Record: 77-63. Change on last season: +12. Pace: 89-73
Playoff odds: 52.6%. Playoff Magic Number: 24
Quote of the day: "I'm known for throwing cutters inside when I get in jams. I know that, so I threw cutters outside and threw change-ups, a lot of 3-2 change-ups, and I got ground balls or pop-ups from them. It was a good pitch for me tonight. My curveball was working; I was able throw any pitch at any count." -- Doug Davis
Chris R. Young? He's vastly over-rated. Certainly, based on his ERA over four starts against us - 7.32 - we have his number, especially when it comes to the long-ball. Here's a stunning statistic: three-quarters of the eight home-runs he has allowed this year have come in four games against Arizona. Better yet, Tony Clark alone has half of them. Fortunately for Young, he won't see Tony and the Diamondbacks again this year.
Well - unless it's in the NLCS, perhaps? Might make for an interesting matchup there, albeit one the D-backs are probably looking forward to more than Evil Chris Young. Last night was a perfect bounceback game for Arizona: lose one by eight runs, win the next by eight runs. That's our biggest margin of victory since May 25 - in the intervening period, we've lost nine games by eight runs or more, so nice to see things from the other side of the scoreboard for once.
Tony Clark got the party started with a two-run homer in the first; Eric Byrnes had just grounded into a double-play after new leadoff-man Drew and Hudson had both walked on a total of nine pitches. But Clark rescued the inning with a long bomb to dead-center, and Eric redeemed himself in the third with a three-run homer to left, his 21st of the year. Evil Chris Young was gone after four, with Arizona 5-0 up; however, those who remembered last week's game will know why we took nothing for granted at that stage!
Doug Davis was doing what he does best: making the pitches when necessary. The Padres were 0-for-7 with RISP, and even when they loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth, were unable to score more than one run, that on a sacrifice fly. Milton Bradley looked at strike three, then decided to hang round and show up the umpire. Three guesses at how that little contest ended up, and that was it, as the Padres didn't get a runner past first the rest of the way. Davis gave us seven innings, with War and Pestileñce retiring all six hitters they faced. Could our bullpen be back? We can but hope...
Much credit to our lineup, who showed great patience. Chris Young saw 23 pitches in four plate-appearances, and Drew, at the top of the order, saw 25 in five, netting a hit and a walk. Orlando Hudson reached safely all five times, on three hits and a walk, while Jeff Cirillo had a pinch-hit, two-run double in the eighth. The Padres burned four relievers, who threw a total of 103 pitches, which could be handy today, with Peavy pitching on three days' rest. We also stole five bases - and it would have been seven, save Snyder getting thrown out on the back-end of a double-steal, as Chris Young took third.
That one seemed weird: if he'd made it, we'd have got credit for two steals, but as he got caught, we get none? However, it is in line with the official rules, to wit 10.07 (d): "When a double- or triple-steal is attempted and one runner is thrown out before reaching and holding the base such runner is attempting to steal, no other runner shall be credited with a stolen base." Shame, as it'd have brought Good Chris Young one notch closer to a 30-30 season - something no player his age has done since A-Rod in 1998.
It was interesting to see how the Padres fans reacted to last night's defeat: over on GLB, there was weeping, wailing and...exchanging of MySpace profiles. And they say those West Coast fans aren't passionately devoted to their team. :-) Well, with the exception of "ender", mind you. You have to admire the courage of someone who comes over to another team's site just after his guys have had their asses handed to them. Courage, yes. Intelligence...not so much. Wit, writing ability and a sense of proportion: not at all, going by these comments. What does this 'ban' button do? Click.
Mind you, if I was a Padres fan, I'd be concerned too. Of course, being AZ-ites, we only see our own issues, but San Diego have some real issues to address too. Their rotation may be in worse shape than ours: Peavy remains a stud, and Maddux has been solid lately, but after that...eeh. Since leaving a start after two innings on July 24, Chris Young's ERA is 6.39, Justin Germano is up and down like the audience at a revival meeting and their #5 starter is even less certain than ours.
Thoroughly enjoyable Gameday Thread, despite the presence of the troll. Taking part were DbacksSkins (also pulling double-duty at GLB), snakecharmer, VIII, Peachy the military historian (entertaining AND educational!), diamondhacks, johngordonma, andrewinnewyork, Rockies Phan, Ender (see ya!), unnamedDBacksfan, soco, hotclaws (hope you're feeling better!), Ben, icecoldmo, Devin and planetjeffy. Just shy of 300 to date, so not bad, though disappointed no-one picked up on my Holy Grail reference and ran with it...
And if you're at the park, be sure to pick up your copy of D-backs Insider and check out the Quick Clicks section. :-)