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Beat Me in St. Louis

Since we've had an off-day, figured it might be fun, in the footsteps of Texas's 30-3 shellacking of Baltimore to take a look at the biggest D-backs victories of all time. It puts the Rangers' win in context to appreciate that Arizona has never even scored twenty runs in a game, as we head towards the end of our tenth season. Indeed, only six times in our history, have we scored more than half that number - and none of those are more recent than 2003.

The franchise high is seventeen runs, which we've done four times. Oddly, three of these came in the same park, against the same opponent. And, non, it's not at Coors Field versus the Rockies - the top mark there is only fourteen, on June 21, 2001, and that's the sole time we've passed a dozen in Denver. No, the park we love more than any other (or rather, loved) was the old Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Between 1998 and 2005, before it was demolished, we only played 28 games there, yet three of those times, we scored seventeen runs. In all other games - and to date that's 1,568 contests - we have scored seventeen runs once.

The first of these came in 1999, on July 4th when we supplied all the fireworks, beating St. Louis by the score of 17-5. The blowout was in complete contrasts to the games immediately before and after: we lost both of these, by the scores of 2-1 and 1-0 respectively. Indeed, we outscored the Cardinals in the four-game series by 27-13, but only managed a split. St. Louis actually took the lead in the first, scoring three times off Andy Benes, and were still ahead in the fifth, with the score 4-3 in their favor. However, Arizona took advantage of two errors to plate five unearned runs in the fifth. They then added four more in the seventh, a double by Williams clearing the bases, and tacked five more on in the eighth.

The next year. The same opponent. The same park. The same month. The same score. Indeed, the Cardinals took a first-inning lead here as well. But, on the 27th, the Diamondbacks accelerated away, scoring one in the third, two in the fourth, three in the fifth and four in the sixth. They scored in seven consecutive innings, though again were helped by three Cardinals errors. Geraldo Guzman got one of his five wins for AZ, and the losing pitcher was some guy called Rick Ankiel. Alex Cabrera had three hits and drove in four for us, and Greg Colbrunn added four hits and three RBI.

Perhaps wisely, the schedulers opted to keep us out of St. Louis during July, with the team going there in April instead. However, the end result was almost the same, Arizona winning 17-4. Again, this was in sharp contrast to the other two games, a 2-1 win and a 3-1 defeat. However, Arizona were never headed this time, chasing Dustin Hermanson in the third, with the score already 8-1. But they kept piling on against the Cardinals 'pen: David Dellucci hit a three-run homer in the fourth, and we were 15-1 up by the first out in the fifth. We went deep a then franchise-record tying five times, Jay Bell leading the charge with four hits.

The fourth and last time we scored seventeen runs was, to the Cardinals relief, not in St. Louis. It was against the Rockies, but perhaps surprisingly, took place in Phoenix - the only occasion the team has scored that many in front of home fans. It came in the penultimate game of the 2002 season, on September 28, which is why the Arizona starting line-up included names like Felix Jose and Mark Little. Colorado took the lead in the third, on a two-run Kapler bomb, but Arizona roared back, posting crooked numbers each inning from the fourth to the eighth. Even a five-run Rockies eighth, courtesy of Mike Fetters, merely made the score respectable, and we cantered away, 17-8.

Since then...very little. The closest we've come was another September game versus Colorado, in 2003, which we won 16-6. But in the past four seasons, we've only passed thirteen runs once - that was was the 15-4 blowout at Wrigley. And I mean "blowout" literally, as a friendly wind led to a record six homers for Arizona that day. Out best this season is the 13-3 whipping administered to Houston on May 25th.

It has to be admitted, we haven't conceded more than fifteen runs the past couple of years either. That's an improvement: you may remember one week in 2005, where we lost 17-3 to the Reds on Friday, then 18-4 to the Mets on Wednesday. The all-time record, however, remains the twenty runs scored by the Rockies at Coors, on September 23, 2003. They scored six in the first off Brandon Webb - seems his struggles vs. Colorado pre-date this season - though they were helped by four Arizona errors. The Diamondbacks did score nine themselves, in a typical session of Denver Pinball, and the 29 runs combined remains a record for the team. Albeit, that is still one run less than the Rangers managed, all by themselves, a couple of days ago...