Dodgers start Brad Penny, RHP (15-4, 2.82) vs. Matt Cain, RHP (7-14, 3.83).
Dodgers: 75-67 (3rd place NL West, 4.5 GB; 2nd place WC, 2.5 GB; W1)
Giants: 64-78 (5th/last place NL West, 15.5 GB, L1)
Current postseason odds for the Dodgers, from Baseball Prospectus: 29.5%
From Dodgers.com, the scouting report on the starters:
Dodgers: Penny delivered a clutch performance against the Cubs at Wrigley Field in his last start. He went seven innings, allowed only one earned run and didn't fall into his tendency to overthrow when he got into trouble. He's still hampered by a strained lower abdominal muscle, but mainly when running, not when pitching.
Giants: Cain's three-game winning streak ended on Labor Day in a 7-4 loss at Colorado. Cain allowed six runs in only 2 2/3 innings, the shortest start of his career. Cain had enjoyed a strong August, posting a 4-1 record and a 2.18 ERA during the month. Cain absorbed the decision in his previous start against the Dodgers, as he surrendered three runs -- two earned -- in five innings in a 9-1 Giants defeat on July 13.
20 more games for the Dodgers, and as Kevin Kennedy of FSN said, the Dodgers have to win every series from here on out. Monday is an off-day, so all 74 people in the Dodgers' dugout should be eligible to play today (except for Esteban Loiaza, Derek Lowe, and Chad Billingsley). Now that we've traded ninth-inning heartaches in the opening two games, let's take the rubber match this afternoon.