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Diamondbacks 1, Rockies 11 - Best in the West

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Record: 90-71. Change on last season: +14. Pace: 91-71
Playoff odds: I think this bears repeating


Championship Magic Number: zero!

Quote of the day: "We're rooting for 17-inning games no matter who plays. And the farthest travel they can get." -- Bob Melvin

It's kind weird to have our asses kicked - I mean totally handed to us, and just not give a damn. Because the Padres loss to the Brewers, after coming within one out of victory, meant that we are NL West Champions, and nothing could stop that. I think the headline on MLB.com's preview of today's game, "D-backs tuning up for NLDS", goes a long way toward explaining the performance in yesterday's contest. Though "contest" implies a more-or-less equal struggle - rather than, as here, between one team down to their last throw of a dice, desperate for the win necessary to keep their season alive, and one who were whistling, hands in pockets, and debating who they'd prefer to face in the first round of the playoffs.

That was abundantly clear from the first inning, where we went down in order, with two strikeouts, and the Rockies sent everyone in their lineup to the plate, scoring four runs on three hits and three walks. I think that was a copy of Where to Eat in Chicago tucked into Edgar's back-pocket, going by this performance: six hits, four walks and five runs in three innings. Jailen Peguero matched the run total, only a lot faster, giving up five in 1.2 frames, though wasn't helped by Nippert allowing a grand-slam to the first batter he faced. Bill the Cat, Pestileñce and Famine were assigned to mop-up duty, though in the latter pair's case, this was likely intended to keep their arms loose until Wednesday.

The offense was similarly uninterested, and uninteresting. Two hits for Young and Jackson - the former also had our sole RBI - but Melvin seized the chance to play his B-squad out there for much of the game, and we saw the likes of Hammock, Bonifacio, Callaspo, Quentin and Cirillo all get at bats. I really don't have much more I want to say about the game at all: it was abundantly clear that we were hungover, on a potent combination of elation and cheap champagne [at least, I hope it was cheap, going by the way it got sprayed around the dressing-room - though see below...]. I'll be hoping for something at least slightly more competitive, as we don't want to go into the playoffs utterly flat. I'll happily settle for a brave defeat, with the Rockies going on to tie the Padres for the wild-card. More on that, the other side of the Gameday Graph.

What? The day we clinch the National League West, and we barely manage a hundred posts in the Gameday Thread? :-0 Yeah, obviously, the big day was yesterday; that's when all the celebrations were, and I think the team's lackadaisical attitude rubbed off on us a bit. Still, thanks to those who showed up: snakecharmer, cj060896 [though his comment of "we're gonna score some runs tonight...5+ runs I'd expect as usual with the better lineups" wasn't entirely accurate!], andrewinnewyork, azdb7, johngordonma, DbacksSkins, Peachy, Dr Robert, hotclaws, TwinnerA, soco, bcloirao (welcome!), VIII, dahlian and Wimb.

Gameday Graph

[Click graph to enlarge, in new window]
Master of his domain: Conor Jackson, +7.3%
God-emperor of suck: Edgar Gonzalez, -30.6%
Honorary not-so goodness: Justin Upton, -10.8%

Today is already well under way, and it looks like we will be facing the Cubs in the first round. The Mets are getting creamed by the Marlins, so if that holds up, it means there's no way the Wild Card can come from the East; if the Phillies win, they'd take the division, rather than possibly getting the Wild Card. San Diego vs. Milwaukee is in the first, with the Padres 3-0 up. We face the Rockies, with first pitch in about 30 minutes. As expected, Doug Davis has been pulled, and we start the Petit Unit instead. That's got to be a boost for the Rockies, who need a win and a Padres loss in order to tie for the Wild Card [as noted above, it looks like the most we can now have is a single-game playoff].

We also set up the playoff rotation: Webb, Davis, Hernandez 2.0 and Owings. Said Melvin, "We like when 'Livo' follows Davis. That's the way our rotation has played out, and we want to stay consistent with that.' Nothing to do with Hernandez 2.0 splashing out for Cristal yesterday and saying, "This is a present for the best manager in the league," eh, Bob? $300 a bottle drinks will get you a spot in the playoff rotation every time... :-) The Cubs have announced that their first two will be Zambrano and Lilly, so those should be a pair of good match-ups.

Okay, Gameday Thread to follow, though I'm not sure how much I'm gonna be about myself. Gotta get my own playoff rotation in order!