The Return of Hiroki Kuroda! (5-5, 4.08) vs. Tim Stauffer (3-6, 3.76).
COMMENTS: There is facing your fears. And then there is facing your fears when you fear is a 100-mph ball coming back at your head in the blink of an eye, and you're on national television (ESPN) in the game of the week (and the last game of the day) over a Labor Day weekend when everyone will be at home watching since the NFL season hasn't started. The second Kuroda steps on that mound, the Dodgers win. And if he throws a pitch, it's a blowout victory. Everything else is just gravy.
The Dodgers played around with the lineup yesterday, following a Joe Torre team meeting, and responded well with only their second 7-run game in their last 15 outings (an 11-5 win over the Reds on August 29 was the only big-output win since a 7-4 victory over the Cubs on August 20). The Dodgers lost the first game of their last three series, but in none of those cases did they lose the series (going 2-0-1). Let's hope that we can take today's rubber match against the Friars and hold pattern to form.