Remember, whatever happens this afternoon, it's only one game. After it, the Diamondbacks will be on pace either to go 162-0 or 0-162 - neither of which will actually happen. That said... It's a series against the team generally expected to be the toughest competition for the NL West this season, and pits our ace against their ace. Beating the Giants under such circumstances would be a clear statement that 2011 was not a bad dream for San Francisco, which ended with us beating them in the last five head-to-head contests. Making it six, would be a very good start to this season's campaign.
Line-up and thoughts after the jump.
- Willie Bloomquist SS
- Chris Young CF
- Justin Upton RF
- Miguel Montero C
- Paul Goldschmidt 1B
- Jason Kubel LF
- Ryan Roberts 3B
- Aaron Hill 2B
Despite hopes to the contrary, Bloomquist is on top of the order. Interesting to see Young at #2, after speculation that he might end up being replaced by Gerardo Parra against tough right-handers - after all, they don't come much tougher than Tim Lincecum. However, it seems that Young's very impressive spring has bought him the right to start this afternoon, with Parra returning to the dug-out after accepting his Gold Glove. The rest of the line-up is much as expected: Goldzilla's presence at #5, might in part be for psychological reasons, because of his ownership of Lincecum this far - he's 5-for-9 with two home-runs.
Timmeh didn't beat the Diamondbacks at all last season, going 0-3 in four starts, with a 4.32 ERA, and his lines got more or less steadily less impressive as 2011 progressed. Has Arizona figured him out? We can but hope so, and also that Ian Kennedy will be the dominant pitcher he was against San Francisco: in five starts last year, he had a miserly 1.22 ERA, allowing five earned runs over 37 innings, with a K:BB ratio of 35:9. That's impressive, and more of the same today should be enough to put the Giants to bed.
We'll be down at the Rose and Crown around about 2pm, hanging out for a bit before we head over to the park and take in the action. There'll likely be a need for overflow threads, so I hope there'll be an editor around able to post those as required.... 'Charmer is your Opening Day recapper, and with it being Good Friday, I'm sure there'll be scope for appropriate - or better yet, inappropriate - puns there.