Chad Billingsley (8-8, 3.37) vs. Andrew Miller (5-8, 5.09)
COMMENTS: With today's game, the first half of the season comes to a merciful end, what with the Dodgers teasing fans with first place for a few brief moments, before ripping fans' hearts out of their chest cavities and jumping up and down on top of the bloodied, pulsing masses until they stop beating altogether.
Bitter? Why should I be bitter? You know who deserves to be bitter--Matt Kemp, who has served in the leadoff slot admirably, hitting with power and providing speed, before getting replaced by old and gimpy Nomar Garciaparra. Or how about Hiroki Kuroda, who gave a quality start last night only to see the Dodgers fail to convert (bases loaded, one out in the first yields one meager run). Or Andre Ethier, whose team-leading 11th home run to tie the game in the eighth only helped to set up Ramon Troncoso's meltdown in the 11th, losing the game. Or anyone else in the Dodgers lineup who has to suffer through watching a five strikeout performance from the thoroughly awful black hole that is Andruw Jones (whose bad performance does not lose him his starting slot, while others' good performances inexplicably lose them theirs). No, I'm not bitter. But I am going to take the All-Star break to recharge the batteries; I suggest the Dodgers, and Joe Torre, do the same. Oh, and a win today against the Marlins after dropping the first three would be nice.