Seeing as how a two game set against the Nationals isn't too interesting, let's look ahead at the games within the week that will define the Dodgers as either feast or a feaster of the NL West famine.
May 10th Dodgers host the Giants at Chavez Ravine. The primary reason I'm previewing this game is the fact that I'll be there! I'll be in row E of the All-You-Can-Eat Pavillion in right field watching both mine, and my Mother's favorite team. You guys think I'm a Dodgers fan? You should meet my Mom. But with all personal matters aside, Lincecum will be battling Jeff Weaver in this Mother's Day game and I gotta say, I feel pretty good about our chances to finally beat Lincecum. We don't make too many mistakes at home and I feel like Russell Martin will step up to honor his mother, or at least really want to. As long as Weaver keeps doing what he's doing with last night's performance and his previous 4 scoreless innings then we should be in for a great game. Just as Joe Torre and Don Mattingly preach day in and day out, the Dodgers need to get deep into the pitch count on Lincecum, we need to get him out of this game as fast as possible to get to the nice and soft bullpen. Happy Mother's Day to everybody who doesn't have problems with their Mom.
May 12th The Dodgers head to Philly for the season's first rematch of last year's NLCS. The pitching match-up for the series opener will be Clayton Kershaw against Chan-Ho Park. Chan-Ho has a 8.57 ERA this year and isn't looking too hot in this young 2009 season. Of course one of the best lineups in the NL will put runs on the board, if no one else at least Manny but the offense isn't the question right now. The question is which Clayton Kershaw will show up on May 12th? Will the Clayton Kershaw who dueled 2007 Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy pitch for pitch show up? Or will it be the 21 year old who clearly shows his age with bad location that shows his face? Game 1 rests on the offense of the Phillies and Clayton Kershaw's shoulders.
May 13th Game 2 of the Dodgers .VS. Phillies series should be a great game. The ageless Jamie Moyer .vs. the former Phillie, Randy Wolf. Randy Wolf Hasn't been exactly dominating in his start with the Dodgers but he's been pitching well enough to give the Dodgers a legitimate chance to win any given game. When Wolf is hitting his spots, he can be extremely hard to hit but it also works the other way around since his stuff isn't so overwhelming. Moyer, despite having a 5.65 ERA is 3-1 and is 47 years old, just felt I had to remind everyone on how amazing this man is to still be pitching (and getting wins at that). If Moyer doesn't watch his recent control issues expect this to be a lopsided game.
May 14th The final game of last year's rematch features a battle of the aces, Chad Billingsley and Cole Hamels. Based completely on how Cole Hamels has pitched so far this year I say the Dodgers will take the game. Based on Cole Hamels ability then it's a real toss-up, if Cole Hamels decides to show up on May 14th then I expect a good old-fashioned low scoring game. Once again, it's that same strategy Joe Torre has been talking about, gotta get deep into the pitch count and take the ball out of the pitcher's hands, if we can do that this series looks to be where the dodgers prove to be the feast.
May 15th Dodgers head down to Florida to face one of the better pitchers in the N.L.: Josh Johnson. Johnson has 38 K's to 6 walks in 42.0 innings pitched this year but struggles against right handed batters. He faces Eric Stults who seems incapable at times without a very high ceiling, Eric will need to bring everything he has to outpitch Johnson and get around batters like Jorge Cantu, and the ever versatile Hanley Ramirez. Definite mismatch in this game but let's see what Stults can bring to the table.