Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Slowly Revealing 

Sometimes the story is better when you don't know everything. Well, maybe not better. But definitely different.

For example, I turned on the TV last night to see the D-Backs trailing 6-1, with Ortiz still on the mound in the 3rd inning. After Glaus hit his homerun in the bottom of the 3rd, my thought was, you know, at least this year, 4 runs isn't an insurmountable deficit.

And when Lance Cormier came jogging out to the mound in the 4th inning after it became completely clear that Ortiz had zip to offer (7 hits and 5 walks in 3 2/3 IP), I thought, "Well, I guess Melvin still thinks he has a shot at this game, otherwise he'd bring in Bruney."

Sure enough, Cormier held the line (except for giving up the 7th run, also charged to Ortiz) and when the D-Backs scored a third run in the bottom of the sixth, I thought, they still have a chance.

So when Valverde started the seventh inning, I thought, well that explains Bruney's non-appearance in the fourth inning -- he's on his way back down to Tucson. Valverde pitched OK in his inning of work, and Chad Tracy got things off to a good start in the bottom of the seventh. (Making me wonder again why Alou didn't have someone pinch-hit for Schmidt in the top half of the inning -- Schmidt left the game with 120 pitches, and probably should never have gone out in the bottom of the 7th.)

At which point I turned off the TV. I was tired, I was getting up early this morning, and although I thought they still might make it close, I wasn't committed enough last night to see it through.

And so when I picked up the paper this morning before my jog, I was heartened to see that the D-Backs clawed all their way back -- twice -- before losing in the 10th inning. And disheartened to find that Brian Bruney had somehow lost his way down to Tucson and had, instead, found himself on the pitcher's mound at BOB. With 2 hits and 2 walks (1 intentional) in the 10th inning -- all with 2 outs -- Bruney said, "Here, Mr. Giants, I truly do not want this win. Please take it."

"I'm not trying to walk anybody," said Bruney after the game.

Here's an idea, Brian -- why don't you try walking someone? What's the worst that could happen? You could walk someone! And how exactly would that be different from now?

OK, that was mean, and I don't like to do "mean" 'round here. But it makes you wonder if something has happened to Brian -- through April 18, he'd pitched 9 innings with just 7 hits and 3 walks, but since then he's pitched 6 1/3 innings with 6 hits and 8 walks. His control is just gone. And while I guess I can understand the logic of sending Hairston back down to Tucson, since he's not getting much playing time up here, I'm not sure there's much point in keeping Bruney up as long as he's pitching so wildly again.

So in the end, I'm happy that we had the second best comeback of the night (first-place honors going to the Cardinals, of course), just disappointed that we couldn't close the deal. 9-8 Giants.

Here's hoping the bats stay and the wildness goes tonight.

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