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Gameday Thread, #26: 5/5 vs. Dodgers

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Ari_medium


Max Scherzer
RHP, 0-2, 3.48











Dodgers_medium


Jeff Weaver
RHP, 0-0, 0.00




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.


Lineup


  1. Ojeda 2B

  2. Jackson LF

  3. Tracy 1B

  4. Reynolds 3B

  5. Upton RF

  6. Montero C

  7. Young CF

  8. Wilson SS

  9. 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...