Record: 11-11. Change on last season: +0
Quote of the day: "I trusted my talent. God gave me my talent, and I trusted it." - Stephen Drew
Well, God's clearly been a bit peeved with you lately, Stephen - but you must have said a little prayer last night or something, because he allowed you to smack a two-out, bottom of the ninth, walk-off homer to win a game which, for the first seven innings, was perhaps the most miserable for our hitters of the entire season to date. Because Jake Peavy faced twenty-five batters and struck out sixteen of them, including nine Diamondbacks in a row, one shy of the major-league record. Here's what happened from the second through the fourth:
- E Byrnes, Strikeout Swinging, 5 pitches
- S Drew, Strikeout Swinging, 7
- C Quentin, Strikeout Swinging, 4
- C Snyder, Strikeout Swinging, 4
- B Webb, Strikeout Swinging, 4
- C Young, Strikeout Swinging, 6
- A Callaspo, Strikeout Swinging, 5
- O Hudson, Strikeout Swinging, 5
- C Tracy, Strikeout Looking, 6
He came within about two inches, on a Byrnes checked-swing, of matching Tom Seaver's 1970 record and was particularly brutal on our young hitters: Young, Quentin and Drew had nine plate appearances against Peavy, and struck out swinging eight times: Drew flew out to center in the fifth, which counts as a major victory. However, all is forgiven after the ninth: Tracy walked, Drew worked the count to 3-1, and then deposited a ball right down the pipe, the opposite way, just over the fence in right for an improbable, yet very welcome victory.
Lucky? In some ways, yes, But much credit is due to our pitching staff, who kept the game close enough to make Drew's homer the difference. In particular, Brandon Webb, who pitched eight innings of two-run ball, walking one and striking out six. A ball that got stuck in the left-field corner, and a barely-out-of-here homer to Termel Sledge were the only damage, and his ERA is now heading back towards Webb-like levels, at 3.60. Tony Peña vultured up the win for the ninth, and hasn't allowed an earned run in nine of his ten appearances.
Needless to say, very little to write home about for our hitters in the front seven innings. Tracy and Hudson got two out singles in the first - though Hudson then managed to get himself thrown out at third. [Isn't that a cardinal rule, never making the first or last out there?] And that was it as far as Peavy went. We got two walks in the fifth, one more in the sixth and that was all. However, Montero reduced the lead to one with a pinch-hit homer to lead off the eighth, and then there was the ninth. Overall, our hitters were 4-for-29.
Amazing how one swing of the bat can turn the entire game around. The atmosphere before Drew's homer was almost morgue-like. VIII summed it up with this message before he left (and missed all the fun): "It's f_cking degrading. I don't give a damn bout the fantasy shit. Our team is flat out bad. Seriously, fire BoMel. Just get rid of his ass. F_ck Kendrick too. I'm gone." But afterwards? "This is why I am a baseball fan," said singaporedbacksfan, and I've got to agree. It truly ain't over till it's over. Thanks to VIII, DBACKS KICK ARSE, Goose, singaporedbacksfan, IndyDBack, AZDarkKnight, revjdub44, icecoldmo, Ben, suitsmetoATnT, npineda, AzPhan, dzuckerman, azdb7 and Muu for their participation.
The question is, will this victory have any kind of carry-over effect? Instinctively, I feel that it should, but I remember, during the June swoon last year, we beat the Pirates 5-4 in eleven innings, after Aquino fanned the side with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth. "These are the kinds of wins that change a season," Estrada said after the game. Actually, the Diamondbacks then lost their next five games. But, boy, it's good to have the losing streak ended, by any means possible - the dramatic nature of the victory is only a bonus, and should be enjoyed while it lasts.