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Gameday Thread, #108: 8/3 vs. Cubs

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Enrique Gonzalez, RHP (3-2, 4.96)
Juan Mateo, RHP (no record)

After a 10-2 victory, a quick turnaround brings us the second game of the double-header at 1:55pm, AZ time. Arizona turns to the scheduled starter in yesterday's game. It's going to be interesting to see how this, and the potential for Brandon Webb's start to be be pushed back or skipped, squeezes the D'back starting rotation over the next few days. We don't have an off-day until next Thursday, so it seems very likely we could see some Tucson pitchers get called up. Edgar Gonzalez and Dustin Nippert would seem the top contenders for the spots, though I haven't checked the Tucson schedule to see when they last played.

This could also mean, perhaps, a look at Mike Bacsik, who has been stellar for the Sidewinders, both in the bullpen and as a starter: he has a 11-0 record, with a 2.40 ERA. At 28, he's hardly a prospect, but based on his Triple-A results, would seem as worthy of a spot start as anyone. However, the down side is that he's not on the roster, though it seems that we have a couple of open spots on the 40-man at the moment, so that, at least, wouldn't be a problem. Juggling the 25-man roster would be tricky, regardless of who gets the call.

But we'll cross that when we come to it. This afternoon, we see Enrique Gonzalez, who has been solid since the All-Star break, going six-plus innings in all three starts, though a 4.58 ERA is a little high. He did allow ten hits last time out, a career high, and as the first three games have proved abundantly, the key is to either keep the ball down or elevate it so hitters can't drive it. EnGon will need to show good control, and he has been decent there, with 17 walks in 61.2 innings this season, and only three in the past 19.2. So, it's a simple task really: throw strikes, but don't throw them in the middle of the plate.

The Cubs send out a pitcher making his major-league debut - and, in fact, someone who hasn't played above the Double-A level. He's been decent enough there, but there is a huge gulf between Double-A and the majors, and Arizona should be capable of taking advantage of this lack of experience at the major-league level. Do that, and we should win, thereby guaranteeing ourselves at least a share, both of the NL West and wild-card leads, by the end of the day.