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A strange new world beckons for the Diamondbacks today. It's one inhabited by batters who don't take the field, under a roof that can't open, with a 16-foot high plastic wall extension in right field, and played on a green substance that resembles the stuff behind the produce section in the grocery store, more than actual grass. No, we're not in Arizona any more, Toto. This weekend may be the last time we visit the Triple-H Metrodome and have to endure the white ceiling there - the Twins are building a new, open-air stadium, which is scheduled to open in 2010. Can't happen soon enough, I tend to think.
I can't say I look at the pitching match-ups for this series with much confidence: Sunday, where Webb takes on another former D-back in Livan 'The Buffet Slayer' Hernandez, is about the only one where I feel we have an edge. Johnson has been getting worse over his last few outings, and tomorrow's starter, Micah Owings, hasn't had a quality start since May 25. Concentrating on today, we need Johnson to return to the form he showed in May, where he went 3-0 with a 3.19 ERA and struck out 34 in 31 innings. June has been no kinder to him than most of our team.
Who will be the DH? With a RHP on the mound for Minnesota, Chad Tracy is the most likely candidate, with Jackson at first and, I'm thinking Salazar in left-field. Defense could be an interesting experience today, with the artificial turf and the infamous Metrodome ceiling making things tough for our fielders. It has been more than a month since Arizona won three games in a row: May 13-16, to be exact, when we took four off Colorado and Detroit. It'd be nice to get back into some degree of a winning-streak, but we need a better performance from RJ to have a chance.