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Random Offday (and Championship Gameday Thread)

No game for the team today, as they sit around and await the arrival in town of the Milwaukee Brewers. Which is fine by me, as it'll allow me to hit the Tivo and get through some of the stuff we haven't had a chance to watch, for one reason (IZW wrestling) or another - last night's thrilling win over LA - which, like most thrilling wins, was potentially one umpiring call from wretched, albeit fairly-meaningless defeat. But there is still meaningful professional baseball being played in Arizona...

Admittedly, just not by the Diamondbacks. Details after the jump, as well as a bunch of other stuff.

The Tucson Toros face the Calgary Vipers tonight down in the state's second city, in Game Two of the Golden Baseball League championship series. The Toros reached the final two with a double-header sweep of the St. George Roadrunners on Monday, twice staving off elimination before winning the decisive game 5-4 in 11 innings. They dropped the opener against Calgary, 9-8, despite Junior Spivey scoring four runs, but will try to bounce back and level the best-of-five series this evening at Hi-Corbett. Looking at the Toros website, it appears radio the game may be available over the Internet, though I've no way of knowing if this is so. First pitch is scheduled for 7pm, regardless, so just a few minutes at the time of publication. [You can also check our the report of our trip to a Toros game last month]

[Edit: Click here to hear the game on the Internet - works in IE only, for some reason]

If you hadn't already noticed it, go check out the new SB Nation site. I think it's a great concept, with the MLB page in particular already a fixture on my bookmarks. I like the way it pulls together information from a wide variety of sources - both mainstream ones and more "mavericky" ones like Deadspin, as well as all the SB Nation baseball sites, of course. I also like the score ticker across the top where you can see how many comments each team's Gameday Thread has had. At time of writing, Federal Baseball appears to be kicking The Good Phight's ass, which is about the first time Washington has beaten Philiadelphia this season...

Even if we don't, baseball rumbles on, and the Rockies took their seventh straight game, to move to within two of the division-leading Dodgers. It is, admittedly, not quite as exciting as it was. The implosion of the Giants,and the loss of Timcecum, means both teams are now almost assured of playoff spots - 90.7% and 99.5% respectively, as of this morning, according to Baseball Prospectus and their odds report. The only difference it'll make is who gets to face the Phillies and who gets to face the Cardinals. Can't say I fancy either match-up.

Random stat, passed on to me by Mike from the D-backs ticket office, comparing two players over their first 1,600 plate appearances or so:

Player A 1602 .262 .854 86 236 253 172 523 33 62
Player B 1600 .243 .829 74 206 227 236 406 47 59

Not dissimilar, are they? Player A is Mark Reynolds. Player B is Hall of Fame third-baseman Mike Schmidt. They're comparable in age too. Schmidt’s stats go through July 29, 1975, when he was two months short of his 26th birthday. Mark is only about three months older, having turned 26 last month. I think if Reynolds goes on to have anything like the career of the 11-time All-Star, triple-MVP winner, we'll be happy. And finally, here's an interview with Justin Upton from Gambo + Ash today, in which he discusses his defence and his recent benching.

Audio courtesy of KTAR 620