It's Cinco de Mayo - so what better excuse than to drink heavily? Encouragement in this area will be provided by the Diamondbacks trying to stop the Dodgers from running their home record to 12-0. Max Scherzer, appropriately, will also be making his twelfth attempt to get his first major-league win, and is getting up into some pretty rarefied territory. Only two NL pitchers since 1992 have had longer winless streaks to open their careers since 1992 [Angel Guzman of the Cubs, and Jay Bergmann of the Nationals, both who went fourteen starts without a W]. Of the 46 poor souls in the majors over the past fifty years to have reached double-figures before tasting victory, Scherzer's 3.43 ERA is easily the best - Brad Rigby's 3.76, during eleven starrts for Oakland in 1997, is next lowest.
What better opponent for Scherzer's chances than someone who is making his first major-league start in over 19 months? It's been a long journey back for Weaver, who last faced Arizona in 2006. I haven't checked yet, but suspect that probably won't stop Bob Melvin from including Tony Clark in the line-up, on the basis of him being 7-for-11 facing Weaver. Never mind that nine of those eleven at-bats were in 2005 or earlier - y'know, back when Clark was not an automatic out. Chad Tracy is 9-for-20 lifetime, but the same caveat applies: all of those were back before Tracy's knee problems started.
It's a game this team dreadfully needs to win, since a loss would leave us 8.5 games back after one month of the season. As noted elsewhere, this team is dead-last in the majors for both BA and OBP, surpassing even the most pessimistic pre-season expectations. No matter how good the starting pitching, and how solid the bullpen, you won't win many games scoring 3.77 runs/game. Until that gets significantly improved, this season won't be going anywhere but straight down the crapper.
- Ojeda 2B
- Jackson LF
- Tracy 1B
- Reynolds 3B
- Upton RF
- Montero C
- Young CF
- Wilson SS
- Scherzer P
Well, at least there's no Clark in the line-up, so it appears even his 'proven track record' against Weaver isn't enough to get him into the line-up.
No Ojeda: his groin may still be playing him up - no Lopez either, which is more of a surprise. 5-for-23 against Weaver lifetime, but none of those are in the past three seasons, so I'm hoping that's not Melvin's reason. Oh, and looks like Nick P was also digging into the winless streak. Via the Elias Sports Bureau, "the only pitcher in major league history to post a lower ERA [than Scherzer, and at the start of his career] and go winless in 11 starts is Guy Morton of the 1914 Indians." Yes, tonight would be a good time for that to ened, I think...