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AZ 4, Phillies 3 - Third Time's the Charm

Record: 18-16. Change on last season: -1. Pace: 86-76.

Quote of the day: "I think going forward to tomorrow, it's going to be a relief to him that he got through that at-bat." -- Bob Melvin on Chad Tracy's at-bat

Running a little late today - I didn't get into work my usual hour ahead of schedule this morning, which means there was no time to get the report up. Still, it's not as if there's a day-game today or anything...er, is there? [Pauses to check schedule. Heaves sigh of relief] This will be brief, however.

Another streak has begun, albeit in the modest way all streaks do, with our second win last night - Arizona finally managing to keep the third lead of the night, after the previous two had evaporated in the seventh and eighth. Carlos Quentin restored the lead with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth, and Valverde made it stand up with his third appearance in as many days. Naturally, the tying run was put on base before he got the final out - though at least he saved some time, simply plunking Jimmy Rollins.

A quality start from Doug Davis, who pitched shutout ball into the seventh, but then allowed the first three hitters there to reach before being yanked for Tony Peña. He got two groundouts, albeit one which scored the tying run, then picked Victorino off first, his second collar of the past few days. I wonder if there's a record for pick-offs by a relief pitcher? Certainly, Peña's move seems to have a lot of batters fooled. Anyway. Davis allowed five hits and three walks in six innings, and one key aspect, did a good job of keeping the pesky Phillies top of the order (Rollins and Victorino) off-base: they were 0-for-9.

We scratched out another run in the bottom of the seventh, with our favorite weapon of choice recently, the sacrifice fly [I believe we lead the majors in those this season]. That came off the bench, in the shape of Chad Tracy - good to see him back at the plate once more, hopefully it won't be long before he's back in the starting lineup, and he can carry on from where he left off. Lyon blew that lead in the eight, on back-to-back doubles with two out, but ended up getting the win, thanks to Quentin and Valverde doing what needed to be done.

Chris Young went 3-for-4, including two doubles, while Quentin and Callaspo both had a pair of hits and an RBI. The team only managed one walk, to Eric Byrnes: perhaps it helps explain the batting struggles of late. All our starters had four plate appearances, but none of them saw more than 17 pitches - in the case of Orlando Hudson, it was a total of just ten. The resulting 0-for-3 with a sac.fly ended his streak of reaching base safely at 33, in every game this season up until last night.

azdbacks51, singaporedbacksfan, Muu, johngordonma, seton hall snake pit, suitsmetoATnT, VIII, Goose and soco, were all present in the GameDay Thread, to see the start of the latest winning streak. Let's hope it goes on as long as the losing streak did. I think we just have to get used to the way this team plays - and then move to Siberia every alternate week. That should take care of the angst. ;-)

Gameday Graph

[Click graph to enlarge, in new window]
Master of his domain: Jose Valverde, +16.9%
God-emperor of suck: Conor Jackson, -11.1%

Good day for the NL West, as the division went 5-0 - everyone but the Rockies beating NL East foes. So absolutely no change in the overall standings. Also found an article on D-backs prospect Jason Neighbourgall, the master of the 100 mph wild pitch. A sidelight onto a player with unquestionable potential...but who also illustrates the gulf between potential and the major-leagues.

Just a quick note to say I am carefully monitoring the discussion going on in the diaries. I am reluctant to ban anyone, even though it's been a long time since azphan has come up with any new ideas or data. But flogging a tired, old, meaningless dead horse - Colangelo isn't coming back - doesn't quite seem justification for banning...at the moment. ;-)