As a result of last nights loss, our lead in the NL West has been trimmed to a mere half game.  What a time to be playing the hottest team in the National League.  And while were back east trying to take a bite outta the Big Apple, our two closest competitors, the Padres and Giants, will be doing battle up north.  The inability to win on the road has once again caught up with the Dodgers, whom, after going 21-7 in the month of August, have started September slowly at 3-4, while the Padres, with the recently acquired David Wells, have heated up again at 5-1, winning 5 in a row, recently coming off a sweep of the Rockies at home.  And to make things interesting, the Giants, once an afterthought, have quietly crept back in the race, trailing by only 4 games, 3 1/2 in the WC race with San Diego, so they to are involved in a huge series this weekend as well.  While the Pads have won 11 of 14 from the Dodgers this season, the Giants, whom the Blue has won 10 of 16 from, have won 9 of their last 10 against the Friars, including a recent 4 game sweep down south.  While the pitching woes have resurfaced for the Blue, the offense, still leading the league in batting average, has cooled of as well during this trip, scoring a total of 5 runs in 4 games, while being shut out twice.  If not for Derek Lowe’s clutch performance in Milwaukee Wednesday night, we could easily be 0-4 on this current trip.  And to make things more intriguing, Hung Chi Kuo will be making his first big league start tonight, as will possibly Eric Stults on Sunday.  That potentially will be 2 non-proven starters thrown into the spotlight against the leagues best team.  But if this seasons 2006 Dodgers have shown, the kids will rise once again, but boy, what a time to pick to throw these two into the Big Show.  Well, they wouldn’t be the Dodgers if they made September easy cruising.  IT’S GO TIME…..GO DODGERS !!!!


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