The Dodgers beat the D-Backs in Ball One Ballpark, so called because it is the count to lead off each opposing hitter's at bat whenever Johnson and Schilling are not pitching (yeah, so it's a stretch), in a squeaker 3-2 last night. The game was made so close by the continued inability of the Dodgers bullpen to hold a lead. Paul Shuey remained execrable allowing a run on two hits in his one inning. And closer Eric "Don't Call Me Greg" Gagne continued in his symposium co-chaired by John Smoltz on why the save is an irrelevant stat. He allowed a double by the still-spry Mark Grace and a sac. fly to make it a one-run ballgame in the ninth before closing it out for his 47th save.
Arizona is now only 4 games up on LA and 6.5 on the Giants. They have lost four straight to the Dodgers and are 1-6 in their last seven games, all with San Fran and LA, their opponents for the next five games. The good news for the D-Backs is A) that Johnson and Schilling pitch the next two games and B) they do not face either team the rest of the season and only play one team over .500 (St. Louis) the rest of the way. Their season ends with Colorado at home. Should they survive the next week, the rest of the season should be easy sailing. The playoffs are another story, but they have already proved that they can win the Series with only two pitchers, so now it's up to the rest of baseball to prove that they can't do it twice.