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Brewers 7, Diamondbacks 1

Record: 32-27. Pace: 88-74. Change on last season: -3

Quote: "As a visiting player, that meant a lot. That’s pretty classy and I won’t ever forget that." - Randy Johnson.

This will be shorter than usual, because I'm stuck with work early in the morning (woo 4:45!) and because I feel like nobody really wants to go over this for the umpteenth time in the past week. It was the usual comedy of errors, lack of offense and waste of good starting pitching.

Randy once again supplanted Roger Clemens for second place all-time in strikeouts, wasting little time in racking it up in the first inning, and getting a nice round of applause from the fans and both dugouts in the process. In fact, Johnson was frequently getting to two-strike counts on hitters. He made a nifty (albeit dangerous) barehanded snag on a ball up the middle at one point as well. I'm still baffled as to why he came back out in the seventh, similarly to why Doug Davis came back out in the seventh, pitch counts be damned. The Unit's situation was particularly strange, having given up a two-run homer and three warning track flyouts in the sixth. I'd imagine Melvin, as always, was trying to give his starter a shot at getting the win (and once again, #51 missed out on #289). But Johnson got knocked around a bit more in the seventh, albeit with some help from some iffy defense, and then Cruz gave up a sac fly to score the runner he inherited.

Despite all that, Unit's line was still pretty solid (6.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) and didn't really reflect how well he pitched. Another quality start wasted, if nothing else. Scherzer gave up three more runs in the eighth and that was that.

In the meantime, the offense was wasting what few opportunities it managed to string together. Exhibit A was Jeff Salazer in the third. He doubled to lead off the inning. That's good. Then he stood on second haplessly after RJ got down a pretty good bunt. That's bad. Then he didn't score on Drew's single. That's also bad. Along comes a Young GIDP, and the inning was over with nothing to show for it. The only offense came from a Reynolds RBI double -- Reynolds was the only Diamondback who reached base more than once, with a couple hits and a walk. No one else drew a base on balls, and there were only four other hits scattered throughout the lineup. Sum it up this way: McClung, the Brewers' starting pitcher, not only managed to outduel a Hall of Famer, but also outhit all but one player in the Diamondbacks' order. No other insight is really required at this point.


[Click to enlarge, in new window]
God-emperor of his domain: Mark Reynolds, +18.3%
God-emperor of suck: Chris Young, -13.7%



Basically, if you watched this game or read the recap, you don't need much else from me. The game was much closer than the final score indicated, but it serves as a painful reminder just how tiny this team's margin of error is right now. With the team's complete inability to grasp the fundamentals or get more than one timely hit a game, the solid work by the rotation seems doomed to a cycle of being wasted. Toss in some lackadaisical defense and avant garde baserunning, and you have a team that is fortunate to be in first place to be in the worst division in baseball.

Go team go.