Dodgers start Brett Tomko, RHP (1-3, 4.33) vs. Brad Thompson, RHP (1-0, 4.03).
Dodgers: 23-15 (1st place NL West, 3.0 GA, W3)
Cardinals: 15-20 (5th place NL Central, 9.0 GB, L1)
From Dodgers.com, the scouting report on the starters:
Dodgers: Tomko had a no-hitter through 5 1/3 innings, but he lost a little luster when Mike Jacobs took him deep for a two-run shot. Nonetheless, Tomko finally got his first win. He struck out six and walked only two. Despite his record, four of his six outings have been quality starts, which isn't bad for a fifth starter.
Cardinals: No one knew exactly what to expect from Thompson in his first start of the season against the Rockies, but the right-hander was solid. Thompson went five innings and gave up one run, on a home run to Matt Holliday. Other than that, he had command of his sinker and threw a four-seam fastball for the first time this season. He'll get another chance to start against the Dodgers, who he's pitched three innings against without allowing a run.
- Yeah! Second series sweep of the year! The Dodgers are dominant! Except, wait a minute, that was the Reds we just played. Scratch that euphoria--we were expected to have swept a series with the Reds (as we did twice last year). A nice bit of rallying in the eighth inning yesterday afternoon sealed the 10-5 victory, but we still had only one home run in the series (Kent's fourth of the year, with none on), which gives us 19 as a team, 14th in the NL. What could be worse?
- Actually, let me tell you what could be worse (see, that wasn't a rhetorical question): The Cardinals, who at 17 home runs on the year are at 16th place. The defending world champions also have the lowest team batting average (.234), the second lowest OBP (.303) and the lowest OPS (.626). The Cards come into town to play a team with the league's second lowest ERA (3.19), which also leads the majors in strikeouts thrown (292--and the Angels are in second!). Bad batting meets excellent pitching...let's hope this series plays out as it should on paper. With Tomko on the mound tonight, anything can happen.
- In other news, Albert Pujols is batting .248, 81 points below his career average of .329. Will Tomko be the remedy for his batting woes? And to get really petty, does Brad Thompson's picture look like a kid on Ritalin at a Baskin Robbins? He should be suing MLB.com, or at least get a new agent.
- Finally, SoSG will be back at the Stadium tonight, field level, third-base side. Place your hat-shuffle bets now.