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Gameday Thread, #111: 8/3 vs. Dodgers

Doug Davis (31, LHP, 7-10, 4.11)
Chad Billingsley (22, RHP, 7-1, 3.65) preview [opens in new window]

Deep breath. Here we go. Three games against the Dodgers, who are our current closest rivals for divisional titles and the playoffs. LA have kicked our asses this season so far, winning seven of nine games - the worst record we have against any National League side. They have the second-highest payroll in the National League; we are thirteenth. And's Arizona who lead the division, with less than two months to go. Chris Young is on fire, Stephen Drew is about to break out, and we just called up someone who could be the best 19-year old since Mickey Mantle. [And that might not be much of an exaggeration: an OPS of .800, which I'm looking for from Upton, would beat the figure posted by Mantle in 1951, of .792. The only better one since, among teenagers with 100+ PA's, was Tony Conigliaro's .884 in 1964]

Make no mistake, it's still going to be tough, but the acquisition of Kim today has given me a sense of optimism, albeit for no realistic reason. But it's Kim, dammit. We haven't been to the playoffs since we trade him, but made it three of the four years he appeared for us. Coincidence? I think not. :-) This may be our best chance of winning tonight. Davis had a great July, posting five quality starts and his lowest ERA (3.58) since April, and we'll need him to continue that down the stretch. Billingsley is no patsy, but last time out, it took him 114 pitches to get through 4.1 innings against the Rockies. He can be got to. Let's hope the first game of the Kim era is one such occasion.

Late start tonight: 7.40pm. No wonder Dodgers fans leave early. ;-) I will be lurking, but managed to get severely delayed by a variety of other things, so need to get caught up on those before I can turn my full attention gamewards. It should be a good set of games this weekend, and I hope the Diamondbacks step up to the importance of them and perform as well as we know they can.