Record: 67-53. Change on last season: +6. Pace: 90-70
Playoff odds: 45.0%. Playoff Magic Number: 41
Quote of the day: "I told him I've got a couple more innings to go" -- Augie Ojeda, comparing scoreless streaks with Brandon Webb.
There has been no bigger defender of Kim than I. Right from his arrival, back in 1999, Mrs. SnakePit and I have been fans - he was the first submarine-style pitcher we really noticed, and we were immediately entranced. We probably possess the only two Kim shirts ever sold in the Chase Field team shop. But after yesterday, even we are forced to admit that he should be removed from the starting rotation, effective immediately. Under other circumstances, perhaps, we could afford the time to try some kind of salvage project. But not now: not with an unexpected lead in our division, in a tight race. We can't afford a fifth starter who can't get out of the third inning on a good day.
Just to add some historical context, there have been worse starts in Diamondbacks history. Back on April 23rd, 2000, Armando Reynoso faced seven hitters and didn't retire any of them, allowing seven earned runs on six hits and a walk. Indeed, by Game Score, Kim's outing is only the 163rd worst start in D-backs history, though that was mostly because Melvin yanked him very, very quickly. Though five major-league starters this year have failed to record an out at all, so at least BK has them beat.
Actually, Kim's was probably not even the worst pitching performance of the day. That dubious honor belongs to Joe Kennedy, who surpassed Kim's figure of four earned runs in one-third of an inning, but allowing six earned runs. All told, our waiver-wire pickups combined to post the following line yesterday:
0.2 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 3 HBP, 2 WP, 0 K, 10 R, 9 ER
Sixteen batters faced, two retired. That would be an ERA of 121.50 for the day, for our two castoff pitchers - who will imminently be castoffs once more, I suspect. I'm just deliriously happy I benched Kennedy on my fantasy team this week.
And it was going so well, too. At least for the first five pitches, as Young hit his 20th homer of the year to lead off the top of the first. Unfortunately, that was about it: by the end of the fourth, we were in a 14-1 hole, and looking for the number of the truck that hit us. Well, we did actually have the go-ahead run at the plate with one out in the second, but EdGon and Young couldn't quite come up with the necessary grand slam.
The weird thing is, the Marlins only outhit us by one single. The key is that they were 7-for-11 with RISP: Arizona was 1-for-10. Young, Reynolds and Snyder all had three-hit days, Young adding another solo homer in the fifth, his 21st of the year. Reynolds has reverted to his early form, batting .455 [15-for-33] this month, and Snyder's five-game hitting streak has got his average to .258, the best it has been since going 1-for-2 on Opening Day.
And then, there's the pitching... What can we say, when the shortest, best-pitched inning comes from our backup infielder? Augie Ojeda became the third D-back position player to pitch in a major-league game, and did very well, retiring all three hitters that he faced, on two fly-outs and a soft-liner. Loved Montero's post-game comments: "He was pounding it. He was dealing. What do you want me to say? He said, `Call whatever you want.' I said, `You can throw breaking balls?' He said, `I can throw whatever you want.'" That resulted in some...ah, interesting positions being played. Chris Snyder moved to first-base, and then ended up in left-field. He replaced Conor Jackson there, as CoJack moved to third.
Still, despite another merciless thrashing administered to our run differential, it's only one loss. The past couple of games have been hugely disappointing, but we still remain on top of the division, with the best record in the league. Time for our veteran pitchers to regroup and go deep into games for the next three days, in order to let our bullpen breath into a paper-bag, or whatever it is they need to do to recover.
Thanks to icecoldmo for not saying "Told you so", in the Gameday Thread comments. Though really, it wasn't necessary. Also present were singaporedbacksfan, TwinnerA, DbacksSkins, hotclaws, leemellon, johngordonma, andrewinnewyork, RJZ1977 (welcome!), Muu, peeklay, VIII, soco, snakecharmer and Ben. No doubt, poking the maggot-infected corpse of this one with a stick, wrinkling their noses as they did so.
[Click graph to enlarge, in new window]
Master of his domain: Augie Ojeda (hitting!), +5.8%
God-emperor of suck: Byung-Hung Kim, -37.2%
Honorary "that's the way to do it!": Augie Ojeda (pitching), +0.0%
Basically, Kim killed this one. By the time Kennedy imploded, this game was already so far out of reach that the six runs he allowed in 0.1 innings, was good on;y for -1.6%. Conversely, Young's two homers, including the leadoff one (+9.5%), were largely cancelled by his other at-bats, such as striking out with the bases-loaded in the second, which was -6.9%. So he ended up only at +2.5%.