Nationals find White knight

Updated: August 27, 2005, 6:18 PM ET
By Buster Olney | ESPN The Magazine

• 1:20 p.m. ET: The Nationals are scrambling for pitching, and into the void steps Matt White, who will be making his major-league debut at age 28 -- and will be facing the Cardinals' Jason Marquis. The St. Louis righty has won just one of just last 13 starts and is currently on a seven-game losing streak. But all logic points to a Cardinals victory, which makes the Nationals The Reverse Lock of the Day.

Dontrelle Willis
Starting Pitcher
Florida Marlins
Profile
2005 SEASON STATISTICS
GM W L BB K ERA
26 17 8 41 124 2.67

• 1:25: Dontrelle Willis will try to haunt the organization that nurtured him today, facing the Cubs and Greg Maddux in The Best Pitching Matchup of the Day. Willis goes for his 18th win of the year, while Maddux will be working with one of the game's greatest accomplishments on the line: He's won 15 or more games in every season since 1987, and with a record of 10-10 and only five weeks to play, that streak is in jeopardy.

• 4:05: Remember those days in April and May when we wondered whether Tom Glavine was going to hold his place in the Mets' rotation all year? Glavine is 4-3 with a 2.57 ERA since the All-Star break and is performing well, as many of the Mets are these days. Jason Schmidt starts for San Francisco against Glavine, who seeks career win No. 273.

• 4:07: The Indians are gathering momentum, winning three straight series -- and they'll go for their fourth straight today in the second game of their set in Toronto. Kevin Millwood pitches for Cleveland, Scott Downs for Toronto.

• 4:35: Ex-Athletics draftee Eric DuBose throws against his former team, pitching for Baltimore -- and the members of the current Athletics team are a combined 1-for-24 in their careers against DuBose. Joe Kennedy steps into the rotation for Rich Harden in what might be a spot start.

7:05: The Braves' lead in the NL East has been shaved to 2½ games, and following their loss to Ben Sheets, they need a win today, particularly with John Smoltz pitching (note that all three of Atlanta's former Big Three work today). Rick Helling starts for Milwaukee, the first time he's pitched since being shifted into the Brewers' rotation.

• 7:05: Eric Milton is pitching, and Jason Bay is waiting; he has four hits in eight at-bats in his career against the Cincinnati lefty, including two homers, and that makes the Pirates' outfielder The Most Likely Guy To Go Deep today.

• 10:10: Edwin Jackson pitched OK against Florida, in his first start since returning to the big leagues for L.A., but he was hampered by the small strike zone called that day by the home plate umpire. It'll be interesting to see how he fares today against the Astros' Roy Oswalt.

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