Monday, June 07, 2004

Three Weeks, Three Questions (Interleague Edition) 

Let's get to it, shall we...
The Week That Was...
The D-Backs entered the week 18-32, 10 games out... now they're 22-35, 9 1/2 games out. You know, as silly as it sounds, moving up a 1/2 game a week almost gets the D-Backs into first (it'd leave 'em 1 1/2 games out). Although the pitching didn't improve any (an average of 6.2 runs/game dropping the high/low), the offense is picking up (an average of 5.4 runs/game dropping the high/low).
The Two Weeks That Will Be
Hello, Interleague! Let's say hello, shall we, to the Orioles and Camden Yards (3 games), Blue Jays and SkyDome (3 games), and the visiting Yankees (3 games) and Devil Rays (3 games), along with a couple of Monday travel days.
The Orioles hit well for average (1st in the AL), but not for power (7th in SLG), and don't strike out (best in the AL by a wide, wide margin). The Orioles can't pitch for... you know (last in ERA, worst in walks), but, hey, the D-Backs can't pitch for it, either. Their opposing OPS is middling... I'd be happy if the D-Backs took two, am expecting one (with Randy on the mound tomorrow night).
The Blue Jays hit poorly for average and power (11th and 12th, respectively). Their pitching is OK -- 5th in ERA and opposing OPS. If the D-Backs win a series this week, it'll be this one.
More Yankees and Devil Rays stuff next week, here's an article on the Devil Rays' lack of success (thanks to Baseball Primer for the link). The article mistakenly says the Rays play the Rockies twice, ignoring us. Ignored for the Rockies... "If it wasn't for disappointment, I wouldn't have any appointment" (They Might Be Giants, "Snowball in Hell").
Three Questions
1. Will Richie re-sign or resign?: Now that Sexson has decided to have surgery and is out for the rest of the season, will he want to sign up once more, in part out of some sense of obligation with the D-Backs with (presumably) an incentive-laden contract? Or will Seattle throw a ton of money at him that the D-Backs won't match? My guess is the former, but I would guess that indications of future success will play a role in the decision-making.
2. Is 13 the unluckiest number?: 13 pitchers on the roster, and we'll still give up at least 5 runs a game. I guess it's OK to load up on pitchers heading into a week of DH-play, but what's going to happen when Colbrunn, Kata, and Alomar return to health? Who gets sent down? I'm guessing Edgar Gonzalez becomes, what, the third starter sent down to Tucson and DeVore and Olson escape the heat island effect of Phoenix summers.
3. Who gets DH nods this week?: Assuming an outfield of Gonzo, Finley, Bautista, and an infield of Shea, Hairston, Cintron, Tracy, and Hammock I'd actually put in Mayne against lefties (I know, but he leads the team with an OPS of 1.288 in an admittedly-small-sample size of 12 AB), maybe DuBose on Wednesday night. Sadly enough, Mayne qualifies as the person with the highest OPS against righties (a poor .485). So I would expect DeVore and even Olson (he of the amazing .000 OPS) to get some playing time. I wonder how Gonzo would react to being put in as DH?

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