"Dear Doug Davis, Please don't suck on national TV today. Love, Diamondbacks fans." Not that I am saying Davis is particularly likely to pitch badly, it's more that I think we got our full quota of starting pitcher ineptitude for the series in yesterday's game. Jon Garland really doesn't appear to like Arizona much, does he? Or, at least, pitching in Chase Field. Going by his performances here - opponents hitting .353 in Phoenix, with an 8.71 ERA - one senses his mutual option for 2010 might best be quietly ignored.
Davis, on the other hand, seems to be getting the hang of it. In his first year, his home ERA was about a run higher; during 2008, they wee about the same; and in 2009, it's more than a run and a half better [3.20 vs. 4.76]. Admittedly, that is at least in part due to a .229 BABIP, but he has also brought down the hammer with men in scoring position. This season Davis has allowed just three such hits, in 33 at-bats, though again, with a BABIP of .103, that probably isn't very sustainable.
Opposing him is former Diamondback and Scrabble wiz Vasquez, who restrained us pretty well when we faced him in Atlanta on the 15th. He allowed two runs in seven innings, and was in line for the win until his closer blew it in the ninth [though the Braves' won the game in the bottom half]. The Giants did swat him around pretty well last time out, however - so if they can do it, no reason why we shouldn't be able to, right?
As noted, this game is nominally on national television, but one suspects 96% of the country - basically, anyone outside Arizona and Atlanta - will probably be seeing the Dodgers/Cubs game instead. If the result is anything like last night, we might end up wishing we were watching it too, but here's to a significantly better product for the Diamondbacks. Not seen the lineup yet, and seems Mike McNally is taking the day off Twitter. No big.