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AZ 8, Rockies 5 - Hey, now, you're an All-Star...

Record: 43-45. Change on last season: +1

What a long, strange road-trip it's been. We sweep the A's; lose miserably to the Dodgers, then come to Coors, and sweep them, but don't gain any ground on the division leaders while doing so. Still, a 6-3 record is nothing to sneeze about, even if we could quite easily have lost all three games. We have five shutout bullpen innings, a Tracy grand-slam and Matt Holliday clanking one in left-field to thank for the sweep, I'd say.

Edgar Gonzalez took the win, coming in for the sixth after Choate had failed to retire either leftie he faced and his ERA ballooned fron 0.00 to 3.18 as a result. Welcome to the world of the rest of the bullpen, Randy. EdGon allowed two more hits and an earned run, but fanned two and was the benefit of today's designated Coors Field Diamondback inning, the five-run seventh [I have a feeling that has probably been the kindest inning for us this season, but haven't been able to find the stats to back this up.]

That inning featured the Rockies Wheel O' Relief, as their manager, Clint Hurdle, used five different pitchers to try and get the second out. Snyder, DaVanon, Counsell, Byrnes, Tracy, Jackson and Gonzalez all reached safely, on five hits, a walk and an error, before Tony ".190 at the All-Star Break" Clark hit into a double-play to end it. The procession prior to that, turned a 5-2 deficit into a 7-5 lead, and Hudson then added his eighth home-run, to keep just ahead of Gonzo, who hit one to give us the lead in the second.

Craig Counsell was back in the leadoff spot, which had me reaching for the D'backs OBP meter. However, he had three hits, so we'll keep it on the back-burner for now, and see how he starts the second part of the season. Chad Tracy also had three hits, driving in a couple of runs, while Gonzalez, Hudson and Snyder all added a couple each.

On the pitching side, Cruz lasted fewer innings than I'd generally be happy with, going only five. But he was effective enough, allowing just two hits, though one was a two-run homer to Clint 'Bambi Fights Back' Barnes. After Choate and EdGon, as noted above, we'd taken the lead, and the A-Bullpen swung smoothly back into operation. Medders, Lyon and Julio pitched three innings of one-hit ball to seal things - Julio picking up his third save of the series.

Couple of small asides. Impressed by Counsell's slide at home-plate which scored in the third, going in from second on a Tracy single. He seemed deliberately to stay far back of home-plate, so that when the Rockies catcher reached back with the ball, he couldn't tag Counsell, who then reached out to slap the dish with his hand as he slid past. Nice work. I also enjoyed hearing Greg 'n' Gracey on the commentary team today: they complement each other quite nicely. There's something about Thom Brennaman that irritates me: I get a sense of "falseness", if you like. Say what you like about Grace, it feels like the real deal that appears on air, and I prefer that.

A small, but select group of commentators today - though with a little spurt of activity after the game was over, the reason for which I'll get to in a moment. For the moment though, I'll just thank Wimb, unnamedDBacksfan, VIII, IndyDBack, DiamondbacksWIn, TheMainMan, azdb7, azshadowwalker and 4CornersFan.

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Today: Mile High Clubbing

The big bomb was the news that the D'backs are looking likely to extend Melvin's contract. I'm really not quite sure what to think of that at the moment - truth be told, I only noticed the announcement about ten minutes ago, so it hasn't properly sunk in yet. My immediate reaction is, I can't say I'm impressed - was there no-one else who might be better at handling what will likely be a very young team next year? - but I've quickly tossed up a diary for thoughts and discussion. At least it gives us something to chat about over the All-Star break.

Meanwhile, over in Pittsburgh, Stephen Drew and Carlos Gonzalez were taking part in the All-Star Futures game, which was called in the middle of the seventh, US beating the World 7-5. Gonzalez went 1-for-4 with a run scored, while Drew was 1-for-3 with a run scored. Drew will be making a quick exit, as he and fellow Sidewinder Alberto Callaspo have been selected for the Triple-A All-Star Game in Toledo on Monday. It does seem strange Drew getting all the jetsetting, given he is only seventh on the Tucson club in OPS; even Robby Hammock (remember him?) is 33 points ahead of Drew.

And so, we hit the All-Star break. Looking forward to a couple of days off here, but imagine there should still be some light updating going on. More thoughts on Melvin, and the Heroes and Zeroes for this series, to follow on Monday.