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Pittsburgh vs. Los Angeles, 23 September 2005

Paul Maholm (2-0, 1.24) vs. D.J. Houlton (5-9, 5.35). Houlton is a Rule 5 player who struck out a batter an inning as a 24 year-old last year for the Astros' Class AA affiliate. As impressive as that kind of is, Houlton isn't much to watch and he's been awful this year. Since he can bounce back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen and he's cheap, though, he has a bit of value for a team like the Dodgers who have a mess of injuries. If the Dodgers hadn't been hurt so frequently, Houlton probably would have wound up back in AAA with Houston.

I usually root for the Dodgers as my NL West team, but it's been difficult since I went to Dodgers Stadium last year. That place is a dump. The bathrooms are unbelievably tiny, the concourses are ugly, the food is terrible, and after the game, half the fans spend at least a half hour trying to find their cars because the layout of the parking lot doesn't do anyone any favors. Hopefully the visitors' clubhouse is better.