Vazquez (0-1, 15.43 ERA)
Hernandez (0-1, 5.40 ERA)
Ah, a momentous day, as the D'backs attend a party for the newest member of the baseball community...albeit one that has really only moved home and changed their name. Though going by their record this season, "and undergone a sex-change" seems equally likely, as they're currently tied for the lead in the NL East.
Much like Arizona, that's an improvement; both teams have already passed last year's best record (we reached one game over .500, Les Expos high was 1-1). But Montreal kicked our asses in 2004: we lost all six games, and were outscored 33-12. That, however, was then, and this is now: they've got a new name, a new stadium, a lot of new fans (cue Baltimore's Peter Angelos gnashing his teeth), while we've got an almost entirely new team.
They get to see our "ace", Javier Vazquez, though his first two performances have been unacceptable for a #5, never mind the man supposed to head our rotation. We've had four solid pitching performances from everyone else, now it's time for him to step up and see if we can...[cough, splutter...mustn't say it!] do something that we haven't done since June 2003.
Vazquez faces his former Expos teammate, Livan Hernandez. The two were the Schilling and Johnson of Montreal in 2003, posting ERAs of 3.20 and 3.24 respectively, but both have started the season poorly, neither recording a win in their two starts. Hernandez did go seven innings without an earned run last time, so on form, this one might go to the Exp...er, Nationals.
In the diaries section at the right, have posted azpenguin's thoughts on attendance, originally a comment on yesterday's game, which averaged less than 20,000 over the Rockies' visit. There's a poll too, as to whether you intend this season to go to more games (because we've a better team), less games (because of the cost), or about the same.
For today, that's obviously not an issue. :-) Be interesting to see the game, watch how RFK Stadium plays as a baseball park, and whether Vazquez can do better away from BOB. Your comments, as always, are welcome - thanks to azpenguin, Dbacktom, Stefan and William K for stopping by yesterday.