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June 28, 2006

Dodgers Drop Three to the Twins

by @ 5:52 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

When I talked about the Mark Hendrickson trade, I didn’t realize Tomko was being put on the DL.  Knowing that, it was a prudent move seeing as how Seo wasn’t getting the job.

Not a good start to the week though.  The Dodgers went to the Metrodome and dropped all three games.  Even worse, the first two games were blowouts.  On Monday, Chad Billingsley was knocked around and he dropped the first game of his young career.  Even worse, the Dodgers scored only two runs on six hits.

Yesterday was more of the same.  This time it was 9-2 instead of 8-2.  Francisco Liriano shut us down and once again we had only two runs on six hits.  Derek Lowe gave up all nine runs and six of those came in the second inning.  Jeff Kent and Nomar Garciapara hit solo homeruns to account for the two runs.

Today’s game was closer but the end result was the same.  Odalis Perez was knocked around this time and Johan Santana shutout us out through seven innings.  We finally scored three runs off of their pen, but that was three runs too short.  Olmedo Saenz had a bases loaded clearing double and he drove home all three Dodgers runs.

Next up is the end of interleague play so the Dodgers head to their rivals, the LA Angels of Anaheim.  With the three losses, we’re now back in second place a game back of the Padres.

June 27, 2006

Dodgers Trade Jae Seo and Dioner Navarro for Mark Hendrickson and Toby Hall

by @ 4:51 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

I like this deal.  I think Hendrickson is an upgrade over Seo and I wouldn’t mind seeing him replace Odalis Perez in the rotation.  The only knock on Hendrickson is, while he’s having a good year, it’s really his first good year.  If he can get his walk rate under control, he should be a good addition though.

I’ve also been a big fan of Toby Hall, even though he never lived up to expectations.  One nice thing is, he puts the ball in play and doesn’t strike out much. That could really come in handy in places like Colorado and Arizona when we get back to our regular schedule. 

I will miss Navarro though.  He was given a B rating by John Sickels in his 2005 prospect book and in 258 at bats, he has 31 walks and 39 strikeouts.  He’s also a switch hitter, which is nice and at 22, he could still hit his stride.  Navarro is quite a journeyman already.  This will be the fourth team he’s at least been a part of.  He got a cub of coffee with New York in 2004, then was traded to the Diamondbacks as part of the Randy Johnson deal.  That same day, he was dealt to the Dodgers as part of the Shawn Green trade and now he’s on to Tampa.

So we got an upgrade (hopefully) in the rotation and a downgrade at catcher.  I’ll take that.

June 25, 2006

Dodgers Sweep Pirates Easily to Extend Winning Streak to Four Games

by @ 4:54 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

These are the kind of series you like to see.  A bad team comes into town, and the Dodgers took care of business and they’re back in first place a game ahead of the Padres.

On Friday, the Dodgers gave Bret Tomko a nice cushion by putting up seven runs through the first four innings.  Bret Tomko threw five shutout innings and improved to 6-6 while Jae Seo was knocked around in mopup time.  Jeff Kent homered and drove in three runs while the first three batters in the order (Rafael Furcal, Cesar Izturis and Nomar Garicapara) all scored twice in the 10-4 win.

Yesterday, Aaron Sele and three relievers combined for a seven hit shutout.  He improved to 4-2 on the season and struck out four in six innings.  Andre Ethier had two hits and four RBIs in the 7-0 win.

Today’s game was the closest of three but outside of the first few innings, the Dodgers had the lead for most of the game.  Rafael Furcal and Ramon Martinez drove in two runs and Nomar Garciapara and Ethier scored twice.  Brad Penny improved to an impressive 8-2.  Takashi Saito closed out the game and he picked up his fifth save of the season.

Next up is a three game series in Minnesota against the Twins.  The Twins looked horrible in the first couple of months, but they’ve really turned it on in June.  They’re riding a four game winning streak like we are and they’ve been very good (24-10) at home so the Dodgers have their work cut out for them. 

June 23, 2006

Dodgers End Five Game Skid, Lose Series to Mariners

by @ 5:31 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

The skid continues.  I guess I shouldn’t be too upset because I never really thought (at least deep down)they’d contend.  The Mariners came to a town, and a mediocre team made us look bad.

Brad Penny was knocked around on Tuesday.  Five runs on ten hits through six innings.  Rafael Furcal had two hits and two runs.

Danys Baez was the culprit on Wednesday.  He came in with a one run lead and proceeded to give up four runs on six hits.  Jon Broxton didn’t too much better because he gave up two runs without getting anyone out.  Chad Billingsley had a nice start go to waste and Olmedo Saenz drove in two runs.

The Dodgers finally got back on track yesterday.  Derek Lowe had a really nice start and he gave up two runs on seven hits in the complete game.  He improved to 6-3 on the season.  Rafael Furcal and Russ Martin both drove in two runs in the 4-2 win.

The Pirates come to town for three so hopefully we can get back on track against a bad team.  Right now we’re one game back of the Padres, but only a game and a half in front of last place.  The NL West should be a very interesting division this year.

June 18, 2006

Dodgers Swept by Athletics, Now Tied for First With San Diego Padres

by @ 4:56 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

The Padres have played .500 ball the last ten games, but every other team in the NL West is in a major funk.  The end result is that last year’s NL West champs are now tied with the Dodgers and only two games seperate first and last place.

On Friday, the Dodgers ran into Barry Zito.  The Dodgers actually had a 2-1 lead after three innings, but Oakland tagged Bret Tomko for two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings.  Tomko took the loss and he’s now 5-6 while Kenny Lofton drove in two runs.

Saturday’s game was the closest, and it was also one of the longest.  The game took seventeen innings and a touch over five hours.  The game ended when Jae Seo walked home Bobby Crosby to end the game.  I guess you could call it a walk off walk.  Kenny Lofton actually tripled home Rafael Furcal in the ninth to send the game into extra frames, and then nobody scored until that seventeenth inning.  Rafael Furcal had three hits two runs and three stolen bases while Kenny Lofton had three hits and two RBIs.

Today, Joe Blanton shut us down.  Nomar Garciapara hit a solo homerun and two hits.  Aaron Sele dropped his second straight start and he gave up five runs on seven hits in only four innings. 

Next up is a home series against the Mariners.  The Mariners have been somewhat surprising and they sit three games below .500 after a couple of tough seasons.  They’ve won three straight though so hopefully coming on the road will cool them down.

June 15, 2006

Chad Billingsley Makes Major League Debut in Dodgers Win Over Padres

by @ 4:49 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

This was a tough series.  The Dodgers had clawed their way into first place, then dropped the first two games of this series.  Fortunately they didn’t get swept and won today, so no matter what happens with the Diamondbacks, the Dodgers will have at least a share of first place in the NL West.

Tuesday’s game was ugly.  The Padres had a 5-0 lead after two and then they were up 8-1 after five.  Aaron Sele earned his first loss of the season and the only run came on Russell Martin’s RBI single in the fifth inning.

Yesterday, the Dodgers did a little better but came up short yet again.  Willie Aybar and Matt Kemp both homered and Hong-Chih Kuo took the loss.  He’s now 0-4 on the season and his ERA is up to 5.00.

Today, Chad Billinglsey made his major league debut.  He didn’t get the win, but he had a very solid start.  He gave up two runs on six hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings.  Jon Broxton gave up a run but he picked up his first win of the season.  On the hitting side, Jeff Kent came off the DL and made an immediate impact.  He went three for five with two RBIs and two runs.

The Dodgers travel to Oakland for an interleague series this weekend, and we’re catching them while they’re hot.  I’d be very happy if we walked away with two wins on this series.

UPDATE

The Diamondbacks just lost so the Dodgers are in first place a game ahead of Arizona.

June 11, 2006

Dodgers Move Into First Place With Ninth Inning Comeback Over Rockies

by @ 5:19 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

While I’m not sure he’ll be able to keep it up, what Matt Kemp has done for this team lately has been nothing short of phenomonal.  Other then J.D. Drew, I was very skeptical about the Dodgers outfield once Joel Guzman didn’t make the team.  But after a sort of revolving dorr outfield, Kemp has definitely earned a shot of starting every day in either center or left field.  He’s now hitting .366 and with two homeruns today, he’s brought his season total up to six.

What a game today.  Brian Fuentes has been a very underated reliever the past couple of years and heading into today’s game, he had blown only one save, and in that game, the Rockies came back to win it.  His luck ran out today though.  Saenz and Russ Martin hit back to back doubles with one out and just like that, the game was tied.  Then Sandy Alomar singled home Martin and the comeback was complete.

Friday’s win was just as nice.  Brad Penny is slowly putting himself into the Cy Young race.  He threw 8 1/3 shutout innings and he improved to 7-1.  His strikeout numbers aren’t great, but that 2.34 ERA looks really good.  Even more importantly, it’s not a “padded” ERA because Penny hasn’t given up an unearned run yet this year. 

Nomar Garciaparra didn’t get a hit today so his hitting streak is finished at 13 games.  What a season so far though.  He’s hitting .358 and he’s driven in 41 runs in 44 games.  If the Dodgers end up in the post season, this will be signing that will be looked at as putting the Dodgers over the top, even if Bill Mueller and Rafael Furcal haven’t quite worked out.

The Diamondbacks have lost seven straight and the Dodgers now hold a one game lead in the NL West.  The next stop is San Diego and while they’ve struggled a bit of late, they stand a game over .500 and three games back of the Dodgers (I love saying that).  Two of three would be awfully nice.

June 8, 2006

Dodgers Fail to Cash In On Diamondbacks Losing Streak, Drop Two of Three to Mets

by @ 5:44 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

Alright, being a game and a half back after playing essentially .500 ball the last two weeks isn’t all bad.  And I guess losing to a contender like the Mets dampens the series loss a little bit, but we need to win.

On Monday, we just couldn’t get our base runners across the plate.  The Dodgers had eight hits and one walk but only one run, and that came on a solo homerun by Willy Aybar.  Bret Tomko took the loss and he dropped to 5-4 on the season.  He gave up four runs on nine hits.

Tuesday was bittersweet.  Eric Gagne picked up his first save in a long, long time.  The bad news is, he’s been shut down yet again and his return is suspect.  Derek Lowe outdueled Pedro Martinez and rookie Matt Kemp had the big day with the bat.  He went two for four with a homerun and two RBIs.

Yesterday we got the runs, but we didn’t get the pitching.  Odalis Perez was shelled in his first start in over a month, and once it again we see why he was put into the pen.  He gave up seven runs on eleven hits in 3 2/3 innings.  If the Dodgers don’t get someone to fill in as a decent third option in the rotation, this team is going to be in trouble.

With the win and the Diamondbacks three game losing streak, we’re still only a game and a half back.  In fact over the last ten games, no NL West team has a winning record.  We head to Colorado for a three game series this weekend.  Hopefully we’ll be able to take care of business.

June 5, 2006

Eric Gagne Returns, Dodgers Split Four Game Series With Phillies

by @ 2:51 am. Filed under 2006 Season

Down, but definitely not out is the matra after the Dodgers split a four game series with the Philadelphia Phillies.  What was disappointing was that the Dodgers couldn’t take either of the close games.

On Thursday, the Dodgers scored all seven of their runs by the fourth inning and Derek Lowe looked sharp in the 7-2 win.  Lowe improved to 4-3 and he gave up five hits and two walks in six shutout innings.  Jon Broxton continued to throw well and he struck out two in the seventh.  Matt Kemp and J.D. Drew both homered and drove in three runs and Russell Martin hit his second homerun of the season.

Friday marked Eric Gagne’s return.  Jae Seo only lasted four innings, but it was Danys Baez who was crushed.  He gave up five runs on three hits and two walks without getting a single batter out.  Gagne pitched the ninth and walked one and struck out one.  Matt Kemp hit his second homerun of the series and Willy Aybar drove in two runs.

Brad Penny really got the job done on Saturday.  He threw six innings of one hit ball and he struck out seven.  Broxton struck out three but walked three in 1 1/3 innings and Tim Hamaluck stuck out four.  That makes 14 strikeouts for the Dodgers staff in this game.  Kemp homered for the third straight game and J.D. Drew went two for five with two RBIs and two runs.

Sunday’s game was a back and forth affair that the Phillies finally broke things open in the eighth.  Aaron Sele threw six solid innings before Joe Beimel gave up the go ahead run.  Russ Martin homered and Kenny Lofton had three hits.

The Mets are coming to town so things don’t get much easier.  As it stands, we’re 2 1/2 games back for the Diamondbacks so all we can do is keep on winning.

June 1, 2006

Dodgers Take Two of Three in Atlanta, Still a Half Game Out of First Place

by @ 2:39 am. Filed under 2006 Season

Despite the injuries, the Dodgers keep on trucking.  And this week, they did it against a relatively hot Braves team.

On Monday, the Dodgers scored seven runs in the first two innings to effectively put the game out of reach early.  Ramon Martinez had a career game in place of an injured Jeff Kent and he drove in five runs and homered.  Rookie Matt Kemp scored three runs.  Brad Penny left the game in the fifth after getting hit hard, and now it looks like he might be injured.  Joe Beimel picked up the win and Jon Broxton continued to throw well with two shutout innings.

On Tuesday, the Dodgers once again got the job done on offense, although this time it was in the later innings.  The game was tied 3-3 heading into the eighth when the Dodgers scored two runs to take the lead, then they scored three more in the ninth to bust the game open and make it 8-3.  Danys Baez picked up the win in relief of Aaron Sele and Andre Ethier continued to hit the ball well and he hit his fourth homerun of the season.

Yesterday, Bret Tomko got shelled and the Braves blew out the Dodgers.  Not a whole lot good to say in this one and Tomko dropped to 5-3 on the season.

The Dodgers host the Phillies for four game this weekend.  The Phillies were red hot for a while, but they’ve cooled off, so hopefully we can catch them at a good time and pick up a series win.

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