Friday, April 13, 2007

How about those Dodgers?

If you remember the television show four decades ago called “Mr. Ed,” you’ll recall the star was a talking horse who often wore a Dodger hat because he lived in Los Angeles.
Whenever Mr. Ed got into trouble with his owner Wilbur Post, he would say: “How about those Dodgers?”
So, how about those 2007 Dodgers, who open a three-game home series tonight against the Padres? Like Mr. Ed, they could be known to cause a lot of trouble.
Or do you think a team with Brad Penny as its No. 4 starter is weak on pitching? Hardly, considering Penny started the 2006 Major League Baseball All-Star game for the National League.
Thus far, the Padres certainly have bullpen strength over the Dodgers. But the more one sees of Los Angeles closer Takashi Saito, the more it becomes obvious this guy throws a lot of 1-2-3 innings like Trevor Hoffman.
The Dodger lineup is certainly formidable with Rafael Furcal (hoping to return tonight from a sprained ankle) and Juan Pierre at the top. And it’s not bad in the middle with Nomar Garciaparra, Jeff Kent and Luis Gonzalez. It’s easy to point out that the Dodgers are aging in the middle of their order, but the age factor could certainly point right back at Padres 40-something pitchers Greg Maddux and David Wells.
Padre nemesis Derek Lowe will start the series opener. Lowe is just 2-2 lifetime against the Padres but has a solid 2.37 ERA against them.
The Padres did win 13 of 18 last year against the Dodgers, including seven of nine in Los Angeles. San Diego always seems more fired up than the Dodgers when the teams meet.
If the Padres are to repeat as NL West champions, it may take another 13-5 record against the Dodgers. Why? Because the Dodgers seem to do much better when they’re not playing the Padres.

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