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AZ 4, Rockies 3 - Phase Three...

Record: 50-47. Change on last season: +4

BWAH-HAH-HAH! [Rubs hands in glee] Yes, cue the manic laughter, as for the third day in a row, results went exactly the way my Cunning Plan required. Even if I should thank the Padres for introducing me to a genuinely new experience over the past three days: rooting for the Giants. This is, however, now over, since San Diego needs to win tomorrow; I will probably have to take several showers to wash away the tainted scent of Giant fandom. ;-)

Not that this was exactly easy, as victories go, since the Diamondbacks had to come from behind - not once, but twice. We also squandered a huge opportunity in the eighth, with men on second and third with nobody out, after LuGon's home-run had given us the lead. Though we failed to score any more, Jorge Julio preserved the one-run lead for his twelfth save. Meanwhile Brandon Medders vultured up the win for his 1-2-3 eighth inning.

However, credit is due to Enrique Gonzalez, for a solid seven innings of work, in which he threw 110 pitches and struck out seven Rockies - a season-high, and one short of a season-high respectively. After he allowed two runs on a homer in the first, it really didn't seem likely he'd last that long, but the only other run was another homer in the third. Half the four hits he allowed left the park, and he walked only one. However, he went hitless this time, which is simply not acceptable, and reduced his season average to .400...

Meanwhile, we were finding long-ball just as productive, with three being dispatched to the bleachers by Arizona players. First, Chad Tracy his his team leading 14th in the second inning; then Carlos Quentin (playing RF, with Green at first, and CoJack on the bench) smacked his second in his short career to tie the game at three in the bottom of the fourth. And then there was, as noted, Gonzo's solo shot, which proved the game-winning hit. Quentin also drove in the tying run with a double, and Estrada had two hits as well.

That win - our tenth in twelve games - moves us just half a game off the pace in the NL West, and the horrors of June seem a very, very long way away now. Thanks to DiamondbacksWIn, unnamedDBacksfan, William K and suitsmetoATnT [who has apologized for his outburst and so has been unbanned - at the moment! :-)] for their comments during and the victory. The division is still deeply weird. This month, it's the Dodgers (6-13) and Rockies (4-13), who are feeling the pain; the Padres (8-10) and Giants (11-8) lurk in the middle; and Arizona surges forward (12-5), as hot as the Phoenix weather [118F on Friday, would you believe?]

It gets even more extreme if you look at the results since the All-Star Break:

  1. Diamondbacks: 7-2
  2. Giants: 6-3
  3. Padres: 2-7
  4. Rockies: 1-8
  5. Dodgers: 1-9

And yet, despite the disastrous slumps of Colorado and LA, they have lost just one and one and a half games, respectively, on the leaders. Their season is no more over, than ours was after the June run. The NL West: more twists than a swimming pool filled with jello and Russian gymnasts. Now, there's a mental image. :-)

Tomorrow, however, marks our last game against the division for a couple of weeks. The next time we play our rivals will be the Aug 7-9 series against the Giants, and who can say how things will have swerved between now and then. Not least, of course, because the trade deadline will have passed: will we be buyers, sellers, both or neither? It would seem tough to get rid of players when we are so close to the front, but will the values of Byrnes, Batista, etc. ever be any higher? I really don't envy whoever has to make the decision.

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