"We can't keep doing this."
Those were manager Bob Melvin's words regarding the Diamondbacks' inconsistent
And after repeatedly having to go to his bullpen early in games, Melvin said
Thursday's off day "couldn't come at a better time."
A day after Orlando Hernandez could work just two innings before leaving with
back and knee pain, Juan Cruz couldn't even last a full inning in falling behind
9-0 against the Padres on Wednesday. Arizona rallied with an eight-run sixth
inning to make it a game before falling 14-10.
"I just had a bad day," said Cruz, who made history as Arizona set a team record
for most runs allowed in the first inning of a game. The Giants scored eight
runs against the Diamondbacks on April 23, 2000.
But the early exits from the starting rotation -- by everyone, it seems, other
than ace Brandon Webb -- have become a growing concern for Melvin and
management. There is speculation Arizona may have no choice but to trade one of
its highly regarded prospects for some type of quality starting pitching help,
although shortstop Stephen Drew and converted center fielder Justin Upton will
be off limits to anyone.
As for Hernandez, there was no word on if he will be headed to the disabled list
for the eighth time in his career or if he will be available for his next
scheduled start Monday. Melvin said he would wait until Hernandez throws a side
session Friday before the club makes a decision.
REPLAY: One thing about the Diamondbacks, they don't seem to give up. After
falling behind by nine runs in the first inning, Arizona rallied to within 11-10
Wednesday, thanks to a club record-tying eight-run sixth inning that featured
home runs from Tony Clark and Eric Byrnes. But they still fell 14-10 to the
The Diamondbacks rallied from a six-run deficit to beat the Dodgers on May 2,
and they also have erased six- and seven-run deficits in what turned out to be
losses to the Giants in April.
"Every time we get in that position, we battle back," manager Bob Melvin said.
--RF Shawn Green is batting .443 (35-for-79) since April 24, the best mark in
the majors among all hitters with at least 60 at-bats, according to Elias Sports
Bureau. "I'm not going to say it's my best," Green said of his streak, "but as
far as getting hits, this one is up there."
--LHP Terry Mulholland was sharp in his second simulated game Wednesday, in
which he threw two-plus innings and more than 60 pitches in his battle to return
from inflammation in his left elbow.
"I think he feels like his stuff right now is better than it was at any time
during the season or in spring training," manager Bob Melvin said.
Mulholland will throw a bullpen session Friday and likely will begin a rehab
assignment with Triple-A Tucson this weekend.
--RHP Russ Ortiz will make his second rehab start with Tucson on Sunday at Round
Rock. He allowed two runs (one earned) in four innings Tuesday.
--Wednesday's game against the Padres was played before the smallest crowd in
Arizona history -- just 18,012. Three off the club's smallest crowd have come
--Umpire Mark Hirschbeck, who had to leave Tuesday's game with back spasms,
couldn't work Wednesday's game and was replaced by Rob Drake, who worked third
BY THE NUMBERS: 9 -- Double plays Chad Tracy had helped turn, the most among
National League third baseman as of May 12.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "He had a couple bad starts, but he's worked some things out and
ever since we've gotten him, he's been very good for us. Every now and then,
everybody's going to hit a little bump in the road. But he's been quite a pickup
for us, especially considering how we got him." -- Manager Bob Melvin on RHP
Claudio Vargas, who is 13-7 for the Diamondbacks dating to last season, when
they claimed him off waivers from the Nationals.
LHP Terry Mulholland went on the 15-day disabled list April 12 with inflammation
in his left elbow. He is close to starting an injury-rehab assignment with
RHP Russ Ortiz went on the 15-day disabled list May 2 with a right calf strain.
He began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tucson on May 16.
RHP Orlando Hernandez left his start May 16 with a mid-back strain and knee
pain. The extent of the damage wasn't immediately known.