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Following the Dodgers and Exploring The Team’s Past

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August 31, 2006

Dodgers Sweep Reds, NL West Lead Back to Three Games

by @ 2:32 am. Filed under 2006 Season

The Dodgers are back in “can’t lose” mode.  The Wild Card leading Reds came to town and left with three losses.  Not too shabby and it’s nice to see the Dodgers back on track.  What a wild ride this season’s been.

The pen almost cost the Dodgers on Monday.  Brad Penny left the game with a 4-1 lead and the Dodgers added two more to make it 6-1.  Then Elmer Dessens and Bret Tomko gave up four runs in the eighth to make the game very, very close.  Russ Martin homered and drove in two runs and Jason Repko had three hits and two RBIs in the 6-5 win.

Tuesday’s game was very, very long.  The Dodgers tied the game in the sixth inning on Rafael Furcal’s RBI single.  Ten innings later, Ramon Martinez put the game away with a solo homerun in the bottom of the sixteenth.  Give some major props to the pen.  They combined for ten shutout innings and Derek Lowe pitched the final three.  He improved to 12-8.

Greg Maddux notched win number 330 yeserday in the Dodgers blowout win.  Wilson Betemit, Olmedo Saenz and Rafael Furcal all hit solo homeruns in the 7-3 win.  Furcal finished the game with three hits.

Next up is three against the Rockies, who are in that ten team Wild Card race.  It’d be nice if the Dodgers could pad that lead a little more.

August 28, 2006

Dodgers Bounce Back With Series Win Over Diamondbacks

by @ 4:19 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

This was big.  After losing three straight to the Padres, the Dodgers lead in the NL West was reduced to a single game.  Fortunately the Dodgers got it going and the Padres lost two of three this weekend so the lead is now two games.

The Dodgers lost their fourth straight game on Friday.  The Dodgers had a 7-5 lead heading into the sixth but a run that inning and another one in the eighth sent the game into extra frames.  Each team scored in the eleventh but the Diamondbacks finally put the game away when Orlando Hudson hit a two run shot in the bottom of the fifteenth.

Greg Maddux was only okay in the start.  Jon Broxton and Takashi Saito both blew saves and Aaron Sele took the loss.  J.D. Drew homered twice and drove in four runs and Russ Martin hit his seventh of the season.

Saturday’s gave was scary because Derek Lowe was hit by a comebacker and left in the fourth.  Fortunately he’s okay.  Jeff Kent had the big hit in this one.  His solo homerun in the top of the ninth broke a 3-3 tie.  Nomar Garciapara drove in two runs in the 4-3 win.

Chad Billingsley got the job done yesterday.  He gave up two runs on nine hits and he improved to 5-3 on the season.  In 14 starts, he has a 3.02 ERA.  He’s still having some command problems (50 walks vs. 53 strikeouts) but he’s getting the job done.  Wilson Betemit hit a two run homerun and Rafael Furcal had two hits and two RBIs.

Next up is three against the Reds.  The Reds are fighting for their lives in the Wild Card mix so they have something to play for. 

August 24, 2006

Dodgers Lose Three Straight to Second Place Padres

by @ 4:24 am. Filed under 2006 Season

What a time to hit the skids.  The Dodgers rolled into San Diego the hottest team in baseball and then left with three losses.  So now the nice, comfortable four game lead we had is down to one.

The Dodgers never could get there bats going.  I’m not sure if Petco or just an across the lineup slump, but four runs in three games isn’t going to cut it.  Jeff Kent was our offense on Monday.  He drove in two runs in the fourth inning with a single and the Dodgers were blanked the rest of the way.  Chad Billinglsey had a nice start go to waste and Elmer Dessens took the loss.

Tuesday we ran into a resurgant Jake Peavy.  He held the Dodgers scoreless and while Mark Hendrickson was just as good, he gave up a single run to take the loss.  Julio Lugo had three of the Dodgers five hits.

The Padres finished us off yesterday with a blow out.  It’s not good that our ace, Brad Penny, has been getting roughed up.  He was tagged for three runs in the first and lasted only four frames.  Wilson Betemit hit a solo homerun and Andre Ethier tripled home a run in the 7-2 loss.

Next up is three against the struggling Diamondbacks.  Hopefully we’ll be able to take advantage of their losing streak and not only bury them, but maybe pick up a game or two on the Padres.

August 21, 2006

Dodgers Pad NL West Lead With Series Win Over Giants

by @ 2:55 am. Filed under 2006 Season

The Dodgers are now eight games over .500 and four games up in the NL West, both of which are season highs.  Things are looking up, but there’s no doubt that the Dodgers have been playing perfect baseball the last few weeks.  They can’t let up now though.

The one blemish to the series happened on Friday.  The Dodgers ran into Jason Schmidt and Brad Penny was off of his game.  Penny gave up six runs in six innings and after an RBI ground out by Nomar Garciaparra, the Dodgers didn’t score again until the eighth inning.  By then, it was pretty much over with.

For a while, the Dodgers had the best offense in baseball and they showed why on Saturday.  They pummelled the Giants and had ten runs up on the board by the end of the second inning.  J.D. Drew drove in three runs and Nomar and Rafael Furcal each scored three times.  Andre Ethier also had a very good game. He had four hits and three RBIs.  Greg Maddux didn’t have his best stuff in the 13-7 win, but he picked up the win regardless.

The Dodgers made it two straight yesterday.  J.D. Drew put the Dodgers on the board early with a two run shot in the first and the Giants didn’t score on Derek Lowe until the ninth inning.  Lowe improved to 11-8 and Nomar also homered in the 5-2 win.

This is a huge week.  Three against the Padres then three against the Diamondbacks, the two teams that sit four games behind us.  If we can win both of these series, it would go a long way towards the Dodgers locking up the NL West.

August 16, 2006

Dodgers Latest Winning Streak Ends in Blowout Loss to Marlins

by @ 4:53 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

What a weird series.  The Dodgers had been simply on fire and after winning eleven straight, they lost a game and got right back to winning.  They won six more in a row, including the first two in their series against the Marlins.  Today though, it’s almost like the Dodgers made up for all the winning and lost three times in the same game because they were simply rocked by the Marlins in the finale.

It’s nice having Nomar Garciaparra back.  He came through huge on Monday.  Nomar homered and drove in three runs and Julio Lugo scored twice.  Derek Lowe had a nice start in the 4-2 win.  He gave up a single run on four hits and two walks through seven innings of work.

Yesterday was more of the same.  Chad Billinglsey was awesome.  He struck out nine in seven shutout innings and gave up only three hits.  He combined with Jon Broxton and Aaron Sele to shutout the Marlins 4-0.  Kenny Lofton had two hits, a run and an RBI in the win.

Then today happened.  Mark Hendrickson was done without completing three innings.  The pen didn’t fare much better.  By the end of the game, the Dodgers arms had given up 15 runs on sixteen hits and five walks.  Just Plain Ugly.  Jeff Kent doubled twice and drove in three runs and J.D. Drew scored twice.

The Padres and Diamondbacks play tonight but at this point in time, the Dodgers have a nice three game lead.  Next up is three at San Francisco before heading to San Diego for a big series next week.

August 14, 2006

Dodgers Continue Hot Streak, Sweep Giants in Weekend Series

by @ 4:38 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

The Dodgers just can’t lose.  Three more wins this weekend, including a dramatic pitchers dual on ESPN.  With the wins, the Dodgers now site a game and a half ahead of the Padres.  They’re also a game ahead of the Reds if the Wild Card comes back into play.

Mark Hendrickson threw seven quality innings on Friday but left the game tied 2-2.  Julio Lugo hit a sac. fly in the bottom of the eighth to win it though.  Bret Tomko picked up the win and Jon Broxton earned the save.  Jeff Kent hit homerun number 11 in the 3-2 win.

Saturday’s game was the highest scoring one run game of the series.  Brad Penny improved to 13-5 with six mediocre innings while the pen got the job done.  The difference was Wilson Betemit’s two run homerun in the fifth that broke a 4-4 tie.  James Looney had two hits and two runs in the 6-5 win.

Yesterday we saw a battle of the ages.  The Giant’s ace Jason Schmidt went up against the venerable Greg Maddux and neither disappointed.  Both starters threw eight shutout innings before they both came out and let the relievers finish things up.  Russ Martin finally broke the tie in the bottom of the tenth with a walk off homerun to end it.  Final was 1-0 in ten drama filled innings.

Next up is three against the Marlins, who are kind of clinging to a Wild Card chance.  Hopefully the Dodgers will ruin those chances with a series win.

August 11, 2006

Dodgers Winning Streak Ends at Eleven Yet They Still Move Into First Place In NL West

by @ 5:03 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

Three out of four isn’t too bad.  Not only did the Dodgers beat down a division rival, but they also leaped over the San Diego Padres.  The net result is a half game lead in the NL West, which is the ultimate goal.

Jeff Kent came back on Monday and he made an immediate impact.  He went two for five with three RBIs and a homerun.  Kenny Lofton also had a good game with three hits in the 7-2 win.  Brad Penny improved to 12-5 and he gave up two runs on five hits with four strikeouts over eight innings.

The Dodgers made it eleven in a row on Tuesday.  Greg Maddux pitched six solid innings but he left the game down 2-1.  Fortunately the Dodgers scored three unanswered runs and won it 4-2.  Wilson Betemit had a big day.  He had three hits, a run, an RBI and a stolen base.

The winning streak came to an end on Wednesday.  Derek Lowe threw a solid game but he was outdueled by Jeff Francis.  The game was tied until the ninth inning when Lowe was tagged for two runs.  The only run for the Dodgers came on Lowe’s sac. fly.

Fortunately the Dodgers got back on track yesterday.  Kenny Lofton came through with a walk off RBi single to win it for the Dodgers.  Lofton finished the game with three hits and two RBIs and Rafael Furcal had two hits and two runs.  Chad Billingsley walked six in five innings but only gave up one run and Takashi Saito picked up the win despite blowing the save in the top of the ninth.

The Dodgers stick in the NL West and this weekend is a three game set against the Giants.  The Dodgers just have to keep on winning and the rest will take care of itself.

August 6, 2006

Dodgers Win Ninth Straight Game, Now One Game Back of Wild Card Lead

by @ 5:03 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

On the one hand, this winning streak is awesome.  On the other, you have to be upset that the Dodgers didn’t play .500 ball during that one stretch right after the break.  If they had, they’d have the division firmly in hand, much less the Wild Card.

Derek Lowe was very sharp on Friday.  He gave up only a single run on five hits with five strikeouts in seven innings.  Kenny Lofton and Wilson Betemit homered and Lofton had three hits in the 6-2 win.

Yesterday was a good old fashioned blow out.  By the sixth inning, the Dodgers had ten runs on the board.  Rafael Furcal drove in three runs and Andre Ethier had three hits, one run and two RBIs in the 10-2 win.  Chad Billingsley threw well and coasted to an easy win.  He gave up one run on three hits and three walks with seven strikeouts in six innings.  He’s now 3-3.

Today, the Dodgers actually had to come back.  Down 3-1, the Dodgers scored six runs in the seventh inning to bust the game open.  Toby Hall had two hits and two RBIs and Furcal had two hits and two runs in the 7-3 win.  Mark Hendrickson finally picked up his first win as a Dodger.  He improved to 1-4 and he gave up three runs on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts in six innings.

Next up is four at home against the Rockies.  The Rockies sit a game and half back of the Dodgers so a series win would be a nice way to bury at least one team.  As it stands, the Dodgers are two back of the Padres in the NL West and one back of the Reds for the wild card.

August 4, 2006

Dodgers Win Sixth Straight Game, Move Closer to Wild Card Lead

by @ 4:41 pm. Filed under 2006 Season

What a weird year.  No win one, lose one for this team.  It’s either five plus game losing streaks or five plus game winning streaks.  Regardless, this was a huge series and the Dodgers came out on top with a sweep.  In the process, the Dodgers now sit only two games back of the Wild Card lead, which is now a tie between the Reds and Diamondbacks.

Tuesday’s game was a blow out.  The Dodgers scored four runs in the third inning, and the Reds eventually tied it.  Then the Dodgers opened the game up with five more in the seventh.  Rafael Furcal had three hits and four RBIs in the 10-4 win.  Loney had three hits and Wilson Betemit hit his tenth homerun of the season.  Aaron Sele improved to 7-4 and he gave up four runs on eight hits with two strikeouts in six innings.

Wednesday’s game was a lot tighter, but the Dodgers had the lead for most of the game.  Four runs in the third gave them all they needed in the 5-3 win although the Reds did make things interesting.  Brad Penny had a nice outing.  He improved to 11-5 and he gave up two runs on only three hits and two walks with six strikeouts over six innings.

Yesterday was Greg Maddux’s debut, and boy did he shine.  He threw six no hit innings before a rain dela pushed him out of the game.  Three relievers, including my favorite Jon Broxton, closed out the game with three shutout innings.  Olmedo Saenz homered and drove in two runs in the 3-0 win.

Next up is a three game series with the Marlins, who trail the Dodgers by only two games.  This feels like our last chance to make a big push here.  Over time, you’ll see teams dropping off and the Dodgers have to make sure they’re one of them.

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