Dodgers start Randy Wolf, LHP (2-1, 4.00) vs. Tony Armas, RHP (0-1, 13.50)
Dodgers: 11-5 (1st place NL West, 1.5 GA, W1)
Pirates: 6-8 (T-4th place NL Central, 2.5 GB, L2)
From Dodgers.com, the scouting report on the starters:
Dodgers: Wolf overcame the long pregame ceremonies on Jackie Robinson Day to strike out seven in six innings against the Padres. Wolf's curveball was especially effective. Although he allowed three runs, one on a Jose Cruz Jr. homer, he walked only one. He is 3-1 lifetime against the Pirates.
Pirates: Pittsburgh can only hope that Armas' next outing after a 13-day layoff because of weather postponements doesn't resemble his first outing of the season. Pitching in a February-like chill on April 6 at Cincinnati, he never could command the strikezone. In four innings, he walked five and gave up eight hits and six runs on 89 pitches. Only 48 of those were strikes. Armas, the only veteran in the Pirates rotation, can't pitch like that and win in the big leagues.
- The Dodgers return from "squeeze week", the only week of the season in which they are forced to play two separate two-game midweek series, with a very impressive 3-1 record against divisional opponents, no less (Dodgers are now 7-3 on the road; last year they were the only team to make the playoffs with a losing road record). Throw in the fact that we basically phoned it in on Wednesday's game vs. the Rockies (three substitutes started in a weak batting order), and the Dodgers aren't looking too bad. The good news is, all the veterans except Nomar Garciaparra and recently returned Rafael Furcal have taken a day of rest. Let's see how the team fares back in the friendly confines of Chavez Ravine (4-2 home record this year), with a rainy weekend series vs. Pittsburgh, a day of rest Monday, and then a three-game showdown with the hated Giants.
- Tonight is Jason Schmidt T-Shirt night. I hope these aren't shirts that, based on news they're probably not telling us from his MRI (Schmidt is currently on the 15-day disabled list), would otherwise end up on the clearance rack at T J Maxx.
Rain? What rain? Game's still on, according to Inside the Dodgers. The lineup: