May 30

Game 56, 2014

Pirates at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

So what does Josh Beckett (3-1, 2.43 ERA) do for an encore? Pull a VanderMeer? It seems unlikely, but yaneverknow. His opponent will be Francisco Liriano, who’s 0-5 with a 5.06 ERA. That’s disconcerting to the Pirates since he had a 16-8 record with a 3.02 ERA last year. Oddly, Drew Butera caught Beckett’s no-hitter last week and he caught Liriano’s no-hitter when they were with the Twins in 2011.


Adrian Gonzalez gets the night off and Van Slyke plays first for him.

May 29

Game 55, 2014

Pirates at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

The Pirates send out Gerrit Cole and his 4-3, 3.76 ERA record against the Dodgers’ Dan Haren and his 5-3, 3.16 ERA. Haren has been better at home than on the road, with a 2.39 ERA in four starts. The Pirates have won four of Cole’s last five starts.



In terrible news for Chris Withrow and bad news for the Dodgers, Withrow has been diagnosed with a torn ligament in his right elbow and will likely need Tommy John surgery, which would incapacitate him for a year.

In case you’re wondering about the seemingly growing number of pitchers needing the surgery this year, Dr. James Andrews has just released a paper which says your perception is correct. There have been more this season than in the past.

May 28

Game 54, 2014

Reds at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

The Reds have had to face two excellent pitchers already in Ryu and Greinke, and tonight they get Kershaw. All he’s done is go 3-1 on the season with a 3.49 ERA and 2-1 lifetime with a 2.78 ERA against the Reds. In those games the Reds are hitting .214. The Reds send Homer Bailey out against the Dodgers. He’s 3-3 with a 4.01 ERA in eight career starts against them and 4-3 with a 5.34 ERA overall on the season.


Matt Kemp is playing left field because Crawford has been placed on the 15-day DL. The Dodgers have purchased Jamie Romak’s contract from the Isotopes. Romak has been playing mostly 1st and 3rd in Albuquerque with 8 games in the outfield. He’s a 28-year-old from Canada. This is his twelfth year of pro ball and his first callup to the major leagues.

According to Jay Jaffe at Sports Illustrated, Yasiel Puig is a “disappointing” fifth in the first release of All-Star ballots for the outfield, behind Charlie Blackmon of the Rockies, Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates, Ryan Braun of the Brewers and Gioancarlo Stanton of the Marlins. Pack the ballot box, people!

May 27

Game 53, 2014

Reds at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

Zack Greinke brings his 2-runs-or-fewer per start streak (now at 22) and his gaudy 7-1, 2.01 ERA record out to face Alfredo Simon, who’s got a 6-2, 2.31 ERA record of his own.

Hanley Ramirez’s sore calf kept him out of the last few games, but he’s back in there at shortstop tonight. Matt Kemp is still out, which is surely not making him happy.


May 26

Game 52, 2014

After yesterday’s excitement, the season goes on at a slightly lower level.

Reds at Dodgers, 5:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

The Reds send Johnny Cueto to the hill. He’s 4-3 with a 1.86 ERA this season, coming off a bad outing in which he gave up six runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings in a loss to the Nationals. The Dodgers counter with lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu, who’s 4-2 with a 3.00 ERA. In his last start he went six innings and gave up two runs to the Mets, winning 4-3.

In an attempt to get Matt Kemp’s bat into the lineup without harming the defense, Mattingly is going to start him in left field for a while. In eight-plus years in the major leagues he’s averaged four errors per season, and he’s already got that many in just 39 games this year. And that doesn’t count the balls he’s not gotten to or taken bad routes on.

“Here’s where we’re going with Matt,” Mattingly said on Sunday morning after he put Andre Ethier in center for a third consecutive game. “We’re going to start working Matt a little bit in left field. We’re going to continue to work him in center. We’re just feeling like we’re giving him time to really get healthy. Not that’s he’s not healthy, but give him a chance to get all the way back.”

Kemp, who missed only 11 games from 2008-11, missed 145 games from 2012-13 due to injuries. He is currently hitting .264 with 13 doubles, five home runs and 13 RBIs in 42 games this season.

Lineup when available.


Breaking news:





May 25

Game 51, 2014

Dodgers at Phillies, 10:35AM PT, TV: SPNLA

Two former teammates face each other in this bout: the Dodgers’ Josh Beckett and the Phillies’ A.J. Burnett. “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….” these guys were valuable members of the 2005 Marlins staff. That was then, and the Marlins either traded them away (Beckett) or lost them to free agency (Burnett). Nine years later, here they are. This year Beckett is 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA and Burnett is 3-3 with a 3.32 ERA. It should be noted that in his last three starts, Burnett has a 6.75 ERA and made it past the fifth inning just once.

Lineup when available.


May 24

Game 50, 2014

It’s the fiftieth game of the 2014 season already? Oy!

Dodgers at Phillies, 12:05AM PT, TV: SPNLA

Dan Haren has done better for the Dodgers than I think most fans expected; obviously the front office knew more than we did. He’s 5-2 with a 3.18 ERA and has given the team at least five innings in each of his nine starts.

The Phillies counter with 25-year-old right-handed David Buchanan, who’s taking the place of Cliff Lee (phew! Got past him this time!), who’s on the shelf with a left elbow strain. This will be Buchanan’s major league debut. If any of you went to Georgia State, he’s a fellow Panther. This will be the first time a former GSU attendee has ever started in the big leagues.



Since it’s the 50th game, how are the negotiations between TWC and the cable carriers in LA going? Not well.

There’s a certain irony in this story appearing on ESPN.com; according to a 2013 article by Patrick Hruby at Sports on Earth

ESPN’s monthly affiliate fee is widely expected to rise from $5-plus to more than $7 by the end of the decade. (By contrast, cable’s most-watched network, USA, reportedly charges $0.68.)

If the facts weren’t so clear, one might say to ESPN “aren’t you the pot calling the kettle black?”

Anyway, things aren’t looking good for the average Dodger fan in Southern California who wants to see his or her team on the tube.

May 23

Game 49, 2014

Dodgers at Phillies, 4:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

Kershaw got shelled in his last outing, but this is about as misleading a sentence as I’ve seen in a non-political story: “After a brilliant start in which he tossed seven shutout frames against the Nationals on May 6, Kershaw has given up 10 runs in 8 2/3 innings since.”

Right. 7 runs in 1 2/3 innings in his last start against the D-Backs. 3 runs in 7 innings against the Giants in the no-decision start before that with 9 strikeouts and no walks. Overall he’s 2-1 with a 4.43 ERA.

Of greater concern, he was hit on the right shin with a line drive during BP Wednesday and it had to be bandaged. Whenever a pitcher gets hit on a foot or leg I always get an instant memory of Dizzy Dean changing his delivery after being hit on the foot by Earl Averill in the 1937 All-Star Game and never being the same pitcher again.

His opponent will be Roberto Hernandez, who is 0-1 in his only career start against the Dodgers, last August when he was with the Rays. He’s 2-1 with a 3.98 ERA so far this season.

The Dodgers have improved their offense over the past 15 games, hitting .272 over that stretch. Over the past five games, Adrian Gonzalez is 9-for-19 with three home runs and six RBIs. Additionally, Matt Kemp is hitting .344 (22-for-64) since May 3. Over his career he’s hit .390 (23-for-59) in 15 games at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.


May 22

Game 48, 2014

Dodgers at Mets, 4:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

The Dodgers attempt to sweep the Mets this evening, and they’ll send out their #1A ace Zack Greinke to do it. He’s 7-1 with a 2.03 ERA this year. Facing him will be lefty Jon Niese, who’s 2-3 with a 2.54 ERA.

In a thoroughly unsurprising move, the Dodgers released Miguel Olivo following his fight with Alexander Guerrero the other night. Guerrero’s ear surgery means he may be out for as much as a month.


Gordon’s average has been falling, so he may be getting the night off just to relieve some self-imposed pressure. Niese’s left-handed, which explains Ethier’s absence from the lineup.