Record: 50-47. Change on last season: 0. Pace: 84-78
Quote of the Day: "I've got to start winning some games. "I'm here to win some games. I'm not here to try and try. I've got to work and see what I did bad in this game and work on it for the next one." -- Livan Hernandez
Not having seen any of yesterday's day-game - the first of four consecutive such events - I can't really say too much about yesterday's game. I was 'watching' it on Yahoo Game Channel, which has the advantage of a compact summary window for the game, that can be tucked away in the bottom of your screen. But even on there, this one looked a very, very ugly performance: devoid of offense, Hernandez walking hitter after hitter, and even the bullpen, so reliable of late, coughing up a four-spot in the first. Definitely a game I didn't want to watch.
We had only five hits, with Jeff Davanon the only player to reach safely more than one - he had a double and a walk. , That hit was the only extra-base hit off Gallardo, who handcuffed us to three hits over six shutout innings. Our only score came on a one-out solo homer by Jackson in the seventh, and any, albeit slim, hopes of a comeback were dashed when Dustin Nippert allowed four runs on four hits and a walk in the bottom half.
Though in our defense, this wasn't so dreadful early on: we reached the middle of the sixth only down 2-0. Admittedly, the way we'd been playing, that might as well have been twenty, but we were still a bloop and blast away from tying it. However, a fading Hernandez faced six hitters and only retired one of them. As has happened too often before, Melvin was too slow with the hook, and the game got out of control as a result. Craig Counsell hit the killer blow, a two-run single, sticking it to his old team.
Nippert came in, and put out that fire, but as noted, allowed the Brewers to reach double-figures before the end of the game. He will have some work to do before he can be considered for associate membership in the Four Relievers of the Apocalype club - they got the day off today, with EdGon mopping things up with a perfect ninth. I'd almost forgotten him, but he only gets blowouts: he's appeared in four games this month, with the cumulative score when he entered the game, the D-backs down by 24.
Gonna cut this one short, since we're a couple of people down at work, and I'm gonna seize the chance to boost my quota [they finally introduced incentives for productivity, not just sales, so I'm very happy about that!]. DbacksSkins was the driving force in the Gameday Thread, with icecoldmo, AZDarkKnight and kylerkenney also taking part.
And speaking of Byrnes, negotiations with him have ended for the season, the two sides not coming very close at all, by most accounts [about $2.5m/year apart]. Doesn't look like he'll be traded, with the team content to vacuum up a couple of draft picks when he leaves after season end for pastures... well, richer, if not necessarily greener. A scathing piece in the Tribune though, with Scott Bordow writing, "There comes a point when the organization has to quit making future promises it's not sure it can keep and give fans something to cheer about today."
However, Bordow makes a fatal mistake, when he says: "It's fair to assume he'll be a productive player for the next several seasons." Clearly, he hasn't actually looked at Byrnes' stats, or he'd have seen a) this is a career year, and b) the precipitous fall-off in production during the second-half (in 11 games since July 5, Byrnes is hitting .250...). but even if he maintained the current level of production, $10m per year for five years - what Byrnes wants - is a very, very, doubtful commitment. Especially for someone with a career OPS+ of 102 who'll be 32 come next Opening Day, and so is unlikely to improve between now and 2012.
Looks like the corner log-jam may be clearing up, albeit not in a good way. Tracy's knee is acting up, and the issue appears to be worse than the one that dogged him the second half of last year. He'll likely sit Saturday and Sunday, with the Cubs throwing lefties at us, but with rest the only cure, I wonder if we wouldn't be best biting the bullet and putting him on the DL for a couple of weeks, while we have options at third.