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Gameday Thread, #140: 9/7 vs. Cardinals

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Jeff Weaver, RHP (5-14, 5.92)
Miguel Batista, RHP (10-5, 4.34)

After a dismal 1-5 roadtrip, we come back to Arizona, all but safe in the knowledge that this will not be the Diamondbacks' year. The Cardinals are still in a playoff spot, but have been less than stellar over the past month - only the fact that the Reds have slumped lately [2-8 in the past ten, the equal worst record in the league...yes, along with us] has allowed them to keep a comfortable lead in their position as division leaders.

But how often do you find a division leader sending someone out there with a 5-14 record? Weaver has just two wins in fifteen starts since May, though was somewhat unlucky last time out, taking the loss despite allowing only one run in seven innings. That was, however, against Pittsburgh: his previous start was against the Cubbies, who scored five runs off Weaver in 6.1 innings. When the least-offensive team in the NL (a league-worst 596 runs scored, 18 less than the next lowest outfit) can do that off you, it's no wonder you're third in the majors for losses.

We may have to pry Miggy off the mound with a crowbar tonight. He was taken out after seven innings of his last start, against Washington, with a 6-1 lead, only for the bullpen to toss it all away. Just another no-decision in a long list of no-decisions for Batista: nine in his past eleven games, and thirteen all told this year in 28 appearances. The only regular arm (20+ starts) with a higher percentage is ex-D'back Casey Fossum: he has thirteen no-decisions too, in 25 outings, going 6-6 for Tampa Bay. This would seem to be a symptom of a bullpen that can't hold leads, or an offense that can come back from losses. Probably a bit of both in AZ's case...

Best if we start with the little things tonight. Getting a hit. That would be nice. Do that, and we can then work up to, oh, perhaps scoring a run, and maybe even look towards taking a lead at some point. Keeping that lead? Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves, shall we? :-) Looking forward to watching this one, and given the weakness of the opposing pitcher, I actually do reckon we have a good chance at taking this.