Last Friday night, we'd just lost the opener in Los Angeles and were four games back. You'd have got long odds that this game would be for sole possession of the lead in the NL West, but here we are: Arizona has won four in a row, while San Francisco has lost five, and been outscored 31-8 in the process. If we can win this afternoon, we move back into ownership of the top spot, for the first time since June 24. And the one game will be our biggest lead of the year, as the previous nine days there were all by one-half game.
Keyword is, of course, "if"...
Ryan Vogelsong seems a dead-cert for Comeback Player of the Year. He couldn't even get in to a major-league organization for three years, then posted a humdrum 4.81 ERA in Triple-A with the Phillies and Angels last season. But this year, he has lost one game in 17 starts for the Giants. And that one was a 1-0 defeat, where he gave up one run in eight innings. Most people have been expecting regression to bite. But they've been expecting it since April, and it hasn't happened yet. Vogelsong's BABIP is .277, which is a little lower than average (around .300), but not excessively so. Don't expect a cakewalk. He's legit.
Arizona, of course, has Marquis making his debut, and he threw a complete-game shutout against San Francisco in April, blanking them on five hits and no walks. That's why he's here, and if Marquis wins this one, then a large chunk of the couple of million we'll be paying him down the stretch, can be considered repaid in full. The focus will be the same as in the previous two games: sound, fundamental baseball and take advantage of the opportunities. The ball should fly a bit better during the day at AT&T Park, and that should play to the Diamondbacks' power advantage. Let's do this, and reduce the Giants to chum in the water #sharkweek.
No line-up at time of writing, but I am posting this early again. Game is on TV, but with it being an afternoon game, that might make things a little quieter. I think it's safe to say that my productivity at work might be a little bit lower than usual this afternoon. ;-) [Edit] Here's the line-up
- Willie Bloomquist SS
- Collin Cowgill LF
- Justin Upton RF
- Chris Young CF
- Ryan Roberts 2B
- Paul Goldschmidt 1B
- Cody Ransom 3B
- Henry Blanco C
- Jason Marquis RHP
As Dan S already tweeted, not sure what Blanco and Ransom are doing in the line-up. Day game after a night-game be damned, we should be playing our best eight out there, and that does not include either player. There's an off-day tomorrow, so rest can be had then.