Record: 37-40. Change on last season: -2
I'm pretty glad I departed last night's game when I did, after five innings. After falling behind 5-0 before we even got to bat - a huge hole, even by our recent standards of falling behind in the first inning - Arizona still clawed their way back into the game. Luis Gonzalez snapped his 200+ at-bat homerless streak, and another round-tripper by Shawn Green had made it a one-run game. I would, indeed, have preferred to settle for that as a final score, rather than the one that actually ensued.
For that was only half the scoring. While Mrs. Snakepit was on a call, I briefly tuned back in, in time to see Orlando Hudson fail again. On a high chopper hit to him with a runner at second, he threw wildly to third, for some reason. Really, for the reigning Gold Glover at his position, Hudson has not lived up to the hype - that was his sixth error of the season, matching his total from 2005, and only four players in the majors have more at the position. His range factor remains decent, but it seems for every good play, there's another one which has been badly thought-out or poorly-executed. There'll be no Gold Glove this year.
Despite falling back three runs behind again, we came back once more in the bottom half of the inning. Our offense does seem to be returning to life, which is a good sign, given that was the main problem in the recent streak. Byrnes hit a two-run double, and was then brought home by Tracy's second hit of the day, to tie the game up. Shawn Green had three hits, including his eighth homer, but made a bad decision in that seventh, trying to go from second to third on a ball hit in front of him, and was thrown out. Conor Jackson reached base four times, on a hit, a plunking and a pair of walks.
Speaking of OBP, Counsell went 0-for-5 with two K's in the leadoff spot. With the retiral of the Gonzo HR watch [until his next 100+ at-bat streak], the new sidebar feature is the OBP watch for the team. This will monitor how our leadoff hitter is doing at what he's supposed to be doing: getting on base. The answer at the moment is, not very well, mostly because Counsell only has two more walks than Green. That's Andy Green... This feature will continue until Craig either cracks the top three, or is moved from the leadoff spot.
However, just when we clawed our way back into the game, and after Medders pitched a scoreless eighth, Brandon Lyon couldn't keep the game tied. The key blow came from former D'back, Richie Sexson, who made Melvin pay for an intentional walk to Iba?ez, driving in the go-ahead run. Melvin's excuse? "'It's a better matchup,' you think at the time. One guy swinging a little better, numbers would indicate that it's a better matchup." And how many of those at-bats, pray tell, were against Medders? Would that be...none? Johjima's second homer of the game, was merely a dollop of icing.
Nice to see Sexson received a warm, enthusiastic welcome from the Chase crowd. Well, it was enthusiastic (at least by our standards), but "warm" is perhaps slightly inaccurate, unless that's really a euphemism for "from the bowels of hell". Said Sexson, "I think I'll get it as long as I come here. I'm not exactly sure why. Believe me, I wish I didn't get hurt. It's the last thing I wanted to have happen. But I guess they don't see it that way."
It's amazing how ignorant millionaire athletes can be some time. Memo to Richie: it's not the getting hurt that, ah, hurt. As noted yesterday, it was scurrying off back to Seattle afterwards, rather than being prepared to make up for the injury. What kind of response do you think you deserve, given you:
- a) gutted our roster, costing us six players, including Lyle Overbay and Chris Capuano
- b) cut and ran with your $8.7m salary, after just 90 at-bats?
Perhaps the most worrying thing about the game, was the continued struggle of Brandon Webb. He has been giving up a lot of hits this year, and only his control has helped him, so it was a bad sign when he walked Ichiro to lead off the Seattle first. What followed was a nightmarish first inning, in which Webb gave up five earned runs before getting the second out. He did bounce back a bit, allowing nine hits and two walks over seven innings, with only two more runs scoring, and our offense got him a no-decision. But his line for June isn't pretty or ace-like:
Webb: 33.2 IP, 42 H, 9 BB, 32 K, 22 R, 19 ER, 5.08 ERA
He's allowed thirteen runs in seventeen first innings so far, and off his first thirty pitches, opponents are batting .339 against Webb (40-for-118), compared to just .222 between pitches 31-60. A little more warmup in the bullpen perhaps?
Thanks to those who commented last night - particularly those who stayed longer than I did! Devin, kylerkenney, William K, IndyDBack, azshadowwalker and unnamedDBacksfan were all present and correct. You will be on your own again tonight, folks, since I'll be at the game, booing Sexson lustily...
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Today: The Graph of Heroic Failure