Monday, July 26, 2004

Thirst Busted But Not Quenched 

Items Picked Up At Sunday's 3-2 D-Backs Loss

1. Two (2) Coupons (1 subsequently lost) for a free 44-Oz. ThirstBuster,
given out each time the Diamondbacks strike out 12 or more opponents at a
home game
2. One (1) Coupon for a free round of miniature golf at Castles 'N'
3. The knowledge that one of my friends, Andy, was at the only no-hitter in
BOB's history, back in 1999 (?) thrown by the Cardinals' Jose Jimenez
against, yes, Randy Johnson.
4. A bunch of useless Diamondbackers' coupons.

It was 3 adults and 5 kids ages 2 through 6 that trudged up the steps to row
20 or so of section 302 in the 4th inning of yesterday's game. We decided
it would be better to get to the game late in hopes that the kids would last
through the rest of the game so that they could run the bases at game's end.
(At the end of Sunday home games, kids are allowed to run once around the

The kids had earned free tickets through a "Read Your Way To The Ballpark"
promotion. The adults had to pay the $8, though in retrospect, we probably
could've easily purchased the $1 seats and just moved over. We get to our
seats and paid attention as best as we could given the constant motion of
our kids and, shortly, their incessant demands for food, preferably food
high in sugar content. (The selection for my daughter and I? M&M

It was not hard to notice, even from the depths of the right-field upper
deck, that Randy Johnson was fired up and pitching well. Sure, he was
giving up hits, but striking out everyone else, and the crowd gave the
umpire a hard time every time a 2-strike pitch was called a ball.

Oh, yeah, and Jason Jennings pitched no-hit ball through 5 1/3 innings.

A close, tight game. Johnson pitched 14 strikeouts, shutting out the
Rockies through 8 innings. Realizing that the 9-slot was due to lead off
the bottom of the inning, the crowd gave a nice, mostly-standing ovation for
Randy, leading him to tip his cap, and my friend Bill to say, "Does he know
something we don't?"

The 9th inning bullpen collapse, well... we saw it coming, perhaps. We saw
Fetters warming up, and we said...

"Fetters, he's entertaining to watch."

"He sucks, but he's entertaining."

Walk, then in comes Randy Choate, who, although I thought he was awful at
the beginning of the season (and he was), had perhaps improved to merely
poor. Brought in to face lefty Jeromy Burnitz, who was 0-for-4 against
Choate lifetime. Double. Then, after a fielder's choice scored Castilla
and Choate gave up a second walk, he gave up a double to Todd Helton.
Choate was booed several times during the inning, and I could've sworn I saw
him tip his cap as he left the field after mercilessly getting the third

And, of course, the offense couldn't do anything (though at least they
scored) in the bottom of the inning. Game over. Another loss.

14 strikeouts for Randy. One for each loss in this latest streak.

At the game, I'd hoped -- as I always hope each time I go to the ballpark --
to see history. Another 20-strikeout game, perhaps. Maybe a no-hitter.
Instead, all I saw was the Diamondbacks become the first team to go 0-11 on
a homestand.

I'm glad I saw Randy pitch. And I'm not sure that his reported calm in the
locker room following the game (and his tip of the cap) means that he's
bound to be traded. (Maybe he's learned to accept this season for what it
is -- a disaster.) I guess we'll have to see. (Maybe some other time I'll
rip Dan Bickley for his comment in his column today that Randy Johnson's
decision to join the Diamondbacks may have cost Johnson a shot at 300 wins
in his career.)

But I had fun and my daughter had fun. After the game -- yes, she lasted
the rest of the game -- she ran the bases, though she missed every single
bag except home plate, which she jumped on a few times as if she'd hit a
walk-off homerun. And what else can you ask for on a Sunday afternoon?


One other note. In yesterday's column, I noted the D-Backs' lack of power
since July 9. The first transformer fire was actually July 4. So starting
July 5, the D-Backs have scored 45 runs in 17 games, or about 2.6 runs per


No "Three Weeks, Three Questions" today, because the weeks are too
depressing to contemplate and the questions would all be variations of "What
next?" By next Monday we should have some things to talk about, if not

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