Vazquez (0-2, 11.77)
Lowry (1-0, 6.17)
So it's off to play by the bay we go, facing the Giants for the first time this year. Without Bonds, they don't seem nearly as much as a threat as in 2004, when they took nine of ten games at (then) PacBell Park. Not only are they playing below .500, five of their six wins have come against Colorado, and they've lost five of the last seven. Their bats, like ours, have been pretty chilly lately: they only scored four runs total in getting swept by the Padres.
It's our "ace" - though I think even the quotes there need quotes - Javier Vazquez, who will see if he can bring his ERA down to single figures; six innings, four earned runs would take him to 9.95. The Giants send wunder-kind Noah Lowry, who has made 16 starts in his career and has yet to taste defeat.
So on the whole, and despite the Giants' recent struggles. I'm not optimistic about this series. Vazquez badly needs to prove he has what it takes, though Johnson's struggles in New York prove it's still too early to write anyone off. However, we need to win today, since tomorrow we go up against Schmidt, who is probably the best player on the Giants roster at the moment, and we've only got Russ Ortiz.
There are two key issues. Firstly, our bats need to wake up, in particular Clayton, Gonzalez and Glaus, who are all hitting below .200 for the past week (.158, .167 and .190 respectively). Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, our bullpen needs to cure its altitude sickness quickly. But while we can't hit and can't pitch, we won't win many games.
Quick plug. Chris and I will be on the radio tonight, probably some time between 7-8pm on the John Miller Show - 106.7 FM, KSKR. Not sure how pickable-up this is valleywide (it's a new station, so doesn't have much power yet), but give it a listen if you get the change. It'll be mostly about Comedy SlamFest, but I'm going to see if I can sneak an AZ SnakePit mention in there too. ;-)