Record: 42-41. Pace: 82-80. Change on last season: -4
As this game wore on, it seemed the question was going to be, less whether Arizona would score enough runs, than whether they would have enough able bodies to man all nine positions. First, Eric Byrnes basically collapsed half-way between second and third, as he tried to steal a base in the second: he never even made it to third. Though he limped off the infield under his own steam, he went straight to the dugout, and it looks likely that he is going back onto the DL with a re-occurrence of the hamstring injury which kept him out for four weeks earlier this month. If it is the same problem, one has to wonder whether he came back too soon, before the injury healed properly - especially since it came basically the first time he hit full speed. If so, whose fault is it? Byrnes, for claiming fitness, or the Diamondbacks' training staff for not spotting it?
He was replaced in left-field by Jeff Salazar, and the game continued. However, in the fourth inning,. Chris Snyder also got taken out of the game - in rather unfortunate fashion. The Republic describes it as "an unspecified injury," but here's what happened. A foul ball ricocheted off the ground and up into... Well, let's be honest here: Snyder's crotch. Now, catchers do wear a protective cup, but that's designed to protect the family jewels from frontal assault. Judging by the way our catcher dropped to the ground like a stunned heifer, this ball managed to bypass the armor with a degree of accuracy that would have made Lee Harvey Oswald proud. Mark Grace was not exactly sympathetic, squeaking "I'm not quite ready yet!" in a high-pitched voice as Snyder got back down, somewhat uncomfortably, behind the plate. Chris toughed out the inning, but was replaced by Montero for his at-bat in the bottom of the fourth.
The fifth inning saw another bump at home-plate. We had men on second and third, when Jackson hit a ball to right-field. Hart successfully duped Ojeda, on third, into thinking he'd have to tag to score, even though the ball dropped in front of him. Augie scurried home, getting there at the same time as the ball, and ended up colliding with Kendall and going down in a heap. The ball got away, and Drew scored behind Ojeda as well, though there seemed to be a bit of a clinch going on between Augie and Brewers' catcher Kendall. Not quite sure who was to blame there, but Kendall probably needs to pick on someone his own size. No-one touches the Littlest Ballplayer and gets away with it. :-)
That play, and a subsequent RBI double by Reynolds, proved to be the turning points in the game, giving Arizona a three-run lead. Not that it was all chocolate and flowers from there on, the sixth inning being particularly interesting, shall we say. It started with Davis plunking Prince Fielder, presumably some kind of attempt by Doug to prove that, yes, he can hit the broad side of a barn. Two walks followed, and Davis was yanked in favor of - cue screams from the assembled masses - Mr. Inherited Runner, Chad Qualls. Yes, probably the last person we wanted to see with the bases loaded, and a mob with torches began to assemble in the foyer at Chase Field. He then walked in a run for Milwaukee, but with the tying run a bloop away, managed to get Weeks swinging for the third out. The mob decided to go to Chili's instead, and put away their copies of 'Skins visual aid regarding Qualls.
Mark Reynolds was the offensive force of the game, going 3-for-3 with a walk, and all three hits being for extra-bases - including his 17th homer of the year, matching his total from all of last year, despite 91 fewer at-bats to date. The three runs driven in gave Special K 52 in total, and he is currently on pace to become the first Diamondback to reach three figures for a season, since Luis Gonzalez had 104 RBI in 2003. Augie Ojeda had two hits from the lead-off spot, and scored both times he got on base. This makes perfect sense, since it's what the lead-off hitter is supposed to do, and his on-base percentage (.394) is second only to Jackson (.400). Certainly beats Drew (.297) and Byrnes (.272), though since he was only in the starting line-up to give O-Dawg a day off, expect normal service to be resumed tomorrow. Drew had two hits, and Montero a pair of walks.
Doug Davis picked up the win, but his control issues in the sixth meant he fell one out short of a fourth straight quality start. He began in somewhat wobbly form, falling behind 2-0 before retiring the second Brewer of the night, but buckled down from there. The only further damage was the run charged to him on Qualls' bases-loaded walk in the sixth: Davis's final line was 5.2 innings, with five hits, four walks and three strikeouts. Qualls came back out for the seventh and pitched around a lead-off double, while Pena came in for the eighth and Lyon the ninth. Be very interesting to see what happens in the event of a close game tomorrow, as both Pestileñce and War have now pitched in the past three games. Cruz to close and Qualls to set-up?
Looked like it was going to be a low-key Gameday Thread early on, but just as the Diamondbacks did, participants kicked up their output in the middle innings, and finished strong - albeit somewhat off-topic. Dbackskins cracked the two hundred mark, while everyone else lollygagged in double-digits: also present were kishi, 4 Corners Fan, hotclaws, seton hall snake pit, DbacksSkins, soco, unnamedDBacksfan, mrssoco, emilylovesthedbacks, Muu, snakecharmer, LucaMaz3, DiamondbacksWIn and The Main Man, so thanks to all those who showed up.
Dodgers lost. Giants lost. Rockies lost spectacularly, coughing up an 8-3 lead to lose 15-8 to the Padres, for their eighth defeat in a row. The net result is that the standings in the NL West are basically unchanged from what they were on June 8, even though we've gone 8-12 in that time:
|June 8||June 30|
Finally, a quick note on Micah Owings, since injuries seem to be the theme of the day. It's still up in the air whether he'll make his scheduled start on Wednesday: He said, "We're planning on it right now, but we'll see how it feels after I do some more treatment... I wish I could explain it. When I went down for the ball, my lower right side and upper glute just locked up on me... I've never had anything like that happen." The Petit Unit looks likely to get the start if Owings is not ready to go.
Oh, and tomorrow is a special Gameday Thread, in which all discussion of the game in the comments will be prohibited while it is in progress. Marshals will be carefully monitoring for any violations of this condition and all violators will be punished harshly. Suggestions of alternative topics to discuss are welcome.