The good news? Cal won the first game of their final regular season series 4-3 over the Oregon Ducks. Justin Jones came through big time to carry the Bears to victory, and the bats did just enough against Oregon's best pitcher. The win revived fledgling playoff dreams. The bad news? Erik Johnson - scheduled to start at some point this weekend - pitched in two innings in relief of Justin to preserve Cal's slender lead. I can't fault Esquer for the move too much - Cal needed a win and relief pitching just hasn't been reliable enough. But if Johnson is ineffective as a starter after pitching in relief like Justin was last week it could be very damaging to Cal's chances.
I'm assuming that Dixon Anderson will be starting today against Justin LaTempa. The hope is that either Anderson pitches so well that he can go at least 7 innings, or the Bear lineup provides such a large lead that Cal can throw a few long relievers. A win today would go a long way towards a playoff berth and take the pressure off of a tired Erik Johnson on Sunday. Go Bears!