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August 31, 2008

Dodgers Split First Two with Diamondbacks

by @ 12:25 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers took a rough 9-3 loss in Phoenix on Friday before coming back for a win on Saturday to even up the series. The boys remain 3 1/2 games back heading into Sunday’s rubber match.

On Friday, the Dodgers exploded for 12 hits, but could only touch home three times in the loss. Two came in the fifth for a brief lead before Arizona regained the lead in the bottom half of the inning. Manny had a 4 for 4 night with two runs and Andre Ethier was 2 for 5. The Dodgers had two more hits than Arizona but yet six less runs…highlighted by a bases-loaded first inning that ended with no runs scored.

Hiroki Kuroda tossed five innings and gave up four runs to take the loss. Recent call-up Scott Elbert came out of the ‘pen for the sixth in his first big-league appearance and got a walk and two strikeouts before Chan Ho Park came in and gave Arizona four more runs. Beimel and Jason Johnson each threw an inning.

The Dodgers saw Jeff Kent leave in the sixth on Friday for his left knee, but his return is questionable. An MRI exam will show if Kent is out for a few games, the season, or even his career.

The Dodgers got a 6-2 win on Saturday to stop their losing streak at eight games to get their first win of the road trip.

The offense was led by Manny, who was 4 for 5 with two solo homeruns and a double to notch 500 for his career. He gave the Dodgers their first run in the third with his first solo homerun before capping off the scoring with his second blast in the seventh. The boys rallied for two in the fourth before Matt Kemp drilled a two-run homerun in the fifth.

Chad Billingsley got his 13th win, going seven-plus innings and giving up just two runs with six K’s. He was saved in the eighth by Hong-Chih Kuo, who came in with a runner on second and no outs. Five of Kuo’s six outs were strikeouts.

The Dodgers can cut Arizona’s lead to 2 1/2 with a win in today’s rubber match, but they will have to get by Brandon Webb and his 19 wins and 2.96 ERA. The Dodgers look to stop Webb from becoming the NL’s first 20-game winner since 2005, and if they are successful, they will attempt the same feat next weekend when Webb will be pitching at Dodger Stadium. Derek Lowe will take the mound for the Dodgers at looks to set his record back at .500. This is the third Lowe-Webb matchup since the All-Star Break, with Lowe having a 1-1 record in three total starts this season against the Dbacks.

August 28, 2008

Dodgers Swept by MLB-Worst Nats

by @ 7:18 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers lost their third game of the set today, 2-11, to take the series sweep. They now have a seven game losing streak as they continue their road trip by heading into Arizona to take on the Dbacks, who are 3 1/2 above them in the division.

The Dodgers only two runs came in the first, and their 2-0 lead held only until the bottom half. Manny hit a two-run homerun while batting in the three slot to give the Dodgers their runs. Other than that, Nats’ starter John Lannan held the Dodgers to four hits and they totaled just five for the game.

Clayton Kershaw had a 2-0 lead before even taking the mound, but that quickly slipped away as he gave up five runs in the first inning. He got the first batter out before giving up a solo homerun to cut the Dodgers lead to one. He then gave the Nats the lead on a three-run homerun. He ended up leaving in the third and was tagged for the loss, moving his record to 2-5. Jason Johnson finished the third before Ramon Troncoso threw three innings, spreading out three runs and five hits. Cory Wade also pitched in inning in his first outing back since coming off the DL before Joe Beimel finished the game, but not before the Nationals put up two more runs.

If the Dodgers want any chance at a postseason, they must come out of Arizona with at least two wins of the three games. Hiroki Kuroda takes the mound in Friday’s opener, and will face lefty Doug Davis. This one is a must-win, with Dan Haren starting on Saturday and Brandon Webb starting on Sunday, who the Dodgers will look to stop from getting his 20th win.

Maddux Falls Short in Dodgers’ Sixth Straight Loss

by @ 8:51 am. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

Greg Maddux had his second chance at a win for the Dodgers, but took the loss despite being backed four runs of support by the offense.

The offense heated up a little in this one, with 12 hits and four runs, three from solo homeruns; but still went 1 for 11 with RISP. James Loney and Casey Blake made it 2-0 in the second with a solo shot each. Andre Ethier then added a solo homerun in the fifth, and ended up 3 for 5 on the night, with two doubles. Blake also added an RBI-single in the eighth to score Manny, but Matt Kemp flied out with the bases loaded to end the potential rally.

Maddux suffered his second straight loss as a Dodger, giving up four runs (two earned) on eight hits through 5 1/3. Maddux allowed a run to score when he hit Kent while throwing to second to get a double play. The other unearned run scored on Kent’s fielding error. Maddux moves to 0-2 as a Dodger and is now 0-7 this season against NL East teams. Ramon Troncoso, Chan Ho Park, and Broxton combined to finish the game, with Park giving up a solo homerun.

The Dodgers now have a six game losing streak that ties into an eight game losing streak on the road. They look to avoid the sweep today, sending Clayton Kershaw to the mound to face lefty John Lannan.

August 27, 2008

Offense Still Slumping in Loss

by @ 1:21 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers were swept in Philly and looked to winning ways heading into their series with the Nationals, but the bats were still quiet as the Dodgers lost 1-2 in the opener.

It took five Nationals pitchers to hold the Dodgers to one run and seven hits. The team went 1 for 12 with RISP, the only runner cashing in was Nomar in the fifth off Matt Kemp’s bat. The boys grounded into three double plays, and had bases loaded with NO outs in the sixth but failed to touch home at all.

Derek Lowe pitched a complete game, but is famous for receiving no run support…so that comes with a loss. He gave up a solo homerun in the second and another run in the third before holding the Nats scoreless for the rest of the game, hoping his offense would back him up.

The Dodgers look to snap their now five-game losing streak tonight, sending Greg Maddux to the mound for his second shot at his first win for the Dodgers in ’08. He will face Tim Redding, who is 8-8 but winless since August 4th.

August 26, 2008

Dodgers Blanked by Phils, Suffer Sweep

by @ 8:34 am. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers hoped to avoid the series sweep, and for the second night straight played in front of a nationally televised crowd, but ended up being shut out by the Phillies and are now three games behind Arizona.

The Dodgers put up 13 hits, three more than the Phillies, so it seems they would be able to touch home at least ONCE…wrong. Apparently Torre’s scheme to cancel BP backfired, as his 3-4 combo of Kent and Manny went a combined 1 for 9 and the team left 14 men on base, nine in scoring position. Kemp and Martin each had three hit nights and Ethier and Berroa had two apiece.

Chad Billingsley had a quality start, giving up three runs through seven, but lacked run support and wound up taking the loss. Chan Ho Park gave the Phillies two more runs before Tanyon Sturtze threw an inning.

The tough four-game series with the Phillies is now over, and hopefully will be forgotten as the Dodgers head to D.C. to open a three-gamer with the Nationals. The Dodgers have lost seven of nine, but hope to gain a few W’s and chase down the Dbacks in this series against the Nats, who sport the worst record in baseball. Derek Lowe will take the mound tonight and face Collin Balester. Balester is 2-6 with a 4.99 ERA, and is 0-3 in his last three starts.

August 25, 2008

Dodgers Drop Third Straight to Phils, In Danger of Sweep

by @ 7:31 am. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers held a slim one-run lead going into the ninth but the Phillies scored one to send it to extras before a three-run walkoff gave them the win.

The Dodgers tallied 13 hits, and with only scoring two runs, that means too many men left on base…including the 10th with the bases loaded and nobody out. They also left the bases loaded in the first after scoring just one run to take the lead. The Phils tied it in the fifth before the Dodgers took the lead in the seventh. Jeff Kent was 3 for 5 with an RBI and and James Loney also drove in a run and went 2 for 5.

Hiroki Kuroda was phenomonal through six, giving up just one run on two hits with five strikeouts. He let the Phillies tie with a run in the sixth, but he left in line for the win after the Dodgers took the lead in the seventh. Chan Ho Park and Hong-Chich Kuo each pitched an inning and held the Phillies scoreless before Broxton came on to close out the ninth and got the blown save after surrendering a two-out RBI-single. Joe Beimel was tagged for the loss, his first in almost a year, after he put a man on and Jason Johnson gave up a three-run homerun to Pedro Feliz, who had tied it in the ninth with his RBI-single.

The Dodgers are now at .500 and look to avoid the sweep today, sending Chad Billingsley to the mound to face Brett Myers, who is 6-10 with a 4.71 ERA but has a 1.94 ERA in his last six starts since coming off the DL.

August 23, 2008

Maddux’s Debut Spoiled, Dodgers Drop First Two to Phils

by @ 4:38 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

Greg Maddux was roughed up for seven runs in an 8-1 Dodger loss on Friday before Clayton Kershaw struggled on Saturday, with the Dodgers taking a 9-2 loss to put their chance at winning the series out of reach.

Andre Ethier hit a solo homerun in the first inning to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Their lead lasted until the fourth, until the Phillies put up all 8 runs in four innings. James Loney had a three-hit night and pinch-hitter Sweeney accounted for the only other Dodger hit of the night.

Greg Maddux was back in a Dodger uniform, and looked great through 3 2/3 innings. He had a modest one-run lead to work with, but gave the Phillies a lead with two outs in the fourth on a 10-pitch walk followed by a two-run blast to Ryan Howard. He then gave up another in the fifth before surrendering a four runs in the sixth-including a three-run homerun which sent him to the clubhouse. Tanyon Sturtze threw the last out before Ramon Troncoso finished the game, giving up the Phils’ eighth run on a solo homer to Chase Utley.  

The Dodgers tried to bounce back from the loss by sending Kershaw, who is less than half Maddux’s age, to the mound on Saturday, but Kershaw was touched for six runs and the offense was again stuck in a slump.

The Dodgers were held to five hits, with the 1-2-3 hitters now going just 1 for 24 in the series. The only runs came off Russell Martin’s two-run homerun in the third to close the lead to one run, but the Phillies would widen that gap in the fifth inning.

Kershaw put the first two men on to lead off the first before surrendering a three-run homerun to Pat Burrell to give the Phillies a quick 3-0 cushion. Kershaw then gave up three more runs in the fifth before recording an out, all on two doubles to Burrell and Ryan Howard. Jason Johnson then came in and was tagged for three more runs to give the Phillies nine. Joe Beimel and Ramon Troncoso then worked a few shutout innings.

The Dodgers have now lost five of seven and look to avoid the series sweep on Sunday, sending Hiroki Kuroda to the mound to face Joe Blanton.

August 22, 2008

Dodgers Take Series Loss, But Avoid Sweep

by @ 5:29 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Rockies rallied back on Wednesday to get a 4-3 win before the Dodgers got a 3-1 win on Thursday to avoid the sweep.

On Wednesday, the Dodgers had a 3-0 lead by the second. Matt Kemp singled in Juan Pierre in the first before the Dodgers got lucky in the second, scoring two off an error. That would be it for the offense, with Kemp and Pierre getting consecutive strikeouts with runners on second and third with one out in the fourth for the last would-be rally.

Chad Billingsley left after six with a one-run lead after giving up two runs on five hits with 6 K’s. Chan Ho Park was tagged for a blown save after giving up a run in the seventh, though it was unearned as part of the Dodgers’ four-error night, two from third baseman Russell Martin. Jonathan Broxton then came in with the tie in the ninth and hit the first batter, who stole second and took third on Danny Ardoin’s error before scoring on an RBI-single. The Dodgers outhit the Rockies but their four-error night, the first time with that many in three years, secured them the loss.

The boys recovered from their ugly defensive loss on Wednesday and came back to win on Thursday, led by an outstanding start by Derek Lowe.

Colorado scored their first and only run in the first inning, but the Dodgers answered back to muster three runs on five hits for the win. The first run was scored by Manny, who had reached on an error, actually stole second, and scored the tying run on James Loney’s single. Andre Ethier put the Dodgers ahead with an RBI in the fifth before Loney added another RBI, off a solo homerun in the seventh to cap off the scoring.

Lowe threw an impressive 6 1/3 innings, giving up the one run in the first before scattering just four total hits with 7 K’s. He earns his 10th win to give him six straight 10-plus win seasons. Hong Chih Kuo finished the 7th and threw the eighth for the hold before Broxton nabbed his 10th save after giving up a double on his first pitch, but turned around to strike out the side.

The Dodgers end their homestand with seven wins out of 10, including a four-game sweep of the Phillies, before heading on a ten game roadtrip, beginning in Philly on Friday. Greg Maddux will make his Dodger debut…of 2008. Maddux is replacing Penny, who is on the DL for likely the remainder of the season, and went 6-9 this year so far. He will face Kyle Kendrick, who is 10-7 and has an ERA that almost touches 7 in his past six starts. Maddux looks to help gain a game for the Dodgers on the lead in the West; they stand 2 back right now. The veteran’s start tonight will be followed up by rookie Clayton Kershaw’s start tomorrow.

August 20, 2008

Kuroda Struggles in Dodger Loss

by @ 5:22 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers never had the lead and wound up taking an 8-3 loss in first game of the series.

The Rockies scored two in the first but Jeff Kent answered back in the bottom half with an RBI-double. They added two more in the fourth, one off Matt Kemp’s RBI-double, but ended up leaving 7 RISP after driving one more hit than the Rockies.

Kuroda takes the loss after giving up four runs in the first three innings. He allowed the Rockies to rally for two in the first for an early lead before surrendering a two-run homerun in the third. He left after six and Jason Johnson threw a hitless seventh before giving up a leadoff solo homerun in the Rockies’ four-run eighth. Hong-Chih Kuo then came in and gave up three more runs on a three-run homerun. Tanyon Sturtze threw an inning, his first big league appearance since 2006.

The loss drops the Dodgers out of the first place tie, but Chad Billingsley will start tonight in hopes of bringing the Dodgers back atop the division. He is 3-0 in his last five starts, but is winless in two lifetime starts against the Rockies. He will face lefty Jeff Francis, who is 3-8 and is making just his second start since coming off the DL for shoulder surgery.

The new Dodger Greg Maddux will get the start in Friday’s opener against the Phillies. Eric Stults was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Maddux, who went 6-3 in 2006 as a Dodger to lead them to the capture the NL Wild Card.

August 18, 2008

Dodgers Acquire Greg Maddux

by @ 8:11 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

With Brad Penny out for the remainder of the season, the Dodgers needed a fifth arm in the rotation…and so back to the Dodgers comes Greg Maddux. Maddux made a start last Friday, so he could be start for the Dodgers as early as Wednesday. The Dodgers didn’t need a fifth starter this week because of Monday’s day off, but they will probably start Maddux to keep him on regular days’ rest.

The Dodgers open a three-game series with the Rockies on Tuesday. Hiroki Kuroda will make the start on Tuesday, and looks to even his record at .500 with a win. He has a 1.21 ERA in his past three outings, including a two-hitter through seven in his last start. He will face Ubaldo Jimenez, who is 8-11 with a 3.94 ERA.

August 17, 2008

Ethier's Walk-Off Gives Dodgers Series Win

by @ 5:27 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers followed an extra-inning loss on Saturday with a walk off win on Sunday to take the series and hold a tie for first.

On Saturday, the Dodgers scored two in the first off Andre Ethier’s two-run homerun, but were held scoreless until Manny’s sacfly tied it in the ninth to send the game to extras. Ethier ended 2 for 4 with 2 runs and 2 RBI and Matt Kemp also pitched in with two hits.

Derek Lowe held the Brewers to one run on eight hits through seven but got the no-decision after Hong-Chih Kuo gave up a two-run go-ahead homerun in the eighth. Broxton got the loss after giving up the go-ahead run in the 10th, the Dodgers put two men on in the bottom half but couldn’t touch home.

 The Dodgers made up for the loss with a win to steal the series on Sunday. Ethier drove two homeruns, his third in two days, for the walk-off win.

The Dodgers put up an early lead with three in the first off Matt Kemp’s solo homerun and Manny’s two-run shot. Ethier then drove his first homerun of the night, a solo shot in the fifth. Manny drove in another run in the seventh before the Brewers tied it with four runs in the ninth. Ethier then blasted his second homerun of the night to get the walk-off win.

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Clayton Kershaw had another fantastic outing, giving up just one run on eight hits with 6 K’s through six innings. He got the no-decision when the bullpen gave up four runs in the ninth. Jason Johnson threw 2 1/3 and Chan Ho Park was tagged for 3 unearned runs before Joe Beimel got the final out of the inning to get the win. Two errors led to the Brewers come-from-behind rally, which preceded a two-run single and a two-run homerun.

It was a shaky and ugly ninth inning, but the Dodgers got the win and stay tied for first. They have Monday off before continuing the homestand by hosting the Rockies beginning on Tuesday.

August 16, 2008

Dodgers Move Win Streak to 5 With Win Over Brewers

by @ 5:12 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers came back to get a 5-3 win in the opener against the Brewers to stay tied atop the division.

The Brewers outscored the Dodgers 3-1 in the first two frames, with the Dodgers’ run coming in the first when Juan Pierre scored off Manny’s single. Casey Blake drilled a two-run homerun in the fourth to tie the game before Jeff Kent, who went 3 for 4, drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth. Russell Martin added an insurance run in the eighth with a solo homerun, his first since July 10th.

Chad Billingsley again threw a fantastic seven innings, earning the win after giving up three runs on five hits with 5 K’s. He gave up a two-run homerun in the second and another run in the third, but shut the Brewers out after that to get his career-season-high tying 12th win. The bullpen, consisting of Troncoso, Beimel, and Broxton, kept the shuout going to move their scoreless inning streak to 13. Broxton got the save after escaping a bases loaded jam in the eighth and getting 2 K’s in the ninth.

The Dodgers have now won seven in a row at home, and look to make it eight tonight with Derek Lowe taking the mound. He is in search of his 10th win and has an ERA under 2 in his last 5 starts at home. He will face Dave Bush, who is 7-9 with a 4.35 ERA, but he is 2-6 with a 6.19 ERA on the road.

August 15, 2008

Kuroda Pitches Dodgers Past Phils for Sweep

by @ 9:23 am. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

Hiroki Kuroda gave up just one run on two hits through seven in a 3-1 Dodger victory to give them the four-game sweep and keep them tied atop the division.

The Dodgers put up a small, early lead with one in the second off Nomar’s groundout to score James Loney, who had tripled. Matt Kemp made it 2-0 in the sixth with a solo homerun, his team-high 14th of the year. Casey Blake then added an RBI-single in the seventh for another run.

Kuroda held the the Phillies scoreless through six and allowed just one run in the seventh for his seventh win. He surrendered no walks and had 7 K’s for arguably his best outing of the year. Hong-Chih Kuo pitched just as effective, pitching two hitless innings with two K’s for his first save of his career.

The Dodgers continue their homestand this weekend by hosting the Brewers. The team will also be without Brad Penny again, who was placed on the DL for his stiff shoulder. Cory Wade also joins Penny with a trip to the DL, and Eric Stults and Tanyon Sturtze were called up from Triple-A to take the spots. Stults went 2-2 in six starts earlier this season with the Dodgers and Sturtze has been in the minors, not pitching at the big-league level since 2006 with the Yankees. On Friday, Chad Billingsley will get the start and face lefty Manny Parra. Billingsley goes for his 12th win in this first start ever against the Brew Crew while Parra is 9-5 and off his best outing with a career-high 9 K’s.

The good news for the Dodgers is that they won’t have to face CC Sabathia this series. CC is 7-0 with a 1.55 ERA since being traded into the National League, and the Dodgers will thankfully miss him by one day..he will be starting against the Astros on Monday.

August 14, 2008

Dodgers Clinch Series with Third Straight Win

by @ 11:09 am. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers rallied back from an early five-run deficit to take the win, courtesy of a walkoff homerun by Nomar.

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The Dodgers were down by four before getting any at-bats. They started their comeback with a run in the first followed by two in the third off Manny’s homerun. Andre Ethier then drove a solo shot in the fourth to make it 4-6. The Dodgers were then held scoreless until the eighth until Russell Martin triggered a rally with a single, his third hit of the night. A few batters latter, Jeff Kent then tied it with a two-RBI double; he ended up 4 for 5 on the night. In the ninth and in just his second game back, Nomar led off with a solo homerun for the walk-off win. The walk-off homerun is surprisingly the Dodgers first since April of 2007.

Brad Penny lasted just three innings, his shortest outing in almost two years. He was tagged for four runs in the first inning, two two-run homeruns, both with two outs. He then surrendered another two-run homerun in the second and left after three after six runs on six hits while raising his ERA above 6. The bullpen then combined for six shutout innings, with only one hit and eight combined K’s by Jason Johnson, Joe Beimel, Chan Ho Park, and Broxton. Broxton threw a 1-2-3 ninth with two strikouts for the save.

The Dodgers are now 2 games over .500 and are tied atop the division. They can complete the series sweep tonight with Hiroki Kuroda taking the hill. Kuroda’s has had two straight quality outings and goes for his seventh win. He will face Brett Myers, who is 5-9 with a 5.09 ERA, and is 3-1 in nine career starts against the Dodgers.

August 13, 2008

Bullpen, Ethier’s Walk-Off Hit Gives Dodgers Win

by @ 8:13 am. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

Each team scored one in the first inning until the game revealed what was a pitchers’ duel until Andre Ethier belted an RBI-single in the bottom of the ninth for the winning run.

The Dodgers scored just one run through the first five, coming in the first inning to tie it when Casey Blake drove an RBI-single. Cole Hamels then held the Dodgers scoreless until the sixth when Manny drove an RBI-single, tallying just one run after sending 7 men to the plate and having the bases loaded. Blake drove in the tying run in the eighth with a sacfly. The game was then tied at 3’s in the ninth when Andre Ethier stepped to the plate after remaining in the game after pinch-hitting and taking right field in the seventh. Russell Martin stood on second after being hit by a pitch and moved on James Loney’s groundout, and scored when Ethier ripped a walk-off single. Nomar was also activated for the game and went 0 for 4, with Andruw Jones being sent to the DL for a sore tendon in his left knee. Jones should begin rehabbing in Las Vegas within the next few days.

Clayton Kershaw gave up a solo homer in the first and two more in the next two frames, but recovered and went on to toss six innings with 8 K’s. Joe Beimel and Hong-Chih Kuo then combined to retire 9 of the next 10 batters to hold the Phillies scoreless, with Kuo taking the win.

The Dodgers remain one game back and can clinch the series with a win tonight. Brad Penny got a win in his last start, the first since coming off the DL and his first win since May 2nd. He will face Joe Blanton, who is 6-12 with a 4.71 ERA.

August 12, 2008

Dodgers’ Early Lead Gives Them Win Over Phils

by @ 10:41 am. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers took an early lead with six runs in the third to propel them to an 8-6 win over the Phillies in the opener. Their now back to .500 and gain 1/2 game on Arizona to move 1 game behind them in the division.

The Dodgers sent all nine men to the plate in the third, and the first couple runs scored when Manny smacked a double with the bases loaded by a single, walk, and hit batsman. James Loney then followed with a two-RBI double before Casey Blake blasted a two-run homerun to make it 6-0. Jeff Kent was 3 for 3 including an RBI-single in the fourth. Loney and Kemp were also 3 for 4, with Loney adding another RBI in the eighth to cap off the scoring.

Derek Lowe finally earned enough run support to get a win. He was given a 6-run lead in the third and gave up three runs on five hits before leaving in the seventh. Chan Ho Park then finished the seventh after giving up a run. Joe Beimel got two outs in the eighth before Jonathan Broxton came on to close it out. He got out of the eighth and took the hill in the ninth with a four-run lead. Broxton loaded the bases and gave up a two-RBI hit to Chase Utley, which put Ryan Howard, representing the go-ahead run, to the plate. He got Howard to ground out to get his eighth save.

The Dodgers could again tie for first with a win and Arizona loss. Clayton Kershaw will make the start and go for his third big-league win. He will face another young lefty, Cole Hamels, who is 9-8 with a 3.35 ERA. Hamels is winless at 0-3 in his last six starts.

August 11, 2008

Giants Get Another Walk-Off Win from Dodgers

by @ 8:14 am. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers failed to take a first-place tie on Saturday with a loss in extra innigs, and a 5-4 loss on Sunday gives them the series loss while moving them 1 1/2 games behind Arizona.

The Dodgers spread out four runs on six hits through seven innings off Matt Cain, and they had a 4-3 lead after seven until the Giants rallied for a ninth inning walk off win. Jeff Kent went 0 for 4 but tied it at 1-1 in the third with an RBI-groundout. Matt Kemp went 3 for 5 with 2 runs and was a homer short of the cycle, Andre Ethier was 2 for 4 with a run and RBI, and Manny had a two-RBI double in seventh for the go-ahead run. The rest of the Dodgers went hitless, including Russell Martin, who is now .156 with 11 K’s in his last 10 games.

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Chad Billingsley gave up three runs on nine hits with 6 K’s through six innings, but the Giants’ ninth-inning rally gave Billingsley the no-decision, which still makes him undefeated against the Giants in his nine career outings against them. Ramon Troncoso pitched the seventh and one out in the eighth for the hold. Hong-Chih Kuo then came in and got out of the eighth and went into the ninth with a one-run lead; Billingsley was unavailable after three straight outings including a blown save on Saturday. Kuo let a ball roll by him before Angel Berroa bobbled it off the bat of Eugenio Velez to allow the winning run to score. The bases had been loaded because of a bobbled ball by Casey Blake that should’ve been a double play but ended up loading the bases. Kuo takes the blown save and the loss, despite 0 earned runs.

The Dodgers open a series with the visiting first-place Phillies tonight in front of a national ESPN crowd. Derek Lowe takes the mound and will face Kyle Kendrick, who is 10-5 with a 4.37 ERA. Lowe is looking to recover from his worst start of the year, giving up 8 runs on 13 hits in 3+ innings. Lowe pitches much better at home, though, with a road ERA nearly double of it at Dodger Stadium.

August 10, 2008

Dodgers Fall to Giants in Extras

by @ 11:37 am. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers and Giants were even at 1-1 after nine innings, and the Dodgers went ahead with a run in the 10th but Jonathan Broxton gave up two runs in the bottom half to take the loss.

The Dodgers were held to one run through nine innings, but that run was enough to take the Dodgers into extra innings. Hiroki Kuroda added some offense to his phenominal pitching performance, singling in Manny in the second to take a 1-0 lead. Jeff Kent then drove the go-ahead solo homerun in the 10th before the Dodgers lost it in the bottom half.

Kuroda looked fantastic through eight, giving up just one run on eight hits. His RBI-single in the second made up for his run given up and allowed the Dodgers a chance to win it in extras after he finished his run by escaping a bases-loaded jam in the eighth. Hong-Chih Kuo kept the Giants from scoring in the ninth and Jonathan Broxton came on in the 10th with a save opportunity on a one-run lead. Broxton gave up a leadoff double to Dave Roberts, who scored when Broxton tried to get him out at home off a groundball. Roberts was safe after the ball dribbled to the backstop, putting the winning run on third. Aaron Rowand then singled for the walk-off win. The blown save is Broxton’s sixth, but it is just his first since taking on the new role as closer.

The Dodgers lost their chance to tie Arizona atop the division, but they can move on top today with a win and an Arizona loss. Chad Billingsley will take the mound and face Matt Cain, who hasn’t given up more than one run in his last three starts. Billingsley shoots for his 12th win, and a quality outing could lower his ERA under 3.

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August 9, 2008

Five-Run Third Powers Dodgers Past Giants

by @ 12:23 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers put up six runs on eight hits to help Brad Penny get the win in his first start in almost two months as the Dodgers beat the Giants, 6-2.

The Dodgers were down 1-0 after the first but they brought their rally bats to the plate in the third to get five runs. Danny Ardoin led things off with a solo homerun, his first in almost three years. Penny chipped in with a single before Matt Kemp followed suit and Russell Martin, playing third, walked to juice the bases. Jeff Kent then cleared the bases with a double and came around to score on Angel Berroa’s two-out RBI-double. Casey Blake, playing first with Martin at third, capped the scoring off in the sixth with a solo homerun. The Dodgers handed Barry Zito his 14th loss while giving them two straight wins.

Brad Penny was pretty good in his first start off the DL, throwing 76 pitches in five innings. He held the Giants to one hit in those five frames, with one run in the first off Bengie Molina’s RBI-double, and is now 2-0 with an ERA under 1 against the Giants this season. The return of Penny also resulted in a roster move, with Brian Falkenborg being optioned to Triple-A. Cory Wade threw the sixth, allowing Molina to score again on a solo homerun. Chan Ho Park then took the game into the ninth and Jonathan Broxton secured the final out, via the strikeout, for his seventh save.

The Dodgers look to clinch the series in Saturday’s game, with Hiroki Kuroda facing Kevin Correia. Kuroda is off a one-run, 7 1/3 winning performance against the Dbacks, and is in search of his seventh win. Correia is 2-6 with an ERA over five. Torre put Kent in front of Manny in the lineup on Friday, and though Manny went hitless for the first time as a Dodger, it seemed to suit Kent well. He will do the same for tonight’s lineup, and will also start Juan Pierre or Andre Ethier over Andruw Jones in center.

August 7, 2008

Kershaw Gives Dodgers Win to Avoid Sweep

by @ 6:37 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw got his second big-league win as the Dodgers beat the Cards 4-1 in the final game of the series.

The Dodgers were dealing with a juggled lineup, but scored one in the first and managed to get four runs on eight hits. Russell Martin was given the day off, and backup Danny Ardoin went 1 for 4 with a run in his place. Jeff Kent was also 3 for 4 with two runs, batting just ahead of Manny, who drilled a two-run homerun in the third to put the Dodgers up 3-0. Loney put the Dodgers on board in the first with an RBI-single and Juan Pierre capped off the scoring in the fourth with an RBI-triple.

Kershaw threw a phenominal game, holding the Cards to three hits through seven while giving up just one run while striking out seven. He gave up a two-out RBI-single in the fifth to snap a 16-inning scoreless bid, but that being his only mistake as he earns his second win and brings the Dodgers back to .500. Hong-Chih Kuo pitch a hitless inning and Broxton recovered to strike out the last two batters for his sixth save after putting two men on.

Brad Penny returns to the rotation for a start on Friday at San Francisco. He is making his first start since June 14, and is in search of his first win since May 2. Kershaw went deep enough to keep the bullpen fresh for Friday’s game, considering Penny won’t throw more than 85-90 pitches. The Giants have Barry Zito taking the mound, who is 6-13 but coming off an eight-inning shutout performance of the Padres this past weekend.

Dodgers Drop Second Straight to Cards

by @ 6:21 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers took a 6-9 loss to the Cardinals on Wednesday to take the series loss and move 1/2 game back in the division.

The Dodgers did manage 11 hits and six runs in this one, but Derek Lowe couldn’t hold the lead for the team. Manny put the Dodgers on board in the second with a solo homerun. They then took a 2-1 lead and added another in the third before losing the lead for good. They added one more in the seventh and two in the eighth, but the Dodgers put up a protest that inning which distracted them from the their game as they went on to lose. Casey Blake delievered a one-out double before a 10-minute delay and a lot of confusion arose when Mark Sweeney came in to pinch-hit. Jeff Kent ended up taking the at-bat and a strikeout and popout later, the Dodgers were out of the inning, stranding Blake on second. Blake ended up 3 for 4  and Kemp, Manny, and Angel Berroa each chipped in with two hits apiece, with Manny’s two-hit game being the fifth straight multi-hit game.

Derek Lowe endured probably the roughest outing of the season, giving up a career-high 13 hits and eight runs-all in three-plus innings. He spread out three runs in the first three innings and was pulled in the fourth after being tagged for five more runs-four courtesy of Albert Pujols’ granny. The loss is Lowe’s 10th, and he falls to 2-5 with a 5.88 ERA on the road, while falling to 2-6 lifetime against the Cards. Troncoso, Falkenborg, Beimel, and Park all combined for four hits and a run in 4 2/3 innings.

August 6, 2008

Dodgers Ninth Inning Comeback Spoiled in Extra Innings Loss

by @ 2:14 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers came back from a 4-0 deficit to score all four runs in the ninth to send it to extras, but a two-run walkoff homerun gave the Cardinals the win.

Chris Carpenter held the Dodgers to three hits through five innings, and they only totaled four before the ninth inning. Andruw Jones led off the ninth with a pinch-hit solo homerun, his first since May 15th, to begin the come-from-behind rally. Andre Ethier and Russell Martin then each drove one-out singles and Manny walked to juice the bases. James Loney and Jeff Kent then each hit RBI-singles before Casey Blake got a sacfly to tie the game. The Dodgers had the bases loaded again in the 10th, but Loney lined out to end it after Russell Martin made the second out with runners on the corners, striking out on a 2-2 pitch that hit the dirt.

Chad Billingsley gave up just a run in his five innings while totaling six K’s, but earned his first no decision in over two months. Billingsley could’ve gone deeper after throwing just 74 pitches, but a rain delay prompted Torre to send Brian Falkenborg out for the sixth instead. He gave up a run and Joe Beimel gave up another before the inning was over. Chan Ho Park then gave up a solo homerun to Pujols in the seventh to give the Cards a four-run lead. Troncoso kept the Cards off the bases in the eighth and Cory Wade kept them scoreless through the ninth and tenth innings. Jason Johnson then came on as the sixth relief pitcher, and gave up a one-out, two-run walkoff homerun to Ryan Ludwick. There was talk of why Broxton wasn’t used at all, but Torre said he was available but would only put him in if they had a lead.

The Dodgers have now lost three of their last five and have dropped to two games behind Arizona. Derek Lowe takes the mound tonight to go for his ninth win. Lowe took a loss in his last outing, though he gave up just one run and again lacked run support. He will face Joel Pineiro, who is 3-5 with a 5.04 ERA.

August 4, 2008

Dodgers-Cardinals Preview

by @ 4:36 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers open a up a three game series with the Cardinals in St. Louis beginning Tuesday night. The Dodgers are one game back as of today, but a win tomorrow with an Arizona loss could set them for a dead tie in the division.

Chad Billingsley will get the start to go for his 12th win. Billingsley is 7-2 with a 2.21 ERA in his last nine starts, and has lowered his season ERA to 3.05. Billingsley also contributed to the team’s ERA of 1.80 over the last 10 games at home. He will face Chris Carpenter, who is making just his second start since undergoing Tommy John surgery. He made his first start last Wednesday since Opening Day 2007 and went four innings. Carpenter still needs to keep his pitch count low as he is still recovering, so the Dodgers could take advantage of that by getting to their bullpen early on, which could set the tone for the entire series.

August 3, 2008

Dodgers Win to Split Series; One Game Back

by @ 5:38 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers split their series with the Dbacks to stay where they were four days ago in the standings…one game behind Arizona. Manny had a 4 for 5 game and is batting .615 with 5 RBI in his first three games with the Dodgers.

The Dodgers took an early 2-0 lead in the first when Manny singled in Matt Kemp, who was 3 for 5 in the game. James Loney then drove in Russell Martin with his RBI-single. The Dbacks tied it in the second but the Dodgers regained the lead in the bottom half with three runs, including an RBI-double by Manny to score Martin. Manny added a solo homerun in the fifth before the Dodgers added one in the seventh and a pair in the eighth. The 2-3-4 combo of Kemp, Martin, and Manny tallied 8 of the Dodgers’ 16 hits.

Jason Johnson made the start but struggled and didn’t factor into the decision. He gave up a pair of runs in the second to allow the Dbacks to tie it, but his offense backed him up and put the Dodgers ahead in the bottom half. He was lifted in the fifth after giving up a solo homerun to Stephen Drew. Brian Falkenborg finished the fifth and Cory Wade pitched 1 2/3 to get the win. Hong-Chih Kuo and Ramon Troncoso also saw work out of the bullpen. Johnson was a decent fill-in in the rotation for the time being, but he will likely be moved back to the bullpen to make way for Brad Penny, who will return to the team Monday for a bullpen session before his scheduled start on Friday against the Giants.

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Newcomers Lead Dodgers Past Dbacks

by @ 4:14 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

Manny and Casey Blake both smashed homeruns and Hiroki Kuroda threw a strong seven-plus innings to give the Dodgers a 4-2 lead over the Dbacks.

Manny Ramirez put the Dodgers on top in the first inning with a two-run homerun, his first in a Dodgers’ uniform. Casey Blake then made it 3-0 the next inning with a solo shot of his own. Jeff Kent also went 2 for 4 with an RBI single in the sixth. Manny, Blake, Kent and James Loney all had two hits apiece for the Dodgers’ 11 total.

Kuroda brought his A-game on Saturday, holding the Dbacks to four hits, one run, and no walks while striking out six. Kuroda allowed a leadoff homer to Miguel Montero in the third, but he recovered by retiring the next 16 of 17 batters. He came out in the eighth with two on. Hong-Chih Kuo finished the inning and came on for the ninth. Johnathan Broxton was sidelined for the save opportunity because of a sore arm, and after Kuo gave up a run in the ninth to make it a 4-2 game, Chan Ho Park was brought in to get the extra out and the save.

August 2, 2008

Manny's Debut Spoiled by Loss to Dbacks

by @ 3:39 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers took a 1-2 loss to Arizona on Friday to drop three games back in the division while now they can only get a series split at best.

The addition of Manny to the roster required someone to get the boot, and for at least 15 days, it will Nomar-he was placed on the DL for his sprained left knee. Manny’s spot in right also prompted Torre to make at least a temporary lineup change…and for now, Juan Pierre will take center with Kemp in right, which puts both Andre Ethier and Andruw Jones on the bench. Pierre sat on Friday because of the matchup with Randy Johnson, but will be the almost everyday centerfielder from now on.

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As for the game, it was almost identical to Thursday’s: the Dodgers scored one in the sixth for the lead but the Dbacks came back in the seventh with two runs for the win. Matt Kemp had an RBI-double in the sixth to score pinch hitter Juan Pierre. That extends Kemp’s hit streak to 19 games, but he was thrown out after rounding third on Manny’s infield single. Manny was 2 for 4 in his Dodger debut, but grounded into a double play in the ninth to end the Dodgers’ chance at a win.

Clayton Kershaw had good enough numbers for a win: six innings, no runs, four hits, and three K’s. This shutout adds to his now 12 consecutive scoreless innings, but he still has just one win in his 11 starts. Chan Ho Park takes the loss after surrendering a leadoff homer to Tony Clark in the seventh followed by an RBI-single to Stephen Drew for the go-ahead run. Park takes the blown save and the loss and got just one out before leaving the game. Joe Beimel, Cory Wade, and Jonathan Broxton then all saw work out of the bullpen.

Tonight is a must-win for the Dodgers to avoid the series’ loss. Hiroki Kuroda will take the mound and face Yusmeiro Petit. Kuroda has been up and down all season, but is 0-2 in three starts since the All-Star break. Petit was recently brought up and added to the Diamondback’s rotation and is 1-1 in his first two starts.

August 1, 2008

Dodgers Fall to 2 Games Back

by @ 6:58 am. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

Just hours after the buzz of landing Manny Ramirez, the Dodgers took a tough one-run loss to the Diamondbacks at home to move two games out in the division.

Brandon Webb gave the Dodgers just one run off an RBI-groundout by Russell Martin in the sixth to score Juan Pierre. They had an opportunity in the eighth with tying-run Andre Ethier standing at third, but he was gunned down in a close play when Matt Kemp flied out to leftfielder Conor Jackson.

Derek Lowe took a tough loss after giving up just two runs in 6 1/3 with 7 K’s.. He was up 1-0 heading into the seventh but gave the Dbacks two go-ahead runs which chased him from the game to take his ninth loss.

The Dodgers need to at the very least split this four-game series with the Dbacks. They can move one game back with a win tonight. Manny Ramirez will make his debut as a Dodger in left, but it still is unclear where he will bat in the lineup. Clayton Kershaw will take the mound and face veteran Randy Johnson, who is more than twice Kershaw’s age. Kershaw earned his first big-league win in his last outing. Johnson is 8-7 and has won his last four starts, including two shutouts for a 15-inning shutout streak. Ramirez and the Dodgers will look to snap that to gain a game in the division.

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