One to watch: Silva vs. Harden

Updated: August 14, 2005, 4:08 PM ET
By Buster Olney | ESPN The Magazine

•  1:05 p.m. ET: The Yankees go for a sweep of the Texas Rangers, with Shawn Chacon throwing against Joaquin Benoit. Since Chacon joined the Yankees, it seems as if his breaking ball has more bite, and like Aaron Small, he has aggressively pitched in the strike zone. The Rangers have allowed 57 runs during their current six-game losing streak.

• 2:05 p.m. ET: Since Matt Clement made the All-Star team, it's been a rough summer for him. He got nailed in the head by a line drive, and he's labored in a couple of starts since then. He is 1-1 with 8.18 ERA; he's allowed 13 walks and 26 hits in 22 innings. Orlando Hernandez, 8-5, starts for the White Sox, in Fenway Park.

Rich Harden
Harden

Carlos Silva
Silva

• 4:05 p.m. ET: The Best Pitching Matchup of the Day will be in Oakland, where Carlos Silva of the Twins throws against the Athletics' Rich Harden. Silva has allowed only eight walks, as a chronic strike-thrower, but he gives up a fair chair of homers, too -- 21 this season. Dan Johnson has only three at-bats against Silva, but has two hits, including a home run, and today, he's The Most Likely Guy To Go Deep.

• 4:05 p.m. ET: Chan Ho Park makes his second home start for the Padres, against the Phillies' Robinson Tejeda, who has allowed 43 walks in 66 innings but is 2-2 with a 2.86 ERA. The Padres are looking to take the third game of this series to move back over .500.

• 4:05 p.m. ET: John Lackey labored since the 2002 World Series, seemingly throwing well in one start and then laboring to avoid big innings in his next games, never really establishing any consistency. That appears to be changing, however -- Lackey has been a dominant power pitcher. In five starts since the All-Star break, opponents are hitting just .209 against Lackey, and he's racked up 39 strikeouts in 34 innings; he has a 1.06 ERA during that time, with no home runs allowed. He pitches against Gil Meche and the Mariners today, in The Reverse Lock Game of the Day -- all logic points to an Angels' victory, so Seattle will win.

• 8:05 p.m. ET: Matt Morris of the Cardinals pitches against the Cubs' Mark Prior, in the series-finale between the two rivals.

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