We came within four outs of taking the series last night, and it's a missed opportunity we might rue, since things are on much shakier ground for the Diamondbacks, as a result of our bullpen's failure. What is now the rubber game sees us send out Lopez, who hasn't won since before the All-Star break, going 0-5 in nine second-half attempts, with a 7.26 ERA over that time. It's probably fair to say he's being sent out there simply to avoid burning up any young arms. With a month left, Lopez is already in the top ten for single-season losses by an Arizona pitcher - another defeat today would give him the most since Javier Vasquez lost fifteen in 2005.
More details, and hope for a very special recap, after the jump.
We missed Happ in the Houston leg of the series - he's faced Arizona once before, getting the L but pitching well, with six innings of two-run ball when he was with the Phillies in July last year. Lopez did face the Astros, and got a no-decision, pitching well too - two runs over seven innings, in a game we lost on a walk-off homer in the ninth, served up by Juan Gutierrez. That shot was also by last night's bullpen slayer, Cliff Lee, so he's had a very big part in both Astros victories over the D-backs this season.
So sign of a line-up yet, though I am posting this early. Mrs. SnakePit is in the kitchen, making tortilla wrapilicious goodness, in preparation for Socofest III this afternoon. I'll be bringing the lap-top, and the aim is to get a different attendee to recap each inning of the game, as a variant of the "First Sunday Guest Recapper" idea. I'm not sure how much coercion will be required for this, or what the results will be: when I mentioned it to Mrs. S, she gave me a funny look and said. "Do I have to write about the game?" So I am uncertain what to expect: it may be even more random and unfocused than usual. At least with it being a Lopez start, there should be plenty to write about...