Last Place Phillies Coming to Town

April 21, 2014

kurodavictorino

Hit me here, not there.  Hit me here, not there.  Hit me in the ribs, don’t go for the head.

Oh, those were the days.  The Phillies were a good team.  Now they are languishing.

 

Meanwhile, the outfield conundrum continues.  I assume that Cliff Lee will be facing three right-handed outfielders, by name of Kemp, Puig, and Van Slyke.  Scott Van Slyke has really raked against lefties, leaving little chance that either Ethier nor Crawford will be starting tonight.

Kershaw and Ellis are on the mend, but still won’t be back for a little bit.  So the Dodgers’ job this series is to take two or three from the Phillies, while the Giants and Rockies battle it out for second place.  San Diego visits the red-hot Brewers.  The Diamondbacks are already eight games down.

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Wait ’til next year!

September 29, 2011

The Brooklyn Dodgers spent much of their existence playing “bridesmaids”  to the other teams in New York and the league. They put together strings of successful seasons, only to come up short each year in the playoffs. Dodger fans sustained themselves with the mantra, “Wait ’til next year.”  The LA Dodgers are continuing that tradition.

This year has been one of the most interesting with the collapse in May and June leading to a massive deficit by July only to come back strong in the last two months.  Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw had monster years with each of them having a great shot of winning the MVP and Cy Young Award respectively.  We got some great pitching by guys that started the year in Double A.

If the Dodgers can re-sign Hiroki Kuroda, they have a chance of being very competitive next year.  It should be a fun hot stove league this fall and winter.

The greatest deal we can hope for is the sale of the Dodgers and the exit of Frank McCourt but it looks like that will not happen until sometime late in 2012 at the earliest.  So we will be in limbo for another spring and summer.  Ned Colletti said he is open to signing an impact bat to a big contract in the hopes of satisfying a disgruntled fan base.  That might make us a little more gruntled, but we won’t be hugely gruntled until McCourt is gone.

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I would like to thank all of you who have viewed this blog, commented and posted threads here.  It has been fun to read and be part of the conversations of a very dedicated group of Dodger fans.  The ITD/OTD community have made watching the Dodgers much more enjoyable.  Even though we are spread out all over the country, our love of the team has brought us together in a friendly atmosphere.

I started this blog to give us a place to meet after the new posts on Inside the Dodgers became few and far between.  Unlike Josh, I was not above posting some nonsense for the sake of having a new post every day.  But some of that nonsense was fun to  create; the main idea was to give us a place to talk to each other, not to be the fountainhead of new Dodger information.  There are about a dozen very good web sites that provide that type of news.

OTD is unlike most other blogs in that most of the regular readers have full editing privileges and can create posts.  Thanks to yunghitters89, dodgereric, enchantedbeaver and JhallWally for your contributions.  I will not be creating new posts daily during the off season.  I welcome each of you to take advantage of the opportunity to create a post whenever the urge strikes you.  If you see your name on the Author Grid at the right, you can create a post.  If you don’t see your name there, leave a message here and I will add you to the list.  Look at the “How to create a post” link at the bottom right for guidelines on making your contribution.

Thanks again to all of you.  You have made this a fun year to be a Dodger fan. 🙂

This Day in Dodgers History

September 29th

1951     At Philadelphia’s Shibe Park, Don Newcombe becomes the first black to win twenty games in a season. In a must win for the Dodgers, the right-hander bests Robin Roberts, also a 20-game-winner, blanking the Phillies, 5-0.

1959     At L.A. Memorial Coliseum, the Dodgers capture the NL flag with a dramatic 6-5 come-from-behind victory over the Braves, taking the first two games of the three-game playoff necessitated by the teams being tied on the last day of the season. The deciding run comes in the bottom of the 12th inning, after the first two batter make outs, when Gil Hodges walks and scores on singles by Joe Pignatano and Carl Furillo.

1976     Tommy Lasorda is named to succeed Walter Alston as Dodger manager. ‘Smokey’, compiled a 2040-1613 record (.558), during his 23-year tenure with the club winning seven pennants and four world championships.

1979     Manny Mota sets a major league record with his 146th career pinch hit, a single to right field, in LA’s 6-2 victory over Chicago at Dodger Stadium. The Dominican Republic native surpasses the all-time record set by Smoky Burgess, who collected his last hit as a pinch-hitter in 1967.

2000     Gary Sheffield ties Duke Snider’s 1956 mark for the Dodgers’ franchise single-season home run record with his career best 43rd round tripper helping Los Angeles to defeat the Padres, 3-0.


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.


Welcome Back Stephen Strasburg / The Mind of Mattingly

September 6, 2011

Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals fireballing phenom, will make his season debut today against the Dodgers.  Last year, Strasburg went 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA before undergoing the Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery in September.  He was on a rehab assignment by August, going 1-1 with a 3.54 ERA in six games.  Tuesday’s start, against Ted Lilly, will be Strasburg’s first big league game since Aug. 21, 2010.

If Strasburg can pick up where he left off, last year he routinely posted a close to triple digit fastball and a wicked curve, the currently struggling Dodger offense will face quite a challenge.

Lilly, who had a 2.35 ERA in August after a mediocre June and July, is looking for his first three-game winning streak of the season.

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Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly wants more offense for 2012.  Mattingly says the team needs to boost its offensive production, but that could deplete the team’s pitching, one of its few strong points.

More from Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times:

…Don Mattingly said that if he had to decide between the Dodgers‘ adding a quality bat or a quality arm over the winter, he would take the bat.  “A solid bat is something we’ve got to have or we’ll right back to where we were,” Mattingly said.  By that, he means before their mid-July acquisition of Juan Rivera, who has helped transform the Dodgers’ offense from abysmal to respectable.  “It tells you what one bat can do to your lineup,” Mattingly said.

But at what cost?  With the Dodgers in bankruptcy and their ownership situation in limbo, adding offense could force them to subtract pitching.  Starting pitching has been about the only part of the organization that hasn’t appeared compromised by its financial troubles.

Anchored by Cy Young Award candidate Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers’ rotation has the third-lowest earned-run average in the National League behind the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants.  The Dodgers were designed this way. They went into spring training with six established starters — Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, Hiroki Kuroda, Jon Garland and Vicente Padilla, who was sent to the bullpen.

When Garland and Padilla went down because of season-ending injuries, they called up top prospect Rubby De La Rosa, who was armed with a 100-mph fastball. When De La Rosa was lost to an elbow operation, they replaced him with another top prospect, Nathan Eovaldi.  “Every time we walk out there, you feel like you have a starter who’s going to keep you in the game and give you a chance to win,” Mattingly said…

This Day in Dodgers History

September 6, 1981 – With his seventh blanking, Dodger lefty Fernando Valenzuela ties the major league rookie record for shutouts beating the Cardinal, 5-0.


Kershaw Keeps on Truckin’

August 30, 2011

Clayton Kershaw showed why he is the Dodgers ace pitcher and a favorite to win the Cy Young award.  Despite not being overpowering in terms of strikeouts, Kershaw turned in a complete game masterpiece winning 4-1 over the Padres.  Kershaw is now 17-5 on the year and a dominating 10-1 with a 1.80 ERA at Dodger Stadium.

James Loney continued his hot streak with another homer.  He has gone 18 for 35 in his last 8 games, raising his batting average from .254 to .275.  Maybe he reads this blog and was tired of being called “Loweeny” all the time.  If Loney continues his torrid streak through the end of the year, the Dodgers will have a big decision to make regarding his salary for next year.

Señor Winces, AKA Andre Ethier, went 3 for 4 with an RBI.  Either his knee felt better, or he was grinning and bearing it.

Today Hiroki Kuroda takes the mound against the Padres Tim Stauffer.  Kuroda has gone 4-1 in August with a 2.16 ERA.  It is amazing what happens when the team scores runs for Kuroda.  They scored 27 runs in his 13 losses before August.  In his five games in August, they scored 28 runs.

This Day in Dodgers History

August 30, 1952 – Nine-time All-Star infielder Arky Vaughn drowns with a friend when their boat capsized while fishing in a volcanic lake near Eagleville, CA. The former shortstop and third baseman, who compiled .318 batting average and a .406 on-base percentage playing with the Pirates and Dodgers, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.

August 30


Wait ’til next year

August 26, 2011

Those famous words were the Dodgers motto for years when they were still in Brooklyn.  It seemed that the Dodgers were always the bridesmaid, but never the bride.  Of course that all changed with the magical 1955 season.

Tony Jackson has an article that outlines what the Dodgers need to do for the remainder of 2011.

Over at the Los Angeles Times blog, Steve Dilbeck has lots of links for your Dodgers browsing pleasure.

This Day in Dodgers History

August 26, 1939 – At Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, NBC televises the first major league game in history on experimental station W2XBS. The Dodgers and Reds split a doubleheader.


On to Colorado…

August 19, 2011

Clayton Kershaw has become the Dodgers stopper.  He is now a bonafide ace and is in contention for the Cy Young Award.  He came through again preventing the Dodgers from being swept by the red hot Brewers.

Now the Dodgers move on to Denver with Hiroki Kuroda scheduled to take the mound tonight going against the Rockie’s Jason Hammel.

This Day in Dodgers History

August 19, 2008 – The Dodgers reacquired Greg Maddux (6-9, 3.99) from the Padres for cash and two minor leaguers to be named or an additional monetary sum. The 42-year-old future Hall of Fame right-hander, obtained to help the club down the stretch run, played in LA for part of the 2006 season winning six of nine decisions.