Dodgers start Chad Billingsley, RHP (10-4, 3.22) vs. Justin Germano, RHP (7-9, 4.38).
Dodgers: 75-69 (T-3rd place NL West, 6.0 GB; T-3rd place WC, 3.5 GB; L2)
Padres: 78-65 (2nd place NL West, 2.5 GB, 1st place WC, 2.5 GA; W1)
Current postseason odds for the Dodgers, from Baseball Prospectus: 14.5%
From Dodgers.com, the scouting report on the starters:
Dodgers: Derek Lowe was scratched from his scheduled start Wednesday night because of a bruised pitching hand and will be replaced by Billingsley in the crucial game against NL Wild Card foe San Diego. Billingsley stepped up with another clutch start against the Giants, but the game unraveled on a Rafael Furcal error. Nonetheless, Billingsley was charged with only one earned run in six innings and had no walks for the second consecutive start. He faces the Padres, having tossed seven scoreless innings against them two starts back.
Padres: Germano struggled mightily with his command in his last start on Friday, allowing five runs on six hits in just three innings -- his shortest start of the season. Germano missed high and missed wide early in that start against the Rockies, and when he did get the ball over the plate, the Rockies made him pay dearly for it, as Kazuo Matsui hit a two-run home run in the first inning. Germano has generally done a nice job of keeping the ball down in the strike zone. The home run to Matsui was just the first he's allowed since July 31.
Lowe's freak accident drops him from his scheduled start and also symbolizes the fortunes of the Dodgers since the All-Star break. Lowe hurt his throwing hand playing catch with Jonathan Broxton. Not dog-fighting. Or brick-juggling. Or even trying to punch through a locker-room wall. No, Lowe hurt himself during a routine warmup. And the Dodgers' post-season hopes continue to go down in a blaze of glory. For Pete's sake, let's try to not give up six runs in the first three innings tonight. Show some pride, Dodgers.