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What we’re watching: Sanchez versus Vander Meer

- Jason Schmidt will make his first major league start since June 16, 2007 tonight against the Reds. Shoulder woes have made him a complete bust since Dodgers GM Ned Colletti handed him $47 million for three years in Dec. 2006. It’s unlikely that the 36-year-old will start earning that money now -- he had a 5.82 ERA in his last three rehab starts for Triple-A Albuquerque -- but the Dodgers can afford to give him a couple of starts and see what happens. Making Schmidt’s assignment more difficult tonight is that the Reds will have their second-best hitter in the lineup, as Micah Owings pitches for the first time in 11 days.

- Longtime Braves teammates John Smoltz and Kevin Millwood will face off in Texas as the Red Sox and Rangers begin a three-game series. Smoltz is coming off his first win for Boston after striking out seven Royals on July 11. He’s 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA. Millwood has faltered lately, going 0-2 with an 8.83 ERA in three starts this month. That’s taken his season ERA from 2.80 to 3.46. The Rangers are hoping to get Nelson Cruz back in the lineup after he missed Sunday’s game with a small fracture in his right ring finger.

- Eight years after the Indians made him a supplemental first-round pick, J.D. Martin will make his major league debut starting for the Nationals against the Mets. Martin opened his career with a bang, posting a 1.38 ERA and a 72/11 K/BB ratio in 46 innings in Rookie ball. However, elbow problems began to strike in 2003, eventually resulting in Tommy John surgery, and it didn’t look like he’d ever reach the majors. His best stuff is long gone now, but the Nationals thought his 8-3 record and 2.66 ERA in Triple-A made him worth a look.

Game of the Night

San Francisco vs. Atlanta - With plenty of time to have thought about it, Jonathan Sanchez will finally get to follow up his no-hitter tonight against the Braves. It’s been 10 days since his 11-strikeout gem against the Padres, and he’s pitched a total of 12 innings in four weeks. For the year, he’s 0-7 with a 6.62 ERA in road outings. Atlanta will start Tommy Hanson, who still hasn’t taken a loss as a major leaguer. He wasn’t sharp 11 days ago against the Rockies, but he’s 4-0 with a 2.85 ERA since being debuting in early June.