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The Nightmare Before Christmas

I was flicking between the Tim Burton classic and Game One of the World Series last night. Hard to say which was more nightmarish, particularly for Rockies fans. I must confess to a small degree of schadenfreude as the Red Sox piled on the extra-base hits without mercy in the first half of the game. We smacked the Cubs about and then discovered what it was like to endure the same, in humiliating fashion. And now the Rockies know exactly what it's like for everything to go to hell in a hand-basket, and face an opponent, who is apparently playing the same game, jist on an entirely different level. Right now, Arizona fans can shake our heads sadly, but with a small smirk, and mutter how we'd have put up a better show than Colorado did. Of course, we'll never know...

We did get an early nominee for Jackass of the Series, in Ken Rosenthal who disparaged the Rockies by saying they'd played the "over-rated" Cubs and "not very good" Diamondbacks. Newsflash, Rosenthal: the Rockies faced the Phillies in the Division Series, and never met the Cubs. Still, when you're a "professional" reporter blowing your ill-informed opinions on national TV, why bother to let the facts get in the way? I'd be curious to know how many D-backs games Rosenthal watched before the playoffs, or if he's just basing his comments entirely on our run differential.

The Rockies performance was, frankly, an embarrassment to the National League, and will certainly be fuel for those who tout the massive, impenetrable superiority of the American League. The Red Sox piled up sixteen hits by the end of the fifth inning, and the Rockies pitching staff added them immensely by giving them seven walks in that time. That included three, back-to-back, with the bases loaded by Ryan Speier. Well done! You must get up very early. Where were these generous Colorado arms when they played us? They matched their walk total for the entire NL Championship Series, before the end of the sixth inning last night. Sheesh...

As andrewinnewyork mentioned, we just hope the Rockies make a fight of it - something the singularly failed to do last night, from the moment Pedroia swatted Jeff Francis's second pitch of the night out of Fenway. I can't say I look at the pitching matchups for the rest of the series, and feel enormously confident that the Rockies will be able to avoid a sweep. I will, however, be pulling extra hard for them tonight, since they're facing Curt Schilling. Schilling is one of those players whom you love when he's playing for you - make no mistake, the man can pitch - but seems like an irredeemable blowhard when playing for the opposition. However, having started a diary on "players I hate" (right), I'll avoid further comment here.

Still, Colorado is clearly not the NL West city in worst shape at the present time, with San Diego clearly leading the pack there. I'm sure we've all seen the stunning pictures...and been very glad that it's not our communities affected. It's got to be a disturbing time for those with family, friends or property in the area, and sympathies go out to them. Chalk up another reason for living in Arizona rather than California though: our cities won't topple into the Pacific, be engulfed in an infermo or governed by a European action-movie star. [Though in a head-to-head contest, Jason Statham might run Janet Napolitano fairly close...] Of course, the reason our cities are safe is largely because there is no inflammable vegatation, except on golf courses or around malls, for about 100 miles around Phoenix.

With the Arizona Fall League All-Star game tomorrow night out at Surprise, seems like a good time for a report on the performances of the Diamondbacks players playing there, for the Scottsdale Scorpions. First, the pitchers, then the hitters:

  • Mark Rosen: 3.1 IP, 5 H, 4 BB, 5 K, 3 ER, 8.10 ERA
  • Greg Smith: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 3 K, 2 ER, 5.40 ERA
  • Max Scherzer: 6 IP, 2 H, 2 BB. 10 K, 2 ER,. 3.00 ERA
  • Esmerling Vazquez: 4.2 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 4 K, 0 ER, 0.00 ERA
  • Wilkin Castillo (C): 6-for-24, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 9 K
  • Aaron Cunningham (OF): 9-for-34, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 7 BB, 5 K
  • Josh Ford (C): 5-for-15, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K

Scherzer is having a solid Fall League: he's appeared in four games, but hasn't started any, which may suggest he is being groomed for the bullpen rather than a starter's role? Vasquez is also doing well: he was a starter in Mobile this year, and went 10-6 with an ERA just below three in 29 starts, racking up 151 K's. Cunningham is doing fairly well - any time you get more walks than K's, I'll be happy. He tore up pitching for Visalia (hitting .358) and then batted .288 for Mobile: the apparent patience in the AFL is new-found, since during the regular season, his K:BB ratio was 89:51.

Fall League get-together. I've been looking at the schedules, and there seem to be a couple of dates around the end of next week which look possible. Friday November 2nd, we have Scottsdale at Phoenix, with a 7:05 pm first pitch, and the day after that (Saturday 3rd), it's Mesa at Scottsdale, also with a 7:05 start. I haven't actually spoken to Mrs. SnakePit to see if we have other plans either of those nights, but I'm just tossing them out there as possibilities. You'll be responsible for buying your own tickets this time: after all, the alternative worked so well at SnakePit Fest in September... :-( But from what I've seen, we'll just meet up inside the park - given the average attendance at last Friday's games was below 400, shouldn't be an issue!