Moundsmen take centerstage

Updated: April 24, 2005, 9:04 AM ET
By Buster Olney | ESPN The Magazine

• 1:05 p.m.: Pitching Matchup of the Day. Pedro Astacio, who is throwing great for the Rangers, works against Randy Johnson, in what is a must-win game in the Yankees' world. Watch the Big Unit's velocity: If he's throwing 91-93, and not harder than that, Texas might tee off.
• 3:05: Welcome back to the big leagues for the Dodgers' Brad Penny, who returns from months of injury rehab -- to pitch in Colorado's Coors Field. Not exactly a soft landing. He throws against the Rockies' Jeff Francis.
• 4:05: The Mariners' Jamie Moyer goes for career victory No. 196, pitching against the Indians' Scott Elarton.
• 4:05: The Reverse Lock of the Day -- the Giants' Jerome Williams pitching at home, in a seeming mismatch against the Brewers' Gary Glover. So far, the favored teams in our Reverse Locks are 2-0.
• 4:40: The Diamondbacks go for a sweep of the Padres, with Shawn Estes throwing against Brian Lawrence of San Diego.
• 8:05: Kelvim Escobar returns to the Angels' rotation, in the rubber game of a three-game series. Oakland's impressive rookie Joe Blanton throws for the Athletics.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly from Saturday
The Good Mark Teixeira is getting hot in a hurry: On Saturday, he slammed home runs No. 4 and 5, and drove in four runs.

The Bad The Phillies' Gavin Floyd was lit up for five runs in two-thirds of an inning -- and immediately demoted to the minors after the game.

The Ugly Roger Clemens has one victory to show for his first four incredible starts, in which he has an 0.32 ERA; an opponents' batting average of .165; 32 strikeouts and 6 walks in 28 innings; and an opponents average with runners in scoring position of .000 (0-for-11). The Astros have not scored a run for him in his last three starts.

Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. His book, "The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty," is being released in paperback May 1 and can be ordered through HarperCollins.com.

Buster Olney | email

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine