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AZ 8, Milwaukee 1 - Drew's the boss...

Record: 45-45. Change on last season: +2

Say hello to .500! Boy, it seems ages since we last saw you... It's not actually that long ago - little more than three weeks, on June 21. But it just goes to show how hot the team was before the swoon of the past month, that even after an 8-20 month, we were still only four games below the line at the end of June. Eight wins in eleven games: no team is currently hotter in the National League.

And say hello, also, to not-being-in-last-place, for the first time since June 19, when we were half a game out of first. The day after, we were in a three-way tie for last, and we've dwelled in the cellar (occasionally, with company) ever since. But, no more. Everyone else in the division lost on Saturday - indeed, the NL West has three wins since the All-Star break, and we have two of them - so we leapfrog the slumping Rockies and are a 1/2 game back of the Giants and Dodgers.

Yes, it's a good feeling to be a D'backs fan at the moment. Or it may just be my meds kicking in, I'm not sure. :-) Stephen Drew made his debut in a D'backs uniform, as we mauled the Brewers and their All-Star ace (Capuano? Schmapuano!), while Webb showed them what a real pitcher is all about, pitching seven shutout innings and fanning a season-high ten hitters.

Every player in the starting lineup had a hit or scored a run. I kinda say that, to avoid picking on Drew, who was the only position player not to get a hit. He drew a walk [get it? "Drew" a walk? Oh, never mind...] in his first major-league at-bat, and came around to score, but went 0-for-3 after that. However, those hits will come, of that I've little doubt, and it was great just to see him in a Diamondbacks uniform. [Interestingly, Tony Gwynn Jr, son of the Padres legend, made his major-league debut for Milwaukee. Future All-Stars?]

The rest of the lineup made up for any offensive deficiencies, with Gonzo getting three hits, and Byrnes, Easley, Jackson and Estrada adding two each. Both of Jackson's, in consecutive innings, and one of Estrada's, left the park, and Estrada now has a career-high ten-game hitting streak. That helped us charge out to an 8-0 lead after just four innings, chasing Capuano - though the three unearned runs his defense allowed didn't help matters. We mellowed out a bit after that, with the game well in hand, and cruised home thereafter.

Webb was positively regal, after a couple of early bobbles, mowing down the opposition to notch his tenth win of the season. Over the past three starts, he's allowed only two runs in 23 innings - and that doesn't include getting rid of Jeter, Ortiz and A-Rod in the All-Star Game. He shed some interesting light on his performance afterward:

"Mechanically, it was probably as sound as I've been all year. My arm felt great. The changeup was really good tonight, and I could locate my fastballs. I was jumping ahead of almost every hitter. Overall, it was one of my better games. I was throwing [the changeup] for strikes. Getting them to swing at it, getting some strikeouts on it. Most of the time, I felt like I struck them out with a comebacker to the left-handers. If it was an 0-1 pitch, I would go to the changeup a lot there."

Not much room for anyone else to do anything after that, as the B-bullpen swung into. Lyon allowed a run in the eighth, and then Edgar Gonzalez pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to finish things off. Just to confuse things, he wasn't even the first relief pitcher called Gonzalez to come into the game: Milwaukee had replaced Capuano with Geremi Gonzalez. Arizona should trade for him, given our apparent interest in cornering the market in Gonzos. ;-) [There are ten in the majors right now - we have three of them]

So, that's another series win already sorted - we've now won nine weekend games in a row, though I am hard pushed to claim that this means anything much. And who've we got after we finish against Milwaukee tomorrow? The Dodgers, who've lost five of seven since they last played us, and the Rockies, who've dropped six straight. Long may our divisional rivals continue to suck. Thanks to flyingdutchman [hope you can get your Strat-o-Matic fixed!], TheMainMan, unnamedDBacksfan, William K and Devin for their comments. All D'backs fans should sleep soundly tonight, I feel... Preview of tomorrow's game to follow rapidly, since it'll be lie-in time for us.

[Morning [Monday!] update]

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