Brad Penny shut down the Nats last night. No great revelation there. However, Penny's success this season mirrors that of another outstanding power pitcher in the NL West, Jake Peavy.
Devoted readers of this blog will no doubt recall that Penny was acquired by the Dodgers to fulfill their aspirations of having a No. 1 starter in their rotation. Since that trade, Penny has taken his fair share of abuse for failing to live up to that reputation. Nonetheless, he is an excellent starting pitcher and he provides the Dodgers with a critical counter-weight in any late season matchups against Peavy and the Padres. While Peavy may be the more accomplished of the two starters, it must be reassuring to Dodger management (if not their fans) that they have someone who can at least provide a challenge to Peavy and the Padres and make them earn any late-season victories.
Of course, all of this is prelude to the real purpose of this post. The Lakers. We'll hold off on the Kobe Bryant melodrama for another day (or at least until Dr. Buss posts bail). However, the significance of a Peavy-Penny September matchup brings up the fact as to how the recent NBA Draft Lottery has tied the Lakers hands. Barring injury, Greg Oden should dominate the Western Conference playoffs for the next 10-15 years. For any team in the West to seriously challenge the Trailblazers they will need a center who can compete with Oden. Such persons are hard to find. Fortunately, the Lakers have one in Andrew Bynum.
However, Bynum is the likeliest candidate for trade to appease the "win with Kobe now" crowd.
Of such conundrums are headaches made. No wonder Dr. Buss was arrested for DUI.