Record: 37-41. Change on last season: -2
And Now the Streaming Starts...
For seven innings last night, it was a pretty good game, with no more than one run separating the two teams. Of course, the eighth and the ninth were the disasters we've come to expect, and the departures started immediately - the picture above shows the area behind home-plate in the ninth inning - demonstrating clearly what the home crowd thought of their team's performance. But how did the game stack up generally? It scored 38%: here's the detailed breakdown.
W for EdGon. MISS He did pitch well: seven innings with only three runs given up, and the only really hard-hit ball was the home-run to tie the game in the fifth. Threw a lot of strikes (70%+), and only walked one hitter; did uncork a couple of wild pitches in the first - I think it was adrenalin. But on the whole, he was unlucky to get tagged with another loss: a little more offense early, or better relief late, and he'd have escaped with his record unscathed.
Multi on-base game for CoJack MISS. He did walk in the eighth, but that was all he managed, in a generally quiet game for our prospect. I was really surprised they pitched to Hudson with the go-ahead run at third, one out in the fourth and the pitcher's spot up: I'd have walked him, then gone after the pitcher to K or double-play.
RBI for Gonzalez. MISS. Notice, I didn't say which one. :-) The sad thing is, Edgar had more hits than Luis, with his first knock since August 2004. Seeing Gonzo (L) trying to catch up to a 97 mph fastball from Hernandez was sad. I also suspect that a couple of years ago, his long fly-out in the eighth would have left the park. He only reached when he was hit by a pitch - I suspect Valverde's 9th inning plunking of Beltre was payback. However, he and Counsell still got easily the biggest cheers at Chase when the lineup was announced.
No first inning runs conceded. HIT We held our own through the game for the first seven, in fact, before things fell apart. I guess it's a start. During that time, our section really enjoyed tormenting Sexson, who in his first four at-bats had no hits, two K's and a GIDP. Lots of references to checked swings, though my personal favourite was, "I hope Seattle weren't paying $100 grand for that at bat, like we did," after he fanned on three swinging strikes in the sixth. He almost had an ohfer night, but got the last laugh, with an 0-2, bases-clearing double off Valverde in the ninth.
Sexson avoids checking his swing
Estrada: first-pitch hits >= first-pitch outs. HIT One of each. When he came up in the second, I said to Mrs. SnakePit "First pitch hack, just watch." J-Strada duly obliged, but my cheering after it got through, was met by Chris muttering something about "Fickle fandom". "Hey, I didn't say he'd make an out," was my defense. And, say what you like, he's batting .307 after his two hits, higher than anyone else on the team. Criticism seems churlish, given this. However, he should definitely have been on second in the sixth; the ball got past the LF, but he was loafing out of the box.
No unearned runs. HIT Mostly solid if unspectacular defense, though Green should have tried much harder on the triple in the eighth. At least through the front seven, the Mariners had largely been relying on bloops. Such as their first run, which reached base on an immaculately-placed floater just out of the reach of Counsell into shallow left-center; I can't help thinking, again, a couple of years ago, Counsell would have had the wheels to make that play. That might also explain why his SB% is down at 60%, significantly below the break-even point.
Bullpen ERA less than 3.00. TRIPLE PLAY. With the bases loaded. During Game 7 of the World Series. That's how wrong this was: you could, in fact, have shifted the decimal point, making it 30.00, and still have been wrong, as Vizcaino, Aquino and Valverde combined for seven runs in two innings. Valverde's ERA is now more than eight; impressive, given it was 2.20 barely six weeks ago (May 16). His line in the past month (since May 28) is, ah, spectacular. In a number of ways:
Valverde: 11.1 IP, 21 H, 8 BB, 19 ER, 21 K
No K's for Tracy. MISS. I thought this one was going down early, when he went 0-2 first time up, but he muscled the next pitch back up the middle in an impressive style. However, he went down in the third, extending his whiffing streak to a season-high ten consecutive games. Speaking of futility, Tony Clark appeared in the ninth and hit into a double-play. Don't forget, he's signed for next season as well...
His name's Roberto, and he dances on the mound...
When I first heard "Duran to throw out first pitch", I thought, "Great, I really liked their theme to View to a Kill". Wrong Duran. This was Roberto: ironic that we ask someone to be our honoured guest, who's best known for throwing in the towel. Duran is also known as "Hands of Stone". Much like Conor Jackson then. :-)
Do not hold your Diamondbacks' tickets in your mouth while fiddling with stuff in your car. The back, particularly the stub, has glue on it, and you will rip off your lips removing the tickets from your mouth.
You would think somewhere named Chase Field would have ATM's on every section. Not so. The lower level has two. One of which was out of service. As Chris found out when trying to get ice-cream, a trek which took so long, she could have reached the North Pole and back.
This game's apology goes to the woman in front of us. While Mrs. Snakepit was gesturing with her spoon to indicate the remote location of the sole working ATM, she dripped ice-cream on the back of the lady's shirt in the next row. She didn't notice, and we agonized over whether to tell her or not, but decided to let sleeping dogs lie. So, sorry.
God hates the wave. Two pitches after it started up in the left-field bleachers, Seattle took the lead, and never looked back. It was gratifying to see it petering out lamely before it got round to our section. But it should, of course, never have been started at all.
Jeff DaVanon comes to the plate while Whip It by Devo plays. Is this simply a cheap pun on his name, or is he genuinely a fan of the finest New Wave band ever? Enquiring minds want to know.
Mariners' notes: Yuniesky Betancourt may have the best name in the majors. Suzuki is a great leadoff hitter. Before lacing his fifth-inning single, he just kept fouling pitches off from Gonzalez with consumate ease. Let's hope Chris Young is practicing the same in Tucson, because Counsell now has the worst OBP of anyone on the roster, outside the pitchers and Tony Clark.
Thanks to William K, in particular, for keeping the fire burning here during my absence. Devin, azdb7, VIII and suitsmetoATnT were also present in the Gameday Thread, which is more than I was.
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Today: Suzuki vs. So Sucky