Chad Tracy was activated off the DL the day before and delivered a clutch pinch-hit RBI in a pivotal win against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, but the left-handed hitter who was supposed to provide a spark off the bench during the stretch run is now an uncertain ingredient in the mix.
There was reason to believe Monday that Tracy might have to undergo surgery to clear out problems in the knee and that he could be lost for the rest of the year and the postseason.
Tracy's knee acted up again after Sunday's game, and the club decided to schedule the MRI. Early indications were that problems in the knee, originally diagnosed as tendinitis, had worsened and that Tracy could further damage the knee by continuing to play.
Tracy was bothered by tendinitis in his left knee most of last season, but the injury was kept under wraps by him and the club until the final month of the regular season. This time, he began having problems just before the All-Star break.
There are two bones in the knee that are running together and making it difficult for Tracy to run or field his position, although he had been swinging for several days in an attempt to return to the active roster.
GIANTS 8, DIAMONDBACKS 5: On a night when they had their ace, Brandon Webb, on the mound and a chance to extend their division lead against a perceived weaker opponent at home, the Diamondbacks failed miserably while opening their final homestand of the regular season.
Right-handed reliever Tony Pena seemed to have regained his touch and his confidence this month, but it was shattered in a matter of minutes Monday night at Chase Field as the visiting Giants struck for five runs off the setup man to ruin a nice Arizona comeback and slice the Diamondbacks' lead in the National League West to just one game over second-place San Diego.
After Chris Young's two-run triple had staked the Diamondbacks to a come-from-behind 5-3 lead in the seventh, Pena hit the first batter he faced -- Kevin Frandsen -- and then walked Dave Roberts on four pitches before allowing a one-out, three-run homer to Randy Winn for the difference-maker.
Pena also allowed a two-run homer to Pedro Feliz before he finally was pulled, but it was too late.
"He just missed his location," manager Bob Melvin said. "He's been so good for us all year. It just didn't work out this time."
--2B Orlando Hudson rejoined his teammates a week after undergoing season-ending surgery, and will likely drive manager Bob Melvin a little batty because of his effervescent ways in the dugout. Hudson is one of the best yappers in the game, and no doubt will offer his managerial advice to his skipper.
"Orlando Torre's back now," Hudson said, jokingly.
Hudson is to be miked up for Tuesday's game against the Giants by Fox Sports Net Arizona.
--LF Eric Byrnes deserves some consideration for the NL MVP Award, according to Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin, who said, "His numbers of late haven't been good and whether he's a little worn out, he'll never admit to that, but he's the ultimate fighter here. He's a guy that shows up fighting every inning, every at-bat of every game. And it rubs off on the rest of the guys. Where would we be without Eric Byrnes on this team?"
--RHP Livan Hernandez will likely get the start in Friday's series opener against the visiting Dodgers, manager Bob Melvin said.
--3B Marl Reynolds, who has struck out more than any other hitter on the team, drew six walks during the club's recent six-game road trip. Said Reynolds, half-jokingly, "Yeah, I'm finally figuring out not to swing at the first-pitch slider."
--SS Stephen Drew has a .175 average when hitting in the leadoff spot. He was 0-for-4 Monday
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