Record: 63-50. Change on last season: +6. Pace: 90-72
Playoff odds: 40.1%. Playoff Magic Number: 47
Quote of the day: "If they had to play a series against the '27 Yankees, they probably would find a way to take two of three." -- Nick Piecoro
Yes, Nick: at the moment, I do believe the Diamondbacks probably would - likely with a pair of one-run games, after blowing a seven-run lead in the middle game. We're thirteen games above .500, for the first time since 2002. Our ace has pitched 24.1 consecutive shutout innings, and is looking like the Cy Young winner he is, just at the right time. We've just taken series from our two biggest divisional rivals. And, Joseph Reaves please note, we come home having gone 5-1, on the road, against two teams with winning records. It's probably the best of all times to be a D-backs fan, at least since I started covering them, anyway.
Webb was awesome. There's not really any other word for it. Seven hits, no walks in his first complete-game shutout since one-hitting the Cardinals on September 5th last season. It only took him 102 pitches: his Game Score was 78, the fifth-best of the year by an Arizona pitcher, and has increased after every start since the All-Star break. Webb's ERA dropped to 2.92, a season-low, and fourth-best in the National League. He used the sinkerball to great effect, and the Dodgers never got a runner past second. the closest they came was when Ethier doubled to lead off the third, but a line-out and two ground-outs meant that was where he finished.
Penny was as good as you'd expect a pitcher with a 13-2 record to be, but we took our chances when they came up. Justin Upton drove in his first RBI in the second, and Snyder followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0. Reynolds had an RBI single in the fourth, and that was easily enough, the way Webb was pitching. The Dodgers outhit us, 7-6, but luckily, MLB does not factor that into account when deciding who wins. Jackson, Reynolds and Upton all had a pair of hits each, though once again, walks were notable by their absence, Young having the only one, compared to seven K's. But you won't hear me complaining today.
Thoroughly enjoyed being able to participate fully in the Gameday Thread. Seems like a while since it's been given my undivided attention. Interesting poll; most readers seem thoroughly fed-up of Bonds and his slug-like crawl towards the record. If he stretches it out much longer, Alex Rodriguez will catch them both up. Or Hank Aaron might just say "Screw this" and come out of retirement. I imagine a few pitchers might be inclined to lob Hank a few batting practice fastballs. Or he could just face Livan, which would be much the same end result, I suppose. ;-)
Anyway. Also in the lively, provocative, pasta- and alcohol-filled thread (I trust all participants were of legal drinking age - or, at least, had really convincing fake IDs), we find seton hall snake pit, hotclaws, AZDarkKnight, Wimb, VIII, DbacksSkins, Englishdback (who really doesn't like Vin Scully), TwinnerA, suitsmetoATnT and icecoldmo. Some drink to celebrate our first sweep of the Dodgers in LA since September 2005; others will be drinking to forget. Forget what? I don't know, I can't remember! Thank you, I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitresses.
[Click graph to enlarge, in new window]
Master of his domain: Brandon Webb (pitching), +48.4%
God-emperor of suck: Brandon Webb (hitting), -8.0%
Honorary "Well done!": Justin Upton, +14.0%
Loved this comment over on Gaslamp Ball: "DBags already up 2-0, What the hell is up with them?? They have the worst run differential in the division, yet are in first place. Someone on their team must have made an effing deal with the devil because I've been saying since May that they won't keep up the pace, but here it is in August and the are still going. WTF!?!?! This is seriously boggling my mind." Fear the Diamondbacks... ;-) I'll finish with icecoldmo's appropriation of Sheryl Crow, as we're heading off to watch Crank.
Everyday is a winding Dback road
We get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded opponents' sign
We get a little bit closer to winning fine.