Wednesday, June 08, 2005


"We have to find a way to score eight runs and win the ballgame." -- Arizona Manager Bob Melvin after Tuesday night's 9-8 Diamondbacks loss to the Minnesota Twins

Couldn't have said it better myself.

The Diamondbacks threw 3 gopher-balls to the Twins, 2 to Torii Hunter, who I can say without a doubt will be Boyfriend of the Day to BatGirl's batlings. Minnesota, home of the Golden Gophers (as I was reminded when I spent some time in school up there), is well-familiar with all things gopher-related and planted 3 homeruns into BOB's bleachers.

But his homeruns or what was apparently a bizarre baserunning snafu wasn't what made me snap. Nope, it was Mike Koplove coming into the game with the bases loaded in the top of the 6th inning and promptly giving up a game-typing single. I turned off the game, disgusted. I couldn't bear any more.

Overall, this bullpen isn't bad. If you look at BP's Support-Neutral Pitching by Team, you'll see that Shawn Estes and Russ Ortiz have benefitted from the bullpen more so than Halsey's been hurt by it.

But the truth is, Lance Cormier has been lights out and the rest of the team has been... bad.

Cormier's VORP: 13.0
VORP, Rest of Bullpen: -19.9

That "Rest of Bullpen" includes Brandon Lyon, whose VORP of 3.5 seems to understate his contributions this year (coming in tight situations like Koplove was placed in last night and -- here's the key part -- getting out of them). The VORP for the current relief staff (excluding Vargas) is -5.5.

Until Lyon and Aquino come back and put some consistency into the bullpen (by displacing the most inconsistent), the Diamondbacks will have to rely on the mercy of the American League Central to pound the Diamondbacks' NL West compatriots. And that's not exactly a high-odds prospect.


For what it's worth, I thought I'd add a new feature -- "In Rotation" -- to some of my posts. It's nothing more than a listing of what I'm listening to. Feel free to chime in below with your listening suggestions or comments.

In Rotation - June 8, '05
Spoon -- Gimme Fiction
Patty Griffin - 1000 Kisses
New P***ographers - Electric Version (yeah, I'm not interested in the traffic I'd get otherwise)
John Prine -- In Spite of Ourselves

Except of course that Batgirl is on a humanitarian mission until June 23. There may not be a BOD until then.
I saw that yesterday, and was disappointed. (Hey, just because it's interleague don't go all "I'm outta here" like that!)

But, yes, there was a BOD this morning and, yes, it was Torii.
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