Tag:Arizona Diamondbacks
Posted on: June 8, 2009 7:01 pm

Solving the extra-inning problem in San Diego

Beginning with the start of the 10th inning of all games in Petco Park, second base becomes home plate.

You think I'm kidding? Ha! YOU try sitting through an 18-inning game, the kind of which randomly but regularly occur in the Padres' cavernous home park.

The Padres and Arizona played an 18-inning game Sunday, which ended with San Diego shortstop Josh Wilson "pitching" the 18th and surrendering a three-run homer to Mark Reynolds.

This after the Padres and Cincinnati played a 16-inning game on May 16.

Last year, the Padres and Reds played an 18-inning game. Also last year, the Padres and Colorado played a 22-inning game.

As for Sunday's 5-hour, 45-minute affair, the longest game in the majors this season both by innings and by time, the Padres scored five runs in the ninth to send the game into overtime.

And then four Arizona relievers held San Diego hitless from the 10th inning on, becoming, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the first group of relievers to throw nine consecutive no-hit innings in a game since July 29, 1995, when the Kansas City bullpen held Detroit hitless over the last nine innings of Detroit's 16-inning win.

So mark down Arizona's Jon Rauch, Esmerling Vasquez, Clay Zavada and Leo Rosales next to Kansas City's immortal Four Horsemen of Gregg Olson, Jeff Montgomery, Billy Brewer and Hipolito Pichardo.

Wilson, meanwhile, previously had made pitching appearances for Tampa Bay in 2007 and Arizona earlier this season. According to Elias, he is the first position player to "pitch" for three different clubs in the majors since John Cangelosi (1988 Pirates, 1995 Astros and 1997 Marlins).

The extra innings are stacking up in Petco, where fans are in serious need of rescue dogs once the ninth innings end scoreless and the game enters the Black Hole.

Likes: Fun watching Atlanta's Tommy Hanson in his debut Sunday. ... This fascinating story regarding novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby). ... Basic Pizza in San Diego. Great thin crust in the style of New Haven, Conn., pizza. The basic pie with mozzarella and basil is killer.

Dislikes: Aw, they started the final phase of the demolition of Tiger Stadium on Black Monday. Sniff, sniff.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Well you walk into a restaurant,
"Strung out from the road
"And you feel the eyes upon you
"As you're shakin' off the cold
"You pretend it doesn't bother you
"But you just want to explode
"Most times you can't hear 'em talk,
"Other times you can
"All the same old cliches,
"Is that a woman or a man?"
"And you always seem outnumbered,
"You don't dare make a stand"

-- Bob Seger, Turn the Page

Posted on: May 8, 2009 1:05 am

Melvin out, Hinch in as Snakes' skipper

Arizona can fire Bob Melvin on Thursday and name Connie Mack manager on Friday, but unless the Diamondbacks start hitting more than .225 as a team, and unless they jack up their humiliating .297 on-base percentage, it's not going to matter.

As it is, the Diamondbacks will name as Melvin's replacement A.J. Hinch, according to reports on various Phoenix media outlets late Thursday night. Hinch, who was the Diamondbacks' highly regarded farm director, has no managerial experience. Good luck with that.

It's panic time in the desert, where that great wave of kids who landed in the National League Championship Series in 2007 and followed that up with a terrific 20-8 mark last April has flatlined ever since.

The Diamondbacks' batting average is 31 points below the NL average of .256.

Their on-base percentage is 40 points below the NL average of .337.

Both figures are easily the worst in the majors.

Not surprisingly, hitting coach Rick Schu was gassed as well. And pitching coach Bryan Price, a Melvin loyalist, resigned.

"We know something has to be done because we've been grossly underperforming for five-plus months," Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall told Phoenix radio station KTAR Thursday morning before the team's 4-3, 10-inning loss in San Diego. "And it's not fair to the fans, it's not fair to the organization, it's not fair to the young players performing below this team at Triple-A and Double-A that are ready for their opportunity."

Some of those young players may be on the next shipment into Chase Field at the present rate.

Present top candidate to be replaced: Scuffling center fielder Chris Young, who is batting .177 with just two homers in 105 plate appearances. This is a guy who slammed 32 homers two years ago and 22 last year.

He ain't alone in the struggling department.

Shortstop Stephen Drew is hitting .205. Left fielder Conor Jackson is at .191, Eric Byrnes .139 and Chris Snyder .204.

Strikeout machine Mark Reynolds has whiffed 36 times in 102 at-bats.


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