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Diamondbacks 9, Padres 5 - Not a Good Day for the Fully-Figured Pitcher...

Record: 60-49. Change on last season: +5. Pace: 89-73
Playoff odds: 32.4%. Magic number: 54

Quote of the day: "I hit it three inches off my knuckles and ran like I stole something" -- Eric Byrnes, on his go-ahead hit.

Phew. Given this was a game where we had a three-run lead, with two outs in the ninth, and the count 0-2 on the hitter at the plate, why do I feel like the eventual victory was a gift from the baseball gods? Death took a holiday, Valverde blowing the save - at least it didn't take him long, allowing three runs on two pitches. But he still picked up the win in the eleventh, as Byrnes singled in the go-ahead run, and Tracy came off the bench to swat a three-run homer. Tony Peña then showed how it should be done, facing three hitters in the bottom half.

A pretty cool game. Micah Owings had a rebound game, allowing only one run over six innings, on only four hits. Admittedly, he has Chris Young to thank for that, with our CF making a play of the season nominee, to take a grand-slam away from Mike Cameron. I still reckon Jeff Salazar's catch was better - or, at least, had higher technical merit - but given the game situation (a one-run game), Young's probably was had a bigger impact. Owings also went 2-for-3 and drove in a run; that gets his average up to .235 (Stephen Drew is hitting .238...), and only Brad Penny has more RBI among pitchers this year. Any idea if Owings can play RF?

I ask that, because Carlos Quentin was forced out of the game in the fifth after hitting a double, which drove in Owings with the go-ahead run. He pulled up lame at second, and was replaced: it's a hamstring injury, but there was no immediate word on how serious it was. The expectation was that we'd have a better idea today, but if it proves serious, we could see Justin Upton getting the call. He's hardly slowed since getting promoted to Double-A Mobile, batting .309 with 13 HR in 71 games: I note he's been playing right-field more regularly, which makes me wonder if he's being groomed for a permanent move?

Good move to leave Valverde out there for the tenth. Well, it turned out that way - if he'd coughed up the game, we'd have been spitting blood at Bob Melvin. But the best thing for a pitcher who just blew a save, is to go out there, post a 1-2-3 inning, and get the win. All told, not the best outing for the four horsemen: five innings, four earned runs. Even Sinister failed to retire the lone hitter he faced, walking Gonzalez on five pitches. Here's to a long outing from Petit and/or a blowout game today, to give them a break before the Dodgers series.

Eric Byrnes had a three-hit game, including legging out an infield knock in the eleventh, which scored DaVanon from third. His numbers are down in the second half, but he's still batting at a decent clip of .288 since Game 82. Young, Owings and Snyder also had a pair of hits, and DaVanon reached safely twice, coming round to score both times. Fifteen hits for Arizona, tying a high since the All-Star break.

Just shy of one hundred comments in the GameDay thread, reflecting the highs and lows of last night's game. seton hall snake pit, singaporedbacksfan, DbacksSkins, batster, DiamondbacksWIn, VIII, andrewinnewyork, DBACKS KICK ARSE, AZDarkKnight, Muu, icecoldmo, G Dub and johngordonma were all present: Mrs. SnakePit and I watched a couple of films, though I did keep sneaking through during the slower parts of Deja Vu to monitor things. :-)

Gameday Graph

[Click graph to enlarge, in new window]
Master of his domain: Eric Byrnes, +32.4%
God-emperor of suck: Jose Valverde, -25.7%
Honorary quite-goodness: Chris Young, for closing the deli on Cameron's grand salami...

Here's a cool site: Arizona Diamondbacks Playoff Race. The algorithm here to predict future games is relatively simplistic - it's "flip a coin", though the owner is working on a more realistic mechanism. But there are some great features, such as a chart that shows you which games today have most impact on our chances, and who we should be rooting for in them. There's also a chart that shows how far about .500 we've been through the season. Definitely worth a bookmark.