Post-season victories: 3. Wins remaining: 8 a
Quotes of the day
"We've been battling throughout the last three games, and it just seems like we can't get that big hit with runners in scoring position. We kept saying to ourselves that things are going to change, things are going to change, but it seemed like every time we had guys on base and hit the ball hard, it was right at somebody." -- Augie Ojeda
"It's the last pitch I want to throw. I know Tora is one of my best friends in baseball, and I know he can handle the fastball inside very good. In that situation, I throw everything and it's foul, foul, curveball, it's foul, and I tried to throw a fastball inside." -- Livan Hernandez
"The Rockies played well tonight, they got the big hits when they needed them and Torrealba came up with that huge hit. I thought Livo pitched great, obviously up until that home run. He gave us a chance to win, our offense just didn't do anything. We're not going to win games if we don't get the hits in key situations." -- Eric Byrnes
There's no room for error any longer. We're 3-0 down, and that's a hole only one team in our position has ever dug themselves out of. [I'm sure I needn't remind you who that was: go rent Fever Pitch if you're not sure] Our offense continues to flatline, with only Mark Reynolds' homer, that tied the game in the fourth, the only thing that stopped us from being shutout. We now have scored five runs in 29 innings, with the Colorado pitchers posting a combined 1.24 ERA against us. Needless to say, that basically explains why our position is now slightly less tenable than The Bride in Kill Bill 2. We are not perhaps quite dead, but are still six feet under, with the Rockies still shovelling.
At least we can't complain the Rockies bats got lucky, not with all their four runs coming on two blasts, off the bats of Holliday and Torrealba. Their famed good fortune certainly continued - an infield hit here, a blown callt first there and how many teams have ever hit into three double-plays in the first three innings? Though, their defense was rock-solid, which can't have been easy on a frigid, sodden night at Coors more befitting ice-hockey than baseball. But it was Augie Ojeda who made the play of the game, sliding to make a basket-catch, then popping it out of his glove, bouncing it off his knee back into the air, and finally snagging it again.
Way to step up, Eric Byrnes. We may or may not have outplayed the Rockies; after talking smack, which brought down a hail of Denver boos every time he touches the ball, you've got to walk the walk. He singularly failed to deliver, even if he was unlucky in the first, Fogg snaring a hard liner right back at him, more by luck than good judgement, and flipping it to second to complete the double-play. After that, one strikeout looking and a pair of weak pop-ups, meaning he's 6-for-25 during the playoffs, with one walk and six K's.
We might as well have turned off the TV after the first inning because, in hindsight, it was an omen that tonight would not be our night. Young and Drew singled, but any momentum evaporated with Byrnes' double-play and Clark then flew out. More of the same in the second, in case we didn't get the message: back-to-back singles from Salazar and Montero put men on the corners with one out, but Ojeda grounded into another twin-killing. Inevitably, the third inning ended the same way, courtesy of Drew. According to Franklin (or Einstein, depending on your source), insanity is often defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. D'you think they have straitjackets in Sedona Red?
The weird thing is, we continue to hit better than the Rockies (.248/.231) with an almost identical OPS (.627/.633). However, I seem to recall seeing last night that nine of the Rockies 12 runs have come with two outs, while we have scored just one. That ability to push across runners goes a long way towards explaining why they are printing out World Series tickets at Coors. That's amazing, when you thing that a couple of weeks ago, they were one strike away from being eliminatred, until Tony Gwynn Jr. tripled for the Brewers off Trevor Hoffman. It's been an astonishing run, and if we get eliminated, I'll tip my hat to them and cheer Colorado on in the Series.
Livan Hernandez, up until that one mistake to Torrealba, had been very solid, with only Holliday's homer to blot the copybook. The only other bit of trouble until the sixth was a leadoff double - again, to Torrealba - in the third, after which he walked the pitcher. However, he pounced on Taveras' bunt, fired to third to nail the lead-runner, and retired the next two to preserve the tie. He even came close to striking out the Rockies catcher, who just managed to foul off a 60 mph curve, the pitch before depositing the ball in the bleachers. Our bullpen added 2.1 shutout innings, reducing their post-season ERA to a ridiculous 0.46. But this has been the series where, suddenly, we have looked like the worst-hitting team in the National League.
Of course, it's not over. We haven't lost more than three games in a row since before the All-Star break. Against a rookie starter tonight, anything might happen, and a win would let us turn the ball to our ace in Game Five, then bring the series back to Phoenix. However, I can not say that I am feeling confident about this scenario and will likely find myself shortly buying Leo Kottke tickets. To explain that odd statement, Mrs. SnakePit's a fan - however, he's playing in Phoenix on the date scheduled for Game 7 of the World Series. So I've been holding off, but suspect they'll be getting purchased sooner rather than later.
An understandably unhappy Gameday Thread. Present were venomous1987, batster, azdb7, soco, hotclaws, Muu, dbacksfan55555, TwinnerA, Devin, westcoastbias, 4CornersFan, oklahomasooners, dahlian, VIII, Wimb, Silverblood, NLWestFan, singaporedbacksfan, snakecharmer, Adam, Ben, icecoldmo and andrewinnewyork. And a quick word on language. Frustration is understandable, and given this, the odd expression of it in your language is understandable. I am also likely to cut regular posters much more slack on this matter. However, please try to refrain from turning the thread into a clip from Goodfellas. "Passion" is fine, but if you can't express it without dropping F-bombs - and especially directing them at other posters - then action will be taken. The above is now official SnakePit policy. We'll move on, hopefully to better things this evening...
[Click graph to enlarge, in new window]
Master of his domain: Jeff Cirillo, +4.3%
God-emperor of suck: Eric Byrnes, -21.2%
Honorary suckness: Augie Ojeda, -15.3%; Livan Hernandez, -15.5%