Derek Lowe (0-0, -.--) vs. Cole Hamels (0-0, -.--).
Apparently they reset stats for each round of the playoffs. Who knew? I sure didn't because the Dodgers haven't been in a NLCS since 1988! (Have we mentioned that yet?)
Anyhoo, we're nervous as hell about this game. There are all sorts of forecasts and predictions out there, but we've learned our lesson about those. All we know is Derek Lowe gives us a chance to win. According to Dodgers.com:
The Dodgers can start Lowe in Game 1, bring him back on three days rest for Game 4, then have him on regular rest for a Game 7, if the series lasts that long and they so choose. It's a nice situation to be in, having someone on the staff who's already pitched winning clinchers in a Championship Series and World Series, as Lowe did with the Red Sox in 2004.
And as the league-best Cubs (XCVII wins) and Angels (C wins) have shown us, the regular season counts for naught once you make the playoffs. It's who's hot now that matters. The Dodgers are hot. The Be Sharps? They are not.
Unfortunately for us, Hamels is pretty hot stuff himself. During the regular season he had an impressive 196 strikeouts and a 1.082 WHIP. In the NLDS Hamels shut down the Brewers over eight innings, giving up only two hits and getting nine strikeouts.
And this morning brought the news that Takashi Saito is off the NLCS roster, to be replaced by Hong-Chih Kuo. This move strengthens the Dodgers' middle relief and will certainly make for some nail-biting moments with Jonathan Broxton on the mound. Let's hope we see more scenes like last Saturday.
Tonight's Dodger lineup: