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Maalox Moments: Arizona Diamondbacks Take Another Crack at San Francisco Giants, Randy Johnson, Starting Tonight at Chase Field

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Anybody else get the feeling it's gonna be one long-ass summer?

So the D-Backs finally won a series, and Dan "Hard Luck" Haren finally won a game (while lowering his ERA to a Bob Gibson-like 1.38). If their two-out-of-three set against the Colorado Rockies that concluded Wednesday provided a much-needed moral victory, in the long run, we're afraid it'll turn out to be an empty one.

Here's a sobering thought, and a couple of sobering stats: Since April 30 of last year, the Arizona Diamondbacks are a sickly 68-81, and their inconsistent play to start 2009 seems much more in line with the last five months of 2008 than with that world-beating, 20-8 month of April '08.

It's beginning to feel like April '08 was the exception.

It's beginning to feel like we're living the rule.

It's beginning to feel like we're gonna be sick.

The Diamondbacks thrived last April -- and stayed afloat the rest of the 2008 season -- thanks to their utter dominance of the National League West. The team finished in the black at 82-80, but only because it won season series against the Padres (10-8), the Giants (11-7), and, most strikingly, the Rockies (15-3). Of the 12 season series against the other National League teams, the D-Backs came up on the losing end of eight. Against the American League? Fageddaboudit. D-Backs 6, AL 9.

This year, they're not even competitive in the West -- that record's 5-7 -- and that makes us feel, well, kinda nauseous and like it's gonna be one long-ass summer.

The Diamondbacks get another crack at one of last year's punching bags, the San Francisco Giants, tonight through Sunday at Chase Field. If they once again fare poorly against one of the West's worsts -- and at home this time -- we're planning to lay in a five-month supply of analgesics and put a tube sock full of ice on our head.

In the teams' most recent get-together, in Frisco, the D-Backs majored in Maalox moments, memorably dropping a couple of 0-2 games to the Giants on April 17 and 19, and beating 'em 2-0 on the 18th. On the 17th, Dan Haren threw a sissy fit when he was lifted for a pinch hitter. On the 18th, Doug Davis tossed eight blank in a 2-0 Arizona win. On the 19th, a p.o.'d Randy Johnson beat the Reaper, and the D-Backs, with a one-hit, seven-K effort.

The probable pitching match-ups for this weekend's Giants games are:

Doug Davis (1-2, 2.57) vs. Tim Lincecum (0-1, 3.86), tonight at 6:40.

Max Scherzer (0-1, 3.60) vs. the Big Unit (1-2, 6.32), who goes for career win 297 (and career victory No. 2 against his former homies) tomorrow at 5:10 p.m.

Jon Garland (2-1, 5.71) vs. Matt Cain (2-0, 2.37), Sunday at 1:10 p.m.

All three games will be televised on MLB TV and FSN AZ. Radio: KTAR-AM 620. More info: www.dbacks.com.

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