Thursday, June 02, 2005

Almost Stole One There... 

One day the Diamondbacks offense will beat the crap out of a pitcher, and the next, they make Victor Zambrano look like Carlos Zambrano when he's not super-ticked off at an umpire or in an Internet chat room. Zambrano, whose previous outings made him look more like Victor Hugo than an actual major league pitcher (though you always figured the Hunchback of Notre Dame might've made a decent catcher), held the Diamondbacks to 5 hits in 8 innings. The offense might've been able to score more than 1 run, but Chad Tracy neatly killed a couple rallies with a pair of double plays in the 7th and 9th innings. (Though the 7th-inning shot was a bit unlucky -- right at the 1st baseman holding the runner at the bag.)

Brandon Webb pitched nearly as well, giving up just 1 run on 7 hits in 7 innings. Unfortunately for him, Webb has not learned to adjust his delivery for baserunners, as Brad Halsey did the night before. The Mets stole 4 bases off Webb, with 3 taken by Reyes alone. Given the number of ground-ball hits Webb is likely to give up, Webb would gain by improving here. He's tied for 2nd in the majors in the number of bases stolen against him, with 12. Besides the obvious advantages in not letting runners advance, keeping runners on first would, of course, vastly improve Brandon's double play chances, which are already higher than most.

First, ironically, is Victor Zambrano, with 15 steals and none caught stealing -- given the difficulty the D-Backs had in generating baserunners, perhaps they, too, would've benefitted from a more aggressive approach.

Shawn Estes - Pedro Martinez tonight. A Diamondbacks series victory is not impossible, but certainly won't happen unless the Diamondbacks find the same bats they were using Tuesday night.

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