Sep 28

Six to go

Kershaw v. Francis on Prime Ticket @ 7:10pm PDT.

I’m still nervous about Kershaw’s continuing to pitch with a diagnosed hip impingement. All we can do is hope that the Dodgers’ medical staff, coaches and front office know what they’re doing when they sign off on allowing him to do so.

Francis had a wonderful year in 2007, helping the Rockies to their only World Series appearance as he went 17 – 9. Since then he’s played for the Rockies, the Royals, and back to the Rockies, and he’s been essentially mediocre. This year he’s 5 – 6 with a 5.54 ERA.

Lineup:

Ellis, M, 2B
Cruz, L, 3B
Kemp, M, CF
Gonzalez, A, 1B
Ramirez, H, SS
Ethier, A, RF
Victorino, S, LF
Ellis, A, C
Kershaw, C, P

Gameday

My attention may be diverted a little this evening, as the U of Hawai’i plays Brigham Young University in Provo beginning at 2:00PM HST. The Dodgers game starts at 4:10PM HST, so I can see a full half of football before I have to worry about Kershaw.

Late news: The Dodgers have sent Stefan Jarrin, Jaime’s grandson, to the Phillies as the PTBNL in the Victorino deal. Young Jarrin hit .209 with three homers and nine RBIs in 26 games for the rookie-level Arizona Dodgers.

Sep 27

Dodgers defeat Pads 8-4

Mark Saxon leads his ESPN LA game story for the Dodgers’ 8 – 4 win over the Padres tonight this way: “Maybe the Dodgers have finally snapped out of the maddening, month-long hitting slump that virtually swallowed up their season. Now, they have one last homestand to prove it matters.”

Hard to argue with that. When I went back into the kitchen with our dinner plates and switched the TV in there to ESPN for the scores I saw the Dodgers had 8 runs for the second night in a row and said to myself “why couldn’t they have been doing that for the last month?”

I note that Luis Cruz had more hits (3) than either Matt Kemp or Adrian Gonzalez (2 apiece) and Cruz and A.J. Ellis each had two RBI. Where would the Dodgers have been without Cruz? Do you realize he’s got a higher batting average than Kemp (.308 to .305) and Kemp’s OBP is only .035 higher (.370 to .335). ‘Course, the OPS numbers are significantly different (Cruz: .777; Kemp: .900). Capuano gave the Dodgers a good 5 1/3 innings, giving up just one run. He and Harang have been a lot better than most Dodger fans expected at the start of the year, I think.

I suspect it’s too little too late; a three-game deficit to the Cardinals with only six games to go will be awfully hard to make up unless the Redbirds completely collapse, which seems unlikely. It’s not entirely impossible, though, since their opponents for their last two series are the playoff-bound Nationals and the also-playoff-bound Reds. The Dodgers need to win all six of their games against the Rockies and the Giants to give themselves a real chance. If they keep hitting the way they have the last two nights, it’s not out of the question. Is it?

Sep 27

Game Thread 9/27/12

It’s Capuano v. Kelly and the devil take the hindmost!

Maybe more later. There’s a medical problem today which may entail a trip downtown, so I thought I’d put this up before anything later kept me from doing so.

Lineup:

Punto, N, 2B
Ethier, A, RF
Kemp, M, CF
Gonzalez, A, 1B
Ramirez, H, SS
Victorino, S, LF
Cruz, L, 3B
Ellis, A, C
Capuano, C, P

Gameday

Oh, by the way, the Reds beat the Brewers in the ninth with a walkoff triple after a home run tied the game 1 – 1 and a single followed that. That leaves the Brewers 1/2 game back of the Dodgers and 4 back of the Cardinals for wild card #2.

Sep 26

Seven to play

With Matt Kemp leading the way, the Dodgers won a laugher 8 – 2 this afternoon in San Diego. Kemp was 4 for 5 with a home run and a double (his 20th of each on the season) good for four RBI, Nick Punto had three singles, and Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez and Juan Rivera all chipped in with two hits apiece. Even Aaron Harang, who had a no-hitter until two outs in the fifth in this game, also doubled.

That means the Dodgers are four back in the 2nd wild card chase, awaiting the results from the Houston – St. Louis game. Houston was leading 2 – 0 going to the bottom of the sixth in Houston as the Dodgers finished up their win. If Houston hangs on the Dodgers are 3 1/2 games behind the Cards with seven games to play. The Cards have six to play after tonight, and they’ll be off tomorrow while the Dodgers play the rubber game of the series with the Padres.

Sep 26

Game Thread 9/26/12

Nobody told me today’s game was at 12:35pm HST!

The Dodgers send Aaron Harang out to do battle with Clayton Richard. Harang hasn’t won a game since August 18 (not a surprise; if commenter scooplew’s math is correct, yesterday’s game was the 20th consecutive one in which the Dodgers’ starter did not get a win). Meanwhile, Richard’s been on a roll. In his last eight starts he’s 6-1 with a 3.25 ERA.

The game is televised by Prime Ticket today, so I’ll have an opportunity to watch. I’ll post the lineup later when Mattingly tells the media who’s starting.

Lineup per Eric Stephen @ True Blue LA via Twitter:

Victorino RF
Herrera LF
Kemp CF
Gonzalez 1B
Ramirez SS
Cruz 3B
Punto 2B
Treanor C
Harang p

Victorino was a late scratch. Here’s the new lineup:

Herrera, E, LF
Punto, N, 2B
Kemp, M, CF
Gonzalez, A, 1B
Ramirez, H, SS
Cruz, L, 3B
Rivera, J, RF
Treanor, M, C
Harang, A, P

Sep 25

Once more, with no timely hitting

I managed to see the ESPN clips on SportsCenter. That ninth inning was a perfect example of the Dodgers’ last half of the season — out of synch. If Ethier had hit the fly ball that Kemp did the game would probably have been tied and it would have gone to extra innings, but no. Andre struck out, his third strikeout of the game.

Here’s ESPN’s Game Report.

The team is 4 1/2 games back of the Cardinals with 8 games to play. I don’t want to throw in the towel, but it would take a small miracle for them to get past the Brewers and the Cards to make it into the 2nd wild card spot from here. It’s hard to believe this team was 17 games over .500 on June 18 and it’s now only 4 over.

Sep 25

I’m hip, baby!

Actually, I’m probably not. But Jerry Hairston’s hip is, and the condition he had is the same as the one Kershaw’s described as having: a hip impingement. Here’s what repairing that involved:

The procedure is arthroscopic, but not minor. His left leg was placed in traction to separate the leg from the hip far enough for arthroscopic tools to enter the joint. The torn labrum was repaired and an irregularity in the head or neck of the femur that caused the impingement was shaved to allow for smooth rotation in the joint. When the ball and socket don’t fit properly, friction tears the labrum.

Having undergone surgery recently myself, I’m inclined to think there’s no such thing as minor surgery if it’s being done on your own body, and that certainly doesn’t sound minor to me. Separating the leg from the hip via traction? Ouch!

Today’s game pits Josh Beckett against Edinson Volquez. If you can rely on history (doubtful), Beckett ought to be favored. He’s 5-1 with a 2.16 ERA in six career starts against the Padres, which sounds good, but the last time he pitched against them was five years ago. I’m pretty sure the entire Padres roster has flipped in those five years.

It’s a KCAL game, so I’ll have to rely on Gameday and you folks for game action. Let this be the game thread.

Lineup:

Ellis, M, 2B
Ethier, A, RF
Kemp, M, CF
Gonzalez, A, 1B
Ramirez, H, SS
Victorino, S, LF
Cruz, L, 3B
Ellis, A, C
Beckett, J, P

Gameday

Sep 24

Last off-day of the year

As foul tip commented below, a 3 – 3 split with two division leaders tied with one another for the most wins in baseball (92) isn’t bad. Considering how poor the offense has been for three weeks, if we’re honest with ourselves we might admit we didn’t expect results even that good. Now if they can sweep the Padres before coming home to the beautiful setting of Dodger Stadium to play the Rockies and Giants, there might still be a little hope left. The Cardinals have three with the Astros starting today, and the Houston team is redefining the word hapless in its last season in the National League. But the Cards then have to play the Nats and the Reds to close out the season. The Dodgers could get a little help from those two teams.

Let’s be realistic here. The Dodgers are fighting for the 2nd wild card slot. Winning that buys you the chance to participate in a one-game playoff with the winner of the 1st wild card slot. The winner of that game goes on to play in the five-game NLDS, and from that point on the postseason is the same as it has been since the wild card was instituted in 1995. Unless the offense gets untracked over the next week, they won’t have even that slim opportunity.

Just for fun, from MLB:

If the postseason started today …

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Wild Card: A’s at Orioles
Division Series: Yankees vs. White Sox | Rangers vs. Wild Card winner

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Wild Card: Cardinals at Braves
Division Series: Reds vs. Giants | Nationals at Wild Card winner

• For the 2012 postseason, the team with the better record will play the first two games on the road to start the Division Series.

In the American League I’m rooting hard for the Orioles to overtake the Yankees in the AL East and the Tigers to catch the White Sox in the AL Central. While no Dodgers fan needs to explain why he’d like the Yankees to lose, I used to live in Washington DC when the Orioles were the better team of the two within rooting distance, and I’ve apparently got some residual memory of them. With the Tigers I’d like to see Verlander, Fister, Fielder and Miguel Cabrera in the postseason.

Sep 24

Site news

I don’t know how many of you folks used the links in the sidebars at Dodger Thoughts. I confess I didn’t use very many of them very often. However, some of you may have been relying on Jon’s site to navigate through to other Dodger or general baseball sites, so I added them to the sidebar here. I cut some which haven’t been updated in six months or more, so if your favorite is gone, that’s why.

I left off the entire section Jon had called “Elsewhere in the world,” (see here), but if you’d like those added, just say so in the comments.

I also tried to click the little button in setup which says “open new window when this link is clicked” for all of those links, but I may have missed one. If you click a link and it opens in the same window as Elysian Fields, please leave me a comment telling me which link did that.

Thanks.