Dodgers go to Arizona for the last series

September 26, 2011

Clayton Kershaw may have clinched the pitching triple crown barring an out of order appearance by Ian Kennedy in the next three games.  He finished the season first in Wins (tied), ERA and strikeouts.  His record puts him in strong contention for the Cy Young Award.  However, it is not an absolute lock.  He trails the Phillie’s Halladay and/or Lee in several other stats including WAR for pitchers, Bases On Balls per 9 IP, complete games and shutouts.

One area where Kershaw is head and heals above his peers is his commitment to an orphanage for vulnerable children in Lusaka, Zambia.  He promised to donate $100 for every strikeout he pitched this year.  Finishing with 248, Clayton will donate $24,800 out of his $5oo,ooo salary, almost 5% of his check before taxes and other deductions.  It is like Hiroki Kuroda making a $595,200 donation.  This is one of the best stories of the year.

Matt Kemp did not make much progress in his quest for the Triple Crown.  Entering today’s game, Kemp is tied with Albert Pujols for the league lead in homers with 37, he leads the league in RBIs with 120, and his batting average of .324 is third in the league, seven points behind Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun.   Kemp needs to go 7 for 14 in his last three games to raise his average to .32836 and three home runs to reach the elusive 40/40 club.  If Ryan Braun goes 2 for 14 in his last games, he will finish just below Kemp at .32807.

Dana Eveland, who will probably be pitching his last game as a Dodger, goes up against Daniel Hudson tonight.

This Day in Dodgers History

September 26, 1997 – In a 10-4 win over the Rockies, Dodger catcher Mike Piazza hits the longest home run in the history of Coors Field. The 28-year old backstop’s sixth-inning blast travels 496 feet and hits the left center field billboard between the scoreboard and Rock pile.


We found out

September 15, 2011

On Tuesday night, Gerardo Parra hit a home run, then paused before running the bases just a little too long to suit the Dodgers.  The home run followed a previous at bat by Parra in which he had to duck an errant throw from Hong-Chih Kuo.   A.J. Ellis yelled “You’re better than that.” to Parra after his showboat antics when he crossed the plate.  Clayton Kershaw went ballistic in the dugout and traded shouts with D’backs pitcher Daniel Hudson, who at some point asked Kershaw what he would do about the situation.  “You’ll find out!  You’ll find out!”, came the heated reply from Kershaw, well within earshot of hundreds of fans, players, coaches and umpires.

Last night, leading in the 6th inning 2-0, Kershaw threw a pitch several inches inside to Parra, nicking him on his elbow.  Home plate umpire Bill Welke immediately ejected Clayton from the game.  While Rod Barajas and Kershaw were arguing about that decision in disbelief, Don Mattingly emerged from the dugout just about as angry as he has been this season and argued the case.  Soon however, he crossed a line and was also tossed from the game.  It was highly unusual that Kershaw was thrown out of the game since there were no prior warnings given.

Rookie pitcher Josh Lindblom hurriedly warmed up then took over the pitching duties, determined to hold the lead for Kershaw.  Lindblom made 29 pitches while striking out five batters in two innings.  He was removed for pinch hitter Trent Oeltjen in the bottom of the 7th inning.  Nathan Eovaldi and Kenley Jansen followed with solid performances and the Dodgers won 3-2.

Despite his ejection, Kershaw improved his standing in the race for the Cy Young Award by winning his 19th game and throwing five shutout innings and striking out five.  Welke’s poor judgement robbed Kershaw of the chance to pitch more scoreless innings and build up his strikeout total, further improving his Cy Young chances.

Tony Jackson has more on this event and the reactions from Kershaw, Mattingly and umpiring chief, Tim Tschida in his column.

Today’s probable starters are Dana Eveland, 2-0, 0.60 ERA going against the Pirate’s Ross Ohlendorf, 0-2, 8.03 ERA.

This Day in Dodgers History

September 15, 1978 – In front of 47,188 fans at Dodger Stadium, Don Sutton throws a six-hitter to beat Atlanta, 5-0. With tonight’s attendance, Los Angeles becomes the first team to draw three million fans at home in major league history.


Going for the sweep

September 11, 2011

It feels a little strange writing about baseball on a day of such national, even world significance.  The thousands of people from our and many other nations that lost their lives on that fateful day ten years ago will never be forgotten.  The War on Terror is still going on and brave Americans continue to sacrifice their lives so the rest of us can continue our pursuit of happiness and freedom.  There will be observances of this solemn day in ballparks all over America today.  Baseball serves to unite people from many locations and backgrounds in a way few other activities can claim.  So acknowledge this day in a way you find suitable, then take part in our baseball community by rooting for your favorite team.

On this day, that has been anticipated  in the news for months, the tenth anniversary of the nefarious attack on our country by terrorists, the Dodgers have a chance to sweep the Giants and raise their record over .500 for the first time since April 29, when they were 14-13.

Dana Eveland had another great outing, limiting the Giants to three hits and no runs over seven plus innings.  For Eveland, known as “The Big Sweat” during his time with the Milwaukee Brewers, it was no sweat – blowing away his opposing batters.  Maybe the team celebrated the win by eating some Schweddy Balls, the new ice cream flavor by Ben & Jerry’s.  Who knows, the Dodgers might have Schweddy Balls after every win.

In case you did not see it, Ned Colletti discussed his views on the off-season in an article by Ken Gurnick.  Blah, blah, more of the same… I can’t wait to read your views on his views.

This Day in Dodgers History

September 11, 1959 – The Dodgers end Elroy Face’s consecutive win streak at 22 with a 5-4 victory over the Pirates. The reliever, who will end the season with an 18-1 record, is beaten by Chuck Churn, the winner of only three major league career victories.


Dodgers Play Doubleheader Today…Maybe

September 8, 2011

With Wednesday’s game being cancelled, then uncancelled, then finally cancelled again on account of rain, the Dodgers and Nationals will play a traditional doubleheader today, weather permitting.  And with a 50% chance of rain today at game time, that is a big PERMITTING.

Game 1 will begin at 10:05 a.m. PT. The second game will start 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. The probable starters for the Dodgers are Dana Eveland in Game 1 and Chad Billingsley in the nightcap.

Third baseman Juan Uribe underwent surgery to repair a left sports hernia Wednesday. The surgery was performed by Dr. Craig Smith, and Uribe will be able to start rehab within the next two weeks.

Sports hernia symptoms include groin pain along the low abdomen where the abdominal muscles connect with the pelvis and leg. Unlike a true hernia, there is no bulging. A sports hernia is a tear or weakness in these muscles.

Unlike most sports injuries that can be diagnosed easily, there are no diagnostic tests to detect a sports hernia. A misdiagnosis by a doctor unfamiliar with sports hernia symptoms can lead to chronic groin pain and unnecessary delay in returning to athletic competition. It is best diagnosed by a specialist familiar with sports hernia who treats athletes with groin pain on a regular basis.

This Day in Dodgers History

September 8, 1955 – The Dodgers clinch their eighth National League pennant with a 10-2 victory over the Braves at Milwaukee’s County Stadium. Brooklyn’s 17-game lead makes it the earliest date that a team has captured a flag in baseball history.