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Diamondbacks 1, Padres 3 - And yet so far...

Record: 74-58. Change on last season: +10. Pace: 91-71
Playoff odds: 66.0. Playoff Magic Number: 27

Quote of the day: "Jake Peavy -- he is a great pitcher. I have a lot of respect for him. He's fighting. He's fighting. I'm fighting, too. That was the only mistake, walking a guy with two outs and a fastball that stayed in the middle." -- Livan Hernandez

I'm going to keep this short. We updated the servers for 1.4 million domain names yesterday. About 99% of them worked. Unfortunately, the other 14,000 customers, whose websites and email stopped working are all calling in. Simultaneously. I just spoke to a guy who was on hold for three hours before getting through. You can imagine exactly how pleased he was to talk to me. Welcome To The Hell.

As for last night's game, there isn't much more I can add. To extend the tennis metaphor from yesterday, we had a break point against Roger Federer, but a booming forehand landed just on the line, and that was that. This was certainly closer to a win than most of us probably expected. Two outs into the bottom of the seventh inning, and Livan Hernandez has actually outpitched Jake Peavy, and is holding a one-run lead? Better than one could possibly have hoped.

Livan was, literally, one pitch away from seven shutout innings. He was 1-2 on Josh Bard and ended up walking him. He was 2-2 on Geoff Blum, but ended up with a full count, before he threw a ball that caught far too much of the plate, and was deposited in the bleachers. So, all told, Hernandez 2.0 had seven chances to end the inning, but couldn't do it. Though in his defense, the strike-zone had suddenly shrunk to the size of a postage-stamp, at least compared to what it was earlier in the game.

Not that I'm saying Tim Welke had a generous and pitcher-friendly opinion of the rules. But, at one point, I was tossing a ball in our Phoenix living-room, and he called that a strike. From San Diego. Generally, however, he was at least consistent (unlike Friday's umpire, who was apparently wearing blue of a peculiarly Chicago-esque shade), and it probably helped Hernandez 2.0 at least as much as Peavy - if not more so. The Padres ace doesn't really need extra room to pitch in; Livan took full advantage, and that's why they combined for 3 runs in 14 innings of work.

I have to say, I would be hard pushed to begrudge Peavy the Cy Young award this year. Webb's been good, but it's not like the case where Randy got jobbed by Clemens in 2004, despite a better ERA, WHIP, and more K's and innings. For Peavy has been phenomenal: six pitchers have fanned ten or more Diamondbacks this season, and he is three of them. He're his overall line against Arizona this year:
Peavy: 26.1 IP, 18 H, 9 BB, 5 ER, 45 K, ERA 1.71, BAA .191
Really. No, Much as Webb has been stellar, I won't complain if he loses this one to the Padres ace.

So, we managed only three hits off Peavy in seven innings: Byrnes homers, a leadoff double by Jackson in the second (stranded at third, as Montero and Cirillo K'd), and a single by Livan with two outs in the fifth. [Though any credit due for that is more than canceled by him allowing two hits to his opposite number.] We did get two hits off Hoffman in the ninth, to have the tying run on base, but couldn't stop him from notching is 516th save. Juan Cruz probably killed that hope, when he allowed a homer to Bradley in the eighth. Scoring multiple runs off Hoffman is too much to do twice in a season - see April 25.

Another monster thread, but as I'm at the end of my lunch-30 minutes, I'll skip the rollcall, just this once. Thanks to everyone for their efforts though, and curious to see what tonight brings with Webb on the mound...

Gameday Graph

[Click graph to enlarge, in new window]
Master of his domain: Stephen Drew, +12.5%
God-emperor of suck: Jeff Salazar, -18.0%
Honorary "Well done!" (albeit through gritted teeth): Geoff "Snakekiller" Blum, +38.2%

More anecdotal evidence the buzz around the D-backs is growing. The Snakepitette brought them up at the dinner-table last night, and ended up watching the last three innings of the game with us. That's about the first time she's done that since around 2001; we had to educate her none of that team are on the current roster. No, not even Luis Gonzalez. I think she likes the idea the team is no longer mostly twice her age, and one senses Chris Young and Stephen Drew could become favorites. Heck, we might even get her to a game some time - I think she's not been seen at the park since Alex Cabrera's debut, back in June 2000.

As you've probably noted, snakecharmer is now posting a daily news dump, where interesting items can be found and posted. Thanks to her for taking this on board, and I encourage everyone to chip in, contribute and comment. It also gives us a backup Gameday Thread poster, in case I don't realise it's a day game. So, a win all round. :-)