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Gameday Thread, #105: 7/31 vs. Cubs

Brandon Webb, RHP (11-4, 2.64)
Mark Prior, RHP (0-4, 6.60)

After all the speculation, ideas, rumours, hopes and fears, there's both good news and bad news at the trade deadline:
Bad: Arizona didn't make any trades
Good: Arizona didn't make any trades

Not with a bang. Not even a whimper. The trade-deadline passed at 1pm today, and Arizona was simply...not involved. Unless the deal has been made, and not announced yet for some reason, in which case I'm about to look very, very foolish... [Actually, since the SportsBlogs network died almost exactly at 1pm, this non-event is probably for the best!]

Shawn Green stays here. Luis Gonzalez stays here. Carlos Quentin will be left picking scraps up from the line-up card. However, Carlos Quentin stays here, as do Drew, Jackson and all our other prospects. And I think some credit is due for that, especially given our situation. 1.5 games off the division lead, in the 'old days', the pressure would doubtless have been on to "win this year", with a trade being made to push Arizona over the top. Instead, we're standing firm: let the cards for 2006 fall where they may [and we still have a 34.9% chance of making the post-season, according to Baseball Prospectus], but we'll be stronger for next year as a result of this restraint.

And just for the record, the final results of the poll, "Which D'back is most likely to be gone by the trade deadline?", were as follows:

  • Shawn Green 47%
  • Luis Gonzalez 14%
  • Eric Byrnes 11%
  • Tony Clark 9%
  • Others 19%
    I know I should have included a "none of the above" selection...

So, we face the baby bears in the Windy City, and got to feel good about this series, since we don't face a single pitcher with a winning record. And particularly about this matchup, as we send our ace to the mound. Though it's true that Webb got a rare loss last time out, mostly because of his usual slow start, the Cubs have not seen his sinker this year, which definitely gives Arizona the advantage.

Meanwhile, the Cubs send out Mark Prior, who has yet to win a game in 2006, though he didn't make his first start of the season until June 18. He's allowed 12 walks in 15 July innings, though given our performance in the Astros series, we'll manage to find a way to make him look like a master of pinpoint control. Sigh... But I'm thinking we'll still come out on top, and gain half a game on the Padres and Reds.