Dodgers start Brad Penny, RHP (13-2, 2.60) vs. Brandon Webb, RHP (10-8, 3.08).
Dodgers: 58-52 (3rd place NL West, 3.0 GB, L3)
D'backs: 62-50 (1st place NL West, 1.5 GA, W2)
From Dodgers.com, the scouting report on the starters:
Dodgers: Penny took his first loss in 2 1/2 months and the five walks with one strikeout make one wonder what effect an abdominal strain will have if it nags at him for the rest of the season, as those injuries tend to do. Penny wasn't throwing particularly hard and was using more splitters than usual. Considering the injury siege that has hit the Dodgers pitching staff, the last thing they need is a Penny at less than full strength.
D'backs: Webb mixed his pitches well in his last outing, a 4-0 win over the Padres at Petco Park. Lefties can give Webb trouble because they can take his signature slider to left field. So this year Webb has thrown his curve and changeup more often. Against the Padres, he struck out seven with all of them coming on changes. The right-hander allowed just three hits and walked two. Webb comes into his start riding a 15-inning scoreless streak. In his previous start he tossed seven shutout innings against the Marlins at Chase Field.
- Game over, says Tony Jackson:
A loss is a loss is a loss, no matter how furiously you rally in the late innings, and this was a HUGE loss for the Dodgers. They fall to 58-52, the first time they have been no more than six games over .500 since May 22, when they were 26-20, and they fall three games behind the Snakes, their biggest deficit of the season. But hey, the Rockies lost, so the Dodgers don't have to worry about falling into fourth place for at least two more days. If you were waiting to book that non-refundable vacation for the first week in October, you can probably go ahead.
- Which Penny will show up, first-half Penny or second-half Penny? A loss today puts the Dodgers 4.0 games out of first place. Meanwhile, the Padres have taken second place, letting Barry Bonds hit all the historic homers he wants while still remembering to beat the last-place Giants.
- Is the Dodgers' current slump related to Ned Colletti's inaction at the trading deadline? Would we be getting ready for the post-season if he had traded half the farm system for, say, Mark Teixeira or Jon Garland? All I know is this team has more than one problem, and I'm glad guys like James Loney, Matt Kemp and Chad Billingsley are around to try to fix things.
The lineup, from Inside the Dodgers: