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Gameday Thread, #77: 6/25 vs. Dodgers

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Brad Penny (29, RHP, 9-1, 2.12)
Micah Owings (24, RHP, 5-1, 4.06) preview [opens in new window]

Best. Record. In the National League. No, it still doesn't sound right, and I've been saying it all day. But this series promises to be a bit of a litmus-test, coming against a divisional rival, and one we expect to be there all the way until the end in October. Things don't exactly start off easy, as we face the man currently with the second-best ERA in the league, Brad Penny. We'll take as read, all the hand-wringing about how he could still have been a Diamondback. Still, Micah Owings is as unaccustomed to the taste of defeat this year as Penny, each man having only one. So, that's two losses in a total of 27 games for tonight's starters...

Decided it was time to brush the dust off an old favorite poll, the "Arizona's season will end..." question. Last time, there was almost an even split - not many people thought we'd lose in the World Series, but the other four options came out within three votes of each other. Be interesting to see how things have changed, with two months' worth of games under the bridge. Personally, I just don't know: there are days when I can see this team going all the way - but there are also games where they would be hard-pushed to beat a junior prep squad.

Should be about for this one. Might even get the D'backs Watch section updated, though I'm not looking forward to that. I think I can hear sniggering coming from the Colorado direction. :-)

And looming for Thursday, Unit throws simulated game:

Randy Johnson threw a two inning simulated game this afternoon at Chase Field. With General Manager Josh Byrnes, Assistant GM Peter Woodfork and about a dozen others watching, Johnson threw 41 pitches, 19 in the first inning and 22 in the second with a five-minute break in between. Jeff DaVanon and Augie Ojeda took turns in the box against Johnson. Ojeda had the only hit, a double down the left field line in the second.

Johnson is eligible to come off the disabled list today, but Melvin said earlier that won't happen. Depending on how Johnson feels Wednesday, though, Melvin has hinted he could use Johnson in the series finale against the Dodgers on Thursday afternoon. "I felt good," was all Johnson would say after the session. Manager Bob Melvin went a little further, saying Johnson looked "really good" and said again that if Johnson feels good Wednesday he could start against the Dodgers Thursday.

Melvin said he had been wanting for some time to move Johnson into the rotation behind ace Brandon Webb, who is scheduled to start Wednesday night. That would give the Diamondbacks a right-left-right-left rotation with Webb, Johnson, Hernandez and Doug Davis. "This might be a chance to do that," Melvin said. "I was surprised at how well he threw. A lot of times those games are tough to actually get your adrenaline going for, the velocity typically is not there, sometimes the command. (But) everything was there - a sharp slider and he threw pretty well."