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Gameday Thread, #141: 9/6 vs. Dodgers


Brandon Webb
RHP, 19-6, 3.19


Chad Billingsley
RHP, 13-10, 3.13 preview [opens in new window]

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the death of Akira Kurosawa, one of the most legendary directors of all time. Even if you haven't seen one of Kurosawa's films (Rashomon, Ran, The Hidden Fortress) you've seen a film heavily influenced by his work- The Magnificent Seven, Fistful of Dollars, and a little film called Star Wars: A New Hope all take storyline cues from some of his work. The man made some amazing, influential films, and the world of cinema is better for his life and work.

So why do I spend a paragraph on the work of Kurosawa, rather than on the upcoming pitching match-up? Well, because I can't help but look at the game today, and think about Seven Samurai. You look at how this season is shaping up, and where we stand- lead down to a half game, our aces struggling, the Dodgers ready the final strike- and I can't help but feel like this is a fateful showdown. We, the fans are worried about the Dodgers making the move and grabbing the lead in the division for a run at the playoffs.

We need our samurai to show up.

And, obviously, by our samurai, today I mean Brandon Webb. We need him to get back to the Cy Young winning form he showed us for the first 27 games this season, and stop the Dodgers offense cold like he has before. We know he absolutely can do it. There's a difference between a guy who is an ace, and a guy who's just your #1 starter- an ace is the guy who goes out and wins the big games when you need him to. Time for Brandon Webb to remember he's our ace.

But a samurai doesn't fight alone, and Webb isn't going to win this game by himself. That's why we need the bats to get hot today. You'll recall that Chad Billingsley pitched well against us last time, but that's not how it's gone all season. Note, if you will, the fact that the guy is 1-3 against us. Chris Young, Stephen Drew, and Mark Reynolds have both put up good numbers against him- they're a combined 21 for 54, with three doubles, two triples, three home runs and ten RBIs against him. We can hit this guy, and we can beat him. We just need to start getting hits together against him, and he'll fall.

So, things are dire. Bandits on the horizon, a tenuous grasp of first place, and if our samurai fall here, we may not make it through to October. Time to show us what you've got.