Dec 09

Reboot

Jon revealed his new employment situation to me over the weekend and asked me if I wanted him to put a pointer in his post to this blog, and I said sure, after I congratulated him on what must be a dream job he never anticipated landing.

So here we all are. The winter meetings are beginning, Matt Kemp’s name may be on the trading block, the Dodgers may or may not be trying to acquire David Price from the Rays, they’ve already gotten Dan Haren on the free agency market, and looming over everything is getting Clayton Kershaw signed to a long-term deal.

Whoops. I forgot. They’ve also added Orel Hershiser and Nomar Garciaparra to their TV broadcasting team.

Chat away, Dodgers fans!

Apr 03

Game Three, 2013

Giants v. Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, 7:10 PM PT, KCAL & ESPN2. The Giants send out Tim Lincecum to face the Dodgers’ Josh Beckett. Beckett offers up these thoughts as he begins his first full season with the team:

“In years when I’ve been good, I feel like I’ve gotten off to a good start and built some confidence in April,” Beckett said. “In years where I fall behind, whether it be health or results, I’ve had some struggles trying to catch back up. I think a lot of that is just me being stubborn and trying to make up a few starts in one start and then I fall behind. I’m looking to get out to a good start.”

The Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy said Brandon Belt sat out Tuesday’s game due to illness, while the Dodgers’ sat Carl Crawford to “ease him in,” said manager Don Mattingly. Both are expected back for tonight’s game.

Cause for alarm?

This is the first time in Matt Kemp’s six full seasons with the Dodgers that he has gone hitless (0-for-6 with two strikeouts) through the first two games. From 2009-12, Kemp was a combined 13-for-31 (.419) with two homers and nine RBIs in the Dodgers’ first two games of each season.

Bench him!

Tonight’s lineup:

Carl Crawford, LF
Skip Schumaker, 2B
Matt Kemp, CF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Andre Ethier, RF
Luis Cruz, SS
Juan Uribe, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Josh Beckett, P

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
Mar 03

Dodgers GM tweets

Colletti on Twitter yesterday:

Beckett started this morning’s game. Kemp is the DH.

Update: Live webcast of the game here.

Update: Dodgers win 5 – 1 on a three-run home run from youngster Yasiel Puig. Next webcast will be on Wednesday, March 6.

Oct 06

Kemp’s surgery

I guess it’s too early to know the extent or for privacy reasons nobody’s saying, but we’ve gotten a terse Kemp had surgery story and no more. The team says he’ll be ready for Opening Day, but no bat swinging for three months. I’m now wondering how much swinging a bat a player does in the offseason when no surgery has been done.

The 60-minute procedure at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache. Kemp will begin physical therapy in seven to 10 days.

The Dodgers were hoping the surgery would be little more than a cleanup and Kemp would be ready to return in a matter of a few weeks. He injured his shoulder colliding with an outfield wall against the Rockies in Colorado on Aug. 28.

Let us hope.

Update: See new post above for further details on the results of the surgery.

Sep 30

Bring on the Giants!

The Dodgers won their fifth in a row Sunday afternoon, defeating the Rockies 7 – 1. Josh Beckett got his second win as a Dodger, scattering six hits over six innings and giving up just one run, a home run by Andrew Brown. Matt Kemp, AJ Ellis, and Luis Cruz each hit two-run home runs for the Dodgers.

Fun fact: “Five of Ellis’ 12 home runs and 18 of his 50 RBIs have come against the Rockies.”

The Cardinals, by winning today, keep their two-game advantage for Wild Card #2. They see Cincinnati come in to St. Louis to play three games, and the Reds are trying to secure home-field advantage, so they’re probably not going to roll over. If they manage to beat the Cards two out of three and the Dodgers sweep the Giants there’d be a single-game playoff to break a tie for the Wild Card spot. If the Reds sweep and the Dodgers sweep, the Dodgers, almost unbelievably after the last month of inept play, would get to play the winner of Wild Card #1 in a single game for the right to go on to the NLDS. The winner of that wild card appears in all likelihood to be the Braves, who remain three games in back of the Nationals for the NL East title with three games to go. Their opponent for those last three games will be the collapsing Pirates, so a sweep isn’t out of the question. The Nationals play three against the Phillies. With a magic number of one, all they have to do is beat the Philadelphians once.

It should be an exciting next three days. And I haven’t even written anything about the American League playoff situation, which is still as muddled as it can be!

Sep 29

Still a breath of life

The Dodgers’ 3 – 0 victory this evening coupled with St. Louis’s 6 – 4 loss to Washington at home in extra innings has pushed the Dodgers one step closer to Wild Card #2. Matt Kemp hit two home runs and the bullpen was stellar following Blanton’s strong six innings. They’re still 2 games behind the Cardinals, but the Cards’ magic number remains 3. That means at least the first game with the Giants on Monday will be meaningful.

That ought to be interesting. Which team will come out on top in this ancient rivalry this time? The Giants, as they did in 1951 and 1982 (curses be upon you, Bobby Thomson and Joe Morgan!), or the Dodgers, as happened in 1959, 1993 and 2004?

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?