Record: 8-4. Change on last season: +3
Quote of the day: "It's the best day of my career so far." Hopefully the first of many? "755," he said, with a big smile. -- Miguel Montero
This is kinda curious. We never trailed at all in the series against Washington...but outside that, the Diamondbacks have been behind at some point of every game we've played this year. I'm not quite sure what the significance of that is, if there's any at all. Perhaps that we're good at coming back? Of course, it helps that our pitching has been solid, which means we've only rarely been out of touch, even when the offense has struggled.
Last night, however, was a game we won more in spite of, than because of, our performance. I'd like to thank the Colorado Rockies for handing it to us, because the winning run didn't only get on base without a hit - Scott Hairston walking - he came all the way around to score without a hit, on two further walks and a sac.fly. The two pitching staff combined for thirteen free passes: six of those came from Livan Hernandez, but he still only gave up two earned runs in six innings. The last pitcher to do that was... Doug Davis, who walked eight in six innings but allowed only one earned run, on September 28 last year. I think half our rotation has signed pacts with the Devil of some kind. I mean, one of Livan's pitches clocked in at 53 mph.
Read 'em and weep, RoxGirl. Hernandez 2.0's VORP is up at 6.0, putting him in the top ten of all pitchers at the moment. Rodrigo Lopez? Only 4.2, and he has bailed from today's start, citing "elbow inflammation". Ah, you can't fool us, Rodrigo: Lopez fears the Diamondbacks. On the plus side, it means we will get to see Byung-Hyun Kim take the mound, and that will leave me with somewhat mixed emotions. I mean, Kim's like our adopted son 'n' all, and even though he's now flown the next, we still want to see him do well. I'll take six shutout innings and the Rockies bullpen melting down to hand us victory. That'd be nice.
This was a little like the Opening Day game, with three leads being blown, and never more than two runs between the teams at any point. The Rockies took the lead on an errant throw from Stephen Drew; he had time, with the pitcher running up the line, to plant himself, but he tried to do it on the run, and even Tony Clark's 6'7" frame couldn't reel in the ball. However, we tied it up immediately, on a Montero sacrifice fly, and then took the lead on a two-run Tony Clark double. Which really should have been scored an error, since the ball was eminently catchable, and it did come off Matsui's glove. Credit that one to the hometown scorer: at Coors, it'd have been an E.
Still, we'll take them where we can, and we needed those runs, since a bases-loaded hit by Helton tied the game back up again. It remained that way until Hernandez left, but Medders was rudely greeted with a home-run by Atkins. The long ball has definitely been a weakness of certain members of our pitching staff this year: between them, EdGon, Cruz and Medders have surrendered nine in only twenty-four innings of work. The rest of the staff, in contrast, just one, by Brandon Webb, in 86.2 innings.
Miguel Montero tied it right back up, with a solo homer in the eighth, as the Rockies bullpen failed miserably to repeat the previous night's twelve up, twelve down performance. This time, it was twelve up, six down, with the others reaching on four walks and two hits. That gave Valverde a lead in the ninth, and though he made it interesting, with the tying run reaching third, he got Mabry to ground out weakly for the save. Say what you like about Papa Grande, but he's not padding his stats here, and has yet to be handed an easy (three-run lead) save situation yet.
Orlando Hudson. What can you say? Another three hits yesterday, getting his average up to .396. The man just continues to hit. Obviously, we can't rely on this continuing for ever, but there aren't many hotter hitters in baseball right now. Tracy had two hits, and Hernandez finally lived up to his rep as a good-hitting pitcher with two knocks of his own [the 41st multi-hit game from the position. Today's trivia question: what's the franchise record for most hits in a game, by someone who pitched for the Diamondbacks? Answer at the end. And note the wording...]
Lively little Gameday Thread, featuring frequent appearances by Claudia Schiffer, thanks to foulpole. [I hope Mrs. SnakePit doesn't ask for an explanation!] Also present: Wimb, William K, azdbacks51, DBACKS KICK ARSE, FatLeprechaun, soco, singaporedbacksfan, Muu and unnamedDBacksfan, as we go back to the top of the NL West, albeit only by half a game. A win today would be very handy: level the season score against the Rockies at 3-3, and give us our third straight series victory. But we'll see...
Got a guest over right now, so will have to cut this short. GameDay thread should follow in about half an hour, and looking forward to that one. Oh, and the most hits in a game by someone who pitched for the Diamondbacks is four, by...Steve Finley and Mark Grace. Okay, yes, it's a cheat, I know. :-)