Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Fri, Sept. 18

Diamondback Review

The San Francisco Giants came to town and sent the Diamondbacks out of first place and into a tailspin. The Giants swept a four game series, the first time in team history that the Diamondbacks have been swept in four games at Bank-One-Ballpark.

The Diamondbacks took the final and rubber game of the San Diego series 9-6 on July 25 in Phoenix. Luis Gonzalez had three hits including homer number 41. Leadoff man Craig Counsell was four for four with a walk. San Diego committed two costly errors that led to three unearned runs and another “earned” only because the official scorer is not allowed to anticipate a double play.

The San Francisco Giants had five home runs, three off Diamondback ace Curt Schilling on their way to an 11-3 victory over the Diamondbacks. Barry Bonds hit two homers, including a grand slam, to run his league-leading total to 44. Arizona missed multiple scoring opportunities, leaving the bases loaded in each of the first two innings. The Diamondbacks had five hits, including a triple and three bases on balls in the first two innings and only scored one run.

The Diamondbacks fell out of first place for the first time in over two months with a 9-5 loss to the Giants on July 27. Brian Anderson gave up three more home runs to San Francisco batters, including Bonds’ 45th of the season. The Dodgers moved a half game ahead of the Diamondbacks in the NL West with their 4-2 win over Colorado.

Matt Williams homered to give Randy Johnson and the Diamondbacks a 2-1 lead in the second inning of the series finale and the Big Unit worked out of several jams to preserve the lead. Arizona wasted its only other real scoring threat in the sixth when they got the first two batters on base and decided not to sacrifice. Rich Aurillia homered in the seventh off Johnson to tie the game at 2-2. After a two-out walk in the eighth, reliever B. K. Kim surrendered a pinch-hit homer to Marvin Bernard. David Dellucci had a pinch-hit homer for the Diamondbacks in the ninth, but it was too little, too late. The Giants escaped with the victory in the only game in which Arizona was competitive in the series.

After taking July 30 off, the D-Backs entertained Montreal in a three game series. That was followed by three games with the New York Mets. Then Arizona was The Arizona Diamondbacks returned to the road after a 13-game homestand that saw their National League West lead vanish, the Dodgers move ahead of them and the Giants close in as well. (Arizona went 5-8 during the homestand.) Still smarting from the San Francisco four game sweep, the D-Backs turned to their main “stopper’ to perform his magic one more time.

Curt Schilling improved his record to 15-5 with a 3-1 complete game victory over the Montreal Expos on July 31. It was the eighth time in nine opportunities that Schilling has won following a Diamondback loss. Steve Finley’s two-run homer in the sixth inning erased a 1-0 Montreal lead.

The next two days were a return to frustration. On Aug. 1, the Expos prevailed 8-4 despite Luis Gonzales’s 42nd homer. Brian Anderson was the loser. Albie Lopez pitched his best game since joining the club in the Tampa Bay trade, but lost 1-0 in the series finale. Javier Vasquez silenced the Arizona bats and Orlando Cabrera homered for the only run of the game.

The “Big Two” were still functioning on Aug. 3 as Randy Johnson ran his record 14-5 with a 7-0 shutout win over the New York Mets. A 4-2 loss in the second game of the series kept Arizona behind the Dodgers as all three National League West contenders were within a game of first place. Schilling did his magic act again for a 2-1 victory over the Mets in the series and homestand finale. Junior Spivey’s eighth inning homer was the game winner. Reggie Sanders homered for the other Diamondback run. Schilling’s record improved to a league best 16-5.

The Florida Marlins dropped the D-Backs into third place with a 10-4 thumping on Aug. 7 to start a six-game road trip. Albie Lopez was the loser for the third time since the trade that has yet to show any signs of promise.

Johnson improved to 15-5 with a 7-1 win over the Marlins on Wednesday. The Diamondbacks moved back into second place, but still trailed the Dodgers by 1 1/2 games.

The series finale in Florida on Thursday saw the Diamondbacks held to only four hits in a 3-1 loss to the Marlins. Anderson pitched one of his better games and did not figure in the decision. A lack of offense continued to frustrate the Arizona offense.

The Diamondbacks continued the road trip in Atlanta where they met the Braves in a three game weekend series. Then it was home to Bank-One-Ballpark for a three game set with Pittsburgh, which ends tonight (Aug. 15). Thursday is an off day, but the ever-popular Chicago Cubs will be in town on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Monday is another off day before the Diamondbacks hit the road for three games in Pittsburgh and four in contending Philadelphia.

off on Monday and began a three game set with the Florida Marlins in Miami on Tuesday. The D-Backs will visit Atlanta for three games with the Braves over the weekend. A quick turn-around will find the Diamondbacks hosting the Pittsburgh Pirates to begin a six game home stand on Monday. After Thursday off, the ever-popular Chicago Cubs will be in for a weekend series.

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