The Dodgers counter with LHP Randy Wolf (11-6, 3.22 ERA) who nearly pitched the club to the N.L. title in Pittsburgh, allowing two runs in 6.1 innings, but the bullpen let it get away for his 16th no-decision. He's been the Los Angeles' ace over the last half of the season, has started 32 times and has worked a team-leading 209.1 innings.
Randy Wolf is a sure thing to start Game 1 of the National League Division Series next week although Torre said he would not confirm that Wolf is his man for the playoff opener.
Wolf has never been to the playoffs in his 11-year career. He has pitched in one All-Star Game, throwing one inning as a representative of the Phillies in the 2003 contest.
Left-hander Clayton Kershaw, who has made just two appearances and one start since coming off a separated right shoulder, figures to be the Dodgers' starter on Saturday and the likely Game 2 choice.
There are two ways to look at the Dodgers' four-game losing streak that has prevented them from clinching the National League West title.
The skeptic might say the Dodgers are choking with two consecutive defeats to the Padres that followed two consecutive to the lowly Pirates. The optimist? He would say the Dodgers now have a chance to clinch at home.
A nine-game road trip that initially looked to be easy pickings for the Dodgers came to an embarrassing end Wednesday. They went 3-6 on a swing through Washington, Pittsburgh and San Diego.
When they square off tonight (Friday) against the red-hot Rockies, perhaps the only saving grace it's that the series is at Dodger Stadium, where they are an impressive 48-30.
The Dodgers had a day off Thursday to prepare for the series, while the Rockies thumped the Brewers 9-2 to pull to within two games.
--CF Matt Kemp has 96 runs for a club that has the seventh-best run total in Los Angeles Dodgers history. Despite not having a single player over 100 runs, the Dodgers' tally of 767 trails the 1977 World Series team by just two runs. The highest-scoring club in team history was the 1962 Dodgers, who crossed the plate 842 times.
--RF Andre Ethier has a career batting average of .291, tied with Jeff Kent for eighth best in Los Angeles Dodgers history (minimum 1,800 at-bats). His career slugging percentage of .490 is seventh best. Mike Piazza has the best batting average at .331, while Gary Sheffield has the best slugging percentage at .573.
--RHP Chad Billingsley limited the Padres to two runs on two hits in six innings Tuesday, but he failed to snap his winless streak. Billingsley hasn't posted a victory since Aug. 18, going 0-4 with a 5.31 ERA in that span.
BY THE NUMBERS: .300
-- The batting average Matt Kemp needs at the end of the season to become the first player in Dodgers history to ever bat .300, hit 25 home runs, drive in 100 runs and steal 30 bases in one season. Kemp, who turned 25 on Sept. 23, reached the latest of those milestones one day later when his three-run home run got him to 100 RBI.
--RHP Hiroki Kuroda will not make his next scheduled start Saturday because of a stiff neck. The right-hander first felt neck soreness Tuesday while jogging at San Diego's Petco Park. He was expected to be the Dodgers' Game 2 starter in the NL Division Series, but that plan is now on hold. LHP Clayton Kershaw will start in Kuroda's place on Saturday.
--3B Casey Blake missed his eighth consecutive game with a strained left hamstring. Blake has been receiving platelet injections in the injured area to help speed recovery.
--INF Ronnie Belliard missed his second consecutive game with a strained groin.
The Dodgers Roster ROTATION: LHP Randy Wolf RHP Chad Billingsley LHP Clayton Kershaw RHP Jon Garland RHP Hiroki Kuroda BULLPEN: RHP Jonathan Broxton (closer) LHP George Sherrill LHP Hong-Chih Kuo RHP Ramon Troncoso RHP Ronald Belisario RHP James McDonald RHP Charlie Haeger RHP Jeff Weaver LHP Scott Elbert RHP Guillermo Mota RHP Vicente Padilla CATCHERS: Russell Martin Brad Ausmus A.J. Ellis INFIELDERS: 1B James Loney 2B Orlando Hudson SS Rafael Furcal 3B Casey Blake INF Jim Thome INF Juan Castro INF Mark Loretta INF Ronnie Belliard INF Doug Mientkiewicz INF Blake DeWitt INF Chin-lung Hu OUTFIELDERS: LF Manny Ramirez CF Matt Kemp RF Andre Ethier OF Juan Pierre OF Jason Repko