Game 111: Sparky Puts Cat Out

Sunday, August 03 2003 @ 03:57 AM EDT

Contributed by: Coach

The big lineup news today is the presence of Reed Johnson in the leadoff spot. Against a righty, Frank Catalanotto usually plays LF, but perhaps Carlos Tosca has run out of patience with his slump, and the skipper obviously has confidence in the Sparkplug against any kind of pitching. Mike Bordick, who is more dangerous against southpaws, remains in the 2-hole -- Eric Hinske is hitting seventh. Bordick's on an 11-game hit streak, batting well over .400 for that stretch, so while he's hot, it's not a bad idea.

Kelvim Escobar, no longer distracted by trade rumours but still pitching for his next contract, should have a good afternoon in Anaheim. He's 4-3, 2.73 with five saves in his career against the Angels. His opposite number, RH Scot Shields, makes just his third start of the season but has been brilliant in most of his 30 relief appearances. Stamina will be the big question as he takes over the rotation spot of the costliest release in baseball history, Kevin Appier.