Record: 33-23. Change on last season: -1. Pace: 95-67.
Quote of the day: "It was just one of those games where it's never going to feel good, so you've just got to battle through it, and that's what I did." -- Brandon Webb
Okay, one game does not make a summer (or whatever), and our record against the Mets is now a hardly-stellar 4-15 since the start of 2005, but the two games in a row we've won against them is more than we won all last season. Or the one before that. Who cares if it was against a Mets team missing two of its biggest hitters, in Beltran and Wright? Hey, we didn't have Chad Tracy, and Mark Reynolds chose to bat with one hand tied behind his back, to give the opposing pitchers a chance. Okay, I'm not sure that was the case, but I assume so, since it's the only way to explain the lack of RBI for the man.
Okay, all jingoistic irony aside, got to salute Chad Tracy for a phenomenal effort, pitching eight innings and allowing only an unearned run [because of an error on Reynolds, though I think it was more to do with Conor Jackson]. He allowed four hits - none of which got to the outfielders - struck out eight and walked one. A Game Score of 79, is the second-best start for Arizona this year, trailing only Webb's complete-game shutout of the Astros, which rated an 80. And even though they were missing some regulars (five from their Opening Day lineup), I think the Mets count as a stronger opponent.
Doesn't appear to faze Webb though: despite only now having a 2-6 record against the Mets, he has a career ERA of 0.31 at Shea Stadium, allowing one earned run in 29 innings there. He likes it there: "Yeah, it's a great pitcher's park. It's fairly deep to center, the grass is thick, which is good for a sinkerballer and the weather helps out... The humidity always helps me." [Maybe we should turn Chase Field into a giant humidor?] His arm wasn't feeling 100%, hence the quote at the top of this piece; makes his dominating performance all the more impressive.
All of our runs were scored were two swings of the bat. Chris Snyder had a two-run homer in the fifth, to give us all the offense we would need, while Stephen Drew added a three-run homer in the eight, for some welcome insurance. That was somewhat fortunate, as Orlando got the call on a bang-bang play at second base, that looked on replays like the ball beat O-Dawg there. Good hustle, especially since it seems he's currently playing with a bad left ankle. The inning would otherwise have been over, but instead, it continued for Drew, who sent the first pitch he saw out over the right-field wall to give Arizona some breathing room.
At first, it looked like the ninth would be one of those tricky, four-run lead situations with which we've had so much trouble. Chavez walked, but Easley did Brandon Lyon a big favor by swinging at ball three, popping up weakly, and the next two hitters made outs to seal the win. It was nice to see we didn't need to send Valverde in to rescue Lyon - or, indeed, send Lyon on to rescue Valverde, having seen both on this road-trip already. Quentin and Jackson had two hits apiece, but we had no walks, and fanned eleven times - three of those belonged to Young.
Nice thread, perhaps partly as a result of the impressive performance. Goose, johngordonma, npineda, hotclaws (Welcome!), andrewinnewyork (good to see you back - damn that MLB Extra Innings), AZDarkKnight, seton hall snake pit, Muu, MFAN and DiamondbacksWIn were present. And I think it's safe to say that a good time was had by all. I'm treating this series as a preview of the October match-up: of course, the Mets will likely have their rather full disabled-list cleared up by then. But still...
Just so you know, after the 56th game was the high-water mark for the team in 2006: they were 34-22. Things fell apart immediately thereafter, as the Diamondbacks lost seven in a row, 12 of 13, and 20 of the next 23, going from first to dead-last in eight dis-spiriting days. Similarly, at that time in 2006, we seemed almost unstoppable, but I genuinely believe that this team is stronger in just about every aspect. I therefore trust we won't see something like that this year, even if this team has already shown their fondness to get hot or cold: twenty of our wins have come during runs of six games or more (two six-game streaks and now this eight-game one).
Wasn't that fun in the Cubs dugout last night, with catcher Barrett and pitcher Zambrano getting into a brawl? And then Z busted Barrett's lip so badly in the clubhouse that the catcher had to go to hospital. Things in Chicago are going from bad to worse: Lou Pinella said: "I only have so many players that I can play, you know? And it's about time some of them start playing like major leaguers! Or, get somebody else in here that can catch the damn ball or run the bases properly! All right? That's all I can say!" Their salary bill trails only the Mets and Dodgers in the NL, but they're currently on pace for a 69-93 season. Just part of the hell of Cubs fandom