Record: 25-21. Change on last season: -2. Pace: 88-74.
Quote of the day: "I'm not going to say anything about anything at all." -- Carlos Quentin
I thought for sure we'd blown this one after Melvin inexplicably opted to stay with a clearly-flagging Brandon Webb in the seventh, only for Matsui to deliver a two-run double and give the Rockies the lead at 5-4. Just another ho-hum, run of the mill, everyday game lost by mismanagement: seen enough of those this season. [Can anyone name us a game Melvin has won us with his skillful decision-making? I'm very hard-pushed to think of an example] However, I'd forgotten about our ace in the hole, our fifth columnist, cunningly sent via Florida to allay suspicion, now returning to the NL West to wreck a divisional rival.
Yes, step up Jorge "I know how to pitch these guys" Julio. Oh, yes: clearly you do, except I think you missed the words "batting practice to" from the quote. First, Carlos Quentin dispatched a ball into the outfield bleachers for his second homer of the night. Then Chris Snyder smacked one through the left side of the infield. And, finally, Scott Hairston walked. Exit Jorge Julio, to warm applause from the Diamondbacks' fans at Chase Field, having faced three hitters and retired how many of them? Ah, that'd be "none", Clint. Good boy!
Okay, we didn't manage to get any more base-runners across, and tag Jorrible Jorge with the loss, but we'll settle for a blown-save, and the momentum change was palpable. Hudson led off the eighth with a triple, and one out and a couple more base-runners later, Carlos the Q hit our majors-leading 23rd sacrifice fly, driving in his fifth run of the night and giving Arizona the kind of lead we know and love: more than zero but less than two. Valverde got the save with a very solid ninth, and Doug Slaten probably deserved the win for ripping through the heart of the Rockies order in the eighth, fanning Helton and the ever-dangerous Hawpe - who'd homered, again, off Webb in the second.
This was another of those back-and-forth games we seem to specialize in against Colorado. They blew two leads and we blew a three-run one of our own, before hanging on to the most important lead - the one after nine innings. Again, Brandon Webb struggled against the Rockies: he struck out seven in seven innings of work, but also allowed eight hits and four walks, leading to five earned runs. That took his ERA for the year against Colorado down below seven, but not very far below seven. The damage mostly came in the seventh, when the Rockies got four hits and three runs, as Webb tired, leading to a lot of balls hit right back up the middle.
The offensive highlights almost all came out of the bottom of the order, from players who until very recently were below the Uecker line. Chris Snyder has his second straight three-hit day, and is now almost up to respectable territory, batting .233. And Carlos Quentin, as noted, had his first multi-homer game, driving in five or Arizona's six runs. The only exception came from Tony Clark, as he and Brad Hawpe traded solo homers in their respective halves of the second inning. Clark and Reynolds reached safely twice, with the latter being intentionally walked so the Rockies could pitch to Drew: respect!
Solid GameDay thread: DiamondbacksWIn, singaporedbacksfan, Frank, AZDarkKnight, icecoldmo, soco, VIII and seton hall snake pit were present for the fun. A loss by the Dodgers - despite a home-run for Luis - means we're just half a game off the pace in the NL West. There was a good quote from Melvin in the Republic: "At times it feels like we're six games below .500, the way we've been grinding every day." I can relate to that: it really doesn't feel like we are a team which could be leading the division by this time tomorrow night. But here we are.
Congratulations to Jose Valverde, named co-Player of the Week in the National League, along with Astros outfielder Hunter Pence. Valverde got the award for his four saves in four chances, striking out four in four scoreless innings. With a week still to go in May, Papa Grande is just one short of his career high for saves; he's closed out more than two-thirds of of our wins. At the current rate, he'll set a new franchise record by the end of July, and is on pace for sixty saves. If his elbow hasn't exploded by the All-Star break, anyway...