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AZ 13, Houston 3 - Cleanup on Aisle Four

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Record: 27-23. Change on last season: -2. Pace: 87-75

Quote of the day: "If you get your shot, you better take advantage of it because it may only happen once." -- - Mark Reynolds

Five Hits in a Game by Diamondbacks

  • Tony Batista @ Atlanta, 1999/4/10*
  • Travis Lee vs. Chicago Cubs, 1999/6/9*
  • Junior Spivey @ Colorado, 2001/6/21
  • Junior Spivey @ Atlanta, 2001/8/12*
  • Craig Counsell vs. Los Angeles, 2002/5/26
  • Greg Colbrunn @ San Diego, 2002/9/18
  • Matt Kata @ Colorado 2003/6/30
  • Shea Hillenbrand vs. Colorado, 2003/7/7*
  • Danny Bautista @ Milwaukee, 2004/4/22
  • Craig Counsell vs. Colorado, 2005/8/7*
  • Mark Reynolds vs. Houston, 2007/5/25*
[* = Five hits in five at-bats]

Quite a startling outing last night by Mr. Reynolds: five hits is something never done by Luis Gonzalez, Steve Finley or Matt Williams in their time here (though Junior Spivey did it twice: go figure...). Reynolds went 5-for-5 with two homers, and 13 total bases, a performance good enough for equal-third on the franchise list [the Hillenbrand game listed above leads the list: he had 3 HR and 15 bases]. This was in his tenth game in the majors, and first-ever game batting clean-up. He's the first player to have a five-hit appearance in the first ten games of his career for almost six years. [The last player to have a five-hit game quicker was Brant Brown, who had five hits in his eighth game for the Cubs on June 22, 1996.]

Oddly, the previous one was an Arizonan too, when Spivey did it in June 2001, also in his tenth outing. And, even more curiously, today's Republic suggests a nickname for Reynolds: Spidey. Let's hope Reynolds' career is less a flash-in-the-pan: if you recall, Jumior hit .301 in his first full season, and made the 2002 All-Star team. After that...he batted .252, got traded to Milwaukee in the Sexson deal, and is now down in the minors with the Cardinals.

Okay, so we've all decided that Mark Reynolds is a gift from the baseball gods, sent to save the 2007 season for the Arizona Diamondbacks. [I wonder if his success is partly because Kevin Seitzer hasn't had the chance to screw with him: see Quentin, Drew, Jackson, Young...] But it was great to see all the young players finally deliver the level of output we know they're capable of. Our 4-7 starters [Reynolds, Drew, Hairston and Quentin] had a fabulous time, going 12-for-18 combined, with eight RBI. Quentin had three hits and a trio of runs batted in, while both Drew and Hairston weighed in with two knocks. Oh, and Montero walked three times; Reynolds, on the other hand, saw only eleven pitches in his five at-bats.

Much credit is also due to Edgar Gonzalez, who got through five innings in his spot-start, which is everything we could have asked from him. That looked pretty unlikely given the early performance: in the first inning, he allowed three hits and a run, and it took him 23 pitches to get through it. However, after that, he settled down magnificently, with just one single the rest of the way. The bullpen took things from there on: they weren't perfect (Cruz, in particular, needed to be bailed out by Pena), but were good enough - getting eight runs in one inning helped, obviously.

A really bizarre occurrence in the first, when home-plate umpire Chris Guccione lost track of the balls and strikes. Conor Jackson trotted to first after ball four, and then was called back to the plate to face more pitches. He eventually grounded-out; in the larger scheme of things, it didn't matter, of course, and I imagine it'll be quietly forgotten. Though one wonders what might have happened if the next hitter had smacked a homer, and we'd lost by one run. I note, interestingly, that the Republic, Tribune and reports of the game make no mention of this astonishing cock-up. Coincidence...or something more sinister...

[I guess the Conspiracy Con is rubbing off on my world-view. Was just listening to an IRS agent, who resigned his position after coming to the conclusion there was no legal power to compel the payment of income tax - as a result, he was pursued, up to and including being charged with felony conspiracy. While I disagree with his logic (it's based on the 16th amendment to the Constitution not being properly ratified), it seems the IRS does not deal well with those who do not, in the words of Cartman, "respect thar authoritah!"]

Nice to put together solid back-to-back performances at the plate like that, culminating with a season-high tally last night. It's been 70 games since we reached double-figures, a franchise record, and 13 runs has not been surpassed at Chase since September 13, 2003. Thanks to those in the GameDay thread: VIII, Muu, leemellon, Goose, AZDarkKnight, unnamedDBacksfan, Ridster, suitsmetoATnT and DiamondbacksWIn. Hopefully we can build on this, with Webb on the mound tonight, and set us up for a change at the sweep on Sunday.

Gameday Graph

[Click graph to enlarge, in new window]
Master of his domain: Carlos Quentin, 26.6%
God-emperor of suck: Juan Cruz, -12.3%

Looks like Chris Young is feeling better, and is hopeful of being able to avoid a trip to the DL. He says, "The more time I run full speed, the more comfortable you get running full speed. It's kind of like retraining your muscles basically to run, so that's what I'm in the process of doing now." It would definitely suck if he had to be signed off, since the brief, abortive appearance restarts the clock as far as the 15-day period for remaining off the roster goes. Meanwhile, Jeff DaVanon is back to no activity, after feeling some soreness, so looks like we won't see him for some time.

Remember Chad Tracy? Yeah, I know... He took some grounders, but still looks like he's also a bit off coming back. Though if Reynolds continues to hit the way he has been, that's going to pose a real dilemma. What do people think ought to be done? Do we drop Reynolds to a utility role? Or should we do something more radical? That's the subject of this week's poll. Comments and other ideas below...