Record: 22-12. Pace: 105-57. Change on last season: +4
The term 'Pyrrhic Victory' originates with King Pyrrhus of Epirus, whose army defeated the Romans at Heraclea in 280 BC and Asculum in 279 BC during the Pyrrhic War - however, the cost of the victories was so high that Plutarch quotes Pyrrhus as saying after the second battle, that one more such victory would utterly undo him. Hence, a Pyrrhic victory is one where the cost to the victor is greater than the cost to the loser. Never say this site is not educational. Tonight, however, we managed a Pyrrhic loss: we took all the damage, and still didn't even come up with the win.
Leading off the eighth, Victorino struck out against Qualls, but Snyder couldn't hold onto the ball and it slid away from him. The speedy Phillies leadoff hitter whizzed towards first and our catcher grabbed the ball and unleashed what we used to call, in my days as a soccer fan, a "hospital pass" to Jackson - that's one which puts the recipient into immediate physical danger. He tried to grab the ball but the result was simply a hellacious collision as our first baseman basically clotheslined Victorino, in a manner usually reserved for wrestling pay-per-views, with Victorino's helmet also slamming into CoJack. Both players went down; eventually, Victorino made his way up, but Jackson had to be helped from the field, ending his 26th birthday in a disturbing fashion. There's still no word on his status at time of writing.
That proved to be a turning point: the Diamondbacks entered the inning with a 4-3 lead, but the Phillies scored twice against Qualls and Cruz, to take over. Arizona had a chance to pull things back, after Snyder led off the bottom of the eighth with a double: however, he didn't get to move any further, as Montero flew out, Young struck out and Ojeda grounded out. Lidge came on in the ninth, and retired the side 1-2-3, to end it. It seemed like the departure of Jackson, seemed to suck out the life from Arizona, which is somewhat understandable. Mind you, it was hard to tell: the cable at The Sets was playing up, turning the broadcast into a surrealist mosaic of freeze-frame and strobe effects. It adds a certain Zen-like quality, when the picture jams in the middle of a pitcher's delivery, or just as the batter hits the ball. It turns the game into an edition of "What Happened Next?" - Was that a line-drive or a pop-fly?
Micah Owings was solid, giving the Diamondbacks a quality start, with three earned runs over seven innings, on only four hits and two walks, with seven strikeouts - the most K's since his first start. He seemed to be doing a much better job on the mound than his last couple of outings, which is good to see: with a little more offense, or even a little more luck, he could have picked up his fifth win of the season. Instead, the bullpen got tagged with the loss: that's a somewhat rare event, which has only happened five times in the first thirty-four games of the year. However, Chad Qualls now has three of those L's - despite still having an ERA below one. Nobody else in the majors with that many losses, has an ERA less than three [Roy Halladay is 3-3 with a 3.00 ERA].
Plenty of hits in a losing cause: thirteen in total. It's a statistical oddity, that our past seven losses have seen us total 70 hits, compared to only 62 hits in our past seven victories. Young, Ojeda, Jackson, Salazar and Snyder had two hits apiece, with Snyder also adding a walk. As noted yesterday, our catcher is finally beginning to hit like he was in spring training, and I would like to seem him moved higher up the order. Salazar got the start, replacing an outfielder - though, perhaps surprisingly, it was Upton rather than Byrnes. Eric went 1-for-5, but did steal a base, and scored the go-ahead run in the seventh to give us a 4-3 lead. He was driven in by Jackson, who had two RBI and was also hit by a pitch for the fifth time, in a fairly-eventful game all round...
Hooray. Reports now say it looks like Jackson is okay. He says , "I’m all right, just a little headache. Just kind of a flukey play I guess you could say. I’m all right, though. I’m nauseous, a little headache." I imagine we can probably expect to see a chalk outline on the grass next to first-base at Chase tomorrow. That sniggering sound you can hear from the far side of the diamond, is Mark Reynolds, unimpressed by Jackson's wimpy approach to adversity. "That's nothing," says Special K, "When I was in Double-A, I had my head entirely severed from my body during one game, and I still went 2-for-4 with a run driven in."
The injury to Jackson, combined with the loss, obviously cast a damper over proceedings in the Gameday Thread. Present last night were dahlian, hotclaws, snakecharmer, soco, Silverblood, foulpole, dstorm, Wimb, unnamedDBacksfan, LucaMaz3, Bcawz, kishi, luckycc, singaporedbacksfan, RAMJB, mrssoco, Turambar, IndyDBack, 4 Corners Fan, DbacksSkins, srdmad, TwinnerA and paqs. RAMJB is straying perilous close to sanction, for an ongoing series of remarks which seem nothing but deliberate attempts to provoke reactions. Well done to people for not responding: only the current downtime of the SB Nation site for a RAM upgrade probably saved RAMJB from an official warning. I will monitor the situation more actively today, as I can be around during things. Note, it's a day game, so bear that in mind!
Finally, various bits of team news. The D-backs and Webb are back in contract talks, with the aim being for the Diamondbacks to lock in the ace through 2013. No specifics, but "Some progress has been made," according to Webb. "We've made some headway. We'll see where it goes." And O-Dawg's status remains uncertain. The team are giving it 24 more hours, and will put him through his paces before this afternoon's final game of the series. If Melvin reckons Hudson is okay, he'll be kept on the roster, but probably only as a pinch-hitter for the series in Chicago. If not, then it could be DL time. And Doug Davis is scheduled to make his first rehab start for Tucson on Saturday. He will throw 80-85 pitches, then 100 pitches next week, all being well.