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Gameday Thread, #98: 7/20 vs. Dodgers

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Derek Lowe
RHP, 7-8, 3.85


Brandon Webb
RHP, 13-4, 3.23 preview [opens in new window]

Six years ago today, the Arizona Diamondbacks trailed 1-0 in the eighth inning in San Diego. But they scored two in that inning, and added five more in the ninth, to beat the Padres 7-1. The victory started a streak where we won eight of nine, and which moved us five games ahead in the National League West - we largely cruised from that point on. Why do I mention this? Because six years ago today, Mrs. SnakePit and I also got married, back in Scotland. We will therefore not be about for much of the thread today, for obvious reason [we're going to see Wall-E this afternoon, and then out for a long, leisurely dinner somewhere]

Yesterday's win was very much needed, and if Webb is on form, will hopefully be followed by another one this afternoon. After a shaky June, with an ERA of 4.76, Webb seems to have bounced back, with just two earned runs in thirteen innings over his last couple of starts. In July he also has a K:BB ratio of 18:4, significantly better than June's figure of 22:9. Over at the Republic, Nick Piecoro looked at the pitch F/x data for Webb, measuring the horizontal and vertical movement on his pitches. It looks like there was less horizontal slide during his downturn, but the last few starts seem to show a greater degree of sink, and that may explain the greater success of late.

Every other game over the past six, Lowe has allowing one earned run - the good news is, he did it last time, so based entirely on that, should be ripe for the plucking today. Yeah, I'd like something based on more than numerology too. Of the current D-backs, O-Dawg has had great success against him, going 11-for-29 and so has Drew, albeit in a small sample-size (6-for-14). Tony Clark is 4-for-27, so we may not see him start - though three of those four hits left the park, and neither Conor Jackson (0-for-6) nor Chad Tracy (6-for-24) have lit up Lowe. Still, an important game to win today, and give us a spot of breathing room before the Cubs come to town.