Hooray! The long, dark winter [both days of it, in Arizona] is over, and we are now back on track for the full experience of major-league baseball. I tried watching the Red Sox-Yankees last night, but half an inning of seeing them go at it was quite enough for me. So no change there, then. Instead, we are more than ready for our Diamondbacks' first game of the season, with a full house expected at Chase this afternoon, as two teams tied for first place in the division right now battle for superiority [I love Opening Day, don't you?]
Getting this thread up nice and early, for pre-game chatter, since I'm sure you're all eagerly anticipating this afternoon as much as I am. If you're looking for something else to do during the game, Fox Sports Arizona will also be having an online D-backs chat with Jack Magruder and Joe Borowski this afternoon. Line-up and other bits and pieces after the jump.
- Conor Jackson, LF
- Stephen Drew, SS
- Justin Upton, RF
- Adam LaRoche, 1B
- Mark Reynolds, 3B
- Miguel Montero, C
- Chris Young, CF
- Kelly Johnson, 2B
- Dan Haren, P
The schedule starts off kind to the Diamondbacks, with home series against the Padres and Pirates, two teams projected by Baseball Prospectus to be good for only 73 and 70 wins respectively this season. If we can't take both series, going 4-2 or better in this opening homestand, then it would be an early, if fallible, sign that it might be another long season for the Diamondbacks.
The Padres send up Jon Garland on Opening Day, who was really our #4 last season. However, he did pretty well against the Diamondbacks in his two starts after getting traded to Los Angeles, making a pair of quality starts and allowing a total of five earned runs in 13 innings of work. Admittedly, that was when we were a team going through the motions and I like to think we'll make things tougher for him. Of course, Dan Haren is the man for the D-backs, and handled the Padres fairly well last year, with a 3.67 ERA over four starts.
I will be about early, but will be leaving for the airport a little after five - hopefully, by which time, we should have this one comfortably in the bag. 'Charmer is recapping, and I likely will not be about much until next Monday when I return from the old country. I'll try and pop-in occasionally, but given the town I'm going to was rolling witches in barrels with spikes downhill until fairly recently, I'm seriously uncertain what the wifi capabilities will be... I trust in you guys to keep the 'Pit safe from enemy marauders in my absence!