- Buster Olney, Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
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• 7:05 p.m. ET: The Florida Marlins were put into a slide by the Mets and Pirates, and suddenly this series against the Washington Nationals has an edge to it. Josh Beckett, who is 7-3, works against Nats' ace Livan Hernandez.
• 7:05 p.m. ET: The Angels are scheduled to play teams .500 or better from now until the end of the month, while Vladimir Guerrero stands by and watches at least most of it -- maybe all. They're trying to survive, and on Friday, Kelvim Escobar throws against Boston's David Wells.
• 8:05 p.m. ET: The Pitching matchup of the Night will be in Houston, where Andy Pettitte of the Astros throws against the Cardinals' Chris Carpenter. Pettitte seems to be gaining arm strength as the season rolls along -- he threw six scoreless innings in his last start, whiffing eight in six innings.
• 8:10 p.m. ET: Playoff implications in June? That's why The Big Series of the weekend is between the Yankees and Minnesota Twins, who might be battling for a wild-card spot at season's end. And Minnesota gets the Yankees at exactly the wrong time for the Twins: Johan Santana won't pitch this weekend, and Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Nick Punto were all hurt in Thursday's game. The Yankees' Mike Mussina throws against the Twins' Kyle Lohse in the series opener.
• 9:05 p.m. ET: The Guy Most Likely To Go Deep will be Matt Holliday of the Colorado Rockies. He's starting to hit, including a couple of homers against St. Louis on Thursday, and he faces the Reds' Eric Milton, who has allowed a staggering 20 homers in his 11 starts.
• 10:05 p.m. ET: The Cubs are hot. The Padres are hot. Somebody will cool down. Adam Eaton, who is 7-1, works against one of the young pitchers plugging the Wood-Prior holes in the rotation, Sergio Mitre. He's got a career 6.69 ERA, a 5.84 ERA in 12 1/3 innings this season; that makes this game the Reverse Lock.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from Thursday
The Good: Pedro Martinez tossed another gem, allowing just one run on five hits in eight innings, leading the Mets to a 6-1 win over the Diamondbacks. Martinez had nine strikeouts and didn't issue a walk, raising his record to 6-1.
The Bad: The Giants lost their seventh straight game, falling 6-5 to the Phillies. Starter Brad Hennessey got rocked, giving up six runs in two-plus innings. San Francisco is now six games under .500 and nine games behind the first-place Padres in the NL West.
The Ugly: The Royals had 13 wins when they entered their series with the Yankees this past Tuesday. They now have 16 victories after sweeping the Yanks. New York scored a total of six runs in the series' three games.
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.
A look at Friday's top matchups and the good, the bad, and the ugly from Thursday.