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10/01/06 9:00 PM ET

Dodgers-Mets: Rotation analysis

  Los Angeles Dodgers

 Derek Lowe RHP
GAME 1 STARTER: Lowe tuned up his sinker to turn his season around spectacularly in August -- he'd been merely 7-7 going into his final July start -- for a shot at adding to his postseason fable. Remember him picking up the clinching win at all three stages of the Red Sox's 2004 World Series run?
Season numbers: (16-8, 3.63 ERA)
Pitches: Sinker, curve, slider
Speed: 78 to 93 mph

 Hong-Chih Kuo LHP
GAME 2 STARTER: Kuo, who beat the Mets at Shea Stadium in his first Major League start last month, is tentatively set to start Game 2. On Sept. 9, the left-hander worked exclusively from the stretch and threw six innings in a 5-0 win over New York.
Season numbers: (1-5, 4.22 ERA)
Pitches: Fastball, slider, curveball, changeup
Speed: 68 to 99 mph

 Greg Maddux RHP
Maddux, though often pitching in bad luck, had a 3.22 ERA in 29 postseason starts for the Braves. Has responded to being plugged into the race -- six times he has gone six-plus for the Dodgers and allowed two runs or fewer.
Season numbers: (15-14, 4.20 ERA)
Pitches: Fastball, slider, curve, circle changeup
Speed: 68 to 87 mph

 Brad Penny RHP
Another World Series hero, Marlins edition: Penny won both of his starts against the Yankees in 2003. His 16 wins are a career high -- but his ERA has tripled since he started the All-Star Game. And, with his balky back, he gives LA a Pedro-sized concern.
Season numbers: (16-9, 4.33 ERA)
Pitches: Fastball, changeup, curve
Speed: 76 to 97 mph

  New York Mets

 Orlando Hernandez RHP
The Mets snagged El Duque in late May to help in the regular season -- and to lead in the Second Season. He's a veritable postseason legend, from his days with the Yankees through his miraculous relief outing for the White Sox in last fall's Division Series clincher in Boston.
Season numbers: (11-11, 4.66 ERA)
Pitches: Two- and four-seam fastball, curve, slider, changeup
Speed: 82 to 90 mph

 Tom Glavine LHP
GAME 2 STARTER: He's won only three times since late June but, considering the arm issues that interrupted his season in late August, the Mets are just glad to again be able to count on Glavine. He has more postseason experience than anyone else in this series: 32 starts, 12 wins as a Brave.
Season numbers: (15-7, 3.82 ERA)
Pitches: Fastball, changeup, curve
Speed: 74 to 88 mph

 Steve Trachsel RHP
GAME 3 STARTER: A walking contradiction. Trachsel has been the rotation rock, making 30 starts and winning half of them -- but with an ERA a run higher than for any previous Mets 15-game winner (Al Leiter's 3.99 in 2003). Guys like him are most appreciated across the long haul; manager Willie Randolph may work around him in a five-game set.
Season numbers: (15-8, 4.97 ERA)
Pitches: Fastball, splitter, curve, changeup
Speed: 75 to 91 mph

 John Maine RHP
The Mets' Maine man in case they need a fourth starter, he could be a valuable option with another torrid stretch in him. In three straight starts coming out of the All-Star break, Maine put up 22 straight zeroes while allowing only 10 hits -- the kind of groove that could be critical in a postseason.
Season numbers: (6-5, 3.60 ERA)
Pitches: Fastball, curve, slider
Speed: 76 to 92 mph

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.