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| Sports |

Snake Oil and Swine Tarts: D-Backs/Brewers, a Series Only a No. 1 Fanatic Could Love

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A few weeks back, we were chortling while listening to the wildly optimistic worldview of Arizona Diamondbacks president/CEO Derrick Hall on one of the morning talk shows.

Hall's team may be bad, but dude's an ace.

He's the sort of enthusiast who could sell Otter Pops to Eskimos, firewater to the Devil. On this particular day, with his beloved D-Backs in the midst of a seven-game slide, gung-ho Hall was jabbering on about how his Diamondbacks were just a nip and a tuck away from contention. A player here, a break there. No, really! There are no bad players or organizations, just bad luck. Though the D-Backs' No. 1 D-votee didn't say that, you could hear the wheels spinning, along with this pursuant thought: Damn this losing! If not for all this losing, we'd be winning!

We wonder if Derrick Hall ever goes home from work, loosens his tie, lays his head in his hands, and privately weeps.

Now would be a good time.

On Tuesday, his Bad News Snakes passed the contemptible San Diego Padres -- going in the wrong direction, south in the West. Yep, preseason NL West fave Arizona's back in the basement with a record of 62-79. Only two National League teams, Pittsburgh and Washington, sport worse records, and that's certainly not the kind of company lovable zealot Hall's looking to keep. Perhaps worse (for Hall's bottom line, not we fed-up fans) is that the D-Backs have only two home stands remaining this season, and the hind end of the first one -- tonight through Sunday -- is against the . . . ugh . . . Milwaukee Brewers.

No particular offense to the 66-73 Brew Crew -- they, at least, were in contention for a few fleeting moments earlier this season -- but other than the Pirates or Nationals, is there a worse draw in this endless season of woe?

Derrick Hall would need controlling interest in Max Factor to tart up this particular pig. 

Do you wanna pay biggish Chase Field bucks to see:

-- onetime D-Back fave Felipe Lopez flirting with a 200-hit season for Milwaukee?

-- Brewers' first baseman Prince Fielder waddling around the bases like Ghostbusters' Stay Puft Marshmallow Man?

-- a Milwaukee starting rotation staffed with the likes of Braden Looper, Dave Bush, and Manny Parra?

Speaking of swine in need of a makeover (how much longer, O Lord?), D-Backs manager A.J. Hinch will counter with the largely unalluring trio of Doug Davis, Kevin Mulvey, and Max Scherzer.

Lay your head in your hands.

Weep.

Here's the official pitching line:

Tonight, 6:40: Braden Looper (11-6, 4.77 ERA) vs. Doug Davis (7-12, 3.81).

Saturday, 5:10 p.m.: Dave Bush (3-7, 6.19) vs. Kevin Mulvey (0-0, 10.38).

Sunday, 1:10 p.m.: Manny Parra (10-10, 6.42) vs. Max Scherzer (9-9, 4.15).

Tonight's and Sunday's games will be televised on Fox Sports Arizona (no TV Saturday). Radio: KTAR-AM 620, KSUN-AM 1400 (Spanish). More info: www.dbacks.com.

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