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AZ 7, Rockies 6 - Byrnes Messes Up on Dirty T-shirt Night

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Record: 71-77. Change on last season: +5
Rookies in starting lineup: 2

When I come back and find a GameDay Thread with 95 comments in my absence, I know that something impressive has happened. Did Luis Gonzalez get into a fistfight with Carlos Quentin? Perhaps Bob Melvin signed a midget to a one-game contract? An accident involving Baxter and an "amusing" stunt gone horribly wrong, thanks to the pool somehow getting filled with electric eels? Sadly, nothing quite as startling, just another sixteen-inning marathon game that set new records in a number of areas.

Let's see, guessing off the top of my head (look at the time this was posted - you don't surely expect significant research at this hour, do you?). Tied for the longest home game: sixteen innings. Most pitchers used by the Diamondbacks: ten. Most pitchers by both sides: nineteen. Most players used by the Diamondbacks: 25. Quickest ejection of a D'backs manager: second inning. Hey, if you're going to get a night off, you might as well a) do it early, and b) take in a five-hour game on the comfort of the clubhouse TV.

Melvin got tossed for arguing after Quentin was called out on strikes - Q said he'd been hit by the pitch, showing a mark on his arm as proof. Without seeing the incident, I can't say for certain, but it was Carlos Quentin, for whom HBP are pretty much an everyday occurrence. From reports, seems the umpire thought it hit his bat, making it a foul-tip strike three; in reality, the pitch was outside the zone and if the ball hit anything, it wasn't lumber. You can see Melvin's point, but getting tossed in the second seems kinda pointless. Think this was the first of his five ejection games we actually won.

Anyway, this initally seemed a case of an irresistable force meeting an immovable object, in that Josh Fogg had never lost to the D'backs (5-0), while Claudio Vargas had never lost to the Rockies (4-0). However, both records remained intact, though neither pitcher was exactly stellar. Vargas allowed a homer to the first hitter he faced, another run later in the inning, and was 3-0 down by the middle of the second. However, he still lasted longer than Fogg, because we tied the game up on a three-run homer by Tracy in the third and, after Colorado had added another in the fourth, came back with three more in the bottom of that inning, and Fogg was soon mist. :-)

Final line on Vargas was five innings, seven hits, a walk and three earned runs; an adequate, #5 type outing. The night was, however, just beginning - we weren't even a third of the way through the game at that point. Edgar Gonzalez [yeah, I though he was in the rotation now too], Choate, Medders and Vizcaino got us through to the ninth, combining for three innings of no-hit ball, with only one walk. However, Valverde - with significant help from Byrnes, whose dive turned a single into a triple (maybe he was just commemorating Byrnes Dirty T-shirt Night at the park?) - blew the save, allowing two runs to lock the game up at six, with the tying run coming home on a wild pitch.

On we rolled into extra innings. Arizona certainly had their chances to put this game away: in the tenth and eleventh, we had men on first and second, with one out, and failed to score either time. As if that weren't egregious enough, in the 14th and 15th we had the bases loaded with one out, and failed to score there either. Our bullpen did a better job of keeping the Rockies in check during the extra innings: they never got anyone past second base. Particularly impressive was Tony Pena, who gave up one base-runner in three innings - a walk, whom he promptly picked off.

Finally, in the sixteenth inning, Young singled, was bunted to second, stole third and, after Estrada was intentionally walked, Snyder pinch-hit for Julio with one out and sent a fly ball deep to right field, allowing Young to trot home. Just spent an amusing five minutes looking at the scorecard, and trying to work out who was left: not many, even with the expanded rosters. I know we still had Aquino and Slaten left in the pen, but as far as position players go... Didn't look like Tony Clark got into the game, but not seeing much else available.

Fifteen hits, with no less than seven Diamondbacks having multi-hit games, which could be some kind of record. The value of these, however, did vary: the nearly-departed (Gonzo and Counsell) were both 2-for-4 with a walk. Less pleasingly, Tracy went 2-for-6 with three K's; and Eric Byrnes was 2-for-8, with eight men left on base. Two errors for the defense, Counsell's ninth and Tracy's 25th - the latter coming after he was moved from 3B to 1B.

Thanks for the stellar commentary in my absence, from kylerkenney, VIII, William K, icecoldmo and unnamedDBacksfan - hope the last named got his drink! Interesting looking fangraph, as you'd expect: I'm surprised how little time it spent on the Rockies' side of 50% after Tracy's home-run. Tony Pena deserved the W by Fangraphs measurement, boosting our chances of victory by 44.7%, while our villain was Byrnes, who scored -37.6% - and that doesn't include his ill-informed dive in the ninth.

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Today: Sixteen innings? Hah! Barely counts!