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AZ 2, Padres 8 - Snakes on a...hiding to nothing

Record: 61-61. Change on last season: +4

Today's game starts in about an hour, so I'm going to keep this short. Which is wise, because there isn't much good I can say about last night's performance. Again, our first-inning woes reared their cobralike head and bit us in the, ah, asp. :-) EnGon walked two batters, including a four-pitch pass with the bases loaded, and hit another Padre, on his way to coughing up a three-run opening frame.

Meanwhile, Arizona seemed intent on making Woody Williams look like the future Hall of Famer claimed. The only person to have consistently good results was Conor Jackson, who had half our hits, including a homer - indeed, he was 43% of all our base-runners. We managed only four hits in the entire game, with Williams going 7 2/3 innings, and allowing only Jackson's homer, and an RBI single to Drew.

However, there were a lot of very bad at-bats, in which Diamondbacks' hitters were swinging at pitches out of the zone, or were clearly getting fooled. I'm not necessarily talking swinging at the first pitch - though there was plenty of that - but generally poor plate discipline. Stephen Drew, batting leadoff, seemed to be one of the guilty parties there, being overly-aggressive in his approach and Williams, realising this, simply threw him junk pitches, knowing Drew would swing at them anyway. I'd rather see Drew at #2 than batting leadoff, until he learns to work the count consistently.

Gonzalez did settle down after his traditional first inning issues, posting zeroes until the seventh, but then ran into more trouble. He ended up getting yanked after allowing a run for Medders, who couldn't stop the inherited runner from scoring, then added one of his own as the Padres all but ended the game, moving to a 6-1 lead. Julio was equally unimpressive in the eighth, allowing two more runs on two hits and a walk. Gonzalez final line: 6.1 innings, giving up five earned runs on six hits and three walks. That inflates his road ERA to 7.56 runs, compared to 3.26 at Chase Field.

The main thing for which this game will probably be remembered, by Diamondbacks fans, was the debut of Chris Young, who was called up from Tucson to replace Scott Hairston [Scott saw exactly two at-bats in his second stint with the club, and has now reached six for the year...]. This makes some sense, because we really needed someone who could sub for Eric Byrnes in center-field, a position at which neither Hairston nor Quentin have much experience. Young was competent enough there, though didn't have any challenging plays, and got his first hit, a single back up the middle, in his third at-bat, and scored on Drew's single.

Mind you, I'm not sure I quite agree with Melvin's rationale for playing Young yesterday. "Tomorrow's a national game and I want to make sure Byrnes is out there for that," Melvin said. Seems questionable if any part of deciding your lineup is on the basis of who wants to be on television. However, I imagine Young's stay here will only be until Jeff DaVanon comes back - I probably wouldn't expect him to be getting too many more at-bats in the meantime, if Scott Hairston's experience is anything to go by.

DaVanon though, is not yet ready to begin his rehab assignment down in Tucson, Melvin said of the ankle in question, "It's not responding like we hoped. It was a pretty good sprain, and running is a big part of his game. He needs to be able to move around." Craig Counsell, meanwhile, has started his rehab assignment down in Tucson - he's gone 2-for-11 in his two games so far and is scheduled to return Monday. Finally, thanks to Wimb and William K for their contributions yesterday. Not the kind of performance that encourages comments, was it?

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Today: Snakes Down the Drain...