Seo (5-1, 1.09)
Ortiz (4-7, 6.44)
- Craig Counsell, 2B
- Royce Clayton, SS
- Luis Gonzalez, LF
- Shawn Green, CF
- Chad Tracy, RF
- Alex Cintron, 3B
- Conor Jackson, 1B
- Kelly Stinnett, C
- Russ Ortiz, P
"It's tough because the first day I felt great and I threw well, I just didn't get the results that we needed. Then the last start, I was just missing with a lot of pitches and getting behind in the count. You can't get behind."
-- Russ Ortiz
Yes, just what we need after getting slapped around to the tune of 18-2 in the first two games of the series: a start by The Man With a Thousand Excuses. Ortiz blames "a lack of consistency brought on by subpar mechanics and timing" for his recent failures. Bob Melvin's patience, however, is clearly wearing thin: "Hopefully we get better results. This is a guy we need. This is a guy who was a priority -- a big-time free agent -- for us. He expects big things out of himself and we expect big things out of him, too."
That $33m, four-year contract is currently looking like it could become the worst in Diamondbacks history. At least we got one good season out of Jay Bell and Matt Williams for their five-year, $34m and $45m deals - so far, even that seems doubtful for Ortiz.
Losing tonight is such a foregone conclusion, I'm making no plans to view it. I have to go out, do some errands, get a hair-cut before my resemblance to the Wild Man of Borneo becomes overpowering, have dinner. Then - and only then - might I contemplate checking to see how the Diamondbacks are losing, er, doing. Of course, if we win, I'll claim reverse psychology was my intent all along...
However, we face Jae Seo, whose name must be among the least valuable among all players, as far as Scrabble goes. Shame he's not facing the most valuable, Javier Vazquez. But pitiful 13-point score or not, Seo has been lights-out: the fill-in starter has allowed one run in 23.1 innings, making him impossible to dislodge from the rotation. Sending Ortiz up against him probably counts as cruel and unusual punishment.
Update [2005-8-24 18:54:10 by Jim McLennan]: Lineups are out. Jackson gets to start at first base, let's hope he can break his hitless streak - not that he's actually been playing much lately. Glaus gets the night off, with Cintron playing third. The Diamondbacks also had a players-only team meeting before the game, so we'll see if that had any effect.