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Gameday Thread, #97: 7/19 vs. Dodgers


Chad Billingsley
RHP, 9-8, 3.25


Dan Haren
RHP, 8-5, 2.72 preview [opens in new window]

"Who will survive, and what will be left of them?"

That was the tagline to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - the original, not the Michael Bay-produced suckfest of a remake - but could equally well apply to the bullpens of the two sides here. The Dodgers relief corps went for nine innings, and used everyone, while the Diamondbacks threw one frame less, while Chad Qualls was our only arm not thrown into the game. And it wasn't for a want of any desire, more a twinge suffered while warming-up. Both sets of pitchers will be on their knees before their respective starters, demanding at least six innings, ideally more.

Basically, with the teams tied, whatever happened in the first 96 games of the season is no longer particularly relevant: it's whoever wins more of the remaining 66 who will be going to the playoffs, as simple as that. I am continuing to feel that our offense is heading in the right direction, and their feasting on Kuroda last night was a good sign. But, Davis's outing was a serious step backwards, and shifts him towards a back end of the rotation that posed as many questions as it answered over the first half of the season. We - for a myriad of reasons - need a serious bounceback outing from Haren today. In 2007, he was brilliant before the break, but only average after it; today will be the first step towards seeing if he can sustain the brilliance shown for us down the stretch.

We're heading out for an early dinner, so may not be about for the very start of this, but intend to be back before too much of the game has passed. Wonder if we'll hit four figures in comments again? I think we'd trade that for a win.