The Los Angeles Dodgers postseason hopes ended a long time ago. However, you wouldn't know that by the way they've played of late.
The Dodgers enter tonight's tilt 15 games under .500 but have been one of the hottest teams in the league and are coming off a three-game sweep of the San Diego Padres following a 4-2 win on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium.
"Our bullpen was good," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "Rod (Barajas) has been swinging the bat well. He's dangerous. We've been able to score runs, which gives us a lot of confidence."
Matt Kemp also had an RBI in the win and is among the leaders in the National League's Triple Crown categories, as he is hitting .320 with a 31 home runs and 102 RBI. His RBI total is also a career-high.
Today, the Dodgers will hand the ball to lefty Dana Eveland, who will be making his season debut. Eveland had been 12-8 with a 4.38 ERA for Triple-A Albuquerque. This will be the fifth team he has started for since 2005.
Pittsburgh, meanwhile, will counter with young right-hander Brad Lincoln, who picked up his first win of the season his last time out. Lincoln defeated the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday, as he tossed six scoreless innings to improve to 1-0, while lowering his ERA to 3.42.
Lincoln has never faced the Dodgers.
Pittsburgh comes into today's contest riding a four-game losing streak after getting swept by the woeful Houston Astros after a 2-0 loss on Wednesday.
After spending some time atop the National League Central around the All-Star break, the Pirates find themselves fourth in the division 18 1/2 games back of the front-running Milwaukee Brewers. They are also 12 games under .500 and are headed towards extending their major league record to a 19th straight losing season.
Los Angeles took two of three from the Pirates earlier in the year before the finale of a four-game set at PNC Park was rained out on May 12.