Hiroki Kuroda, fresh off his first bad start of 2009, will take the hill for the Dodgers, as the Dodgers and A's play the second contest of their three-game series tonight. Tonight's game is part of "Heroes Week" at Dodger Stadium, and is Firefighter Appreciation Night.
Starting on the mound for Oakland is Trevor Cahill. Just 21 -- and three weeks older than Clayton Kershaw -- Cahill has pitched well of late, with a 3.09 ERA over his last five starts. In all likelihood, Cahill will have his first major league plate appearance tonight. David Ely of MLB.com tell us, "Cahill, who relies heavily on a sinking two-seam fastball, hasn't issued more than three walks in a start since April 18."
Playing in a National League park, hopefully Bob Geren and the Athletics won't have one of their relievers get hurt while batting, like Scott Downs of the Blue Jays last night. From Morgan Campbell of the Toronto Star:
[Cito Gaston's] worst fears were realized at the end of a five-run Toronto 10th inning, when closer Scott Downs injured his left foot after a grounder to short. Downs hobbled down the first-base line, then left the game.
"That's what happens," said a disgusted Gaston. "My guys don't take batting practice every day and they don't run, so things like this are going to happen."
Then again, maybe Geren won't whine like Cito Gaston because he won't leave his closer in to bat with a five-run lead.
Matt Kemp, the hero of last night's game, is hitting .384/.442/.547 over his last 24 games.
Jonathan Broxton was a guest on The Doug Gottlieb Show on ESPN Radio nationally today. Among other things, Broxton compared his MLB debut with the birth of his first son last week. He said the flight to join the Dodgers (in 2005) was so quick, whereas the flight home to Georgia, and subsequent three-hour car ride from the airport, seemed to take forever. Luckily, he was able to make it in time to see the birth of his child. Once a clip of the interview becomes available, I will post it here.
Dodger pinch-hitters, after starting the season with 13 hits in 28 April at-bats, have only eight hits in their last 54 at-bats, and are hitting .148/.258/.278 in that span.
For a well-reasoned "what if" scenario involving Edwin Jackson and the Dodgers, go read BHSportsGuy's article on Dodger Thoughts.
Here are tonight's lineups:
Get your guesses in for "She Is Gone" here.