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Diamondbacks 9, Giants 4 - Love Potion No.9

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Record: 83-64. Change on last season: +13. Pace: 91-71
Playoff odds: 92.3%. Playoff Magic Number: 11

Quote of the day: "That's crazy. It's a blessing. I don't shoot for that. I shoot for wins. We've been winning, and that's the best thing out there." -- Chris Young, on becoming the first rookie ever with 30 homers and 25 stolen bases.

Four times in the past eight games, we've scored exactly nine runs, which is notable, give we only did so six times in the first 139 games of the season. Does it mean anything? Probably not too much. What it does perhaps indicate, is that our offense could coming round a little bit. In those eight games, we've batted .273, but the power numbers have been particularly impressive: 33 extra-based hits, including 14 homers, with a slugging percentage of .512. Put another way, the entire team has been hitting like Justin Morneau recently.

Last night, we had a good spread of contributions, with nine different players crossing home-plate: every starter bar Conor Jackson, but including Brandon Webb. He and Ojeda did a good job of legging it out on a bunt by Webb, turning a potentially inning-ending double-play into a failed fielder's choice and, eventually, a game-breaking four-run frame. Upton gained a measure of redemption for his awful game on Tuesday, with a bases-loaded double, and Jackson followed with a two-run single. A one-run game was suddenly a lot more comfortable.

Good thing too, because Webb wasn't at his best. It's curious: his figures this year are, in some ways better - a better ERA and already as many wins. But Webb doesn't quite feel it, saying, "It doesn't feel quite as good. I don't know why. I'm right there with what I was doing last year. I guess I try to set high expectations after last year. Hopefully I can build on this in the next three starts." Last night, he was gone after only 74 pitches, his shortest outing since July 15, 2005.

However, that wasn't due to any particular ineffectiveness, as Webb still pitched deep into the game, going seven. That's because the Giants were not wasting any time: Webb had a seven-pitch first inning, a nine-pitch second and a six-pitch third, as he retired the first nine SF hitters. He faced 28 batters and only one - Dave Roberts, the last man he faced - lasted longer than five pitches, with 22 disposed of in three or less. Arizona showed more patience, except for the four-run sixth: there, we sent eight to the plate and only saw 20 pitches in total.

Reynolds and Snyder opened the scoring with back-to-back homers to left in the second. That's Snyder's 12th and Reynolds 13th. Snyder continues to rake in the second half; since the All-Star break, he's batting .291 with an OPS of .890, which is great production out of the catcher's spot. Drew, Ojeda and Jackson all got two hits each, and I'm wondering if Ojeda will play into the second-base mix. He had a fine nine-pitch walk in the second, a bunt single in the sixth, and never gives less than 100%. And he's so short... :-)

Slightly-smaller, but perfectly formed Gameday Thread last night. Present were soco, DbacksSkins, snakecharmer, adam (welcome!), cj060896, unnamedDBacksfan, hotclaws, peeklay, 4CornersFan, TwinnerA, VIII, carahan and leemellon. Sounds like Skins is doing his job as honored ambassador once more: World War III now scheduled for the off-day. :-)

Gameday Graph

[Click graph to enlarge, in new window]
Master of his domain: Mark Reynolds, +11.3%
God-emperor of suck: Chris Young, -1.4%
Honorary "Well done!": Augie Ojeda, +9.1%

Last chance to sign up for the SnakePitFest on the 23rd. I'll be getting the tickets tomorrow lunchtime: for example, soco was last seen sitting on the fence. Speak now, or forever be condemned to stay home. Well, at least for that Sunday. If you didn't already have a ticket. Or other plans. Er... I'll stop now.