Burnett, Smoltz to bring some heat

Originally Published: June 21, 2005
By Buster Olney | ESPN The Magazine

• 7:05 p.m. ET: Randy Johnson goes for his third straight blowaway performance. Think about this -- he's faced 57 hitters in his last two starts, and only six got to swing the bat in hitters' counts of 3-1 or 2-0. Hideo Nomo throws for the Devil Rays, so this is The Reverse Lock of The Night. We don't think we're going out on a limb in saying that Gary Sheffield is The Guy Most Likely To Go Deep, considering his incredible success against Nomo -- 15 hits in 32 at-bats, plus nine walks, for a .585 on-base percentage and .813 slugging percentage.

• 7:05 p.m. ET: Bronson Arroyo takes the hill in Game 2 of a series with wild-card implications, against Kevin Millwood and the Indians. Millwood threw five scoreless innings in his first outing back from the disabled list last week.

• 7:05 p.m. ET: Willie Randolph is going to be in one of those damned-if-you-do-and-damned-if-you-don't situations when the Mets play the Phillies tonight. Their fan base is upset that the Mets' manager yanked Aaron Heilman, under the premise that he needed to save him for this game. Well, if Kris Benson -- tonight's starter -- goes deep into the game, then Mets fans will say, "See, we didn't even need the guy." And if Benson gets blown out early, in his matchup against Vicente Padilla, well, they'll be generally upset, anyway.

John Smoltz
Smoltz

A.J. Burnett
Burnett

• 7:35 p.m. ET: In Atlanta, John Smoltz throws against the Marlins' A.J. Burnett. No fastball under 93 mph will be allowed into the park. The Pitching Matchup of the Night.

• 8:05 p.m. ET: Jon Garland goes for win No. 12, while pitching against the Royals' Zack Greinke (1-7), in Chicago. Did we say the Yankees' game was The Reverse Lock? This is pretty darn close to that.

• 10:05 p.m. ET: Game 2 of the Rangers-Angels showdown, in L.A. Bartolo Colon throws against the resurgent Chan Ho Park.

• 10:05 p.m. ET: Game 2 of the Dodgers-Padres showdown, in San Diego, with the stakes very high for L.A. Derek Lowe starts for the Dodgers. Woody Williams counters for San Diego.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from Monday
The Good: Jake Peavy totally dominated the Dodgers, striking out 13 and allowing just two hits in eight innings in the Padres' 1-0 win. Peavy, who lowered his ERA to 2.56, retired the first 13 batters he faced.

Jose Lima
Lima

The Bad: Jose Lima was rocked yet again, allowing seven runs on 10 hits in four innings in the Royals' 11-8 loss to the White Sox. Lima gave up two home runs and is now tied for the most homers allowed in the AL (19).

The Ugly: The Rockies dropped to 1-6 on their current road trip in falling to the Astros 7-0. In the seven games, Colorado is averaging just over two runs per game (15 runs in all).

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