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Get the popcorn popped, place the beer within easy reach, settle in to your chair, and don't blink, because you might miss something. This is the second Sunday in a row with a top-notch pitching match-up: it might be fractionally less-stellar than last week's Peavy-Webb encounter, but not by much. That was #1 and #2 in the 2007 NL Cy Young; this time, it's another two pitchers, including the starter for the AL, from the the 2007 All-Star rosters.
In Arizona's favor, we have raked left-handed pitching this year, posting a line of .295/.373/.490, giving us an OPS that's 75 points better than facing righties. Against that, Santana is hardly your everyday, run-of-the-mill, garden variety southpaw; opponents are batting below the Uecker Line against him, at .196, and he has a K:BB ratio of 39:8 thus far. His main issue has been a vulnerability to the long-ball, with seven allowed in only 40.1 innings. Santana led the American League last year in this category, with 33, and one hopes our homer-hitters will add a couple more on there. I'm thinking in particular of Mark Reynolds here.
05/04/08 4:10 PM EDT
|New York Mets||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|Jose Reyes - SS||Chris Young - CF|
|Ryan Church - RF||Augie Ojeda - SS|
|David Wright - 3B||Eric Byrnes - LF|
|Carlos Beltran - CF||Conor Jackson - 1B|
|Moises Alou - LF||Justin Upton - RF|
|Carlos Delgado - 1B||Mark Reynolds - 3B|
|Brian Schneider - C||Chris Snyder - C|
|Luis Castillo - 2B||Chris Burke - 2B|
|Johan Santana - P||Dan Haren - P|
After yesterday's career performance, there's no way Melvin was going to drop Augie Ojeda from the line-up, so he's shifted across to give Drew a day off; Chris Burke replaces Hudson, who is still not felt to be 100% fit. Byrnes is still in the #3-hole, and one wonders what it'll take for him to be dropped lower, since going 2-for-23 with no walks over the past week, isn't apparently enough.
It's a sad day here, as the SnakePitette's puppy, Optimus, had to be put to sleep this morning, after contracting parvovirus. I just had a distraught call from Mrs. SnakePit with that news, and so I am not sure of my presence here for the game. If I vanish suddenly, you'll know other things have taken precedence. Go, D-backs.