Here we are, not even 5% of the way through the season, and we have already had two credible contenders for the season-end Game of the Year award, in the 13-run inning Pirates contest, and last night's dramatic slugfest - the curse of Azreous and his "interesting games" clearly lives on. I think I need to contact some dubious sources and put a heart on layaway, as at this rate, I'm going to require a transplant by the time 2010 is over. Still, the stirring victory provided the Diamondbacks with a clear chance at their first series victory in Dodger Stadium since August 2008, with Dan Haren taking the mound today.
Line-ups, etc. after the jump.
A series win would be something we've not had in Los Angeles for a very long time - August 3-5, 2007, in fact. Since then, we have played 23 games in Dodger Stadium, and gone 8-15, even including last night's victory. Putting that monster back to its grave would certainly be a positive sign for the 2010 Diamondbacks, and it's also worth noting that you have to go back even further - 28 games - to find the last time we scored nine runs in Chavez Ravine, back in April 2007. I note that of the dozen players Arizona used that day, only four are still with the team, one on the DL - though for the Dodgers, I think it's just two of 17.
- 1B Conor Jackson
- 2B Tony Abreu
- SS Stephen Drew
- RF Justin Upton
- 3B Mark Reynolds
- CF Chris Young
- LF Gerardo Parra
- C John Hester
- RHP Dan Haren
Some wholesale changes after yesterday, some injury-enforced, some not. Nick Piecoro tweeted that "Both Adam LaRoche (quad) and Kelly Johnson (back) are out of the lineup. Neither player considers his injury serious." As a result, Jackson moves to first, with Parra getting to start in left-field. And, probably not surprisingly, Chris Snyder gets the night off, with Hester behind the plate.
Haren is not a great fan of Dodger Stadium: in four starts there, he has only one victory, with a 4.98 ERA. A good chunk of that is likely due to Mrs. Ramirez, who has a career line of .577/.656/1.077 in 32 PAs against Haren. That's not a misprint: 15-for-26 with three homers. At the other end, Rafael Furcal and Russell Martin are a combined 8-for-48 lifetime against Haren.
Kuroda's last start against Arizona was memorable for all the wrong reasons, his night ending with a line in the box-score I don't think we want to see again: "R. Ryal, ground-rule double to pitcher." The current roster for the D-backs hasn't had much success, with a line of .222 /.273 /.346: however, your 2010 Diamondbacks have shown themselves to be a different kettle of offensive fish from previous years. Indeed, this is the new math in the NL West thus far. Coming in to today's games, the division is scoring 5.9 runs per game, compared to only 4.4 in 2009. Pitching? It's vastly over-rated...
That said, here's to a crisply-played Diamondbacks victory, around the two-hour, thirty minute mark, so I have a chance of getting the recap posted while it's still Thursday.