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Remember Cueto? He made his major-league debut against the Diamondbacks back in April, and mowed Arizona down, striking out ten hitters in seven overpowering innings of one-run ball. Cue a line of drooling fantasy baseball owners. But things haven't gone quite as smoothly since for Johnny: his ERA in 27 starts against other teams is 4.93, and he has been particularly troubled by the long-ball, with 27 in 160 innings. Maybe we'll have a bit more luck against him tonight: Chris Young will be particularly keen to do better, having gone 0-for-3 with three strikeouts first time round.
Brandon. Brandon, Brandon, Brandon... What has become of you? No matter what our ace might say, it's been clear to everyone from scouts to fans that something is not right with our ace. He has been smacked about for 22 hits, 12 walks and 19 earned runs in his past 13.2 innings - which is all the previous three starts of his have covered. It stops here. He has never lost more than three consecutive games over his entire career, and it's the first time he has allowed four or more earned runs in back-to-back-to-back games too [actually, he's given up at least six in each start of this streak]. Nick Piecoro has a piece analyzing Webb's release point of late.
It'll be odd to see Micah Owings in a Reds uniform, as the trade for Adam Dunn was formally completed this afternoon. From what we've experienced with other departees over the past year, we should expect him to go on an immediate tear. And in other news, we lost the coin-toss with the Dodgers to decide who would host a one-game playoff in the event the two teams end up tied at the end of the regular season. Yeah, I'm not exactly cut-up about that: if we even reach such a game, it will be a major miracle.
After some discussion, we are going to this game. We nearly didn't since it seems the Diamondbacks have apparently been on a mission to suck all our enthusiasm away, with the miserable performances since the last time we were at Chase, for SnakePitFest '08. How long ago that all seems: back when we were, y'know, good. Still, the chance to [perhaps] see Webb's twentieth victory was not to be passed up - even if we'd have looked at you oddly if you'd said after his nineteenth win, tonight would be the night, back on August 21st. So, we won't be in the Gameday Thread, and the recap will be up Saturday morning.