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Brewers 8, Diamondbacks 6 - Bad Hops

Record: 42-42. Pace: 81-81. Change on last season: -5

Welcome back, .500. We barely had time to miss you. Not that anybody did, but still.

Randy Johnson was on the hill for the second game of the series, but his results continued to be disappointing. The Not-So-Big Unit struggled yet again, coming up short in another attempt at win 289. He gave up seven runs in just 3 2/3 innings, needing 93 pitches to get through that span. He was knocked around eight hits and three walks as his ERA ballooned up to 5.46. The killing blows were mostly struck by J.J. Hardy, who homered off Johnson in each of the first two innings -- but they were far from the only well-struck balls of the night.

The recently called up Connor Robertson was solid in relief, however, giving up just one run on two hits in three innings in an effort that kept the Diamondbacks in the game. In the process, he posted a Curt-Schilling-esque 32/9 strike to ball ratio. Rosales and Slaten also saw work and posted solid outings.

Despite the early deficit, the offense valiantly tried to claw its way back in the game. Down 7-1, the Diamondbacks picked up two runs in the fourth (Montero's RBI single and Ojeda's RBI groundout) and two more in the fifth on Conor Jackson's eight homer of the season, which cut the lead to a much more respectable 7-5. In the eighth, with the deficit back to three, Reynolds and Tracy started the inning with singles, but they could only manage to get one run back on a Chris Young RBI fielder's choice. An unlucky double play lineout by Montero later, they found their rally very much killed off.

The leadoff man reached again in the ninth when Ojeda was plunked by a Salomon Torres pitch. A groundout to the right side by Salazer moved him into scoring position, but that was as far as Augie would get. As the potential tying run, Upton and Burke both grounded out, and that was that.

[Click to enlarge, in new window]
Master of his domain: Conor Jackson, +20.5%
God-emperor of suck: Randy Johnson, -41.0%

Ultimately, the early hole Johnson dug was just too much to climb out of. Jackson had three hits including the homer, and Reynolds, Tracy and Young added two hits of their own (Tracy also walked to reach base for a third time). On a number of days with our starting pitchers, six runs would have been enough, but not so today. On the flip side, Drew was 0-for-4 in the leadoff spot, which continues to be a puzzling (to put it nicely) decision.

Missing from the lineup for very understandable reasons was Chris Snyder, who apparently managed to fracture a testicle. No further discussion on the subject is necessary. Byrnes is still nursing the hamstring problem, and Reynolds took a sharp ground ball off his hand, although he stayed in the game and showed no ill effects. Considering the struggles right now, another nasty bite from the injury bug would seem to be the last thing we need. Robby Hammock literally showed up in the middle of the game, which only served to add to the feeling of watching the walking wounded. Robertson's 41 pitches would seem to imply that Owings will be able to make his start, although at this point it could also be whoever still has a working arm in the bullpen in a joint effort. Hard to say. In any case, it doesn't bode well for tomorrow's game.