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An Uncomfortable Melvin

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I hesitate to call a manager a bonehead when I probably don’t have access to all the facts, but, oh, what the hell: Putting Adam Dunn in right field yesterday was a huge bonehead move by Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin.

Dunn misplayed Eugenio Velez’s deep but catchable fly ball in the third inning. What would have been a sac fly turned into a two-run double and a crucial extra run. Though he was mostly a left fielder with Cincy, Dunn has played 1B since he arrived in Arizona — a wise choice.

But Melvin apparently wanted to get Chad Tracy’s bat into the lineup, so Tracy started at 1B, and Dunn shifted to RF. Need we point out that Mays Field probably has the toughest RF in all of baseball? If Melvin absolutely needed to play Dunn in the outfield, why not LF, where he has had plenty of experience? Is LF Conor Jackson, himself a converted first baseman, so wretched that Dunn in right was a better option? Watching Jackson plod around yesterday from my seats in the 1–3–8, the answer might actually be yes, Dunn had a better chance than Jackson to acquit himself in RF.

That’s not a good sign. Nor was it good that in a must-win situation, the D’Backs made three huge errors (not including Dunn’s misplayed double) and couldn’t make much dent against Brad Hennessey, he of the 12–something-something ERA coming in.

I don’t want the Dodgers to win the division, but the current D-Backs don’t look capable of turning their slide around. (And for those who say they’d rather see the Giants lose to Arizona than L.A. win the division, for shame.)

Brandon Lyon must be cursing the fates. In the ninth Molina hits a fairly routine grounder into the hole for a single — off an ankle-high pitch, no less. Then Aaron Rowand, who swings at the shadows of seagulls these days, lays off a few pitches for a walk. Then Lyon throws two beautiful curves to Velez and has him set up perfectly for a high fastball. He throws it right where he wants it, about neck-high, and Velez places a fly ball, not particularly well struck, perfectly into the right-center gap. CF Chris Young was shaded toward left-center, as the situation called for. Game over.

One more game note: Brian Wilson, burned again with a fastball on the outside half of the plate.


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