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TONIGHT’S GAME

DODGERS’ ISMAEL VALDES (1-1, 4.05 ERA) vs. METS’ ARMANDO REYNOSO

(0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Shea Stadium, New York, 4:40 p.m.

TV--Channel 5 and ESPN, tonight. Radio--KABC (790 AM), KWKW (1330 AM).

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UPDATE--Tonight will be the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first game in the major leagues, breaking the color barrier. There is expected to be a crowd of nearly 45,000, and the Mets have given away 14,000 tickets. President Bill Clinton and Rachel Robinson, Jackie’s widow, will highlight the ceremony that will take place after the Dodgers bat in the fifth inning. The Dodgers plan to remove Valdes after the lengthy ceremony and bring in Chan Ho Park. The Dodgers will be off to their finest start since 1983 with a victory tonight. They have won five of their last six games, scoring 21 runs in their last two games. The pitching again is proving to be the finest in the major leagues. The Dodgers have a 2.21 ERA, and their bullpen is 4-0 with four saves and a 0.62 ERA. There already are rumors circulating that Met Manager Bobby Valentine’s job is in jeopardy, and the Dodger pitching staff won’t help his cause. The Mets are batting only .212 this season, and hit only .154 in the three-game series with only four extra-base hits last week against the Dodgers. The offense is so bad that without John Olerud’s .373 batting average, the Mets would be hitting .190. The Mets have scored only five times without the benefit of an Olerud hit. Second baseman Carlos Baerga’s freefall continues. He is batting only .162.


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