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Today: Nomas, Nomar

Heroes and Zeroes
Series 49: vs Dodgers, on road

Jackson: 5-for-9, 3 RBI
Hernandez: 7 IP, 5 H, 5 BB, 2 K, 1 ER
Vargas: 6.2 IP, 8 H, 1 BB, 2 K, 2 ER
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Tracy: 0-for-7
L.Gonzalez: 0-for-9
Vizcaino: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 2 K, 4 ER

It's a little unfair to give Vizcaino the blackest mark for this series, since it probably wasn't his decision to get hung out there for his longest outing of the year. Melvin's decision was particularly reprehensible, since only three relief pitchers had appeared in the previous two games - and of them, only Valverde threw more than ten pitches. "You've got to tip your hat to Nomar," Melvin said; and, I'm sure, Nomar was gratefully tipping his to BoMel, for leaving an obviously-gassed reliever on the mound. Elsewhere, Tracy and Gonzo were a combined 0-for-16, and both were "rested" on Sunday.

On the plus side, Livan's performance was good where it counted - the earned runs - but he offered this brutally honest assessment. "The location was not too good today, and I walked a few hitters. I was lucky." How refreshingly un-Ortiz like. Still, we'll settle for one earned run in seven frames any day. Vargas's performance was almost as good, but I suspect it's going to be too little, too late, as far as salvaging his spot in the rotation for next year.

Top marks, however, go to Conor Jackson, who continued his late-season form with a pair of solid performances. This came after he was reduced to pinch-hitting duties for the first one: let's hope the "hot hand" theory beloved by Melvin doesn't apply only to proven veteransTM, but rookies as well. Let's see Jackson start all six games the rest of the way: he deserves it, since he now has the best batting average and on-base percentage among all qualifying rookies. Honourary mentions for the series, also are due for Drew (5-for-12) and Byrnes (5-for-14), though the former had almost as many strikeouts as hits.

Interesting to read that Chad Tracy has been playing with a knee injury since spring training. He's been having it iced down virtually every day: "Hopefully the tendons are just inflamed and rest will take care of it," he said. "Some days are worse than others. I'm not going to say it affected my season." The report also says it hasn't even been MRI'd at all this year, which seems like almost a dereliction of duty by the D'backs medical staff. For an injury that's gone on for six months, I'd have thought that was required, purely as a precaution. Tracy's stoic denials or not, it certainly would help explain why his performance with the bat has been significantly down this year.

Half way through the final games in SnakePit Fantasy Baseball, so quick summaries of the action there, as we head into the second of these two-week long match-ups. The 9th-place game between Big Lebowski and Random Fandom is 7-3 for Big. Both teams are batting over .300, and pitching well, but Big have a solid lead in runs and homers. The 7th-place contest between DFA'ders and ?Chalino Sanchez! is delicately-poised at 4-4, with Saves and BA tied. 4 HR by Ramirez give Chalino the edge there, but DFA's pitchers have picked up four wins.

In the championship tournament, AZ SnakePit are 2-8 down against JByrnesIsMyHomie in their 4th-place match. Some great performances from Byrnes: 12 R, 4 HR, 12 RBI for Holliday, while Cordero has three saves plus two wins. And finally, the title game between The Fighting Amish and BBTNG currently is scored 7-3 for Amish. However, their leads are narrow in a number of categories (1 HR, 4 K, 0.32 ERA), so this one is definitely not yet over. Utley has 8 R, 3 HR and 8 RBI for Amish, figures almost matched by Ibanez for BBTNG, who has 8 R, 3 HR and 7 RBI.

San Francisco beckons, and I currently have nothing scheduled to stop me from fully taking part in the comments for tonight's game. So you will not be left to the tender mercies of suitsme this evening. ;-) Preview and Gameday Thread to follow in a couple of hours.