Record 77-77. Pace: 81-81. Change on last season: -10
Elimination number: 5. Playoff odds: very marginal
I am probably not the best person to write a recap of the game having seen not a single pitch of it. Instead, my afternoon was spent watching middle-school football - though that was brought to a sudden halt by a severe injury to one of the players, that brought out paramedics. The player in question was still laying on the ground some 25 minutes later, when we made our excuses and left. Though I was already wondering about the whole point of the endeavor, as his team was 22-0 down at the start of the second quarter, with the opposing team clearly larger, stronger and possessing about twice the number of players. Good way to grind any enthusiasm for sport out of those on the receiving end.
From there, it was on to a BBQ, accompanied by a healthy dose of 80's nostalgia, in a variety of ways: audio, visual and a game of the Totally 80's edition of Trivial Pursuit. I was somewhat hampered here, having grown up in the United Kingdom during that decade, which was clearly a different place from that inhabited by the writers of the questions. Still, much fun was had, entirely unencumbered by any concerns about the Arizona Diamondbacks. We are now back home, having paused only to pick up some ant genocide chemicals, having discovered a colony of the little critters marching in to our bedroom this morning. They are a good deal less cute when nibbling on your toes, than in Pixar CGI-animated movies, let me tell you.
Anyway, I guess you are here because you to want to hear about the game, not our pest-control issues or relive my teenage years. Stephen Drew won it for Arizona with a two-run homer in the ninth - immediately after having to be hauled back to the plate, after an amusing but ill-fated attempt to trot down to first-base on ball three. Nice try, and he would have gotten away with it, if it hadn't been for pesky home-plate umpire Chuck Meriwether insisting that you needed four balls to get a walk. Drew rendered it moot with his 19th HR of the season, scoring Chris Young, who had walked and then stolen second. That made the score 5-3, and Qualls then came in and closed things out, albeit around a triple and a walk - Troyboy made the final out, always particularly satisfying. I enjoy anything with the words "Tulowitzki" and "failure" in the same sentence, to borrow a phrase.
That made a largely unwarranted winner of Tony Peña, who coughed up the tying run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Atkins. That robbed the much more deserving Doug Davis, who instead got his fourth straight no-decision, despite - and stop me if you've heard this before, Randy - an ERA in those games of 2.01. Today, Davis went six innings, allowing only two runs on six hits and a walk, striking our four Colorado hitters. That is the twenty-eighth quality start record by our pitchers this season which has resulted in a no-decision, along with twelve losses. Here's the breakdown of those unrewarded quality starts, by pitcher:
In case you're wondering how that stacks up, the major-league leader is Johan Santana, who has nine no-decisions and five losses from quality starts, while Aaron Harang has five no-decisions and eight losses.
Arizona took the lead in the first, a double by Tracy driving in Drew, who had also doubled. They added another in the second, when Doug Davis hit into a bases-loaded double-play that scored a run, but the Rockies tied it up with single runs in the fourth and the sixth. An error by Taveras in the seventh gave the lead back to Arizona, as his misplay allowed Snyder to score from second, but after a 1-2-3 inning from Lyon, Colorado came right back against Peña, as noted above. Not a great day for the offense though, with only six hits - Drew and Tracy had a pair each - though they did have the same number of free passes, including two for Snyder, while Young and Ojeda each had a hit and a walk.
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Master of his domain: Stephen Drew, +36.8%
Honorable mention: Clark, +22.3%; Young, +13.1%; Lyon, +11.0%
God-emperor of suck: Tony Peña, -18.6%
Dishonorable mention: Mark Reynolds: -14.7%
Even without any significant contribution from me, quite active thread, as we claw our way back up to .500 once again. Present were Azreous, snakecharmer, DbacksSkins, unnamedDBacksfan, kishi, luckycc, TwinnerA, Scrbl, Diamondhacks, 4 Corners Fan, Gravity, emilylovesthedbacks, oldjacket, the mystical one and damdrs1717. One polite request I received: "the phrase "xxx kinda looks retarded" may offend certain readers, particularly those with mentally handicapped loved ones." Just a note to exercise a bit of forethought in that area, if possible: I ain't going to get all PC on anyone, but I can see the potential issue there, which is easily enough avoided, i think.
Dodgers won, tearing into the Giants bullpen for another victory that pushes them ever closer to the division title. We need a serious collapse by them in the next couple of games if we are to have any chance, but even as we've won five of the last six games, I can't say I am doing much more than planning what I'll be writing about in the off-season. Still, another game tomorrow and be nice to take the game and the series. Looks like the pitching match-up should heavily favor us, but we've seen that more than once before...