Record: 71-73. Pace: 80-82. Change on last season: -10
Elimination number: 16. Playoff odds: i%.
A treatise, of course, is a different way of saying "long-ass explanation." Of course, one isn't really necessary to explain the track this season has taken -- its Fangraph would resemble an old-school roller coaster, with a steady rise, and then a gut-wrenching plummet the rest of the way. Besides, if a lengthy exposition were needed, we've got Jim's fanpost up to discuss the merits of looking ahead to next season.
Meanwhile, the sound you hear in the background is one of nagging persistence. It started out as the hum of what we assumed was inconsistency, given the April results. Over the past two weeks, however, that faint hum has turned into a full-blown buzzing noise that can no longer be ignored. This team is all but done, folks, and the dichotomy of results between the Diamondbacks and Dodgers tonight sum it up perfectly (if the past two head-to-head series weren't enough on their own).
Things got off to a pretty decent start. The second inning was one where both managers probably lost a little of what remains of their hair. In the top half, the Diamondbacks took an early lead when Doug Davis, he of the .108 average, singled in a run with the bases loaded and one out. We managed another run on a Stephen Drew sac fly, but Zito retired Eckstein to stop the bleeding there. Zito, he of the .133 average, got a measure of revenge in the bottom half, singling in a run of his own after a two-out triple and an intentional walk to face him.
The two pitchers, having already asserted themselves at the plate, continued to trade zeroes through the sixth, when San Francisco scratched across another run and chased Davis in the process. Qualls came in and got out of the jam, however, and then put up another zero in the seventh to keep the game tied at 2. In the eighth, when Chad was replaced by Tony Peña, things went downhill. He gave up a leadoff double to Omar Vizquel, who was promptly sacrificed to third. They walked Winn to put the double play in order, but that backfired when Lewis got an RBI single, and Rich Aurilia followed with another single to drive in Winn.
But the Diamondbacks rallied in the top of the ninth against Brian Wilson (much to the chagrin of my fantasy team), with surprising haste. Young singled to lead things off, and Snyder belted a pitch into the left field seats to tie the game up very quickly. Ojeda, Romero and Drew and grounded out to end the inning, but the damage had been done and the Diamondbacks found themselves in a 4-4 game.
Enter Jon Rauch. Why Jon Rauch? Your guess is as good as mine. It can't be about restoring confidence at this point, because seemingly anything would raise his confidence from zero. For the seventh time in his past nine appearances, he was charged with a run, and failed to retire either of the two batters he faced (base hit, walk). In came Juan Cruz to try and escape the jam, and wriggle he did. Cruz retired Vizquel on a liner, but Velez singled with one out, scoring Sandoval, and the game was over in crushing fashion.
Master of his Domain: Chris Snyder, +40.4%
Honorable Mention: Chad Qualls, +21.8%
God-Emperor of Suck: Tony Peña, -31.2%
Dishonorable Mention: Juan Cruz, -18.1%; Jon Rauch, -17.7%, Adam Dunn, -10.3%
This is another of those situations where Fangraphs can't quiteadequately measure the situation. Rauch was certainly more at fault for the events of the ninth inning, but Cruz gave up the game winning run, and that always moves the WE bar to 100 percent. The impact of Snyder's home run and the bullpen's collapse is certainly well represented, though. Dunn gets a slight mention because of his 0-for-4, 2 K performance.
The positive? Snyder had three hits along with his huge home run. Doug Davis pitched decently, albeit not great, and contributed at the plate. Chris Young had a couple of hits, and Conor Jackson reached twice on a hit and a walk. Oh, and Mark Reynolds managed to walk in the one plate appearance where he didn't strike out.
It was a busy GDT that understandably was depressed at the end -- 850ish comments and the first overflow thread we've seen in a while. Present and accounted for: Jim McLennan, foulpole, Scrbl, AF DBacks Fanatic, emilylovesthedbacks, kishi, DbacksSkins, snakecharmer, unnamedDBacksfan, TwinnerA, AZWILDCATS, damdrs1717, mrssoco, soco, singaporedbacksfan, Diamondhacks, victor frankenstein, utahdbacksfan, Wactivist, Augie's Army, jazzbo13, Stile4aly, Turambar and pepperdinedevil.
We have no such "At least the Dodgers lost" tomfoolery to fall back on today, as LA feasted on San Diego's bullpen for five runs in a 6-2 win. That puts us two and a half games back of the dreaded Dodgers, the farthest we've been behind at any point in the season (yes, this is somewhat misleading given the quick start and our clinging to the lead for three months). Needless to say, the window of opportunity is almost completely closed, and considerations are being made to put up bars and iron curtains as well.
It's (Bizarro?) Dan Haren tomorrow, against a pitcher with a 12.46 ERA this season. In other words, it's probably another loss on the schedule. It's an afternoon start, though, so I guess we won't have long to wait and see.