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Gameday Thread, #7: 4/7 vs.Dodgers


Esteban Loaiza
RHP, 0-1, 3.38


Dan Haren
RHP, 0-0, 4.50 preview [opens in new window]

With all due respect to the Rockies, I think most D-backs fans would regard them as less of a threat to us repeating as champion, than the Dodgers. Los Angeles strengthened their team in a couple of significant ways over the winter, not least with the arrival of Jones and Kuroda, and also have some very good young players, such as Loney and Kemp. I mean, rather than Luis Gonzalez in left, they now have Andre Ethier. That's a big improvement, right there.

I think it's probably very important for Arizona to get the win today, as the rest of the series, the pitching edge probably goes to LA. We have Billingsley vs. Davis [it appears, at the moment, anyway] tomorrow, and then Kuroda vs. Owings on Wednesday, and I'd settle for a split of those two games. Today, however, pits the Dodgers' #5 starter against the Diamondbacks' #2, and we should be looking to make the most of this chance.

Haren's first start was solid, and he'd have picked up the win, if not for Lyon's ninth-inning meltdown. He did give up a couple of big flies, and that could prove problematic at Chase. Haren's effectiveness relies, to a great extent, on him keeping the ball down in the strike-zone, and as long as he does that, he should be fine. The Dodgers' pitching has been as good as advertised - only eleven runs allowed in six games - but Loaiza did take the loss in his only appearances, pitching in relief as the result of a rain-affected game. Because of off-days, this will be his first start of the season, all the more reason to pounce.

The game is a sellout, which is nice to see. Just poked my head round the door here [we're two blocks from Chase Field] and the place is already getting pretty busy. Be good to have a rockin' atmosphere for the game. Be even better to start off on the right foot, with another victory.