To boil down the Arizona Diamondbacks' series in San Francisco (which commenced last night), it's basically this: The Giants have mucho to play for and the D-Backs ain't got jack.
Because SF is chasing Colorado for the National League Wild Card, they are a bit more motivated each game compared to the spiraling-out-of-complete-control Diamondbacks, who took a seven-out-of-eight-game losing streak into San Francisco's AT&T Park Monday night. Never was this truer with the score knotted at two apiece in the eighth inning.
The Giants -- who had scored the tying run in the seventh on a Dan Haren wild pitch -- put two on in the eighth. Up stepped Travis Ishikawa (pictured above), a relatively unknown ballplayer with only one extra-base knock in his previous 70 ABs. Jon Rauch, the flame-thowing righty, let go a letter-high fastball, and with one gigantic lefty swing by Ishikawa, the Giants led 5-2 on the first baseman's ninth career big fly.
Arizona did try to play spoiler in the ninth, scoring twice on Ryan Roberts' two-run single to cut the Giants' lead to 5-4, but Sergio Romo coaxed Chad Tracy into a game-ending, 4-3 put-out.
As far as the NL West and Wild Card races, the Rockies beat the Dodgers in 10 innings on a dramatic walk-off single by Troy Tulowitzki. L.A. now leads Colorado by only two games, while the Giants remain six behind the Dodgers and four back in the Wild Card race.
The series continues tonight at 7:15 when Arizona's Doug Davis (7-11, 3.77 ERA) squares off against San Francisco's Jonathan Sanchez (6-10, 4.30). TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR-AM 620. More info at www.dbacks.com.