Furcal not ready

Rafael Furcal isn’t coming back tomorrow and probably not Sunday, either. But he is still improving. Today, he ran sprints while wearing spikes and made at least one hard cut while doing so. He also took BP and a few ground balls at SS. But he still felt a little pain in his left ankle when he ran, so he isn’t ready yet. … At first glance, it looks like the schedule makers might have done the Dodgers a favor, at least where today’s game is concerned. Because the Dodgers began their season on Monday and the Giants didn’t start theirs until Tuesday, the Dodgers won’t need a fifth starter until next Tuesday. The Giants will be forced to go with fifth starter Russ Ortiz today, while the Dodgers will counter with their de facto ace, Derek Lowe. However, this isn’t the mismatch it appears to be. Although Ortiz appeared to be at the end of his career as recently as last year — he has lost his past 11 decisions, a span of 30 appearances during which he has a 7.93 ERA — he had an oustanding spring, giving up just six earned runs in 18 innings. over five Cactus League appearances. The real test, of course, will be today. The game will be nationally televised on Fox, which is why it’s starting at such a weird time (12:55)

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