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AZ 1, Dodgers 2 - Swings and Misses

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Record: 16-13. Change on last season: 0. Pace: 89-73

Quote of the day: "Day games out here in L.A., it's a little tough to read the ball off the bat. My route initially was maybe a little off. I had to change my angle, and I almost tripped myself up a little bit. Just missed it. Went off the heel of my glove." -- Chris Young

I feel somewhat responsible for the problems of the last couple of days. During the six-game winning streak, I hung on virtually every pitch, agonising over each bullpen wobble, and cheering every sterling starting performance. But I haven't seen one single ball the past couple of days, due to another engagement Tuesday, and the unexpectedly early start Wednesday. The results? Back-to-back 2-1 losses, with the offense starting May in much the same way as they spent the last three weeks of April.

There was a good quote in the Republic today from Nick Piecoro, which I think largely sums up the situation:

The team's young hitters have been hard to figure. They will impress you with their deep at-bats and hard-hit balls one day, then will look feeble and overmatched at the plate the next day... What these young hitters look like are, well, young hitters. Patience probably is the key here, but try telling that to [the] Diamondbacks starting rotation.

Take Stephen Drew, who had a monster home-stand, going 9-for-20 with 7 BBI. But he left his lumber back in Phoenix, going 1-for-13 with eight strikeouts in the series against Los Angeles. [Okay, maybe he got squeezed on the last pitch, but on a 1-2 delivery with two outs in the ninth, you can't be all that picky] Just when he looked like he was going to become the hitter we all expected before the season, his average is back down to .240. After the offensive fireworks of the opener, we managed only ten hits in 61 at-bats the rest of the way.

That wasted another truly fine performance by Doug Davis who, for the second start in a row, delivered his best outing of the year. Seven innings, only five hits, three walks, fanning seven, with the only damage coming after Chris Young was caught napping in the outfield and couldn't recover in time. He's already made as many errors as our entire center-field did during 2006 - and both times, they were pivotal mistakes. Again, as with the hitters, it's the inconsistency you'd expect from a young player: making genius plays one moment, botching a simple one the next.

We didn't get a runner safely to second base until we had two outs in the seventh inning, when Hudson stole his way there. The only other one to get past first was Jackson in the ninth, who singled, reached second on a questionable bunt-hit attempt by Hudson, and came home on Byrnes' second hit of the day. That put the tying run on base (the Dodgers got to Medders in the eighth, on three hits, a walk and a wild pitch - he currently doesn't deserve much more than mop-up work), but Quentin and Drew both fanned, ending the game and the series.

A somewhat truncated GameDay Thread - entirely because I didn't realise it was a 12:10 start, and so didn't get the post up there until the bottom of the sixth inning (things weren't helped by the two pitchers trading zeroes up until that point). Still, we got to see Englishdback, Ben, Xeifrank, Just Me and fjm235, which is not a bad turnout, given the three innings that actually took place while the post was up!

Gameday Graph

[Click graph to enlarge, in new window]
Master of his domain: Doug Davis, +22.0%
God-emperor of suck: Carlos Quentin, -18.0%

A hopefully short-lived roster move made yesterday. Dana Eveland was sent down to Tucson, with Brian Barden getting the call, to cover for Chad Tracy, who's still suffering from a sore muscle under his left shoulder. Chad will be examined by the team doctor back in Phoenix today, and we should have a better idea of the scope of his injury - and whether it'll require a trip to the DL. If not, Barden will go back down today, as they need to activate Micah Owings for his start this evening against the Mets.

Will be going to that game, so looking forward to that - it'll obviously mean I won't be able to comment, but I do promise to get the GameDay Thread up before first pitch today... :-(