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Gameday Thread, #155: 9/26 vs. Padres

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Wade LeBlanc
RHP, 2-1, 3.93


Dan Haren
RHP, 14-9, 2.90

Games until the blessed, merciful end of the season: 8.

Crappy Pitcher Threat Level raised to Sedona Red. Yep: LeBlanc is the lucky winner of a start against your late-season Arizona Diamondbacks. Wade has already benefited from this before. His career ERA against baseball teams based in Phoenix = 1.50; his career ERA against everyone else, 5.98. Eleven days ago, he pitched six innings against us, and allowed one run on three hits, getting a no-decision as we scored three times off the Padres bullpen in a 4-2 victory.

Yeah: a "victory." In case you'd forgotten - and I wouldn't blame you if you had - that's what it's called when you score more runs than the opposition. A novel approach, to be sure, one we've only tried six times so far in September, over 22 attempts. There's a real risk this might end up being the crappiest month since the hell of June 2006, when we went 8-20. Heck, if we play down the stretch like we did last night, it'll end up being the worst since July 2004 - fortunately, we have won more games than the five managed there.

We turn to Dan Haren in the penultimate home game of the year. Yeah, we're going tomorrow instead, and get to see Billy Buckner instead. [Waves fist at scheduling]. Haren has been one of the limited bright spots on the team this summer, really stepping up his game and becoming an ace. There was a piece on Haren yesterday in the Rep, albeit typically Bickley-esque, with the author more interested in waxing florid than anything of substance. [At least he didn't mention the Cubs] In it, Haren did speak to the future: "I definitely don't want to be part of a rebuilding effort, but I don't think that's where we're at. I think we have some players here that are top of the line, guys like Reynolds, (Stephen) Drew, Upton, Montero. It's a matter of putting other pieces in place around us." Wot? No Eric Byrnes?

If he goes six innings tonight - and he has done that in a staggering 28 of 31 games this year - he'll set a new career high for innings pitched, surpassing his 2006 total, when in Oakland, with the benefit of the DH. He's third in the National League there, as he is in K's; he leads the league in WHIP and is fourth in ERA+. If it seems unlikely he'll win the Cy Young - right now, I'd have to go with one of the Cardinals' aces, Carpenter or Wainwright - Haren certainly deserves some love on the ballots.


  1. Chris Young CF
  2. Stephen Drew SS
  3. Justin Upton RF
  4. Mark Reynolds 3B
  5. Ryan Roberts 2B
  6. John Hester C
  7. Eric Byrnes LF
  8. Brandon Allen 1B
  9. Dan Haren P

Will be slightly around for this one - we're over at the Madcap Theaters on Mill Avenue again, for the premiere of Passion and Pain, a documentary about the world of independent pro wrestling, which has a lot of our IZW guys in it. There's an exhibition outside the theater, from 6:30-7:30, before the film, and I suspect that'll attract a bit of a crowd! From our previous excursion there, I know wifi is available, so I should be popping in and out. Hopefully, the team will give me more incentive to stay than they did last night.