Hiroki Kuroda (4-5, 4.44) vs. Jonathan Sanchez (5-9, 4.49).
COMMENTS: Dodger fans and Giants fans are more frustrated than a eunuch in a whorehouse, the Dodgers having lost three of four to the Braves and the Giants having dropped two of three to the Reds. So something's got to give, be it Kuroda's late-season attempt to find his mid-season form or Sanchez trying to prove he's more Mr. No-Hitter than Mr. 5-9 Record.
This series won't reorder the standings, but it should have a psychological effect on both teams, setting the table for their final six regular-season meetings in September. And it'll certainly have an effect on the fans, some of whom are already in nail-biting mode (see our sidebar poll).
Incidentally, tonight marks the on-field reunion of the Beard and the Mullethawk. But what seemed like a cause célèbre in May seems like small potatoes in August. Both teams have too much at stake to start a Milagro Beanball War, so don't expect any retaliatory theatrics.
Manny photo by Jill Weisleder/Dodgers