Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Still Not Good (Padres 2, D-Backs 1) 

So Jim at But It's a DRY Heat tried to talk me (or people like me) down yesterday in his post. And I was ready to admit that perhaps I'd been a bit harsh in my assessment yesterday that the season was over with.

And then we had last night's game. A second straight strong pitching performance from Steve Sparks -- 7 innings, 3 hits, 2 walks. (Note, in June, Sparks has an ERA of 2.51. Randy Johnson has an ERA of 4.50. This means nothing, of course. But it's still scary to me.) But, as has been the D-Backs' modus operandi all season, we gave it away with poor bullpen work (OK -- not poor, but definitely no better than fair -- 2 hits, 3 walks, one hit batsman in 2 1/3) and lackluster offense (10 strikeouts). Throw into the mix poor baserunning (Gonzo -- or Brenly -- what in the world were you thinking trying to steal in the 8th?) and poor defense (2 errors, including the game-costing decision by Hairston to try to tag out Burroughs in the bottom the 10th), and it's unsurprising they lost. Disappointing, but unsurprising.

So lest I work myself into a total lather, the good points for the Diamondbacks (beyond Sparks' pitching): Gonzo throwing out Sean Burroughs not once but twice as Burroughs tried to take advantage of Gonzo's arm. (I didn't see the first play, but the second play looked like Burroughs might have had an argument for being safe.) Quick thinking by Hillenbrand to fire a late throw by Tracy onto home to retire Phil Nevin as be ploughed over Hammock. Nice homerun by Finley.

And for the second straight game, the right-field porch angers Brenly as Tracy's triple in the third ends up being ruled a ground-rule double. The correct call (and it didn't matter anyway), but it's confusing that if a ball hits the railing on the fly it's a homerun, but on a bounce it's a ground-rule double. It makes legal sense (i.e., it's out of play in both cases) but not intuitive sense.

Not particularly you, Stefan. It was more myself, since I was surprised to discover we didn't have a losing record in June up until after the first game of this series. We also equalled May's win total on June 17th, so guess that's an improvement! As an experiment, I think I'm going to try and only say good things about the D'backs for the Detroit series. Expect my posts to be short. :-)
Forgot to sign. :-)
Jim - But It's a DRY Heat...
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