LOS ANGELES -- Tuesday's pitching matchup between the Dodgers and Mets had manager Grady Little excited to watch, and he said anyone who doesn't look forward to this type of matchup shouldn't consider themselves a true baseball fan. Teammates in Boston from 1998-2004, Derek Lowe and Pedro Martinez both have thrown no-hitters in their careers, and both have moved on to be one of the top pitchers for other staffs in the National League. For Lowe, he said he always looks forward to facing former teammates, but he looks forward to pitching against Martinez more than anyone else.
"I love to watch him pitch," Lowe said of Martinez. "Now facing him, you won't be able to watch him as much as you probably want to. What's great about the challenge is I know what type of competitor he is, and to be able to hopefully go out there and match him inning for inning means you stayed up to the same intensity he's going to bring." While the two were together in Boston, Martinez won two consecutive Cy Young Awards in 1999 and 2000 with records of 23-4 and 18-6, respectively. In 2002, Lowe threw a no-hitter against Tampa Bay. Lowe enjoyed plenty of success with the Red Sox, but he said he has learned a lot from being around Martinez and being able to watch him pitch. What's made Martinez even harder to beat these days, according to Lowe, is that he made a transition many pitchers cannot make. In the beginning of his career, Martinez just blew the ball past people. In more recent years, his velocity has gone down a bit, but he hits his spots so well, he's still difficult to hit. "What makes him so tough -- and I try to bring into my game a little bit -- is to throw any pitch at any time," Lowe said. "You ask any hitter when they face Pedro Martinez, what makes him so hard is that you have no idea what he's going to throw at any count. There's no rhyme or reason." In addition to learning how to be more unpredictable on the mound, Lowe said he learned from Martinez how to better prepare for games, and how to never get too high or too low as a result of pitching performances. While Martinez helped Lowe become a better pitcher, Lowe said there was one thing he couldn't learn from Martinez. "I didn't learn anything by watching his stuff because his stuff is unmatchable," he said. A familiar face: Many different people will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Dodger Stadium this season, but there is hardly a person who will be more familiar with that mound than the person throwing out the pitch on Tuesday. Former Dodgers pitcher Orel Hershiser took the mound on Tuesday night to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. He earned the Cy Young Award, NCLS MVP and World Series MVP honors with the Dodgers' 1988 World Series winners. Injury report: Cesar Izturis has gone 2-for-14 in his four games with the Las Vegas 51s, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. He has one RBI, two walks and a strikeout. Jeff Kent is not expected to come off the 15-day disabled list right on schedule, Little said. If Kent's sprained left wrist continues to heal well, he would make his return to the Dodgers lineup on June 13 at San Diego. Dioner Navarro will likely take a rehab assignment on Thursday in Las Vegas, after missing 29 games as of Tuesday with a bone bruise on his right wrist. Coming up: Wednesday marks the final game of the series and the homestand, and will feature the Dodgers' Odalis Perez (4-1, 6.05 ERA) against Tom Glavine (8-2, 2.59 ERA) of the Mets. It will be Perez's first start since May 2. He made six appearances out of the bullpen for the Dodgers since that last start.
Amanda Branam is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.