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The Arizona Diamondbacks specialize in winning close games and losing blowouts. Near the bottom of the National League in most batting categories and among the best in pitching, they give up many more runs than they score, an oddity for a team contending in baseball’s strongest division. What’s more, their highest-paid player, bird demolition expert Randy Johnson, is on the shelf next to his five Cy Youngs for the rest of the year with a herniated disk in his vast spine. That the team can reel off an eight-game win streak with Johnson laid up – as it did in a late July run that included four straight over the Marlins – bespeaks a team with balance and fortitude.

In other words, if you’re a Florida fan, they’re complete bastards. The sweep of the Marlins was a brutal exercise in ass-whipping, capped by Eric Byrnes’ walk-off, three-run homer in the fourth game. See if the Marlins can reverse their bad desert mojo on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. at Dolphin Stadium (2269 NW 199th St., Miami). Tickets start at $9. Buy them at the gate, at, or by calling Ticketmaster at 954-523-3309.


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