Record; 35-30. Pace: 87-75. Change on last season: -2
8.6%. That was the meager extent of our Win Probability after Stephen Drew flied out, becoming the second batter retired in the fifth inning. With just thirteen outs left, and a four-run deficit to overcome, things were looking distinctly bleak for the Diamondbacks, and another defeat on this miserable road-trip loomed large in front of us like....like a large, looming thing. But wait! They say it's always darkest before the dawn; and the victory snatched from the jaws of defeat tonight, the result of eight unanswered runs, might possibly - just possibly - be the tendrils of dawn creeping over the horizon like...like a creeping, tendrily thing. I'm sorry: that game drained me of all literary aspirations, you'll have to wait for the simile bank to refuel.
The game brought a merciful end to the sick streaks which have plagued Arizona of late. We scored more than five runs for the first time since May 26, and broke past eight hits for the first time since May 27. We ended up with twelve - seven of them in four innings from the Mets pen - which is a number not seen since May 15. Drew, Hudson, Jackson and Snyder got two apiece, including a homer for each man, with O-Dawg and CoJack adding a walk. Hudson started the fightback with a two-run homer in the fifth, but it was Augie Ojeda who had the key blow, a two-run single in the sixth which brought the scores back level. At the end of that inning, the winds swirling around Shea brought a 61-minute delay to proceedings, and it seemed possible the game might be held over till tomorrow.
Fortunately for the Diamondbacks, it wasn't, as they dominated the final three frames. Snyder broke the tie with a solo homer in the eighth, and Peña made it stand up with a scoreless frame, going through the top four slots in the Mets order. Romero led off the ninth with a slap-double down the left-field line, and after Young made his fifth out of the evening, Drew smashed the ball into the largely-deserted outfield bleachers, to provide us with some breathing room. Jackson followed with his own blast, and though not a save situation, Lyon posted his 23rd straight zero in the ninth, despite a leadoff double. [One quick note. Sutton said it's the longest scoreless streak by a reliever since Carlos Marmol last year. Not so. J.C.Romero of Philadelphia went 28.1 innings from September 2, 2007, through May 1, 2008.]
It all looked pretty unlikely in the first inning, as Micah Owings retired only one of the first seven New York hitters to come to the plate. The early lead Arizona had taken, on an RBI single from Jackson, proved to be a fleeting, stillborn thing. If Snyder hadn't managed to gun down Reyes as he tried to steal second, we could well have ended the first further behind than two runs. We soon were anyway, as David Wright uncorked a two-run homer off Owings. He struggled on beyond that, but was bailed out by Cruz after 4.1 innings, with his final line being eight hits, three walks and four earned runs - a third non-quality start in a row for him, though he did single and score on Hudson's homer.
Much credit is due to the five members of the pen who followed Owings. Cruz, Slaten, Qualls [who finally broke his streak of five losses, and got his first win in a Diamondbacks jersey], Peña and Lyon, who combined for 4.2 innings of shutout ball, allowing three hits and no walks. Perhaps equally important, they were economical with their work, those 4.2 frames requiring only 56 pitches, so our bullpen should be relatively fresh, especially with Webb going tomorrow, and averaging almost seven innings per start. Compare the Mets pen, who took 82 pitches for their four innings - Vargas (29 pitches) and Sanchez (24) will likely be unavailable on Wednesday.
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Master of his domain: Augie Ojeda, +21.9%
Honorable mentions: Snyder (+15.6%), Peña (+14.6%),
Hudson (12.8%), Jackson (+12.1%)
God-emperor of suck: Micah Owings, -34.3%
Dishonorable mention: Chris Young, -13.7%
I think that may be a record: I don't recall a game before where we had five players in positive double-digits. Of course, this was largely because of the large hole dug for us by Micah Owings early on. However, kudos are due to all the players mentioned in bold-type above, who all played key roles in the game. This was a great game to win: Todd Walsh, from beside the Diamondbacks dugout, said he could see the whole body-language change, and that they now clearly couldn't wait to get to the ballpark tomorrow. Whether that's true or not - and 'momentum' may be as over-rated as Pulp Fiction - if this victory doesn't turn our season around, then nothing short of fifty thousand Volts will.
Tumbleweeds rolled across the Gameday Thread in the second through fourth innings: I think we added only about 45 comments in the hour or so between me leaving work and getting home. However, early and late, there was a great deal of activity, and we ended at not far short of overflow levels. Present were Wimb, DbacksSkins, TwinnerA, hotclaws, luckycc, Augie's Army, bcloirao, foulpole, dahlian, CPAYNEonaplane, soco, kishi, unnamedDBacksfan, Counsellmember, srdmad, Stile4aly, emilylovesthedbacks, 4 Corners Fan, dstorm and mrssoco, so thanks to them for their attendance. Though perhaps the most entertaining thing in the game was the called strikes from home-plate umpire Jim Joyce - they sounded somewhere between a trumpeting elephant and the horn on a Model T Ford.
Looks like we'll not be getting Eric Byrnes back this series. While he's eligible to come off the DL tomorrow, Melvin ruled out any possibility of that happening before the team's return to Arizona on Friday. "He will not come off here, much to his chagrin... I want him to be able to run full speed and not have to hold anything back. That's a big tool in his game, whether it's psychologically or fundamentally. A lot of his game comes from being able to run and put pressure on a defense, like he does in the outfield. He's got to be able to go out. I'm not saying he has to be a certain time down the line, but he's got to be able to run and not hold back."
Oh, look - the Dodgers won... ;-)