Thursday, July 29, 2004

The D-Backs Have Split A Series! The D-Backs Have Split A Series! 

OK, it's not quite like the Giants winning the pennant, but after the past month or so, it feels something like that.

This afternoon's 6-4 D-Backs victory over the Astros was not an easy game to watch -- you know, where the offense jumps out to a huge lead and the pitching staff throws a 3-hitter with no walks.  Of course, we've had, what, maybe a couple of those this year?  No, I always had the feeling that we were a couple pitches away from getting blown out by the Astros.

In the first inning, for example, after being staked to a 3-run lead, Lance Cormier promptly:
1) gave up a double to Biggio
2) threw a wild pitch, sending Biggio to 3rd
3) walked Everett
4) didn't bother holding Everett to the bag, allowing him to steal 2nd easily.

All of a sudden, it's runners on 2nd and 3rd, nobody out, and Carlos Beltran striding to the plate.  We can all pick our separate D-Back pitching collapses stuck in our memory, and this appeared to be making a place for itself in mine.

And then, Cormier got out of it.  1 run scored, and the D-Backs were up 3-1.

It stayed that way until the 5th inning when Tracy got a two-out double.  Gonzalez tapped an easy ground ball to shortstop Everett and... inexplicably bounced it to first, and making Gonzo safe at first.  Tracy, in a fine bit of baserunning he must have learned from a Diamondbacks Training Camp DVD, never stopped running from second and scored easily.

Oh my goodness!  A heads up play!  Sensible hustle by Tracy!  I nearly fainted.

Well, then Hillenbrand hit a homerun, so it was all for nought really, but it was still nice to see.

Cormier wiggled out of another jam in the bottom of the 5th, giving up 2 more runs (it could have been much, much worse without a double-play ball).

Then, in the 6th, Cormier showed that he had clearly not been in the training room the day Chad Tracy watched the D-Backs Training Camp DVD over and over because he almost got thrown out on a single to right field.  At first base.  Then, when he was on 2nd with two outs, and there was a single to right field, he ran around 3rd and was, well, he looked surprised to see the 3rd base coach there.

I mock Lance, but whether it was his skill or his luck, he got out of 6 innings with giving up just 3 runs and notching his first major league victory -- congratulations to him.  Koplove pitched 2 excellent innings in relief.  Aquino looked OK, though giving up the 2-out homerun to Biggio then going 3-0 on Everett was a bad, bad thing for a D-Backs reliever to do a D-Backs blogger.  He got Everett to pop up, though, and that was that.

The Diamondbacks got a split in the series.  They go into Colorado with Johnson and Webb pitching (I don't expect Johnson to be traded before tomorrow) and an actual chance to have a winning record on a road trip.

The Astros, well, they're playing just well enough to not trade anybody they probably should trade (e.g., Beltran, Kent).  But this team isn't going anywhere.  Next year could be a long, long year in Houston.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to do my happy dance.

Okay, I know 2005 is looking a little shaky for the D'backs, but really: posting this entry with the date of January 1st 2006 is perhaps writing the season off a bit too early. ;-) And with that, to Denver!

But It's a DRY Heat...
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