Record: 71-55. Change on last season: +9. Pace: 92-70
Playoff odds: 62.7%. Playoff Magic Number: 33
Quote of the day: "It's impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror. Horror has a face... and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not then they are enemies to be feared." -- Colonel Kurtz, Apocalypse Now
While there might have been a game at Chase Field last night, there definitely wasn't a contest - more a crazed, relentless slaughter, worthy of Death Factory: Bloodletting, the film we were casting for last night. As an amusement - and, I cheerfully admit, an alternative to picking over the mangled corpse of this one - I thought I'd start by reprinting the contest guidelines from our Who Wants to be a Scream Queen? auditions.
SCENE #1 - "My best friend is DEAD!"
You are trapped in an old, dark factory. You've been running around in the dirty, wet tunnels for hours. In the distance, you see your friend's body lying on the ground. You say something like, "Heather, is that you? Oh my God, Heather, are you OK?" You bend down to see if she's OK. When you flip her over, you realize that her face has been ripped away. You then SCREAM!!!
SCENE #2 - "I'm going to be DINNER"
You have been fleeing the monster/killer all night, but you are out of time, room and luck. You've barricaded yourself in a closet, but the monster/killer is breaking through the door. You say something like, "No. No. No!!! Somebody help me! Please no!" But the monster breaks through! You SCREAM!!!
SCENE #3 - "Caught in the act"
You're in the middle of a hot, steamy moment with your boyfriend, saying/gesturing the things you would normally do in that situation (and you're on top), Suddenly, the monster/killer grabs your neck from behind. You SCREAM!!!
SCENE #4 - "Please don't use that power tool on me!"
You are strapped down to a makeshift operating table. The madman who has captured you is deciding what hideous power tool he is going to use to cut your body into tiny, little pieces. You have a minuter or two before he gets started. BEG FOR YOUR LIFE ANY WAY YOU CAN! But if he decides not to spare you...you're going to SCREAM and SCREAM LOUD!!!
SCENE #5 - "No, not another blowout defeat!"
You are a fan of the Arizona Diamondbacks, with the best record in the National League. You have just come home after a successful road-trip, and are facing a team who have been among the most abysmal in the major-leagues since the All-Star break. But your #2 starter walks two people and allows a three-run homer in the first, and lasts exactly two innings. You are nine runs down by the middle of the fourth. SCREAM AS IF YOUR TEAM HAD JUST RE-SIGNED RUSS ORTIZ!!!
Okay, I made up the last one - as if you hadn't already guessed. The other four are legit, however, and I have to say, in the light of events, I was glad to wave goodbye to my DBBP friends at Sliders, as they went off to watch the game. Derrick Hall swung by to say "Hi" too, which was an unexpected bonus. The evening, as far as the Diamondbacks are concerned, went down the tubes thereafter. The writing was probably on the wall from the moment Davis walked two hitters, and then a three-run homer to Bill Hall. Or if not, then when he allowed three more runs in the second, on two homers and an RBI single. One of those homers was to the opposing pitcher, the first such in over a year - Jason Schmidt was the last to go deep against us, August 5th last year. 6-0 in the middle of the second? SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN. Should I mention the resulting Game Score of 19 was worse than either of Kim's starts?
Way to burn up that bullpen. Edgar Gonzalez sucked it in, and gave us four not-too-bad innings, with all the damage coming on a bases-clearing double by Prince "Large and in charge" Fielder. Mind you, Fielder shouldn't even have come to the plate that inning, if Reynolds hadn't botched a double-play ball delivered by the hitter before: Snyder also got charged with his first error on the season, on a throw down to second. Nippert pitched one frame - why not leave him out there for two or three, instead of throwing the A-Bullpen out there for the eighth (Lyon). I mean, was Augie Ojeda unavailable or something? After all, we used Jeff Cirillo in the ninth, and he pitched a scoreless frame, even striking out Craig Counsell. That's more than Ojeda, Finley or Grace ever did.
Offensively, we had nothing to speak of. Five hits, none of them for extra bases, one walk (to the pinch-hitting Micah Owings!), and Eric Byrnes getting plunked. Reynolds got the collar, going 0-for-4, and has now struck out in seven consecutive plate appearances, and 14 of his last 23 at-bats. I'm not sure how that seven stacks up in comparison to any records: all the K streaks I could find refer to pitchers, not hitters. Alex Gonzalez of the Blue Jays did get six K's in six at-bats during a single game back in 1998, and five in five is fairly common (Craig Monroe and Andruw Jones have done that this year already).
It really didn't look like it was going to happen - I think we had barely fifty comments by the end - but somehow, the streak of three-figure Gameday Threads continued. Okay, I think there was a certain amount of comment padding going on, but the effort on view was much appreciated. LucaMaz3, RJZ1977, andrewinnewyork, VIII, DbacksSkins, Devin, Muu, singaporedbacksfan, hotclaws, DbacksSkins, soco, batster, DBACKS KICK ARSE, Muu, snakecharmer, peeklay, Ben and Englishdback were the brave souls who struggled on, in the face of perfectly justified apathy. I'm proud of you: let's hope such resilience and fortitude is not required again tonight!
[Click graph to enlarge, in new window]
Master of his domain: Chris Young, +3.1%
God-emperor of suck: Doug Davis, -36.6%
Honorary "Well done!": Jeff 'The K-Man' Cirillo
In case you're wondering how Chris Young did best, despite going 0-for-4, he reached on an error and then stole second-base. He gets credit for both those - win-expectancy is blind as to how you reached base - giving him +5.5%. He lost a couple of point next time he came to bat, but after that, the game was so far gone, the outs he made were of no significance.