - very easy - for the Diamondbacks to cave in completely, after the Mets took a 4-0 lead with only one out in the top of the first. But we didn't: Craig Counsell came right back in the bottom of the innings, to hit his first home-run of the year, 256 at-bats after the last one. He was on base three times with two hits and a walk, and also had two RBIs, for only the second time this season.
Or maybe we would have collapsed after the Mets had a 7-2 lead, in the bottom of the sixth. But we didn't, getting the tying run to second base, and scoring three times. And though the Mets kept scoring, we kept trying to come back. Seventh inning: tying run to the plate. Eighth inning: tying run on base. It was only when Delgado hit his second homer of the game, off Valverde in the ninth, that the opposition could really breathe easily. That's the kind of grit sadly missing recently.
Tracy went 3-for-3 with a walk, and the bottom of the order came through too. Hudson and Snyder had two hits each - the latter also had a pair of RBIs - and even Batista chipped in with a single. Mind you, he'd have traded that for a better performance on the rubber: eight hits and three walks in 4.1 innings, raising his ERA to 4.69. Maybe some churchy kneeling wouldn't do any harm, Miguel? :-)
Jarvis was credible in relief, retiring five in a row; Medders and Valverde, rather less so (one and two earned runs, in two and one innings respectively). Tracy was moved into the cleanup slot, and I think might be there for a while, based on his performance tonight. Said Melvin, "It's just a little change of scenery. Gonzo's got a lot of experience probably getting on a little more and scoring a few more runs, and Tracy's probably driving a few more in. It's just a minor tweak. I don't think it really affects too much."
The loss, and the Dodgers win, means we are now back in a tie for first place in the NL West. Though after five losses in a row, I'll happily settle for mere defeat, rather than the dismantlings which we seem to have been suffering of late. It does make the chances of a split on this series somewhat slim: tomorrow, with Webb starting, I'm optimistic, but does anyone think Ortiz has a chance in hell of defeating Martinez on Sunday. I believe even Russ's mother was seen betting on Pedro in Vegas.
Thanks to Spencer, IndyDBack, npineda, Devin and Keith for their comments, though nobody really seemed to stay very long, for some not so strange, highly explicable reason. All we can do is hope for better to come tomorrow, with our undefeated ace on the mound, who shut the homer-happy Mets out very nicely just ten days ago. After that game, we were eight games above .500; before tonight's game, we were eight games above .500. But in between, it's been a bit of a roller-coaster, shall we say...
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Today: A New Hope?