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Gameday Thread, #8: 4/14 vs. Dodgers

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Rodrigo Lopez
RHP, 1-0, 1.50

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Chad Billingsley
RHP, 1-0, 1.69

After the pounding delivered to Kennedy and Vasquez yesterday, the Diamondbacks will look to Lopez to do a better job of stifling the Dodgers' offense this evening. He was effective enough in his first outing, allowing one earned run over six innings against the Pirates, but the Dodgers will probably post a tougher task. However, Lopez has done very well against Mandy, handcuffing him to 13 hits in 58 at-bats, a .224 average and .654 OPS. That's the lowest OPS of any pitcher with more than 50 PAs against Mrs. Ramirez, including Clemens, Halladay and Randy Johnson.

However, it's probably fair to say that Phoenix attention will likely be somewhat diverted elsewhere, with the first playoff appearance for the Coyotes since 2002, facing the Detroit Red Wings. Good job it's an Azreous recap, as I may well be channel-hopping myself a good bit tonight... Anyway,. Arizona line-up and other stuff after the jump.

  1. LF Conor Jackson
  2. SS Stephen Drew
  3. RF Justin Upton
  4. 1B Adam LaRoche
  5. 3B Mark Reynolds
  6. CF Chris Young
  7. 2B Kelly Johnson
  8. C Chris Snyder
  9. RHP Rodrigo Lopez

The line-up already seems a good deal more settled than in previous years. After seven games, the top five has been almost identical every time (Jackson and Drew has each missed one start, the 3-4-5 are ever-present), and things would likely have been even more stable if not for the changes enforced by the injury to Miguel Montero. Speaking of whom, no word yet on the results of Montero's second opinion yesterday in Los Angeles. No news is good news?

While Upton may not have had much career luck against Billingsley - 1-for-14 - a number of Diamondbacks have. In particular, Stephen Drew is batting .378 (14-for-37) and Chris Young is .308 (8-for-26); Mark Reynolds also has an OPS over a thousand, having gone 5-for-19 with two homers and seven RBI. Here's to that success continuing this evening, though a victory tonight would probably be more of a pleasant surprise than anything; as snakeoil14 said, "Stealing 1 from LA [that'd be Haren tomorrow] and taking the SD series is a good road trip." But you never know...