Dodgers start Jason Schmidt (1-0, 1.80 ERA) vs. Jeff Francis (0-0, 3.00 ERA).
Dodgers: 4-2 (T-2nd place NL West, 0.5 GB, W4)
Rockies: 3-3 (4th place NL West, 1.5 GB, L2)
From dodgers.com, the scouting report on the starters:
Dodgers: Schmidt didn't throw hard or last long, but he did enough to get a win in his Dodgers debut in Milwaukee. He made it through only five innings, needing 95 pitches, and only occasionally broke 90 mph with his fastball. He really ran his pitch count up by walking the bases loaded with two out in the fifth.
Rockies: Francis threw 98 pitches in six innings of the Rockies' 4-3, 11-inning victory over the D-backs on Tuesday. The only runs against Francis came when, by his own admission, he didn't execute pitches to three batters with two outs in the fifth inning. Francis, who has added a sinker this season, is hoping for more groundouts after finishing with four grounders, nine flyballs and four strikeouts against the D-Backs. Francis got a no-decision in his only start vs. the Dodgers in 2006, allowing one run on six hits over 7 1/3 innings.
- Any series sweep of the hated Giants should be cause for celebration. But before we start drinking the Dodgers-juggernaut koolaid, let's remind ourselves that the Giants really do suck. This year, most publications had the Giants placing last in the NL West. Against our other opponent, Milwaukee, we lost two of three--and the Brewers are a .500 team who just lost their next series to the mediocre Cubs. Colorado is coming off of two one-run losses to San Diego, and the Rockies should be pissed.
- Okay, but let's talk about the positives. Schmidt may not have lasted long in his last outing, but it wasn't as subpar as the writer of mlb.com would have you believe. He did have five strikeouts over his five innings of work and had two 1-2-3 innings. And he helped bring the Dodgers their first win. Meanwhile, Luis Gonzalez looks like he has emerged from his early offensive slump, and Jeff Kent and Russell Martin are hitting steadily. As a team, St. Louis had slipped beneath us for last place in the team batting average race. Juan Pierre sightings, however, have been few and far-between.
- And hey, it's Opening Day, always a sweet time at Dodger Stadium. According to ESPN, first baseman Nomar Garciaparra will receive his NL Comeback Player of the Year award before the game, and former Los Angeles second baseman Steve Sax [that's me!], the 1982 NL Rookie of the Year, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. The smell of the grass, the whiff of the Dodger Dogs--as I said earlier, I can't wait. Stop by and say hi if you can--I'll be wearing my blue LA hat--see you there!