Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Start Spreading the News 

... I'm leaving today
I want to leave all parts of it
New York, New York...

2004 VORP
Javier Vazquez 23.1 (198.0 IP)
Brad Halsey -3.8 (32.0 IP)
Tony Clark 5.7 (283 PA)

2005 VORP
Javier Vazquez 1.0 (37.1 IP)
Brad Halsey 7.7 (35.0 IP)
Tony Clark 6.3 (43 PA)

Ignoring for today Javier Vazquez, whose '05 VORP is still trying to recover from one horrendous Opening Day, you don't think Brad Halsey and Tony Clark, heroes of last night's 3-2 Diamondbacks victory over the Giants, are glad to be out of the Big Apple? The two of them are the second- and third-biggest surprises of the D-Backs' young season behind Brandon Lyon and the Diamondbacks might be at or below .500 without them.

Clark delivered another timely hit last night, driving in Royce Clayton in the bottom of the eighth. Halsey gave up a couple home runs, but pitched well otherwise in his 7 innings of work.

I chose to think about the game coming down to two double plays -- one missed, one made. In the bottom of the seventh, Omar Vizquel, who'd robbed the D-Backs of several hits already, tried to turn the double play with the bases loaded and one out. But instead of turning two, the throw was low and skipped away from first baseman Lance Niekro, scoring two and giving the D-Backs the lead. In the top of 7th, Halsey seemed to be struggling a bit, having given up his second homer (to Feliz) and then immediately walking Ray Durham. But Halsey then got Lance Niekro (who hit the other home run off him) to ground into a tough 5-4-3 double play and get out of the inning.

I know that the D-Backs can't keep up this run of one-run wins. They're the luckiest team in the league, as judged by their 3.1 wins above their Pythagorean record (as of this morning) But they're also just above .500 as judged by their Pythagenport record. The difference between them and the Giants seems insignificant at this point, so it's important that they win the series tonight and take no less than 3 of 4 from the Pirates, who may just be the worst team in baseball right now.

As odd as it might have sounded before the season, the Diamondbacks might truly be better than the Yankees this year.

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