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Gameday Thread, #104: 7/30 vs. Astros

Miguel Batista, RHP (9-5, 4.65)
Roger Clemens, RHP (2-4, 2.45)

Miguel Batista comes back from burying his granny, and gets tossed in at the deep end, merely facing the active pitcher with most career wins and strikeouts. Welcome back, Miggy. Still, Clemens this year has been beaten more times than he's won, so he may not quite be the unstoppable force - or worth the insane half-year contract the Astros handed him. Of course it doesn't help that Houston are scoring less than three runs a game when the Rocket is on the mound, and so his four losses have involved a grand total of seven earned runs.

Batista's performance last time - notably the three-run first - deserves some slack, given the circumstances. Despite that, he's been going well over the past month or so: in six starts, he's 3-0, and his July ERA still sits at a decent 3.09. It seems less likely that he'll be traded away, and I suspect he may end up remaining our #2 down the stretch run towards the playoffs. So far, he has alternated great months (May: 2.66 ERA; July 3.09) and sucky ones (Apr: 6.33; June: 7.76), so maybe we should bench him for August, just to be safe...

An 11am start, Arizona time, so there will likely not be much postage from me - hence this very early (or very late, depending how you look at it!) thread creation. I will be enjoying the usual Sunday lie-in with Mrs. SnakePit, and we intend to watch the movie version of Phantom of the Opera, having seen it live earlier this week in Vegas. I'm a little more optimistic for the finale than I was for Saturday, but thoughts will perhaps be more deal- than game-oriented. Josh Byrnes puts the trade chances at "50-50. I don't think it's a certainty, but we have enough things out there to where it's a possibility." We shall see...