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AZ 11, Phillies 4 - The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves...

Record: 31-23. Change on last season: -1. Pace: 93-69

Quote of the day: "I just remember the bunt, and the next thing I was laying on the ground" -- Mark Reynolds

In the seventh inning, the worst member of our bullpen collided with our current best hitter - and, inevitably, it was the latter who ended up staggering off the field, suspended between two trainers. In a moment more worthy of the UFC than MLB, Brandon Medders' hip came into contact with Mark Reynolds' neck, and Mark went down like a sack of potatoes. He lay, motionless and facedown, on the grass for a couple of days, before finally sitting up. It was definitely scary to see him wobble off with all the stability of a day-old fawn.

Fortunately, it doesn't appear that there was any permanent damage. Said Reynolds, "Once I came in and got some ice on it and X-rays were negative, I felt a little better. It's a little stiff, but I'll be back in there tomorrow... "I don't want to come out and get Wally Pipped." [That's a reference to the Yankees first-baseman who was replaced by Gehrig - though the story it was because Pipp had a headache is an urban legend.] However, I really wouldn't be surprised to see Reynolds sitting today: with luck, between that and the scheduled off-day tomorrow, he should be 100% for the Mets series over the weekend.

One does have to feel a little sympathy for Medders, who has had absolutely nothing go right for him this season. While admittedly, he probably shouldn't have been trying to make the play, I doubt that he intended to knock a team-mate unconscious. Understandably shaken up, he did get one out, but walked the next hitter. Doug Slaten fared no better, also allowing a single and a walk, the first brought two runs home and the walk put the tying run on base. This one definitely teetered on the edge of falling apart, as Slaten was yanked, and Peña went 2-0 on Burrell.

However, momentum swung sharply back when Peña's next pitch was grounded to replacement third-baseman Callaspo, who stepped on third for the force, then threw to first to complete the double-play. He was lucky to avoid injury, since Chase Utley was a long way out of the basepath, as he tried to break up the play by sliding into Callaspo. Stephen Drew described it as "unbelievable," and you had to think there'd be payback for Utley. Oh, sorry: that would require our manager to have cojones - their absence was demonstrated when he pitched to Utley in the ninth. A 96-mph Cruz fastball in the back would have been nice.

Back in the eighth, Arizona plundered five runs - all were unearned, thanks to two Phillies errors. Hudson had a two-run single, and after Quentin got hit by a pitch to reload the bases, Drew emptied them with a triple, to turn a tight game into a laugher. Peña and Cruz tidied things up, though the former did allow a homer and the latter an unearned run. All told, we pounded out seventeen hits, tying a season high, Hudson had four hits and four RBI, Drew three and three, with Montero and Byrnes also having multi-hit games.

A five-run second inning was enough to get Micah Owings the win, though this was far from as dominant a performance as the previous outing, when he threw a complete-game. It took him 107 pitches to get through five innings - 31 for each of the 2nd and 3rd - and he allowed seven hits and two walks. But only one run crossed home plate, so he improved his record to 4-1, and also got his ERA down below four, to 3.86. He was left to hit in the sixth, responding with a triple, and narrowly missing his first home-run. If Reynolds has to sit, wonder if Micah can play third?

A frisky Gameday thread, that was a lot of fun. Goose, Wimb, singaporedbacksfan, oklahomasooners (welcome!), Englishdback, MFAN [half a welcome! :-)], azdb7, AZDarkKnight, VIII and Frank took part, so thanks to everyone for that. We take sole possession of second place after the Padres lose. Though perhaps most amusing was the Giants losing to the Mets, after Benitez balked home the tying run - his second balk of the inning - then gave up a fattie to Delgado. That slicing sound you hear is suitsme sawing away at his wrists...

Gameday Graph

[Click graph to enlarge, in new window]
Master of his domain: Orlando Hudson: +18.1%
God-emperor of suck: Doug Slaten: -18.8%

Big day today: it's our last chance to sign our 2006 draft pick, Max Scherzer. Discussion are continuing, and will likely do so right down to the deadline of 9pm (AZ time) tonight. If we don't sign him, we'll get a pick as compensation, but it'll be all the way down at #65, when Scherzer was originally a #15. Hard to say how this one will go. I don't think Scherzer is worth what Boras wants for him: pitching prospects are notoriously flaky, and harder to predict than hitters, so this is a very different situation from Drew or Upton. If we get him, I'll be pleased, but I won't be crying myself to sleep if he has to go back into the draft.