It isn't worthy of a press release, especially given their standing in the
National League West, but the Diamondbacks rotation managed to do something
before another other five-man unit in the league.
They became the first club to have three starters pitcher 200 innings or more,
as Miguel Batista (202 1/3) on Saturday joined staff ace Brandon Webb (223) and
Livan Hernandez (209) in the workhorse department. Hernandez threw 146 2/3
innings for Washington before being acquired in an Aug. 7 trade.
"I'm very proud of that," said Batista, who returning to a starting role after
being Toronto's closer a year ago. "Two-hundred innings is pretty nice and to
have three of us there, maybe faster than anybody, it's great."
Batista pointed to a baseball sitting in the top shelf of his locker with the
number "600" written across it.
"I had that signed by the other two guys," he said, referring to Webb and
Hernandez. "I'll be keeping that one around."
It's the first time Batista, 35, has reached the 200-inning mark in his 12-year
major league career.
"That's the best thing we can have," he said. "A good starter usually gives you
seven-plus and 35 starts. That gives your team a chance to win, and we should be
happy about that."
Batista is set to become a free agent, but the Diamondbacks have entered
preliminary discussions with his agent about possibly re-signing with Arizona
for next season and maybe beyond. If he does, there's no reason to think the
Diamondbacks won't have the same three pitchers logging 200-plus innings against
Webb and Hernandez have proven to be durable and Batista is in excellent
physical condition and has one of the most resilient arms in the game.
"The thing that's real impressive about these guys," pitching coach Bryan Price
said, "is that we did not expand our pitch limits to free the opportunity to
take on that kind of workload. They didn't have to throw 130 or 150 pitches. ...
No one really had to exceed 115 pitches to get their full potential."
REPLAY: Livan Hernandez pitched a game worthy of a win, but reliever Luis Vizcaino ran into trouble in the bottom of the ninth Sunday and allowed a
walk-off grand slam to Nomar Garciaparra as the Dodgers won a thriller, 5-1, in
front of 49,822 at Dodger Stadium.
Hernandez allowed one run on five hits through seven innings for the
Diamondbacks, who were officially eliminated from postseason contention with the
Vizcaino threw a lot of pitches, having entered in the eighth and then allowing
a single to Marlon Anderson in the ninth, intentionally walking Rafael Furcal,
issuing another walk to Kenny Lofton, and then leaving a slider a tad up in the
zone on a 2-1 count to Garciaparra.
"I don't want to miss a pitch on somebody like that," Vizcaino said. "But I did.
Sometimes you win, sometimes you don't."
--LF Luis Gonzalez, who went 0-for-6 during Arizona's 9-3 win Saturday in Los
Angeles, did not play Sunday at Dodger Stadium. Manager Bob Melvin said he wants
to keep Gonzalez fresh for the final four home games at Chase Field, Sept.
28-Oct. 1, which will mark the end of Gonzalez's eight-year run with the
Diamondbacks. The outfielder was informed by management on Sept. 15 that the
team will not bring him back next season.
--3B Chad Tracy didn't play Sunday against the Dodgers because of tendinitis in
his left knee, which he said has been bothering him all season. He is listed as
day-to-day, however, according to manager Bob Melvin.
--2B Orlando Hudson left the team in Los Angeles on Sunday to attend to personal
family issues. He is expected to rejoin the club at some point during their
three-game series in San Francisco, which begins Monday.
--Hitting coach Mike Aldrete plans to step down after this season and leave
major league baseball to spend more time with his family. He intends to get into
the real estate business.
--CF Eric Byrnes on almost being hit by a baseball Saturday night that was
thrown from someone in the stands at Dodger Stadium toward the end of Arizona's
9-3 victory: "Just one of the rowdy fans out there. ... Is that a first? Are you
kidding? I played (winter ball) in the Dominican."
Asked what they threw at him there, Byrnes said, "You mean, what didn't they
throw? ... Baseballs, bottles, batteries, coins, you name it. I loved it there,
Manager Bob Melvin was asked how his happy-go-lucky outfielder would have
responded had the baseball struck him.
"He'd probably just run to first base, knowing him," Melvin said.
BY THE NUMBERS: 1-62 -- Diamondbacks' record when trailing after eight innings,
through Sept. 24.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "He'll hit third and do what he normally does, but I've got a few
things up my sleeve for that last day." -- Manager Bob Melvin, on Luis
Gonzalez's last game with the Diamondbacks, Oct. 1 at home against the Padres.
Arizona recently informed the veteran left fielder he will not be welcomed back