Record: 76-61. Change on last season: +12. Pace: 90-72
Playoff odds: 60.6%. Playoff Magic Number: 27
Quote of the day: "It felt good to put some runs on the board and kind of feel at ease instead of having to be in nail-biters every night." -- Mark Reynolds
There. A very nice night; we went out for dinner with Mrs.Snakepit-in-Law and her husband, and ignored the Diamondbacks entirely. And the result? A season-tying number of runs, although the questions about the number five starter position are no manner answered now, than they were before the game. Dana Eveland did reduce his ERA by more two runs, albeit it's still at a high-enough level where his ERA could vote, get married and join the army. Five earned runs in 2.2 in innings? That's not the answer.
Poor Edgar 'The Paramedic' Gonzalez must be wondering what he has to do to actually get a chance at the job. His last three outings have all been as emergency relief for a beleaguered starter, and the results have been impressive. Overall, he has thrown 9.1 innings, allowed seven hits, two walks and two earned runs. Which is rather better than the starters did, shall we say. Here's a breakdown of those appearances:
- August 20, 3rd inning for Doug Davis: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 2 ER
- August 26, 5th inning for Yusmeiro Petit: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 ER
- September 1, 3rd inning for Dana Eveland: 3.1 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 0 ER
I say, give him the fifth spot when necessary, and see what happens, His figures when starting haven't been bad at all (in eight games, he has a 4.47 ERA, with opponents batting .254) so it's hard to see exactly why he got taken out of the rotation to begin with. Without checking, I think he was odd man out when Randy came back, but got dumped for the Petit Unit when Johnson hit the DL again. However, it's clear that none of the options we've tried recently - Petit, Kim and now Eveland - cut the mustard. Perhaps we're looking too far, and our fifth starter is closer to hand than we realised.
It's just fortunate that, sucky though Eveland was, he had Mad Pitching Skillz compared to Elmer Dessens, who was every bit as bad a starter as I remember him. Twelve batters faced, six hits, two walks and seven earned runs. It was almost like a roll-call of Diamondbacks' rejects last night, as he was followed to the mound by R. Ortiz, Jorge Julio and Matt Herges. Okay, it wasn't the R. Ortiz (Ramon, rather than Russ), but his performance, four more earned runs in 1.1 innings, was certainly Manatee-esque.
I was surprised to see the usual suspects rolled out from the bullpen last night: after EdGon, we got Bigfoot, Famine and War, with none of the new arms getting the call. I can somewhat understand Melvin wanting to lock down the win, following the events of the past couple of nights, but sending Lyon out there in the ninth to protect a six-run lead seems somewhat wasteful. What do we do in the eighth if it's close today? Roll him out a third day in a row [and four in five]? If you aren't willing to put Murphy, Peguero, etc. out there to get three outs when you're that far ahead, when will they get into a game?
Our offense finally rediscovered the art of clutch-hitting, going 8-for-12 with runners in scoring position. and only leaving five runners on base, while scoring thirteen runs on fourteen hits. Clark had a big day, driving in five, while Byrnes and Reynolds had three hits apiece, with Young and Salazar joining Clark on two. Since coming off a streak of 12 consecutive games with a K, Reynolds has only one strikeout in his last twelve at-bats...and has six hits in that time. Good things happen when RBIeynolds puts the ball in play. [That streak, incidentally, tied for the third-longest in franchise history, the record being 19 straight by Troy Glaus in Aug-Sept 2005]
Seemed like most of the regular Gameday Thread lineup joined me in taking the night off, which is fair enough, As a result, the thread didn't crack three figures, the lowest it's been in quite some time. However, I certainly feel rejuvenated by the day off, and with Webb on the mound this afternoon, I feel confident we will have a full-strength team on the park for first pitch this afternoon. :-) unnamedDBacksfan and TwinnerA did improve their records through the win, with peachy, johngordonma, hotclaws, soco, DbackSkins, snakecharmer, VIII, seton hall snake pit, azdb7, singaporedbacksfan, Wimb, LucaMaz3 and Ben all chipping in.
Crucial win, as the Padres beat up on the Dodgers [playoff chances for Luis down to 7.8%, according to coolstandings.com. Hehehe!], and the Cubs, Brewers, Cardinals and Phillies all won too. Things looking a little better on that front today, but I'll get to that in the Gameday Thread, which will be up swiftly.