Friday, June 18, 2004

Finally... (D-Backs 6, Yankees 1) 

[Time edited to reflect when originally sent.]

It wasn't that the D-Backs weren't trying hard the first two nights -- they
just weren't playing all that well. But they found their groove last night
and pulled out a well-deserved 6-1 victory over the Yankees.

It's hard to say Steve Sparks pitched well; he threw seven walks, after all.
But he only gave up 3 hits beyond that and, most importantly just one run,
that on a monster shot in the 6th inning by A-Rod into the ironically-named
Friday's Front Row, which is a fair distance away from the front row of the
left-field bleachers. Elmer Dessens pitched an excellent two innings of
relief for the save, giving up just 1 hit in just 20 pitches. (I'd wondered
last night if Brenly wasn't moving into some sort of closer-by-committee
when he had Dessens pitch the 9th, but the Republic reports this morning
that Valverde will be out at least 3 more games with soreness in his right

At first the D-Back offense was as anemic as the Yankee offense, until they
had runners on 1st and 3rd with one out in the 5th inning, Hairston at bat.
In the at-bat, Hairston swung at a pitch, Posada stared the runner at third,
Olson, back to third, and made a pathetically late throw to second as Brito
took second. Except that Hairston was called out for batter interference.
I don't know the rules for batter interference, and I don't think the call
was so egregious (except for the fact that the only reason Posada and
Hairston bumped was because Posada made the useless throw to second -- he
never would've caught Brito). At any rate, it became runners at 1st and 3rd
with two outs instead of 2nd and 3rd and one out, and the inning fizzled.
And when A-Rod hit his shot in the sixth, I feared some sort of mental
collapse by the D-Backs.

But luckily that never happened. Brito hit his first MLB homerun in the 7th
to put the D-Backs back on top. (That's the 3rd straight game a D-Back has
hit his 1st career homerun. Think Alan Zinter can't wait to get in the game
tonight?) And then the D-Backs shelled Yankee pitching in the 8th for four
more runs.

And you think Brenly wasn't still ticked off at home plate umpire Larry
Vanover about the Hairston call at the end of the game? When a 2-strike
pitch to Ruben Sierra just missed the outside corner, Brenly was furious,
and had some choice expletives in the general direction of home plate.

So, 1-2 for the series. I'd hoped for 2-1, but oh well. Next come the
Devil Rays, who still aren't a great team, but now come in with the longest
winning streak in baseball at 8 games. Hopefully with Randy pitching
tonight we'll at least win the series (the D-Backs are 6-6 in their last 12
non-Randy games).

Finally, in yesterday's entry, I implied that Doug DeVore had not yet hit
his first major league homerun. That's not the case, and I apologize for
any misunderstanding.

But I still wish he'd lay off a pitch every now and then.

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