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Gameday Thread, #135: 9/2 vs. Nationals (night)

Livan Hernandez, RHP (10-11, 5.27)
Jason Bergmann, RHP (0-1, 6.64)

Maybe we'll get to see some of the new arrivals, courtesy of the expanded roster, in the nightcap. Three men were added to the bullpen, in Choate (contract repurchased), Aquino (off DL), and first-time call-up Doug Slaten, while infielder Andy Green was activated from the DL and is joined by catching prospect Miguel Montero, who will also be experiencing his first taste of the major leagues. Choate and Slaten give us left-handed options in relief, something which we've been lacking recently.

Livan returns to his old stomping ground - apparently, they still have a banner of him hanging up outside the park. Let's hope that's not some kind of omen for the game. Last time was Hernandez v2.0's shortest start; he only went six innings, though had thrown 115 pitches by the time he was lifted. It was also probably his least effective, allowing five runs on eight hits and three walks. He should have some familiarity with the Nationals' hitters (having played four years for the organization, both in Montreal and Washington), but that cuts both ways, and so it's hard to say what impact that might have.

We face a converted reliever and spot starter in Bergmann, who made three appearances in the rotation during August. He allowed eleven earned runs on 15 hits and six walks in 17 innings, but as we saw this morning, lighting up the starter is not sufficient to guarantee you victory. Not when you have the likes of Pena, Julio and Lyon, who allowed six runs on three hits and seven walks in 1.2 innings of work this morning. [Dammit, yes, it will take time - and a large amount of alcohol, probably - to put that one behind me...]

Upon reflection, I will be watching the game, at least for about the first hour (since we then have to leave for Big Daddy's North). This is, however, mostly because it isn't quite enough time to squeeze something from the unwatched DVD pile in, rather than out of my dedication to the Diamondbacks. That, needless, to say, is running on fumes after the fiasco which was the first game's conclusion. Here's to better things to come.