Is Jeff Kent secretly a Padre? Both Kent and the Padres seem to have snapped out of season-long hitting slumps at around the same time. Kent has homered in 5 of his last 7 games, and last night (when he failed to homer) he hit three doubles. That is very good news.
Kent's production has helped the Dodgers win 8 of their last 10, keeping pace with the now first place Padres. Now just 3 games separate the Padres and the last place Giants, with the Dodgers in fourth just two games back. Even with a Padre loss, the Dodgers can't get any closer than a game and a half, because a Padre loss would put the Diamondbacks in first (1.5 games ahead of the Dodgers). A win will move the Dodgers into a third place tie with the Rockies.
Byung-Hyun Kim starts for the Rockies, coming off of a 7-run, 4 2/3-inning shellacking at the hands of the Cardinals in St. Louis. I'm not sure if the altitude turns the Dodgers lineup into a Cardinal-level threat, but Rockies fans will certainly be hoping that the 9-strikeout, 6 2/3-inning Kim from April 30 shows up tonight. As for the Dodgers, I guess this is where you want your ground ball pitcher pitching. Derek Lowe has gone at least 6 innings in every start since opening day, when he was touched up for 8 runs in 5 innings. Way more impressive is the fact that he hasn't given up more than 2 earned runs in any of those 7 starts. True, he gave up 4 runs twice, both times allowing 2 unearned runs, but still. It's fair to say that he's doing his job.
The Pitching Matchup:
Derek Lowe (RHP, Dodgers) vs. Byung-Hyun Kim (RHP, Rockies)
For your (20-19) Los Angeles Dodgers:
For the (21-18) Colorado Rockies:
Byung-Hyun Kim, P