Chen vs. Garland in battle of upstarts

Originally Published: May 12, 2005
By Buster Olney | ESPN The Magazine

• 1:10: The Hitter Most Likely to Go Deep will be Albert Pujols of the Cardinals, facing the Dodgers' Derek Lowe on Thursday; really going out on a limb here. Chris Carpenter throws for the Cardinals.

• 7:05: Jon Lieber of the Phillies tries to pick up his sixth victory, working against the Reds' Ramon Ortiz.

Jon Garland
Garland

Bruce Chen
Chen

• 8:05: The Pitching Matchup of the Day will be in Chicago, pitting two of the most surprising successes in baseball – Bruce Chen of the Orioles against Jon Garland of the White Sox. Chen will throw nothing but slow stuff while Garland works fast.

• 8:10: The Reverse Lock of the Day will be in Kansas City. Scott Kazmir of the Devil Rays throws against the Royals' Jose Lima, and all logic suggests one of them will lose (we say the logic suggests the Royals will lose, but you could probably go either way in this game).

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly from Tuesday
The Good
David Eckstein and Larry Walker combined to go 7-for-11 with a walk in the first two spots in the lineup as St. Louis thumped the Dodgers 9-3. Eckstein and Walker also combined for four RBI and two runs scored.

The Bad
Another rough day for closers. Saves were blown by Keith Foulke, Octavio Dotel, Ryan Dempster and Danny Kolb, among others.

The Ugly
The Royals played their first game since manager Tony Pena resigned and saw a late lead turn into a loss. The Royals are 8-26, and it would not be unfair to start talking about their being beyond bad and perhaps on their way to being historically bad.

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