May 10

Game 38, 2014

Giants at Dodgers, 1:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, Fox Sports 1

The Giants send out Matt Cain and his 0-3, 4.35 ERA to face the Dodgers’ Zack Greinke and his 5-1, 2.35 ERA. Greinke went only three innings in his last outing, but that’s because the rains came and halted the game for three-plus hours. In those innings he gave up two runs which turned out to be enough to saddle him with his first loss of the year. This is Cain’s first start since he missed two with a cut on his index finger, suffered when he tried to catch a knife that fell while he was making a sandwich. There’s no word on what kind of sandwich he was making that required such a sharp knife; probably not peanut butter.

Puig has a nine-game hitting streak which equals the longest of his career. In less cheery news, the Dodgers opened the series with the worst fielding percentage in the league and ranked third in most runners left on base. Given that, it’s amazing they’re still above .500.

May 09

Game 37, 2014

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

Madison Bumgarner for the Giants, Paul Maholm for the Dodgers. Seems like a mismatch, particularly when you read this data about the Dodgers’ outfielders past performances against the Giants’ pitcher: “Carl Crawford is 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Andre Ethier is 3-for-24 with nine strikeouts. Matt Kemp is 4-for-24 with seven strikeouts. Yasiel Puig is 4-for-15 with five strikeouts, while Scott Van Slyke is 2-for-5 with three walks.”

Bumgarner is 3-3 with a 3.18 ERA on the season; Maholm is 1-2 with a 4.70 ERA. Each pitcher did have a quality start in his last appearance.

Lineup when available.

May 02

Game 30, 2014

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

Josh Beckett is looking for his first decision of the season against the team which drafted him in 1999. He’s 0-0 with a 2.45 ERA this year over 22 innings. He’ll face Tom Koehler, a right-hander who’s in his first full season in the majors. He’s 2-2 with a 2.97 ERA over 30.1 innings.

Each team swept its last series. The Marlins are 14-14 after beating the Braves three straight and the Dodgers are 17-12 after defeating the Twins three times in less than 36 hours.

No one can doubt that Yasiel Puig likes being on a team. Here are three episodes from the dugout yesterday.

Lineup when available.


Update: This is horrible news:

Apr 21

Game 20, 2014

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

It’s the Fightin’ Phils’ Cliff Lee (2-2, 4.00 ERA) against the Dodgers’ Paul Maholm (0-1, 4.97 ERA).

If we’re to take MLB’s Preview as gospel, the Dodgers should just forfeit.

Of his four big-name outfielders, Carl Crawford’s .212 (7-for-33) lifetime mark against Lee is the best of the bunch. Yasiel Puig is 1-for-7 vs. the lefty; Andre Ethier is 0-for-11 with five strikeouts; Matt Kemp, who generally wears out lefties, is 1-for-18 with 11 whiffs.

How’s Scott Van Slyke? He’s 0-for-5 with three strikeouts against Lee.

Jeff Passan wrote a good editorial column exhorting MLB to take action to better control the way Cuban athletes are allowed into this country when defecting. He rightly calls the current system a form of human trafficking.

Dodger Insider has a fascinating little story about the Dodgers’ franchise official win total: Elias Sports Bureau has it at 9,997 including the twelve wins this year, while the official Dodgers’ records have it at 9,984 including those wins. The discrepancy is owed to wins achieved with the help of an ineligible player in 1899 (!).

Lineup when available.

Apr 17

Game 16, 2014

Dodgers at Giants, 12:45PM PST, TV: SPNLA.

One of the two de facto aces on the Dodgers staff while Kershaw’s out, Hyun-Jin Ryu brings his 2 – 1 record and his 2.57 ERA to this game. He’ll face Madison Bumgarner, who has a 2 – 0 record with a 3.31 ERA as well as a hot bat. He hit a grand slam and drove in five runs in his last outing.

Mattingly is going with an all right-handed outfield against Bumgarner, saving Ethier and Crawford for pinch-hitting duty.

Apr 06

Game Eight, 2014

Giants at Dodgers, 5:00PM PST, ESPN2.

Zack Greinke goes for the Dodgers and Matt Cain goes for the Giants. Oddly, they have identical ERAs of 3.60 for the young season. Greinke has a win and Cain has no record.

Lineup:

Hmm. No Puig. From a tweet an hour after the lineup was posted: “Don Mattingly: Yasiel Puig is on his way to get an MRI. We don’t expect it to be anything major. X-rays were negative.”

Apr 05

Ease up on Puig

So says Dan Le Batard of ESPN the Magazine.

Puig is still young, man, and he’s going to do young-man things, no matter our sensibilities. According to ESPN The Magazine’s Tim Keown — and there have been precious few illuminating profiles written about this sports star, the American media machine still somehow having trouble climbing over the language barrier even as our country browns like a pie crust — Puig’s favorite entertainment viewing is “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” There are very mature adults, celebrities in that part of the world, who can’t handle Hollywood’s vices and excess, and they are not 23, and they are not new to this culture, and they aren’t being asked to carry a baseball team with Magic Johnson as the owner and an $8 billion television contract, and they are not watching “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

It’s a good column. Don’t read the comments unless you want to read a whole bunch of privileged wannabes moralizing about the kid who oughtta know better. Le Batard’s point is simple: “how could he know better? He’s been here less than a year; he grew up on an island which has food shortages, dilapidated cars, and few people who could explain America to him. Give him a break.”

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).