Dodgers start Derek Lowe (0-1, 13.50 ERA) vs. Russ Ortiz (0-0).
Dodgers: 2-2 (T-3rd place NL West, 1.0 GB, W2) Giants: 1-3 (Last place NL West, 2.0 GB, L1)
From dodgers.com, the scouting report on the starters:
Dodgers: Lowe's debut Monday in Milwaukee couldn't have gone worse. He created repeated trouble with five walks in four innings and received little help from his outfield defense. His early exit forced the Dodgers to get into their bullpen quickly. Lowe pitched just as poorly in last year's opener and still won 16 games.
Giants: It's entirely possible that Giants fans won't notice any change in Russ Ortiz since he left the club after the 2002 season. He has recaptured the delivery he used then -- simply put, bringing his arm back in a semicircle as he prepares to throw. This imparts force and movement on his pitches, which he lacked for the last two seasons as he merely hoisted his arm upward before releasing the ball. Ortiz and the Giants are fully confident that he's no longer the pitcher who struggled to a 5-19 record in 2005-06.
- Let's see if Derek Lowe learned anything from watching Brad Penny pitch like a champ last night (seven innings of shutout ball, 10 hits but only 1 ER, with 1 BB and 1 SO, earning the win). The Dodgers' lineup does not appear (at this stage) to be one that is going to score a lot of runs, so it will be critical that Lowe doesn't do his typical meltdown at the first sign of adversity.
- Aside from the drama around the return of Russ Ortiz (Delino's favorite fascination), there is the continuing watch on that other guy who has apparently hit a lot of home runs in his time. Considering how much Barry tends to tee off Dodger pitching, I can only take solace in the fact that he should not get enough at bats in the remaining two games of this series to break the all-time record.
- Finally, Luis Gonzalez and Barry Bonds will continue their competition for "worst defensive left-fielder in the series." Bonds never looks incredibly spry these days, but Gonzo (who did go 2-for-4 yesterday from the plate, despite choking in key rally) has a slight edge in the race by picking up his first error of the year yesterday. With Barry out of the lineup this afternoon (thanks TD), there's nothing but downside for Gonzo.
The lineup, courtesy of Inside the Dodgers: