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Game Thread - Esposito versus Ramirez

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Keep an eye on the lineup card in advance of tonight's game, as Clint Hurdle has made overtures of maybe putting an all rookie team on the field in one of Esposito or Francis' last starts, a feat that hasn't happened for over forty years and we have the players to do it. However, since Atlanta still has their division crown to wrap up (it could happen tonight if they beat us) and the gimmick thus might affect the playoffs somehow, tonight might not be a good night to do it and I would really look to see it happen in the final series against the Mets.

Esposito pitched fairly well in his debut the other day, surrendering only two runs in five plus innings of work at Coors Field. Somebody mentioned the ten baserunners he allowed, which are somewhat of a concern, but outside of Dave Roberts, there weren't a whole lot of hard hit balls against him, so hopefully that number can be brought down with a bit more seasoning. Tomorrow he turns twenty-four, which makes him the youngest member of the team not named Carvajal.

Our opponent, Horacio Ramirez has struggled a little down the stretch here in September, and appears to be tiring, his IP/Game per month:

April: 5.583
May:  5.733
June: 6.333
July: 7.166
August: 6.389
September: 5.417

It's pretty much a classic bell curve on a graph, which someday I'll figure out how to bring to you without purchasing a scanner. Throughout this time he's averaged a pretty consistent 98 pitches per outing, going over 100 only in that month of July, and he's exactly at ninety eight for the month of September. Which means that he took a little while to warm up and appears to be slowing down, getting hit pretty hard in his last two starts. Hopefully that trend continues today, and the fresh armed Esposito can pick up his first MLB victory.