Record: 36-25. Change on last season: +2. Pace: 96-76
Quote of the Day: "The Giants are losing because of the way you're playing, and you know it. So snap out of it" -- Barry Bonds' mother, quoted by Bonds.
The eighth consecutive game against the Giants to be decided by one run, but we couldn't quite hold on to the lead, for our sixth straight one-run win over them. Plenty of late-inning blame to go around for this one:
- Jose Valverde, for allowing a lead-off homer in the bottom of the ninth. Papa Grande earns bonus demerits for slinking off afterwards without speaking to reporters.
- Brandon Medders, who faced five hitters in the eleventh, and retired one of them, giving up two hits and two walks.
- Bob Melvin, for putting Medders in there to begin with, and the score tied. Why not go with the infinitely more reliable Juan Cruz, who hadn't pitched in five days?
- Eric Byrnes, who badly bobbled a grounder in left, allowing Durham to go from first to third, and eventually score the winning run.
That was a shame, because we came within three outs of winning our twelfth game in thirteen. Even with half our Opening Day team [Drew, Quentin, Snyder and Tracy] not in the startling line-up, that nearly proved enough to beat the San Francisco Geriatrics. Jackson got us off to a good start with a homer in the first, though Hernandez buckled in the third. The Giants got four hits and two walks there - they scored three runs, and it probably would have been worse except for some helpful baserunning by Klesko.
Indeed, it seems Klesko is a Diamondback at heart, going by the butcher job on Jackson's hit to right in the fourth. He dived for it, was well short, and Jackson ended up with a go-ahead, two-run triple. It has to be said, it was his first appearance in right-field since 2002. The logic involved in Bruce Bochy putting him there does escape me. However, that was it for our offense: Jackson had a pair of hits and three RBI, Hairston had two hits, and Byrnes continued his hot streak with three hits: he's now batting .319 for the year. On the other hand, Reynolds was 0-for-5, making him 3-for-24 in June. Bob Melvin's decision when Tracy comes back is looking a lot easier.
Hernandez, outside of that one inning, was pretty good: five hits and two walks in seven innings, with just those three runs, so another quality start. Peña struck out two in the eighth, including Barry Bonds, with one pitch in that at-bat clocked at 101 mph. Valverde blew his third save of the year, but given the number of chances he's had, that's probably about par. Medders sucked, and needs to go down to Tucson. Cruz tidied up the bases-loaded, one-out mess, but Melvin turned to him a good two batters too late.
One thing that was very cool to come out of the defeat, was to see the young Diamondbacks in the dugout, during the bottom of the eleventh. They were all wearing their baseball caps inside-out, as rally caps: somehow, that kind of thing makes them seem more human, and "just like us". But I can't say I was too upset by this defeat: as noted, we had the B-squad out there, and already had the series in the bag. Imagine Callaspo will likely go down to Tucson when Tracy returns: he's batting .172 (5-for-29) since his little domestic bother.
Brilliant GameDay thread, with the most comments since the April 24th game against the Padres. Thanks to everyone for their generous participation: singaporedbacksfan, npineda, DiamondbacksWIn, unnamedDBacksfan, hotclaws, Goose, Lt Col Patrick (welcome!), johngordonma, Muu, AZDarkKnight and Ben were the stalwarts in attendance. Look forward to more over the weekend: I'm planning to watch almost the entire series, myself.
The Gameday Graph will follow: fangraphs, for some reason, don't seem to have the charts for yesterday available yet. I'll get that added later on, whenever it's available. In the meantime, here's a piece on our first-round pick in yesterday's draft. Looks like we went after more pitching, with most of the picks on the first day being arms. Thanks to Goose for keeping us informed here as the draft progressed.
We're back in second-place in the division, after the Padres scored five runs in the ninth to complete a sweep of the Dodgers. That kinda sucked, even though I'm always happy to see the Dodgers lose. I think the ideal scenario in the West would be for us to win the division, with the Padres taking the wild-card. But as long as a) we make the playoffs, and b) the Giants don't, I'll settle for that!