Freeway Series Starts Tonight

June 11, 2012

Image

The Dodgers host the Angels in the first Freeway Series of 2012.  The Angels will make the 31 mile trek to Los Angeles in hopes of extending their winning streak of two games.  Out of the 86 regular season games between the two clubs, the Angels have won 50 for a winning percentage of .581, a continuing thorn in the side for the Dodgers.

Juan Rivera and Bobby Abreu are just two of a long list of players who have been a member of both teams.  That list includes Hall of Famers Don Sutton, Hoyt Wilhelm, Frank Robinson, Eddie Murray and Rickey Henderson.  In addition to Dodger fan favorite Mike Scioscia, former Dodgers Gene Mauch, Dick Williams, and Norm Sherry have managed the Angels.

Dodger team wins leader Chris Capuano will take the mound tonight.  Juan Uribe was returned to the team today and IF/OF Alex Castellanos was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Sandy Koufax and Nolan Ryan

Sandy Koufax and Nolan Ryan

Dodgers Monday Lineup

  1. Gordon SS
  2. Herrera 3B
  3. Ethier RF
  4. Abreu LF
  5. Hairston 2B
  6. Loney 1B
  7. AJ Ellis C
  8. Gwynn CF
  9. Capuano P

Philadelphia Game 1 Chat

June 4, 2012

The Dodgers, who are 3-7 in their last ten games, came down from the mile high city of Denver to the near sea level of the city of brotherly love.  Perhaps the extra oxygen will help their bats come to life again.  The Dodgers and Phillies are tied with 232 runs scored.  The Phillies have allowed 26 more runs scored than the Dodgers, 225 to 199.

The Phillies, while 6-4 in their last ten games, have a two game losing streak.  They are 12-15 at home at Citizens Bank Park.  The Dodgers have split their 24 road games.

Juan Rivera has been returned to the active roster while Scott Van Slyke  was optioned to the Triple-A Isotopes following yesterday’s game.

Clayton Kershaw hopes to bounce back from two straight losses as he takes the mound tonight with a record of 4-3 with a 2.92 ERA.  In his last outing, against the Brewers on Wednesday, Kershaw allowed a season-worst five runs on eight hits with four walks in just 5 2/3 innings.  Right-hander Vance Worley (3-2, 3.07), who is returning from a stay on the disabled list, will be pitching for Philadelphia.

Shawn Tolleson was called up and will make his major league debut sometime during the series.  Javy Guerra was placed on the 15-day DL with right knee inflammation and Matt Guerrier was transferred to the 60-day DL.

 


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.

————————————————————————————————

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.


Is That All There Is?

August 23, 2011

All the Dodgers scored yesterday were two runs.  But the Dodger pitchers held the Cardinals to only one run.  Behind 1-0 in the ninth inning, Aaron Miles tripled in the tying run after Juan Rivera was hit by a pitch to open the inning.  Moments later, Miles scored on hard grounder to Raphael Furcal.

Jerry Leiber, who along with his partner Mike Stoller wrote “Is That All There Is” and dozens of other hits died Monday.  The songwriting duo, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, wrote many of the songs that were such a big part of the musical culture in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.

If two runs is all there is from the Dodgers offense, they won’t win many games.  Only with great pitching can they expect to win when scoring such a low amount of runs.

This Day in Dodgers History

August 23, 1989 – The second-longest shutout in big league history ends when Rick Dempsey hits a home run in the top of the 22nd inning giving the Dodgers an eventual 1-0 victory over the Expos at Olympic Stadium. The Astros blanked the Mets for 24 frames en route to a 1-0 win at the Astrodome in 1968.

August 23, 2000  – Team president Bob Graziano apologizes to a female couple who were asked to leave Dodger Stadium on August 8th because the two shared a kiss during a game. The pair felt the action of the eight security guards was discriminatory because the couple’s friends, a man and a woman, also kissed but were not ejected. 


Loney Getting Lonely on Bench

August 5, 2011

With the emergence of Juan Rivera, who has the second highest batting average on the team, James Loney has been starting a lot of games on the bench.  Once a steady hitter who averaged 90 RBI’s the last three years, Loney has struggled in the last month batting .176 and driving in 5 runs.

Loney’s future in LA is at risk according to Tony Jackson of ESPN/LA.

“…Loney is making $4.875 million this year, and he has one more winter of arbitration eligibility. Simple logic would suggest that the Dodgers won’t go there with him this year, that if he doesn’t agree to a salary for 2012 far below the roughly $5.5 million he would stand to make through arbitration, they will simply bid him adieu. …”

LA Times writer Dylan Hernandez says that Loney must play in order to prove himself.

“…They have a decision to make, and I want it easy on them to bring me back,” Loney said. “But I have to play well; I have to play up to my talent level.”

First, he has to play, period. …”

MLB.com Dodger beat writer Ken Gurnick has a story pointing to a telling offseason for James Loney.

“James Loney is having his worst season after a bad second half last year, and he’s not even the everyday first baseman anymore, manager Don Mattingly saying Loney will continue to share time with Juan Rivera when Rivera isn’t playing left field.

All of that means Loney is at the top of the list of likely non-tender candidates come December, as the Dodgers are unlikely to pay him a raise from the $4.875 million he receives this year. …”

All of this negative attention does not bode well for Loney.  We can hope that he will turn it around but it looks like the Dodgers may not tender him a contract this fall unless he agrees to a pay cut.

This Day in Dodgers History

On August 5, 1979 – In an 8-1 win over the Giants, Dodger right-hander Don Sutton becomes the team’s all-time strikeout leader with his 2,487th career strikeout.