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Gameday Thread, #129: 8/26 vs. Dodgers

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Derek Lowe, RHP (11-8, 3.84)
Miguel Batista, RHP (10-5, 4.52)

I was just looking at the weather report for Phoenix and noticed an unusual cold spot located downtown, where one area is showing a temperature more than thirty degrees colder than the surrounding region. I guess the small glacier's worth of ice needed for for the AZ and LA bullpen arms, has just been delivered to Chase Field... ;-) The two relief corps combined for more than twenty innings of work and 333 pitches last night: 188 for LA, 145 for AZ, so the key question is, who'll go longer today?

So, Derek Lowe has got the best recent form in this area: all four of his August starts have gone at least seven innings, after a July where he went 0-for-6 in this category. He's thrown 30.2 innings and allowed just six earned runs on 20 hits and three walks, which seems to make him a tough cookie to beat. However, he never reached 110 pitches in any of those starts: if we can lay off the sinker, he might be in trouble. [Okay, us showing patience at the plate should be filed under "wild optimism".] We faced Lowe twice in July with mixed results. We lost on the 3rd at Chavez Ravine, where he allowed two runs in five innings, but teed off at Chase on the 19th, getting eleven hits and five runs in 4.1 frames.

Miggy has shown himself capable of going deep into games, but this month has averaged less than six innings per start. It's been the free passes that have killed him: sixteen in 23.2 innings, including six last time, even though he did survive seven innings and allowed only one earned run. However, he remains unbeaten since all the way back on June 20th, though that's largely because he has seven no-decisions in his last nine starts. Hopefully he can reproduce the form he showed last time against the Dodgers - that was also July 19th, when he pitched a six-hit shutout. The same again tonight would be very welcome.

Quick follow up on a comment last night from DiamondbacksWIn regarding Estrada's involvement in a...disagreement, shall we say. The Republic today reports, "A disagreement in the dugout on Wednesday in San Francisco that was caught by cameras appeared to show a confrontation between catcher Johnny Estrada and second baseman Orlando Hudson. The disagreement was between Estrada and pitching coach Bryan Price, both men said. Estrada called it a "heat of the battle" moment, adding that he was upset the team had blown a late lead and he said something Price didn't like."

Will likely be watching tonight's game, but not able to comment, since I'll be at Big Daddy's North over at Union Hills and the I-17, where Chris is having a show. Early departure required for that, but if I position myself carefully, I can watch the big-screen TV in the next room, which will hopefully be showing the game. I say "hopefully", since I seem to remember last time, they had the Cubs game on instead. WTF? Want to watch them play? Move to Chicago, because in case you hadn't noticed, this is Arizona, not Illinois - the saguaros should be a clue there. We appreciate your co-operation in this matter. :-)