Record: 68-64. Pace: 83-79. Change on last season: -7
Magic number: 28. Playoff odds: TBA.
I generally avoid the first person in most of these recaps, as in most journalistic writing, but you'll have to spare me a few faux pas this morning. I say this morning because I've spent the past 15 hours in the office getting the paper to press, and being blissfully unaware of what was happening in Brandon Webb's quest to pick up win #20 on the season. Needless to say, I'm not particularly thrilled with any of the night's events.
Webb struggled to control his curve and changeup, and without a great sinker to rely on, the results were a disaster. His shortest start since June. His winning streak snapped. His Cy Young chances diminished (but still strong). Early, things didn't look so bad. Webb retired the first four hitters he faced via the ground ball, and all was right with the world. Come the third inning, however, the Padres batted around and battered Brandon. A three-run homer by Giles and a two-run double by Kouzmanoff were the cannonizing blows, and suddenly Webb found himself in a 5-0 hole.
Arizona struck back quickly, doing all of its damage (in the inning, and as it turned out, the game) with two outs in the top of the fourth. Adam Dunn flipped a base hit into right, and Mark Reynolds followed it up by smacking a pitch into left center for his 25th homer of the season. The lead was down to three, and the hope was that perhaps Webb could settle in long enough for the offense to put a few more runs together.
Unfortunately, neither of those materialized. Webb got into trouble again in the fifth and was chased after giving up a sixth run. The bullpen didn't fare much better, with Rosales giving up a pair of runs in the eighth and Rauch once again giving up a run in the ninth (although this was at least in an inconsequential situation). Meanwhile, the offense wasted a couple of base runners in the fifth while the game was still in reach, and left the bases loaded in the eighth when a grand slam would have at least reduced the lead to two. With only three hits, opportunities were few and far between, and those two going to waste were the final nails in the coffin.
The lineup can be summarized with two-faced effectiveness: Reynolds broke out of his homerless streak and drove in the only runs, Dunn reached base all four times (three walks and a base hit), and Jeff Salazer was 1 for 1. No one else is deserving of mention, particularly not Chris Young (0-4, 2 K) or Tony Clark (0-4, 3 K). Except I just mentioned them. A similar result for the pitchers: only Juan Cruz managed to escape unscathed. It was a month to the day since the last time Brandon was the GEoS, and I'm sure we're all hoping that much time will pass before it happens again.
Participants for last night's game day thread included: kishi, TwinnerA, Jim McLennan, DbacksSkins, SongBird, 4 Corners Fan, J Up, soco, snakecharmer, utahdbacksfan, mrssoco, Scrbl, singaporedbacksfan, Muu, unnamedDBacksfan, Gravity, foulpole, srdmad, emilylovesthedbacks, and a suspicious new user called foulpoIe (with a capital i; don't think we don't know who you are...).
There isn't a ton else to add here. Other than the homer to Reynolds, Reineke shut us down. Really, the Padres were dominating in pretty much every facet, and now have the Diamondbacks facing a sweep tomorrow with Johnson on the mound against Cha Seung Baek.
"But hey, at least the Dodgers lost." Their staggering ineptitude (pot, kettle?) continued with a loss to the lowly Nationals, scoring three runs or less for the eighth consecutive game. It pains the heart to think of the lead that could be with just a couple more wins this month. Six or seven games certainly would not have seemed out of the question. As it is, we lick our wounds and can at least take solace in the three-game lead we still have.