Oswalt vs. Smoltz in Berkman's return

Originally Published: May 6, 2005
By Buster Olney | ESPN The Magazine

• 3:20 p.m. ET: The Phillies are fading fast. The Cubs are collapsing. But today, they get to play each other, so somebody is going to have a good day, and somebody is going to sink deeper into their abyss. Mark Prior starts for the Cubs, Cory Lidle for the Phillies.

• 7:05: The Old Soldier marches on. Seattle's Jamie Moyer goes for career victory No. 197 in Boston, against Matt Clement and the Red Sox.

• 7:15: The Reverse Lock of the Day will be in Tampa Bay, where Johan Santana of the Twins is expected to start another winning streak, against the Devil Rays and Dewon Brazelton. All logic points to a Twins' victory, which makes Tampa Bay the likely winner (or not).

Lance Berkman
Berkman

• 7:35: The Best Pitching Matchup of the Day will be in Atlanta. Houston's Roy Oswalt faces the Braves' John Smoltz, as Lance Berkman returns to the lineup for the Astros.

• 8:05: The Hitter Most Likely To Go Deep will be Mark Teixeira, who faces Cleveland lefty Cliff Lee. The Rangers' switch-hitter is 3-for-4 in past meetings against Lee, with a home run.

• 10:15: The Bonds-less and Benitez-less Giants face the Nationals at home, with Noah Lowry throwing against Washington's Tomo Ohka.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly from Thursday
The Good
Derrick Turnbow is 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA after getting the win in the Brewers' victory over the slumping Cubs on Thursday.

The Bad
The Tigers were a national punch line a couple of years ago when they threatened records set by the '62 Mets. If that was any barometer, we'll be doing a lot of talking this summer about the Royals, who are 7-21 and on a pace to win about 40 games after losing to the White Sox on Thursday.

The Bad
The Yankees ... wow. Hanging out in the same neighborhood as the Devil Rays in the AL East standings. And they're not emitting any signs that it might actually get better.

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

Buster Olney | email

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine

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