Record: 49-46. Change on last season: +1. Pace: 84-78
Quote of the Day: "..." -- Bob Melvin, who for the first time in three years did not speak to the press after yesterday's game.
Hits! With runners in scoring position! And two out, even! Yes, what a fabulous first inning the Arizona Diamondbacks had against the Brewers. Just a shame that there's the whole tricky nine-inning thing going on - I'm going to have a quiet word with Bud Selig about that, I think. Because after that first inning. the D-backs settled into their usual pattern of unclutchiness, coming up just short in their new favorite manner, a one-run defeat.
I suppose we could take solace in the fact that six of our eight losses in the last ten games have been by one score. But as we pointed out when we were winning all those close games earlier on, the margin makes absolutely no difference in the standings. An L by one run is worth as much as an L by eight, and having scored only 32 runs in those ten games, we can't really complain. These don't really feel like narrow defeats, possessing instead an air of crushing inevitability.
I mean, after Byrnes doubled to lead off the eighth inning in a one-run game, was anyone surprised to find him still on the basepaths when the inning ended? First Clark, then Young, and finally Montero, all went down swinging. Three things in life are certain - well, four, if you include Lindsay Lohan's ongoing path of self-destruction. And at least the IRS will give you time to pay. Our lack of clutchiness merits no such reprieve, it would appear.
But let's take some positives from the game. Petit wobbled, allowing eight hits and three walks in five innings, but did not break, allowing three runs. And one of those was unearned, Montero failing to snare a pop-fly from Estrada - who then promptly ripped an RBI double to center. Similarly, Juan 'Famine' Cruz, who had runners on second and third with no outs, but got Hart and Braun to K, before Slaten got the final out, retiring Prince 'Who Ate All the Pies?' Fielder.
All hail our bullpen, who have laid waste to opposing hitters since the All-Star break, posting the following line:
Bullpen: 14.1 IP, 8 H, 7 BB, 1 R, 1 ER, 15 K, 0.63 ERA
The only run they allowed was Pestileñce's solo homer to Jose Cruz Jr. in the very first inning our relief corps threw after coming back. Since then, 13.2 consecutive scoreless innings. Which will probably end tonight, now that I've mentioned it. :-)
Eric Byrnes continues to do it all, with three hits, including two doubles, and two stolen bases, giving him 22 for the season. With 67 games left, he's only three SB short of his career-high from last year: at the current rate, he's on pace for 38. That'd be easily the most in a D-backs jersey since Tony Womack was running rampant on the paths in 2000. Outside of that, Chad Tracy did reach safely three times, on a hit and two walks, and drove in a run. And the Petit Unit laid down a couple of nice bunts.
hotclaws and DbacksSkins were the two main Beer-drinkers and Hell-raisers in the Gameday Thread last night. [I just got the "In Alex?" comment. :-) Also present were dahlian, singaporedbacksfan, AZDarkKnight and a late contribution from icecoldmo, who found Beauty and the Geek more compelling. Know what he means: the no-DQ bout between GQ "The Institution" Gallo and REDRUM, the man that Hell made, was far more enjoyable than last night's D-backs performance.
Speaking of Byrnes, as we were, the Tribune reports that talks on a long-term contract are moving slowly, and that "the sides do not appear close to reaching a deal." Byrnes seems keen to reach a conclusion, but if not, will simply play out the season and see what happens at the end of the year. Comforting to realise, outside of Byrnes, we won't have many players potentially departing: two part-time players (Clark and DaVanon) and Hernandez 2.0 are our only other free agents.