Vicente Padilla (10-6, 4.63) vs. Jonathan Sanchez (6-11, 4.03).
DODGERS MAGIC NUMBER: 19
COMMENTS: If you're still trying to process how Hiroki Kuroda could have mastered Matt Cain, and the Dodger bats could have broken out for 10 runs, in yesterday's series opener--you're not alone. 5-for-12 with RISP sounds positively nuts. So today's game tests whether this offense is truly back (along with Casey Blake, a welcome return to the lineup), or whether it was just an aberration.
Can James Loney (RBIs in each of the last four games) continue working his OPS back to levels not seen since early August? Can Russell Martin notch up his second extra-base hit of the month (adding to his double from last night)? Can we achieve double-digit run levels again, or at least get a win (which would ensure we'd leave SF in sole possession of first place)?
Padilla, 2-0 with a 2.76 ERA with the Dodgers, looks to keep the ball rolling; Sanchez has been solid in his last five starts (2.03 ERA) and won't be a pushover. But only one team has a starter with a reputation for throwing at batters with reckless abandon. And only one team has a player who has to remind himself each at bat that it's a baseball being hurled at him, and not a cha siu baau. Or powdered sugar donut, for that matter.