Dodgers start Derek Lowe, RHP (3-3, 3.89) vs. Sergio Mitre, RHP (0-2, 3.12).
Dodgers: 20-14 (1st place NL West, 2.0 GA, W1)
Marlins: 15-18 (3rd place NL East, 6.0 GB, L1)
From Dodgers.com, the scouting report on the starters:
Dodgers: With his team in an offensive funk, Lowe pitched a gem against the Braves. He allowed only an unearned run on a Jeff Kent error in seven innings, scattering three hits and striking out eight. It was Lowe's best start and first victory since he went eight innings April 13 against San Diego. He was 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA against the Marlins last year.
Marlins: ressive in his return from the disabled list, Mitre comes off a six-inning outing where he gave up one earned run (three total) in six-plus innings. The right-hander had been out with a blister to his right middle finger. He threw 88 pitches and walked one, while striking out three. This will be Mitre's fourth start. He's walked five in 17 1/3 innings, with 12 strikeouts.
- Get those flapjacks ready and fire up the coffee maker, 'cause it's time for Dodger baseball--Dodger morning baseball, that is. The incredibly early start time, even by east coast standards (this is the first game of the day) means there will be about as many Dodger fans watching the game at work as there are Marlin fans in the stands (~1000 each--and given their retirement-community fan base, we coudl probably take them in a Sharks-vs.-Jets-like fight). But hopefully, the day of rest for Nomar Garciaparra, Luis Gonzalez, and Andre Ethier (who didn't get the start, but still came in and got two ABs) will pay off, particularly with the former's ongoing slumps (consecutive 0-fer games by both Nomar and Gonzo). Don't be surprised if the offense comes out even sleepier than normal, however.
- The Dodgers even being in a position to make this a winning roadtrip seems absurd, given the way they are leaving men on base (13 LOB yesterday and 28 LOB in this series, relative to the Marlins' 19 LOB in the series). We already know we can't play big ball since we have no power bat. But if we can't play small ball either, we're in heaps of trouble. At this stage, I'd love a winning road trip, but I'd love it more if we play some solid fundamentals and have runners not just rotate the bases but also cross the plate, maybe even on some solid station-to-station hitting and not just suicide squeeze attempts. Is that too much to ask for? Can I get an "amen"? Can someone please pass the syrup for my pancakes?