Chad Billingsley (8-5, 4.22) vs. Jon Garland (9-6, 3.61).
99 games seems to be the right amount of time to assess where we're headed, as we enter the final two months of the season. Last year, we were 62-37, in first place up eight games. The year before, we were 49-50 and tied for first. Both years, we went on to win the division outright and won our first round of the playoffs. This year, we're 53-46--roughly splitting the difference--but our third place standing six games out of first doesn't feel like we're going to make a playoff run. But with a three-game series on tap in San Diego, if this postseason run is going to happen for us, it's going to have to start here.
Bills is coming off his first complete game in two seasons, while former Dodger Garland is coming off a five-inning no decision to the Braves, which included a four-run third inning. Our offense was impotent against the Mets at home--scoring only seven runs in four games (one of which took extra innings), but we strangely eked out three wins despite being outscored in the series. The Padres, as strange as it sounds, will not just [oaken]fold over here, so we'd better we come out of a day off ready to rock. Ready, steady, go!