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Diamondbacks 7, Padres 4: Win One for the Buckner

The Arizona Diamondbacks Professional Base Ball Club gathered at a small field in the warehouse district of downtown Phoenix today for a friendly with the San Diego Padres Professional Base Ball Club. Several spectators came out to watch the match, as it was the Club's final outing in Arizona until early next year. Throwing on behalf of the Arizona side was a young fellow named William Buckner, and for the San Diego side, an immigrant gentleman by the name of Edward Mujica. Hitting "home runs", an exciting happenstance wherein a batter hits a ball completely out of the field of play, were a down-home North Carolina boy named Chad Tracy as well as a Mexican-American fellow named Adrian Gonzalez. Registering a win for our dear old home side was Buckner, while Mujica notched his 5th loss of the year for San Diego. Details of this jovial event can be found by turning to the athletics page of this news paper.

Record: 68-88. Pace: 71-91. Change on last season: -9

Billy Buckner pitched seven innings of three hit baseball to get the win, but narrowly missed tossing his second quality start at home this season. Buckner was perfect the first time through the order, but the first three batters in the Padres lineup all scored before Buckner recorded an out the second time through, on a walk to Tony Gwynn, a David Eckstein single severely misplayed by Justin Upton, and Adrian Gonzalez's 40th home run of the season, a pool shot. Buckner quickly settled down to get the next nine batters in order, but a leadoff walk to Chase Headley to start the 7th inning scored on a double by Drew Macias to rob Buckner's chances at a QS. However, Buckner struck out Henry Blanco and Everth Cabrera to end the inning and leave with the lead. Billy fell one short of his career high with 7 strikeouts and came within one out of his longest career outing, going 7 innings. He allowed only 3 hits and 2 walks, but 4 of those 5 baserunners came around to score.

Esmerling Vasquez came on to pitch the 8th, and after going 3-0 on Luis Durango, Mark Reynolds came out to the mound to talk to Vasquez. Whatever he said must have worked, because he came back to strike out Durango and followed with a groundout by Gwynn. Eckstein was able to squirt a ground ball through the infield, and after LOOGY Scott Schoeneweis failed to retire Adrian Gonzalez, AJ Hinch brought in Juan Gutierrez for a 4-out save. Non-closer Gutierrez immediately struck out Chase Headley to end the dreaded 8th inning without a run, and pitched around singles by Blanco and Cabrera in the 9th to get his 8th save of the year and grab saves in consecutive games for the first time since the 15th of this month, and only his second 1+ inning save of the season; his only other coming on May 26th against these same Padres in 5 outs.

On the offensive side of the game, Chad Tracy was the star, coming a triple away from the cycle in his probable final Dbacks home game, scoring two and driving in himself on the homer. Batting behind Tracy, Augie Ojeda, who very well might have played in HIS last Dbacks home game, also had three hits with two doubles, driving in three and scoring two. No other Diamondback had more than a single hit, although only Reynolds went ohfer among the starters. Justin Upton reached 3x on a single and two walks. Stephen Drew went 1-5 but made it count, driving in two runs on a double in the bottom of the 6th to give the Dbacks the lead.

Both teams were scoreless until the 4th inning. Tracy and Augie hit back to back doubles and Buckner helped himself out with a single to make the score 3-2 in favor of the visitor, while Chad's solo homer to the pool area in the bottom of the 6th tied the game. The 3rd video review of the homestand confirmed the homer, after a fan apparently reached up above Tony Gwynn's glove. Gwynn argued for interference, but the crew chief disagreed upon video review. Augie singled and Chris Young walked in front of Droo, who gave the home team a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Our Venezuelan dynamic duo of Miguel Montero and Gerardo Parra both singled to allow Augie to drive in the final two runs of the game, capping the scoring at 7-4 in favor of the good guys.

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Badass of the Day: Augie Ojeda, +25.4%
Also mavericky: Stephen Drew, +18.4%; Chad Tracy, +15.9%
Boarding the bus to Reno: Mark Reynolds, -11.3%

It was a quick game, just 2 hours and 33 minutes, and finished our season series with San Diego at a satisfying 11-7 in favor of the Snakes. Attendance was just over 30k souls for the last home game of the season, down nine thousand from Mark Reynolds Night but still third highest for a Sunday home game this season and the highest since August 16th against the Dodgers.

A Wolf-like 359 comments in the gameday thread, led by soco, the only poster to break triple digits, followed by me and hotclaws. Posters included Azreous, soco, emilylovesthedbacks, hotclaws, DbacksSkins, Wailord, mrs snakepit, NASCARbernet, kishi, katers, and a cameo appearance by ChrisHansen. Now, all of you should go watch the home team Arizona Cardinals beat AJforAZ's Indianapolis Colts on national TV!

[Update: audio clippage. At the moment, from AJ Hinch talking before the game, reviewing the "disappointing" 2009 season, but saying he believes we can contend next season.]

Audio courtesy of KTAR 620