Derek Lowe (0-0, -.--) vs. Ryan Dempster (0-0, -.--).
COMMENTS: Welcome to Sons of Steve Garvey's inaugural post-season Game Thread! There will be a minimum of three and a maximum of 19 such threads in October; the more, the merrier.
Much has been written about today's Dodgers-Cubs match-up. Want a stat-friendly breakdown of the Dodgers' roster? Dodger Thoughts has you covered. How about a positional comparison from the Cubs' point of view? Look no further. Looking for the opinions of national baseball journalists? Here they are.
"But Orel," you say. "Where is the ABBA-related playoff material?" Fret not—SoSG has you covered! Would you like some bitching and moaning about extortionary merchandise pricing? No problem. Can we interest you in our mining the country's current fiscal crisis for Dodger-related parallels? Enjoy!
Of course, this game is important to both the Dodgers and Cubs...but it's more important to the Dodgers. Why? Call it the Big Z Factor. Tomorrow, Carlos Zambrano starts Game 2 against Chad Billingsley. Bills is the Dodgers' ace, but home-field advantage and experience give Zambrano the edge. Since the Dodgers don't want to come home down two games, Game 1 is more important to them. Ipso facto voilà.
The biggest wild card in the Dodgers' lineup? Rafael Furcal batting leadoff. The biggest surprise? Maybe Casey Blake batting
seventh eighth, although Joe Torre seems pretty into the whole lefty-righty-lefty thing. If Furcal is even close to his old self, this will be by far the strongest lineup the Dodgers have fielded this year. And just in time! GO BLUE!