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Gameday Thread, #73: 6/22 vs Devil Rays

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Edgar G Gonzalez, RHP (no record)
Scott Kazmir, LHP (8-4, 3.39)

Let's see if we can avoid running our franchise record to 0-6 against our co-expansionees, shall we? But I'm less than optimistic about today. We face the Devil Rays staff ace, while putting up someone who got one major-league hitter out last season, and posted an 0-9 record in 2004. EnGon still represents a step up from Kevin Jarvis, true, but is probably closer to what you'd expect from a team whose best season ever is seventy wins, than from the three-time NL West champions, though by most neutral observers to be serious contenders for years to come. Just not this year.

However, pitching is less likely to be our downfall than the lack of offense. Far too many players appear to be coasting at the present time - and part of the problem is, the replacements in the dugout aren't much better. I mean, it's one thing to threaten to bench Luis Gonzalez [.227 in June], but it's basically an empty threat when he looks over and sees Andy Green [.182 in June] as his replacement. Ditto Jackson and Clark. Or Counsell and Easley.

Even a win tomorrow would leave this a 2-5 roadtrip, and you wonder what it's going to take to get the players' attention, and turn this thing around. Another team meeting? A brawl? The removal of Melvin as manager? It may not be too long before the last option is being seriously discussed, with the aim of getting someone in who can deliver the kicks in the backside that certain members obviously need. With that in mind, I still don't know whether to hope for a win in the series finale or not.

9:15 am first pitch, but I'm aiming to be up early, so I can watch some World Cup action first. I think the game is probably radio-only - most East Coast day games seem to be that way - so I'll likely be tucked in the office, trying to get the decks cleared.