Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Who Needs Mystique and Aura? 

If you're the Diamondbacks last night, you can beat yourselves, thank you very much.

The game started ominously enough, with Danny Bautista plunked in the back of the neck by Jose Contreras. After being replaced by Doug Devore in the 3rd inning, the D-Backs' youth showed. Tracy's error on a throw to the plate let Bernie Williams score in the 3rd inning. Brandon Webb didn't show any control, throwing 5 walks (2 intentional) over 5 innings, plus a hit batsman and error of his own. If it weren't for the D-Backs' 4 double plays, the game would have been a lot worse, but Mark Grace argued that Shea might have been able to get to Cairo's hit if he had positioned himself so that he wouldn't have been screened by the runner at first.

Offensively, it wasn't much better. Andy Green's homerun in the bottom of the 5th was, well, cool. Watching at home, I got some goose bumps. It certainly got the hometown fans psyched up, and when Hairston went up 2-0, I thought, OK, here comes the wildness. But Contreras caught Hairston looking on a perfect pitch and made Finley and Devore look bad, too. In the 6th, Tracy grounded into a double play. In the 7th, as Contreras zoomed right past his season-high pitch count, Gabe White came on and got Zinter out too quickly, which led to stalling by the Yankees and a funny look on Torre's face when the home plate umpire came right out and broke up the conference ("I'm shocked... shocked... to find gamlbing going on in this establishment!"). And at first it looked like Tom Gordon (who they were stalling for) was not, in fact, warmed up enough, because he promptly gave up a single to Hairston. But then he struck Finley out, and the D-Back batters never challenged after that.

So we have that first game out of the way and can look forward to scintillating Fossum-Sturtze and Sparks-Lieber matchups. Oh, well, should still be lots of fun.

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