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Gameday Thread Special: 9/19 - Toledo vs. Tucson

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De La Cruz (0-0, 11.57*)
Owings (10-0, 3.70*)

* - Regular season only.

Yeah, let's go for it. I'm optimistic of getting the decks cleared by 4pm, so should then be able to settle down for a double-header of the Diamondbacks Present and Diamondbacks Future. First up will be the Sidewinders, on ESPN2: looking at their logo, I wonder if they're going to redesign in line with the D'backs new colours for next year? The Sidewinders face the champions of the International League, the Toledo Mud Hens, and have a fully-rested squad, having swept their championship series. This should give them a starting-pitching advantage: Toledo lost Chad Durbin (11-8, 3.11) to their parent club in Detroit, while Brian Boehringer (3-1, 4.83) started on Friday and Colby Lewis (6-7, 3.96) was designated for assignment and is ineligible. However, Toledo's bullpen has been phenomenal, conceding four runs in 33 playoff innings - and those all by one man!

Undefeated Micah Owings is scheduled to start for Tucson, but Dustin Nippert will also be available to pitch if required. He went 2-0 with a 0.63 ERA in the playoffs, allowing one run in 14.1 innings. Koplove and Schultz are the likely closers: between them, they have four saves and haven't allowed a run in almost nine innings. At the plate, Toledo led the league both in homers and strikeouts, and almost one-third of their hits in the playoffs left the yard. This is in contrast to Tucson, who produced only two home-runs in seven playoff games, both late in the finale on Friday. Scott Hairston led the team with 26 homers in the regular season, but in the playoffs, the Sidewinders used good pitching and defense more often, taking advantage of mistakes by the opposition to score.

We'll see how this turns out: the Sidewinders deserve to come out on top, and complete a great season by proving themselves the best AAA team out there. But even if they don't, that they've come this far without Young, Drew, Quentin, etc. is still an amazing feat. Manager Chip Hale and everyone else down in Tucson deserves a lot of credit, and congratulations to them all for a fine year. The future truly is now...