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Gameday Thread, #84: 7/4 vs. Dodgers

Enrique Gonzalez, RHP (2-1, 4.03)
Aaron Sele, RHP (4-2, 3.06)

Happy Fourth of July, folks. We spent much of the morning watching the Twilight Zone marathon, and have also been flicking over to the Star Trek one (original series, natch) as and when interested. This evening will see a traditional dinner of hot-dogs, and we intend to watch the fireworks later on. Hopefully, these will be provided by the Arizona offense, rather than the damp squib which showed up yesterday.

For let's see if we can compete a little more effectively than last night, shall we? That was, credibly, a contender for our worst all-round performance of the year, and showed ineffectiveness in a startling number of ways. Though, truth be told, I must 'fess up to split loyalties today, with Sele being on my AZ SnakePit fantasy team. Therefore, here's to a 1-0 AZ win, with an unearned run in the ninth; though knowing my luck, the D'backs will pile on Sele, running out to a 10-0 third inning lead, before our bullpen blows it.

I imagine the umpires will be watching very closely for any hit batters after yesterday's Plunkapalooza (five in total), so Enrique might be laying off the inside pitches for an inning or two, especially when N.Garciaparra comes to the plate. Here's to good control, for more than the usual reasons: since our bullpen was used so early last night, the last thing we need is our starter getting tossed early. Though I wouldn't mind a brawl; the D'backs haven't had one of those for years.

Sele has been hit hard, but made some "adjustments" and was effective enough to throw six shutout innings in his last start. That was, however, against the Pirates - my grandmother could throw six shutout innings against them. And she's dead. This will actually be his first start since June 24; he was used in relief on Saturday but allowed two runs in one-third of an innings. Thirteen pitches shouldn't have much effect physically, but may have disrupted his routine.

Enrique Gonzalez - the better pitcher of the EGon boys, it appears (I so want to call them the EGon twins, or at least brothers!) - starts for us. Hopefully he can build on his last outing, an unlucky no-decision against the Mariners, after seven innings of three-hit ball. He seems to be joining the rest of the rotation in the Inconsistency Zone: seven starts so far, he's allowed either two or less, or five-plus earned runs, in all of them. Being the former will be a large step towards bypassing yesterday's abysmal performance.