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Gameday Thread, #89: 7/14 vs. Brewers

Doug Davis, LHP (5-6, 4.95)
Miguel Batista, RHP (8-5, 5.01)

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends... Seems a long time since I last did one of these, but it's only five days. Though today's contest has more of the feel of a warm-up act for tomorrow's pair of aces, it should still be interesting, as both pitchers are capable of performances much better than their ERAs would suggest. We know about Batista, of course, and his near-perfect game: Davis's best start was probably seven innings of three-hit, shutout ball against the Tigers on June 19th, and in his penultimate start, he came within one out of a complete game. But he can also suck hard, and has had three starts where he has allowed seven or more earned runs, which is also reminiscent of Miggy.

So this one is pretty much a toss-up; it would be good to get the second-half of the season jump-started. A comforting quote from Josh Byrnes on mlb.com:

The one thing that we are least apt to do is trade out of our prospect inventory... The top prospects we have are almost without fail playing well at Triple-A, making us believe that they are close to being ready... I think anything we can do in terms of improving the starting pitching now and in the future is something we would have to look at.

Obviously, he's not going to shoot himself in the foot by barring the door on any trades involving the prospects, but this does encourage me to believe that deals will largely involve veterans like Batista, Counsell, Byrnes and (dare we hope?) L.Gonzalez, who won't be here next year anyway. I will still be holding my breath somewhat over the next few weeks, but this is a hangover from the previous management, who would take being "only" five games out as a sign from god to sell the farm, literally. I'm optimistic we'll do nothing idiotic, and we can then look forward to getting a taste of our prospects later in the season, and then enjoying them in full force next year.

So I'm feeling cheerful, which is not a bad way to start the All-Star break: certainly better than being a Reds fan this morning! And go visit Brew Crew Ball, where the Brewers are still hanging on there, in their quest to finish above .500 this year. Wish them the best of luck with that, but I have a soft spot for the Brewers, since I found out (back in the days when Russ was with us) that they have a minor-league affiliate called the Manatees. Beats the rather dull names we've got, though I am kinda fond of "Jethawks". What is a jethawk, anyway? I'd say jets + hawks = nasty mess of blood and feathers, but I'm probably being too literal...