Record: 68-53. Change on last season: +7. Pace: 91-71
Playoff odds: 51.7%. Playoff Magic Number: 39
Quote of the day: "We've had several of those where we've come back and won the next day, so we seem to be able to put those away. And I guess the more you have them and the more success you have after them, you just move on." -- Bob Melvin.
If one thing is clear, it's that this team does not let blowout losses get to them. For the third time in fifteen games, the team got creamed one day, but bounced right back the next to post a solid victory. That ended the losing streak at two and, combined with a Padres loss, re-opened our lead in the division back to three games.
That happened, even though Doug Davis's streak of quality starts came to a halt on a three-run homer by Cody Ross, that made the score 5-4 in the the sixth inning. By that time, Davis was past 110 pitches, and if we hadn't burned our bullpen for 7 2/3 innings yesterday, I would suspect that Melvin would probably have gone out and got him. But instead, Davis was stretched for one more out, and the game suddenly became a lot more interesting.
Fortunately, it didn't stay that way as we loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the next inning. And then promptly unloaded them, without getting a ball out of the infield, on a ground-out, balk and wild-pitch. Nicely efficient, to be sure. Not every day your team manages to score nine runs, on only three hits with runners in scoring position! All told, we pounded out 15 hits, making a total of 28 in the series so far.
Leading the charge to first were Hudson, Byrnes and Reynolds, who all had three hits each. Reynolds has now had three-consecutive three-hit games. That ties the franchise record set seven times before, most recently by [cough!] Royce Clayton, in July 2005. The major-league record since 2000 is four, which has been done only four times - twice by Johnny Damon, who was the last person to do it, in August last year. Stephen Drew chipped in with two hits and a walk, while every starting position player bar Young had a hit.
Speaking of Young, it's time for him to be moved out of the lead-off spot. Since July 25th, he's batting .192 at the top of the order. Though the walks get the OBP up to a respectable level, he has as many homers as singles (six of each) in that time. Those four-baggers are sadly wasted where he is: the twelve homers he's hit from the #1 spot have driven in a grand total of thirteen runs. Yes, only one has come with anyone on base: on the 31st August, he drove in Quentin, who'd been hit by a pitch. I'd stick him down about sixth, and see if he can't come up with runners on base more often.
I hope you all enjoyed the GameDay Thread that wouldn't die... 155 comments all told, still rumbling on at 9:30 this morning. LucaMaz3, Ben, hotclaws, snakecharmer, andrewinnewyork, DbacksSkins, VIII, bjn, TwinnerA (hope the cat's feeling better), singaporedbacksfan, oklahomasooners (finally finding the right thread!), soco, johngordonma and muu were the participants.
[Click graph to enlarge, in new window]
Master of his domain: Eric Byrnes, +43.7%
God-emperor of suck: Justin Upton, -10.4%
They also serve: Mark Reynolds, +14.8%
Lot of movement on the roster yesterday. Kim and Kennedy both got their marching orders - the latter perhaps somewhat prematurely, or at least a knee-jerk reaction to his horrible outing yesterday. Even if he's awful, we still need someone to mop-up in blowouts. Oh, hang on, we have Augie 'The Iceman' Ojeda for that, don't we? :-) We added some bullpen depth with the arrival of Nippert and Peguero: it now looks certain one of them, probably Peguero, will be sent back down on Sunday to make room for Petit. And Chad Tracy finally bowed to the inevitable, and went on the DL with his knee. Rather than replacing him, we brought Salazar back up, as we've been running on three outfielders of late: see Snyder and Jackson playing LF yesterday.
Arizona also signed their first-year pick in this year's draft, Jarrod Parker. While that was only a couple of months ago, the rules have changed this year and so yesterday was the deadline to sign them. His signing bonus was $2.1m, which is about $200K above the recommended figure for a ninth-pick, as provided by the commissioner's office. Doesn't look like he'll be hitting the farm until next season, since he was chosen out of high school. Probably won't see him at Chase until late 2010 at the earliest, but file the name away.