Last night's game stunk. I think we've sufficiently flogged that troll. However, it is not lost! We have entered the land of crappy starting pitching! What's that you say? You want proof? Ok...
Randy Wells, as mentioned, was tagged for 5 runs on 5 hits when we faced him just before Memorial day, his run coming to a close with a three run shot by Ronny Cedeno of all people. Since then, Wells has made nine starts (excluding his rain-shortened outing in Philly) and has only gone past the 5th inning allowing less than four runs twice. I'd say our chances of scoring are at least decent.
Then we face Matt Garza. Oh crap, Matt Garza! Not so fast my friends, because he has actually been Reverse Kevin Correia this season, posting a 2.70 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 9.6 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 11 home starts, but a 5.96 ERA, 1.62 WHIP 8.2 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 in 9 road starts. That has to at least tilt the scale in favor of offensive production a tad.
Lastly, there's Rodrigo Lopez. He's a bit parder to peg. He hasn't been as consistenly blah as Randy Wells, nor does hehave an egregious home/road split like Garza. When we faced him roughly a month ago he held us reasonably in check, and he'd been good in general for several starts in a row until the Cards roughed him up last time out. But still, it's Rodrigo Freaking Lopez.
It doesn't stop there...three games against San Diego, featuring Aaron Harang, Wade LeBlanc, and Cory Luebke. Harang has had a decent year, going 9-3 with a 3.76 ERA. However, in his last three starts he has allowed 13 runs on 21 hits in only 17 innings, so he may be ripe for the picking. Wade LeBlanc is now what Jeff Karstens and Danimal were last season - spot filler. LeBlanc has made three starts since mid-June and allowed nine runs on 23 hits in only 13 2/3 innings. Again, likely some hits to be had. Last but not least is Luebke (how cleverly alliterative) who has made six starts since being moved from the pen to the rotation towards the end of June. He has been pretty solid, though he has thrown 100+ pitches five outings in a row and has given up nine runs on 16 hits in 13 1/3 innings his last two times out.
So let's recap: junkballer, good pitcher who has been mediocre at best on the road, junkballer, sturdy vet who has been roughed up several starts in a row, back of the rotation filler, young guy who might be struggling now that teams are getting a book on him.
I don't know about you, but I'm gonna go ahead and keep my hopes up for a little bit longer...