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BASEBALL PLAYOFFS | DODGERS VS. N.Y. METS | DODGERS
REPORT

Lowe won't be a Game 4 option

October 04, 2006|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — Derek Lowe will not pitch Game 4 of the playoffs, even if the Dodgers face elimination in that game, Manager Grady Little said Tuesday.

Little said Brad Penny, the scheduled Game 4 starter, would be available in relief today. In his only previous postseason play, Penny made four starts and three relief appearances during the Florida Marlins' World Series title run in 2003.

Lowe, the most effective Dodgers starter in the second half of the season, starts Game 1 of the division series today. Little said he would not use Lowe in Game 4 if the Dodgers trailed in the series because they would have to win Game 4 and Game 5 and he would prefer to use Lowe on regular rest.

"We would still have to win two games," Little said.

In four starts on three days' rest in his career, Lowe is 3-0 with a 3.52 earned-run average.

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The Dodgers tentatively set their playoff roster by selecting left-hander Mark Hendrickson and right-hander Aaron Sele for the final spots in the bullpen and omitting rookie Chad Billingsley.

"We'll make it the best we can, with the most experience," Little said.

The Dodgers did not submit a final roster because of the uncertain status of left-handed reliever Joe Beimel, who needed stitches Tuesday to close a gash along the little finger of his pitching hand. Beimel is expected to try to throw this morning, before the Dodgers must freeze a 25-man roster for the first round.

Beimel told MLB.com he suffered the injury when a glass slipped out of his hand and shattered in his hotel room.

Hendrickson gives the Dodgers another left-handed reliever to use against Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, Cliff Floyd, Shawn Green and Jose Valentin.

The Dodgers opted for 10 pitchers rather than 11 despite starters that all too often struggle to survive beyond five innings. General Manager Ned Colletti noted the Dodgers had two days off before this series and have another day off Friday, and he suggested he would add a reliever if the Dodgers advanced to the National League Championship Series.

"If this were a seven-game series, I don't think 10 [pitchers] would even be a consideration," he said.

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As the Dodgers searched for a manager last winter, Lowe said he called team executives to put in a good word for Little, for whom he played in Boston.

Little today will manage his first playoff game since 2003, when he did not remove Pedro Martinez until after the New York Yankees had scored three runs in the eighth inning to tie Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. The Red Sox lost in extra innings, and Little lost his job.

"I firmly believe that, if we would have won the World Series ... he still would have gotten fired," Lowe said.

Little said he suspected as much, given that the Red Sox had not extended his contract.

"They wanted somebody to go by the numbers and the stats a little more than I was," Little said.

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First baseman Nomar Garciaparra said the injuries to his side, quadriceps and knee did not restrict him during workouts. Of the Dodgers' last six regular-season games, Garciaparra left three early because of the injuries and sat out the other three.

The Dodgers kept rookie first baseman James Loney on the playoff roster as insurance, because teams can adjust rosters between rounds but not between games.

bill.shaikin@latimes.com

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