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AZ 4, Rockies 3 - Pours Field...

Record: 41-45. Change on last season: 0

If we get to Game 7 of the World Series next year, and the game is tied in the ninth inning, I vote we send Brandon Medders up as a pinch-hitter, and hope he grounds out. And I say that even though, after tonight, he's only ever had two at-bats in his major-league career. Because, in both cases, he grounded out to second base; and in both cases, Medders was the winning pitcher.

Once again, our bullpen were forced into action early - for the fourth game in a row, by the fifth inning. However, tonight, there was something of an excuse, as a rain-delay stopped play for more than 2 1/2 hours in the top of the fifth. By the time the game restarted, more than 90% of the crowd had given up, and I can't say I blame them - I was within five minutes of going to lunch myself, when I suddenly noticed the game was back on.

And not just back on, but back on at a gallop; the delay ended up lasting longer than the game! That was especially so, where our hitters were concerned, as we faced only 46 pitches after the rain stopped: that was enough for 4.1 innings of work, including a total of 25 as we whizzed through the last three frames. As you can probably imagine, we failed to trouble the scorers: indeed, our last hit in this game with one out in the fourth inning, and we only managed one walk following the break, as the Rockies bullpen shut us down effectively.

The good news is, their hitters proved almost as dampened-down by the weather: three hits, all singles, and a walk, were all Colorado managed during five innings from our relief corps. I was initially very, very nervous about the prospect of them having to protect a one-run lead in Denver, but after Medders pitches two shutout innings, Vizcaino got through the seventh, Choate got Helton to ground out, Lyon finished the eighth, and Julio had a 1-2-3 ninth.

Including the bit before the rain came down, that meant eleven consecutive goose-eggs were posted by the two sides, something you don't often see during a game in Denver. In fact, the only time there's been more this season was on April 16th, when the Phillies and Rockies sent up twelve straight zeroes, during that rarest of all Coors De-Lites, a 1-0 game. Given the way our bullpen has been lately, getting five scoreless innings from them is a very nice surprise.

Melvin finally moved Counsell out of the leadoff spot, dropping him to eighth and replacing him with DaVanon. Is this permanent? We'll see, but let's hope so. [This story makes that seem likely] The impact on both men was immediate and signficant: together, they had all four of our RBIs, with the big blow DaVanon's two-run homer in the third. That scored Counsell, who had in turn just driven in Estrada with an RBI single. That was the bulk of our offense: Counsell got the other RBI in the fourth, driving in Hudson, who went from first to third on a wild pickoff throw by Byung-Hung Kim.

But five hits is not a great night offensively, though I guess you could say converting that into four runs shows admirable efficiency. Hey, take your comfort where you can find it, I say. DaVanon and Counsell were also the only players to reach base more than once, with a hit and a walk each. Interesting to see Tracy in the #2 spot, with Green at #3. Didn't really help them though, as #2-5 were a combined 1-for-15 with a walk, continuing the streak of powerlessness by the heart of our order.

Though he left the game with the lead, and was removed through no fault of his own, Miguel Batista hadn't pitched the necessary five innings, and so was left with a no-decision. That was probably fair enough, since he was far from perfect tonight: that illusion was shattered with the very first hitter singling. He allowed one run that inning, and two more in the second - including an RBI single to Kim, but broke the run by then retiring seven in a row, until the weather ended his night early.

An enjoyable night in the comments, with a particular "Hi!" to another British D'back fan, in Wimb. We also had comments from Rox Fan, flyingdutchman, William K, Devin, 4CornersFan and TheMainMan. A bright enough start to the series, if not the weather. Let's hope that'll be it for the rain, and maybe - just maybe - we can get five or more innings from our starter on Saturday? Of course, it is Brandon Webb, so I am fairly optimistic that will be the case!

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Today: Rain Stopped Play