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Diamondbacks 2, Cardinals 3 - Failure to Execute

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Record: 47-40. Change on last season: +5. Pace: 87-75

Quote of the Day: "Baseball players are known for having some wacky superstitions, but Reynolds' newest one may take the cake. "I've been wearing (Eric) Byrnsie's pants the last couple of games," Reynolds said. Melvin has no qualms if it helps his player on the field. "If you get a mental advantage or mental edge from something like that, go ahead. They're just not going to be my pants," he said." -- East Valley Tribune

It's coming toward the most miserable time of the year in Arizona. It was 115 degrees yesterday in Phoenix, and the humidity is beginning to climb to, so we don't even have that renowned battle-cry of all locals: "But it's a dry heat." From now till the end of September...on the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia, as W.C.Fields once wanted as his epitaph. Welcome To The Hell.

And the Diamondbacks are not helping the pain, with another rotten offensive performance last night. Fans across the state were hurling things at their televisions - puppies, small children, passing illegal immigrants - during the wretched last couple of innings. Twice, we had the tying run at third with one out. But Chris Young popped-up feebly, and worse still, Miguel Montero grounded into a game-ending double-play. Oh, did I mention that was our fifth twin-killing of the day, following those by Drew, Hudson, Jackson and Reynolds.

That ties a franchise record, set on August 18, 2005 - by coincidence, also in St. Louis. Was looking at the box-score for that game which, despite the double-plays, we won 9-2, behind Claudio Vargas. Of the fifteen men who appeared that day for Arizona, less than two years ago, only Clark and Tracy are still with the club. Eleven are with other teams, and two (Worrell and McCracken) haven't been seen in the majors this year. Gives you some idea of the turnover in personnel.

Nick Piecoro sums up the problem very well:

Their 1-for-6 performance with men in scoring position actually improved their average in those situations over the past 11 games, in which they're hitting .134 (11 for 82). The numbers aren't much better when you go back a full month. Since June 5, they're just 40 for 225 (.178) with men in scoring position. For a while, they were getting just enough offense, just enough pitching, to cover up those shortcomings. Lately, they're not getting enough of either.

Particularly irritating to do so when we got a quality start from Doug Davis, which have been as rare as native Arizonans lately (only one other in the past month). He, basically, made one mistake, which Encarnacion promptly slapped out of the park. Of course, that came after he had put the first two men of the inning on base: I guess that probably counts a mistake too. Still too many walks (five, bringing his total to 24 in the last 32 innings), but three runs over seven innings should be enough to win. Heck, even Arizona had gone 8-2 in games this year where their pitchers allowed three earned runs.

Make that 8-3 now, because our lineup got shutout through the front seven innings. All our scoring came as the result of a pinch-hit from about the only major-leaguer I could look in the eye without the use of an orange-box, Augie Ojeda. Maybe we should fill the entire team with 32-year old career journeymen. They seem to be able to play fundamentally-sound baseball better than many highly-touted prospects and stars I could mention.

I think it's time to start the Carlos Quentin Tucson watch. He's been hitless in this series, and is now batting a mere .186 (11-for-59) in the past month. Drastic measures are called for, since we can't rely on the grace of others - such as Byung-Hung Kim beating the Padres yesterday! - to keep us in the division race. We're now 3-8 since the Dodgers came to town, and are batting .229 in that time. Fire Seitzer. Sent Quentin down. Move Byrnes to right. And let's see, once and for all, whether Scott Hairston has a future in the major-leagues: not this "two starts a week" nonsense.

Thanks to those martyrs who joined me in the Gameday Thread. unnamedDBacksfan, AZDarkKnight, DbacksSkins, hotclaws, AZSEAfan, DiamondbacksWIn and oklahomasooners were present. I think may be my new favorite site. It's certainly more entertaining than watching the Diamondbacks play on this road-trip.

Gameday Graph

[Click graph to enlarge, in new window]
Master of his domain: Augie Ojeda: +24.6%
God-emperor of suck: Miguel Montero: -45.9%