The Arizona Diamondbacks, who were batting below .200 as a
team during the last six games-they won 2 and lost 4-went back to the
formula that led to their early success in beating Atlanta 11-1. They scored early and often, handing Doug Davis a 5-run lead
before he threw the first pitch in his comeback from thyroid cancer
surgery. Davis then cruised to victory, giving up only 1 run in a 7
inning, 5-hit, 89-pitch effort. (Max Scherzer pitched the 8th and Doug
Slaten the 9th).
The five-run barrage in the first inning started with a solo
homer by Stephen Drew, batting second. They got another homer later in
the inning-a two-run shot by Eric Byrnes, batting seventh, for the
100th of his career. If he managed not to hurt himself today, let’s
hope that this gets Byrnesie going; sometimes hitters slow up as they
approach a milestone. Next time up, he singled and eventually scored
from third on a single by Chris Young. So Byrnesie had two hits, two
RBI and he also scored two runs.
Homers were the name of this game for the D’Backs. In
addition to Drew and Byrnes, Conor Jackson, Chris Young, and Mark
Reynolds went yard. Chris Snyder had a 2-run double.
Welcome back, DD!
It’s been a long time coming. And it barely made it, hitting
the top of the wall in left field and bouncing in the good direction.
But there it was in the fifth inning, Eric Byrnes’ first grand slam.
And it came off of Tom Glavine, of all people. Only the second grand
slam the future Hall of Famer has given up in his long and illustrious
career. It changed the score from 3-2 Braves to 6-3 Diamondbacks, and
the Snakes never looked back. The final score was 9-3, giving Micah
Owings his 6th W of the year.
True Elation? More than that really. But if I call it
something else, it will ruin my numbering system. More than redemption
for the pop-up with the bases loaded in his previous at-bat and the 5
LOB on the day. Two homers in 3 days! Maybe he is coming out of his
slump. Or maybe there is something extra he reaches back for every time
people start asking again if he should be on the DL.
Eric Byrnes has been on a very steep roller coaster ride
this year. And he’s still got a long way to go to get the batting
average back into respectable territory. It will be interesting to see
what happens now with the bases loaded. He finally cleared them. Now he
should approach a sacks-full situation in a different way. It has often
looked like he was trying to be too careful, trying not to make an out,
instead of trying to get a hit. Or he was being desperate, swinging at
anything, like the junk off the plate that Glavine threw him the time
before. This time Glavine threw it in Byrnesie’s wheelhouse and
Byrnesie sent it out. And I hope that any and all anxiety and
self-doubt he’s had with the bases loaded in the past went with it. Of
course, not every time up with the bases loaded will have this glorious
result. But now, Byrnesie knows he can do it because he HAS done it.
And I look forward to him doing it again.
Four beautiful RBI. The game-winner. (And let’s not forget
two walks after the grand slam, one of which resulted in his second run
scored. He needs better plate discipline to get out of the slump, and
walks are indicative of better discipline).
Beyond True Elation. A new level of achievement for Eric Byrnes.