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Gameday Thread, #48: 5/27 vs Reds

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Juan Cruz, RHP (1-3, 5.61)
Aaron Harang, RHP (5-3, 3.82)

The big news this morning, is that it's Enrique Gonzalez who will get the start tomorrow, making his major league debut. He'll be facing the Reds staff ace, Bronson Arroyo, who is only 6-2 with a 2.29 ERA. This is a bit of a mixed blessing, I reckon: while a tough opponent, it means expectations are being heavily managed. I'm a little surprised they didn't hold him off for Monday, as this instead means he'll be pitching on short rest - he started for Tucson on Wednesday, but threw only 54 pitches, so should be okay. Still, I imagine Jarvis will be kept loose in the bullpen, just in case.

Daigle hops on the bus back down to the Sidewinders, for the second time. While that departure is no real surprise, these moves do perhaps create a logjam further down the line. What will happen when Terry Mulholland returns, as he seems almost certain to do shortly? And the clock is also ticking on Russ Ortiz's rehab stint. While EGon can be returned at will, it would be difficult to justify optioning one of the other youngsters like Medders or Valverde back to Tucson, and the alternative would appear to be freeing Grimsley, Jarvis or Mulholland. We'll see how things work out.

Meanwhile, today's game sees us with a chance to reach the dizzy heights of double-digits above .500, for the first time in living memory [Ok, it just seems that way.] Juan Cruz is the man bearing that heavy burden, and he came back well in his last outing, though it may be some time before his albatross, the worst start in franchise history, is entirely forgotten. Harang threw a complete game last time, but lost 1-0, thanks in part to his own error. He's been a bit up and down, but has a 3.04 ERA in 26.1 May innings. Expect stiff breezes in the Cincinnati area too; he has 34 K's this month, and is 3rd in the NL for strikeouts. Chad Tracy, you have been warned.

I still remain optimistic that we'll win this one, because I expect (anticipate? hope?) our slumbering lumber to be a sight more present than it was yesterday. The Reds are always dangerous, however, and it would seem crucial that Cruz avoids handing out many walks, which he has the tendency to do (21 free passes in 33.2 innings). With the likes of Adam Dunn in the lineup, those bases on balls can easily end up trotting across home-plate, to the applause of the crowd. Note the slightly early start today - 3:10pm Arizona time. See you there...