Record: 81-80. Pace: 82-80. Change on last season: -9.
Despite driving in two more runs with his efforts at the plate, one bad inning, in which Brandon Webb hit two Colorado batters, who both came around to score, sank our ace's effort to snatch his 23rd victory of the year. However, three runs in the eighth inning, including a two-run single with the bases loaded by Stephen Drew, snatched victory for the Diamondbacks and gives them a chance to finish with a winning a record, if they can complete the sweep of the Rockies tomorrow.
It was the fifth inning where Webb's control slipped, and that cost him the chance of a 23rd victory. With one out, a 3-1 lead, and having retired eleven in a row, he plunked the Rockies' #7 hitter, then followed that by repeating the action on the #8 hitter. That's quite uncharacteristic: he had only hit 23(!) batters since the end of 2004, a spell covering 920 innings. A double and a pair of singles led to three Colorado runs, that gave them the lead and, though Webb went seven innings for the 20th time this year in 34 starts, the offense was not able to get back into the lead for him. He ended with six hits and two walks over seven, also striking out seven. The no-decision leaves him at 22-7, though his ERA crept up a few pips to end the season at 3.30.
Webb certainly helped himself as part of a three-run rally in the fourth. Adam Dunn led off with his 40th homer, joining an elite club of sluggers who have reached that mark in five consecutive seasons - the massive bomb, estimated at 454 feet, also provided his 100th RBI of the year. With two outs, Chris Snyder and David Eckstein both singled, and Webb then put a good swing on the first pitch, and drove it down into the left-field corner, with both men scoring. Said Webb, "(Against) left-handers, I should probably be batting seventh or so." i think that was tongue-in-cheek, but he was a very respectable .269 [7-for-26 with ten RBI] against southpaws this year. He's also proved remarkably clutch, hitting .333 [7-for-21] with runners in scoring position and two out, driving in eleven runs.
With our starter gone, another three-run rally, in the eighth, gave Arizona their second lead of the game, one they would be able to keep. Dunn started things off with a double and, one out later, came round to score the tying run after Mark Reynolds singled to right. Chad Tracy, pinch-hitting for Snyder, struck out, but Miguel Montero - PH-ing for Eckstein - walked, and Jeff Salazar, batting for Brandon Lyon just beat out an infield single to load the bases for Drew. He stroked a 2-2 pitch from Corpas to right, and Reynolds and Montero both scored, to give Arizona a 6-4 lead. Qualls again pitched a perfect ninth, striking out two as he got his sixth save in six chances since taking over from Lyon. His season ERA finished at 2.81, which makes the Valverde trade look remarkably good for us.
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Master of his domain: Stephen Drew, +30.0%
Highly-honorable mentions: Dunn, +21.5%; Webb (bat), +20.1%
God-emperor of suck: Justin Upton, -22.0%
Dishonorable mention: Brandon Webb (pitch), -11.5%
Yes, Webb contributed a lot more at the plate that on the mound today: ironic, as we wanted to push him towards the premier pitching award in the game. Drew had two hits and a walk, Chris Young had a walk and two hits, while Dunn and Eckstein each added a pair of hits. The team ran their record against the Rockies this year to an emphatic 14-3 with one game left to play - we already have completed the season sweep, taking all six series against Colorado. The crowd was somewhat disappointing, only 33,234. The penultimate home-game last year pulled 47,673, though we were in the heat of a pennant chase at that point. It is very comparable to the 2006 figure, for a meaningless game against San Diego, which was attended by 33,019.
Wasn't able to participate much in the thread. Mrs. SnakePit came home and we slumped, watched Bee Movie [don't bother. It's really more of a D+ Movie], lazed on the bed, fell asleep, caught bits of the game, ordered pizza and then watched The Machine Girl, which is a perfect movie for those of you who thought that the Black Knight scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail was too restrained in its use of arterial spray. I never realized high blood-pressure was such an issue in Japan, but everyone here gushed like a fire-hose. Anyway: present in the thread were TwinnerA, kishi, DbacksSkins, Azreous, soco, snakecharmer, 4 Corners Fan, Scrbl, hotclaws, Diamondhacks, Wailord, mrssoco and emilylovesthedbacks, so thanks to them.
So, tomorrow, it ends. Randy Johnson goes for career win #295. Again. The Diamondbacks go for a winning record. I like to think we'll have a good turnout in the Gameday Thread: I am hoping to be about more, before we scoot off to our lucha show [and then again, once we arrive at the wi-fi enabled Sets]. Then, we just have to work out what we're going to do for the next five months, till spring-training starts up once again. Stare out the window and wait for the end of winter...