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Diamondbacks 0, Rockies 1: Rookies Rolling

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Record: 49-76. Pace: 64-98. Change on last season: -6
Hinch/Gibson Win %: .392/.391

Today's game was more than just another step in the trudging march to the end of the season, and a time to choose between sweeping a division rival or continue Tankapalooza.  It was showdown between two rookie pitchers who, based on early results, could be anchoring rotations in the division for some years to come.  This may just be the first of many showdowns we see between Dan Hudson and Jhoulys Chacin, and future outings could have much more weight than a fight between #4 and #5 in the division...

So, with so much hope on the shoulders of a good pitchers duel, what did we get to see?  Pretty much as advertised.  Hudson and Chacin both looked good out on the mound.  Hudson gave up some hits early on, but worked out of any trouble- strike outs to end the first and third innings kept the Rockies from doing anything when they got a runner into scoring position.

The only real threat the Rockies had against Hudson was in the fourth inning.  Two singles by the Rockies gave them a runner in scoring position with only one out.  Hudson got a fly out to center from Ian Stewart, but Miguel Olivio knocked a two out single to center and Troy Tulowitzki rounded third to score.  No luck for Colorado, though, as we got a great throw from Chris Young to Jon Hester, and a dive by Hester to block the Mullet and keep the Rockies scoreless.  After that, Hudson retired the last nine Rockies he faced, shutting down their offense as he went through their lineup for the third time.  He left the game having pitched 7 innings and struck out 9.

Our main problem?  Jhoulys Chacin.  He was even more effective at shutting down the bats than Hudson was, holding our offense to just three hits over 7.2 innings with 9 Ks.  There were some hard hit balls that we got robbed on- a highlight reel grab by Dexter Fowler in the fourth turned an almost certain Adam LaRoche double into a deep out, and Stephen Drew deserved a better line than his 0 for 4 on the day.  All in all, we couldn't do anything on offense- three hits and a walk, and no one even made it past first base.  It got worse once Chacin left, too, as Joe Beimel and Huston Street came in from the bullpen and we went down without a fight.

The Diamondbacks bullpen, though, wasn't so effective.  When Hudson left, Aaron Heilman came in to pitch in his 17th straight game, if memory serves.  Things didn't go so well.  A one out single from Eric Young and a stolen base gave the Rockies a runner in scoring position, and Dexter Fowler gave the Rockies a one run lead with an RBI single.  Sam Demel gave us some worries in the ninth, allowing a leadoff walk and a one-out double to Ian Stewart, but managed to work out of the trouble.  Still, that one run was more than our offense could match, and our boys in Sedona red failed to lock up the sweep we were looking for.

20100822_rockies_diamondbacks_0_70_lbig__medium
[Click to enlarge, at fangraphs.com]
Awesome: Daniel Hudson (+46.6%)
Lameosaurus: Aaron Heilman (-17.2%)

Not a lot of good from the team there- other than Hudson, only Demel's ninth inning and Church's PH single were good enough performances to put a player in the land of positive contributions.  Meanwhile, we managed to put together a fairly active thread for a Sunday afternoon- we were pushing 550 by the final out.  justin1985 won the comment race, edging out Jack Cromwell by a single comment, with hotclaws taking third.  Also stopping by for the showdown: Rockkstarr12, Jim McLennan, Wailord, kishi, Andrew T. Fisher, jinnah, Azreous, snakecharmer, unnamedDBacksfan, marionette, NASCARbernet, Dallas D'Back Fan, BattleMoses, 4 Corners Fan, Zavada's Moustache, ChrisHansen, Amit, blank_38, emilylovesthedbacks, and IHateSouthBend.

For our Comment of the Day, we had several fine candidates- and you guys turned some other comments green, too.  In the end, I'll give it to Dallas D'Back Fan, who reminded us:

Enright = Most Fiery Beard in Baseball
by Dallas D'Back Fan on Aug 22, 2010 1:16 PM MST

So we finish this home stand 2-4, but at least won the series against Colorado.  A day off tomorrow, and then we head to California to face off against two teams that are making playoff plans- a series in San Diego, and then a series in San Francisco.  Will Tankapalooza carry on, or might we get a little time to do that whole "spoiler' thing people keep mentioning?  We'll see how things go.