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Gameday Thread, #122: 8/18 vs. San Diego

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Enrique Gonzalez, RHP (3-4, 4.98)
Woody Williams, RHP (5-4, 3.79)

As npineda pointed out, this is a bit of a bottom of the rotation battle - we don't see Peavy, they don't see Webb. [Though Jake has been most un-acelike for the entire season, and Brandon too, over his past couple of starts] Instead, we face Williams, Hensley and Young: we should note that the ERA advantage in all three matchups goes to San Diego, but they do have Petco on their side.

Not that you'd know it from mlb.com's preview, which is so one-sided that it appears to have been written by our colleagues over at Gaslamp Ball. Except they'd be a damn sight more balanced, I reckon. Here's the MLB description of tonight's starter, Woody Williams, in full:

Williams is in a solid groove, confident and consistent, putting the ball where he wants it and consistently working out of jams when he gets in trouble -- as often as not with an uncommon number of flares that land in front of diving outfielders. He is a master at working up and down in the zone, hitting his spots, making hitters uncomfortable with less than overpowering stuff. He is still a highly effective pitcher in the middle of the rotation, and he gives the younger members of the staff the benefit of his wisdom and knowledge in the fashion of Greg Maddux.

Hang on, I think if Williams shifted stance slightly, the writer could cram a little more tongue into his butt. :-) I should remind you that this is Woody Williams. Since the All-Star Break, he's allowed forty-seven hits in 37.2 innings, and 20 earned runs for a mediocre ERA of 4.78. This is not, as it might seem from the paragraph above, the second coming of Sandy Koufax. The last time Williams posted an ERA above 100 for a season was 2003, so I'm hopeful the D'backs will tee off on him here. Maybe not homers - this being Petco - but Luis Gonzalez should be looking to pad his doubles tally a bit more.

EnGon is winless in his past five starts, but has been a little unlucky the past couple of occasions, with three unearned runs not helping him on Sunday. Mind you, walking five hitters wasn't much assistance either, and it'll certainly help if he can avoid that tonight. The Padres are reeling, having been swept by the Giants, and gone just 6-14 since sweeping the Dodgers in LA, July 24-26. A sweep would be very nice, but two of three here is the watermark we should be aiming for.