The Dodgers Just announced tonight that Kevin Brown will not pitch again this season. With Kazuhisa Ishii also out for the season after getting hit by a Brian Hunter line drive last week, the Dodgers have just four experienced starters left for their stretch run: Odalis Perez, Hideo Nomo, Andy Ashby, and Omar Daal.
Reliever Kevin Beirne will be used at least for the time being as the fifth starter. He has started one game this year (a September 13th 5-4 loss in the just completed Colorado series in which the Dodgers lost 3 of 4) and two in his three-year career. No one else has pitched for the Dodgers all season.
There are other pitchers on the roster who have started in the past. The optimistically named Victor Alvarez is a 25-year-old rookie starter who has yet to start a major-league game. Recently recalled Robert Ellis started 17 for Arizona last year to the tune of a 5.77 ERA. Giovanni Carrara, just activated from the DL, started 3 games last year and has 17 starts in his career. Australian Jeff Williams had one start last year and has 4 in his major-league career. Darren Dreifort has started 103 games in his career but has been on the DL all year (and seemingly since he signed a big contract with LA). Among the relievers, Eric Gagne started 24 last season, but the prospect of re-converting their star closer to a starter is nil. Reliever Paul Quantrill last started in 1996, and lefty Methuselah Jesse Orosco last started a major-league game in 1982.
Kevin Brown started only one game himself since May 26 after a previous DL stint. That start was in a 5-2 loss to San Francisco, in which he allowed all five of the Giant runs in his 5 innings pitched. He had pitched 14-1/3 in seven relief outings since being activated August 15, but starting Brown unexpectedly against the team they are fighting for the wild card after losing Ishii, gave the impression of an act of desperation.
Now Brown is out and the Giants have a large advantage in the Wednesday game that Brown was set to start. Of course, the Dodgers are up 6-3 in the sixth inning of the first game in their big series with the Giants, so if that lead hold up and the Dodgers win the other two games, a loss Wednesday won't matter. Should they then fend off San Francisco, a fifth starter will not be needed in the playoffs anyway. You may notice that there are a good number of "if"s in that statement.