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.

May 21

Game 47, 2014

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

Hyun-Jin Ryu comes off the DL to start this game. It will be his first start since April 27, when his left shoulder showed inflammation. He’s 3-2 with a 3.00 ERA, but that record isn’t the important thing about this start; rather, it’s how well his shoulder reacts to pitching. He threw a 75-pitch simulated game last Friday.

His opponent will be Jacob deGrom, a right-hander who is 0-1 with a 1.29 ERA. This will be his second major league appearance. He did pretty well in his first one last week, when he held the Yankees to one run on four hits in seven innings. He also struck out six and walked two.

In minor league news, the most complete story of what happened between Miguel Olivo and Alexander Guerrero in the Isotopes’ dugout last night seems to be from Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:

Olivo became steamed after his team allowed a stolen base in the seventh inning, according to Boras. Olivo blamed Guerrero for failing to tag the baserunner in time, the agent said. A video posted on the Albuquerque Isotopes’ website showed Olivo attempting to charge Guerrero during a pitching change later in the inning. The players exchanged words as they walked off the field at the end of the inning.

“Guerrero was in the far end of the dugout,” Boras said. “He went to the front to get his bat and helmet to hit. As he walked across, Olivo decked him.”

Guerrero and Olivo had to be separated by teammates, according to Boras. When players pulled off Olivo, he had a piece of Guerrero’s ear in his mouth, Boras said.

Seeing superagent Scott Boras’s name in a news article as a witness rather than as a protagonist seems odd, but there you go.

Lineup when available.

Update: Juan Uribe goes on the fifteen-day DL and the Dodgers call up Erisbel Arruebarrena to replace him.

May 20

Game 46, 2014

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

The Dodgers send out Josh Beckett, who brings a 1-1 won-loss record with a 2.38 ERA to Citi Field this afternoon. He’ll face Rafael Montero, who lost his first big league start his last time out and is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA. Montero is regarded as the second-best pitcher in the Mets organization.

Anybody hoping to get infield help from Stephen Drew, Fuhgeddaboutit. He just signed a one-year contract with the Red Sox.

May 18

Game 45, 2014

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 1:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MLB.TV free game

The Dodgers’ Dan Haren, off to his best start in years, is 5-1 with a 2.84 ERA. Josh Collmenter is 1-2 with a 3.89 ERA. As a starter he’s 1-2 with a 4.28 ERA since moving from the bullpen to the rotation.

In other news, Hyun-Jin Ryu is scheduled to come off the DL this week and could start against the Mets in NYC next Wednesday.

May 17

Game 44, 2014

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

Clayton Kershaw, who’s 2-0 with a 1.74 ERA, goes for the Dodgers. Chase Anderson, 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA, pitches for the D-Backs. The two have come close to meeting before, years ago.

Anderson is from McKinney, Texas, about 30 minutes from where Kershaw grew up in Highland Park.

The pair came within one game of facing each other in the Texas State High School playoffs, but Anderson’s team came up one game short.

“I threw the regional finals my senior year, we lost the game 2-1 or 3-2,” Anderson said. “I had 15 strikeouts. I would have pitched against Kershaw’s team in the first round of the playoffs in 2006, our senior year of high school, so that would have been a lot of fun.”

The two also came close to crossing paths on two other occasions.

“He was on the same summer ball team that following summer, but he got drafted so he went with the Dodgers and I went to play summer ball,” Anderson said. “He worked out at API [Athletes’ Performance Institute] a couple of offseasons ago where I worked out, but we never really ran into each other. We’re both Texas boys.”

That’s kind of startling. This is the 26-year-old Anderson’s second start in the major leagues. Kershaw, also 26 years old, will be making his 186th start in the bigs this evening. However much we appreciate Kershaw’s talent, it’s not enough.

Yasiel Puig now has an extra-base hit and an RBI in seven consecutive games. That feat is a subset of a fifteen-game hitting streak.

Lineup when available.