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Gameday Thread, #77: 6/27 vs Mariners

Gil Meche, RHP (7-4, 3.94)
Enrique Gonzalez, RHP (2-1, 4.65)

The AL West this year has a lot in common with the NL West: coming into today, both divisions were led with a 41-36 record and a 1.5 game lead. Another thing the divisions have in common is, they're both wide often as we approach the half-way point of the season. Four teams in the NL West and three in the AL are within two games of the top. The Mariners have surged in June (16-7), as the Diamondbacks have fallen (7-19), and the first two games in the series have demonstrated this amply.

Pitching would be nice, to try and stop the Mariners from reaching double digits this evening. Our bullpen showing up would be particularly nice, having allowed eleven runs in four innings of work thus far. EnGon got whipped the last time out, enduring the curse of the first, allowing three runs before we came to bat. Five hits in four innings is okay; adding four walks is bad; when two of them come with the bases-loaded, small pets in SnakePit Towers run for cover.

Interesting article on Sports Illustrated about how the meaning behind the US National Anthem has largely been lost through its overuse at sporting events: as the old joke quoted in the piece goes, what's the last two words of the anthem? Play ball! I suspect the author might well come in for some flak for his piece; some will claim, if we don't sing the anthem, then the terrorists will have won. But as a neutral, I agree with his point that it's weird to sing it before during games played by paid professionals of all nations: this isn't the World Cup, after all. And it doesn't help when half the performers appear to treat it like an audition for American Idol.

Last day of voting for the All-Star game today, and so it is for the Diamondbacks All-Star poll found on the right. Though with Webb winless in the past month, and looking increasingly wobbly, maybe his selection is not such a shoo-in as it seemed when the poll was originally started. Since publication on May 29, Webb is winless (0-3) with a mediocre ERA of 4.20. He's still third in the NL for ERA, but starting the game seems unlikely, and even a roster-spot is no longer guaranteed.