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Good omen for this game: it was ten years ago exactly today, that I first met Mrs. SnakePit. So I feel kinda good today, though the tension is already knotting my stomach into a ball. Brace yourself. It's gonna be a bumpy weekend, and three teams will be going home empty-handed at the end of it, with nothing to look forward to but TBS's coverage.
Webb vs. Francis, and if ever we needed an ace-like performance from Brandon, it's tonight. He hasn't been at his best this year against the Rockies, though most of those outings were earlyin the year, and it's hard to tell from those. His last loss did come against them at Chase, as they got three runs off him in the first. Since then though, Webb is 3-0 in four starts, with an ERA of 3.91.
Francis has been almost impeccable of late, though five of his last six starts have come against the sucky Giants, slumping Dodgers and offensively-poor (at the time) Padres. In the sixth, the Phillies tagged him for eight earned runs in 3.1 innings, so he can be hit. There's not much middle-ground with Francis: in the past twelve starts, he has allowed three or less earned runs, or eight. Let's hope he tends toward the latter today. He faced Arizona twice this year, and has allowed only two runs in thirteen innings, so we're going to need to improve on that.
This already has the feel of a playoff series, though we'll be doing a lot more scoreboard watching. In particular, the Phillies (4:05pm), Cubs (4:10pm), Mets (4:10pm) and Padres/Brewers (5:05pm) games all promise to be of importance. I'll be rushing home to check on this one, with an ETA around 6pm. Think this thread might be kinda busy tonight... :-)
[editor's note, by snakecharmer]
The Diamondbacks clinch a playoff berth!!
The Diamondbacks will be in the post-season this year, either as the NL West division winner or wildcard team. More discussion, obviously, inside.