Apr 04

Game Six, 2014

Today is the home opener for the Dodgers, and it’s against their fellow migrants from New York, the San Francisco Giants, also known as “the hated enemy.”

First, we get the news that Matt Kemp will start in center field. Second, we learn that that was not the original plan, but that Mattingly changed the lineup to try to get the message across to Yasiel Puig that being late costs playing time.

It’s Ryu v. Vogelsong at 1:10PM PST on SPNLA or in Northern California on CSN-BA.

Due to a quirk in the schedule, this will be Ryu’s third start in five games, all on normal or better rest.

Paul Maholm and Zack Greinke will start Saturday and Sunday for the Dodgers, while rehabbing right-hander Josh Beckett will pitch in a Minor League game Friday.

Maholm was signed to be insurance if fifth starter Beckett wasn’t fully healed from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery. Beckett’s recovery, however, was complicated by a bruised right hand suffered in the clubhouse in Spring Training. This will be Maholm’s first start of the season.

Beckett will pitch for Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga. Greinke, who pitched five innings for a win Tuesday, will be pitching on normal rest.

Lineup:

Update: According to SI, “Puig thought he was supposed to be at the park at 10 AM PT, when he was actually supposed to be there in time for a stretch at 9:40 AM.” Okay, that’s a lot less annoying than I thought it might be. I was expecting that he’d underestimated traffic and hadn’t left his home on time, which in my world is unacceptable (I’m ten minutes early for everything).

Mar 22

Game Two, 2014

After last night’s win, tonight it will be Hyun-Jin Ryu v. Trevor Cahill in Game Two of the Opening Series (as MLB’s calling it). Game time is 1:00PM local in Sydney, 4:00PM in Hawai’i and 7:00PM PST. There’s no official word about the lineup yet.

Light a candle for Uribear today; it’s his birthday. Think good LA traffic thoughts for our friend John_from_Aus too; he’s got a 3 1/2 hour drive from his home south of Canberra to Sydney.

Now there’s a lineup:

Jan 22

Spurned!

Now that Tanaka-san decided to try his luck with the Yankees, what do the Dodgers do? Do they really need another starter?

Yes, yes: “You can never have too much pitching.” And it’s true that after Kershaw, Greinke and Ryu the Dodgers have questions. Will Haren return to his earlier form, or is he now a .500 pitcher? Will Beckett and Billingsley recover fully from their respective injuries? Who knows?

Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, Matt Garza and Bronson Arroyo, among others, remain unsigned. Santana and Jimenez received qualifying offers, which means that landing them would cost the Dodgers a draft pick. That seems unlikely, given the team’s imperative to rebuild the farm system gutted by Frank McCourt. Neither Garza nor Arroyo received qualifying offers, which could put them in play.

I dunno. I think they need to get Hanley Ramirez’s contract extended before offering more money to any of those guys.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox and Jerry Crasnick of ESPN both Tweet that the Dodgers have signed ex-Angel Chone Figgins to a minor league contract and invited him to camp as a non-roster guy. If he’s got anything at all left (he sat out last year and is 36 years old) he could be one of the utility guys the Dodgers desperately need.

Apr 02

Game Two, 2013

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10 PT, Prime Ticket and MLBN. The Dodgers send out Hyun-Jin Ryu to make his major league debut against Madison Bumgarner.

The Dodgers of the Seventies were noted for the constancy of their infield, running the same four guys out there for years and years. By contrast,

Monday was Andre Ethier’s sixth Opening Day start in right field for the Dodgers, the most in Los Angeles history. His 959 games played in the outfield also are the third-most as a Los Angeles Dodger, trailing only Willie Davis (1,906) and Dusty Baker (1,092).

I had forgotten the outfield has been somewhat of a revolviing door. It may end up that Kemp and Ethier (if the latter isn’t traded at some point in his current five-year contract) set a similar standard for Dodgers’ outfielders as the Cey, Russell, Lopes and Garvey foursome did for the infield.

This amused me when I read it in the preview: “Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was impressed with Ryu’s camp and said the youngster pitched his way behind ace Clayton Kershaw.”

The “youngster” is a year older than Kershaw.

This will be the Game Thread. Lineups will be posted when they’re available.

LF: Jerry Hairston
2B: Mark Ellis
CF: Matt Kemp
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
3B: Luis Cruz
RF: Andre Ethier
C: A.J. Ellis
SS: Justin Sellers
SP: Hyun-Jin Ryu

Cruz hitting fifth has to be a rare thing in his career, I’d think. Crawford’s absence is a bit of a puzzle, although these lifetime stats for Jerry Hairston Jr. may explain it (Crawford has no record against Bumgarner):

PITCHER AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
Madison Bumgarner 7 3 1 0 0 1 0 1 .429 .429 .571 1.000