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Gameday Thread, #85: 7/4 vs. Padres


Cha Seung Baek
RHP, 1-4, 5.43


Dan Haren
RHP, 8-4, 2.85 preview [opens in new window]

Happy Fourth of July, folks. Getting this up here early, since I've got nothing better to do today. Great, isn't it? And look! It's another National League West team! I'd almost forgotten they existed, since we'd been spending our time in exotic locations like Minnesota and Boston, hobnobbing with our country cousins ["What? You mean your roof doesn't open? How barbaric!"] and the New England Yankees respectively. Now, it's back to more familiar territory: beating up on the cellar-dwelling Padres.

How bad are the Padres? They just lost more games in barely 24 hours to the Rockies, than we have to Colorado all season. They have dropped 14 of their past 16, with both wins going to Heath Bell [my fantasy team thanks you]. You know how Davis, Owings and Johnson combined for one win in June? Well, in the Padres' rotation, none of their starters have seen a W in more than three weeks, since June 12. But the offense has been equally inept, scoring 52 runs in those 16 games - fifteen coming in one bizarro game at Coors. That makes 37 in the other 15, or less than two and a half runs per game. And you thought our offense was struggling.

Byung-Hyun Kim makes a return to Chase tonight, now operating under the pseudonym of Cha-Seung Baek. Or maybe it just seems that way, looking at the ERA and W/L record? He did have a couple of decent starts in June, but our offense seems to be clicking a bit. We've had double-digits in hits the past four games in a row, tying a streak back in April - you have to go back to June 2005, to find the last time we had a longer one. Baek would seem a good candidate to help us, with opponents hitting .289 off his this year.

We'll be there in person, and are looking forward to our D-backs t-shirts, if we arrive there early enough. Looks like the game is basically sold out - the team site refuses to cough up two tickets, in any section - so the place should be rockin' on through the fireworks show afterwards. We did contemplate taking the bus down, but the route goes right past Steele Indian School Park, where the Phoenix Fourth of July celebration is going on, so that will probably be a complete mess. Another time, perhaps. Forecasters also say there's a 20% chance of a repeat of last night's storm, which would make things interesting...

One name was notable by its absence from the dogpile around home-plate after yesterday's Matinee Miracle (TM pending). Eric Byrnes, who has not been seen at Chase since he tore his hamstring on Monday, as "he seeks further medical attention." Chris Snyder, on the other hand, was right back in the dugout, fractured testicle or not - an injury which would seem far more likely to me to have "further medical attention," written through it like a stick of Blackpool candy.

Oh, and it might - or might not - be worth flipping over to WGN for the Cubs-Cards game just before our first-pitch, as there is scheduled to be some, ah, additional entertainment, to celebrate life, liberty and the pursuit of...well, I'm not quite sure what. Though I have a sneaking suspicion nothing will happen, except the PayPal account of the participant in question will be increased by hopeful spectators. Still, the founding fathers of this great nation would be proud by such free enterprise...