The Padres are probably waking up some time about now, after getting 4 hours of sleep, and heading to the airport. They will sleep at the airport, sleep on the plane, and probably forgo early morning workouts in favor of more rest.
After playing 22 innings and losing last night, San Diego is on their way to face the hottest team in the NL in the wicked hot desert of Arizona.
Rest assured, Greg Maddux is ready to go. He may have had his glove on last night as a precaution, but he is a veteran who knows how to prepare and he will be ready to go on Saturday, gunning for win number 350. Chris Young, however, may doze off between innings.
In tonight's late match-up, the Diamondbacks will throw Danny Haren out against the formerly unhittable Chris Young. Haren (2-0) has pitched brilliantly in all three of his starts and has gotten his ERA down to 2.50. He works quickly and efficiently and keeps the ball down. He has struck out 16 and walked only 3 on the season. He has, however, surrendered 3 home runs, but two of those came at hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark.
On the other side of the mound, Chris Young will attempt to rectify the problems that he experienced at the end of last year after coming back from injury. Young, who's 1-1 with a 5.17 ERA, got knocked around in LA against the Dodgers but has since settled down going 7 strong innings in his second outing and 5.2 in his third. The right-hander has a 1-3 record against the Dbacks for his career and has served up 11 home runs to a previously anemic Arizona offense.
Look out in the bleachers tonight.
Saturday's early night game at Chase will feature a little bit of history as Greg Maddux goes for win number 350 against Edgar Gonzalez. Maddux, who has pitched as long as my wife has been alive (22 years), has started off great in 2008 with a 2-0 record and a 2.00 ERA. He won't have much competition from the opposing pitcher if Edgar Gonzales's last start is any indication. E.Go was pulled due to illness in the third after surrendering a boat load of runs in one of the few Dback losses of the season. While he was solid and the spring and, at times, has shown brilliance, Saturday will probably fall in favor of the light-hitting Padres.
The Sunday day game will feature Randy Johnson's second start of the season in a much more controllable environment. If errors don't eat away at his brilliant performance, expect a dozen strikeouts from the Padres' bats.
Johnson will face off against Dodger reject - Randy Wolf. Wolf, who has only one decision in three starts, has suffered from a lack of run support. His 1.42 ERA and 1-0 record illustrates just how bad the San Diego bats can be when he is on the mound. Expect the Dbacks to come away with a win on Sunday and a win in the series.
On a side note, this will be Tony Clark's first return to Chase Field since the management pulled his contract off the table this past summer. The veteran first baseman who coined the Dbacks' "Anybody Anytime" mantra of 2007 has not been missed much in the clubhouse this season but his absence could prove vital when the Dbacks hit a slump and can't get out of it. Other returning Dbacks alumni include Scotty Hairston.
We were denied a Webb-Peavy match-up this time, but the Dbacks play the Padres again next weekend. Hopefully, the baseball Gods will bless us with a battle of Cy Young winners. Until then, enjoy history on Saturday night.
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