There were concerns before the season about how we'd do against left-handed pitching, but so far, the results have been pretty solid: we're 8-6 when facing southpaws to date. It helps that several players who, historically, have had problems in this area, are doing pretty well: Counsell (.389) and Shawn Green (.300) are perhaps the most obvious surprises. Gonzalez (.213) is the only regular below .250: word is, it'd be no surprise if he was given the day off today, as Green was yesterday, and Tracy the day before. Makes sense to do so before a tough road-trip.
Duke is someone who can be wild - he handed out six free passes last time out - but has six quality starts in nine outings, including a complete-game shutout. Admittedly, that was against the Cubs, so barely counts. :-) [This isn't just snarkiness: the Cubs are batting a woeful .192 this year, in 354 at-bats against left-handers] Batista has been second to Webb in terms of reliability, averaging just shy of six innings per start, and last time out, was generally better than the five earned runs indicate.
As noted, will be attending the game, cheering, but behaving with appropriate decorum, unlike certain spectators. As Bob McManaman put it in the Republic: "If you watched the game on television, it was impossible to miss the fans behind home plate waving and flailing their arms to get some TV time. That's cool, but it's akin to waving your arms at a free-throw shooter in an NBA game, only he happens to be playing for your team. Think about that for a minute. Or not."
He's close, but it is not cool in the slightest. This is the 21st-century: television is no longer a new-fangled device, and appearing on it does not make you in any way "special". That said, it might be amusing if those fans brought amusing signs, in the way the WWE fans did to Judgement Day on Sunday. However, I guess those seats behind home plate are just too expensive for real fans to afford, and go to the corporate tossers [there's a good old British word for you!] who wouldn't recognise a slider if it bit them on the ass.
Rant over. Things to look for this game:
- Quality Start for Batista
- Double-play by Arizona
Gonzalez breaks his homerless streak
- RBI for J-strada
- And what the hell - one for Hudson too
- Tracy avoids fanning
- Error-free defense
- More K's than H+BBs by the bullpen
- Diamondbacks never trail