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September 30, 2008

NLDS Game 1 Preview

by @ 8:06 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The White Sox officially completed the final postseason spot today, but it’s the other Chicago team that the Dodgers will face in the opening round.

Derek Lowe will take the mound for Game 1 on Wednesday night and face Ryan Dempster. Lowe went 6-1 in his last 10 starts, including an undefeated September with a 0.59 ERA. Lowe has had four career starts at Wrigley, with a 1-0 record of a one-hitter back in August 2005. The starter-turned closer-turned starter again, Dempster went 17-6 with a 2.96 ERA this season.

The rest of the starting lineup for Game 1 and likely the rest of the playoffs:

Furcal, SS

Martin, C

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Manny, LF

Ethier, RF

Loney, 1B

Kemp, RF

DeWitt, 2B

Blake, 3B

(Lowe, SP)

September 28, 2008

Dodgers Drop 2 of 3 to Giants in Regular Season Finale

by @ 8:38 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers sanwiched a win in between two losses to the Giants this weekend to set their regular season record at 84-78.

Russell Martin drove a pinch-hit two-run homerun in the ninth on Friday to send the game to extras before Jason Johnson gave up a run in the tenth to take the loss. Jeff Kent gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead with a homerun in the fourth before the Dodgers rallied for three in the ninth. Martin drove the go-ahead homerun in the ninth but his throwing error in the bottom half allowed the Giants to tie it up. Johnson picked up the loss with giving up an RBI-single in the tenth. He was the eighth pitcher used, with Lowe making the start before being lifted after three.

The Dodgers came back on Saturday with a 2-1 win. Greg Maddux tossed a two-hitter through six, giving up a solo homerun in the fourth. Blake DeWitt gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the third with a solo homerun before driving in the go-ahead run in the seventh.

Nomar made his debut as the Dodgers’ manager on Sunday, but the boys took a 1-3 loss in the 2008 regular season finale. The Dodgers were held to six hits, scoring just one run in the third on Ethier’s RBI-single. Hiroki Kuroda tossed five shutout innings before Chan Ho Park took the loss after giving up two runs in the seventh.

The Dodgers get two days of rest before heading to Chicago to take on the Cubs in the NLDS on Wednesday. Derek Lowe will make the start in Game 1 and will face Ryan Dempster, who had 17 wins in the regular season. The Dodgers went 2-5 against the Cubs this season, including a three-game sweep at Wrigley.

Dodgers Look to Continue Cubs Curse In NLDS

by @ 9:12 am. Filed under 2008 Dodgers, Baseball Bag, Baseball Glove

The Dodgers have had a chance to look ahead at the playoffs for almost a week now, unfortunately they just found out who their opponents are.  With the Brewers locking up the Wild Card, it’ll be the Cubs who will have the unenviable task of taking on Dodger blue.  The goal is not just their first playoff series win since 1988, but their first World Series title since that year.

Manny Ramirez is getting a lot of play as an NL MVP candidate and that’s more a symptom of new clear cut winner then anything.  Ryan Howard had some great power numbers but his batting average will turn people off and while Chase Utley might be a better pick when you take position into account, he’s not at the top of anyone’s list either.  The problem is, the voters like picking someone from a playoff team and there’s no standout on those four teams.  Still, I don’t see Manny as a viable candidate with just one third of a season on the team.

One nice thing about living in the LA area is you can get out and take the boys to the sandlot all year long.  My biggest problem had been finding a good supply of good baseball equipment but that quest is over when I found Baseball Rampage.  With an awesome website, I was able to find a very nice baseball bag for my son and their baseball glove selection is almost mind boggling.

September 26, 2008

Despite Loss, Dodgers Clinch NL West Title

by @ 11:40 am. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

A Diamondbacks loss on Thursday gave the Dodgers the NL West title, and the celebrations began despite a 5-7 loss to the Padres.

The Dodgers were shut out by Jake Peavy until they rallied for three runs in the fifth. They loaded the bases and scored two on a walk and wild pitch before Hu drilled an RBI-single, and Peavy finally got out the inning after throwing 53 pitches. Juan Pierre drove in a run in the sixth before Kemp hit a solo homerun in the eighth. Just about the entire roster was used for this one, with Pierre and Hu each going 2 for 3.

Torre scratched Maddux from the start with word of the division title, and Eric Stults made the start instead. He gave up a two-run homerun in the first and was pulled in the fifth after giving up another run. Elbert, Troncoso, Saito and Broxton then each saw some work, with each giving up a run.

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The Dodgers now leave town for their last road series of the year, heading to San Francisco with their division title in hand. Derek Lowe will make his final regular season start, and is 3-0 with a microscopic 0.66 ERA in his last four outings. He will face Brad Hennessey, who hasn’t won a game that he started since August 2006. 

September 25, 2008

Dodgers Clinch NL West Tie with Win

by @ 7:46 am. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers took a 12-4 win from the Padres to clinch the series but more importantly to clinch at least a tie in the NL West.

The Dodgers were blanked for the first three innings but came out to score 12 on 17 hits in the next six innings. Nomar got the scoring started with a solo homerun in the first. Casey Blake then walked and came around to score on Matt Kemp’s RBI-single, one of three Kemp hits for the night. Nomar drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth with a double to score Andre Ethier. Angel Berroa then scored Nomar on a squeeze play. Manny drove a two-run shot in the sixth before the Dodgers sent 11 men to the plate for six runs in the eighth inning. Cheers were everywhere, but they were loudest when Rafael Furcal stepped to the plate to pinch-hit, his first time playing since May 5. Furcal’s activation sent Penny to the 60-day DL, so he will be out indefinitely for the (hopefully) postseason.

Clayton Kershaw gave up three runs on six hits through 5 2/3 to pick up his fifth win. He also notched seven strikeouts. Park, Beimel, Wade, and Proctor all came out of the ‘pen to finish off the game.

The Dodgers can watch themselves win the NL West title without even doing anything…..if the Diamondbacks lose tomorrow (which is a day game), the Dodgers automatically clinch the division. This would give the boys the title before they even take the field tomorrow. But if the Dbacks win, the Dodgers need to win in order to clinch tomorrow. Greg Maddux will face is former team and their ace, Jake Peavy.

September 23, 2008

Dodgers Move 3 Games Up with Win Over Padres

by @ 10:47 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers had a 14-hit, 10-run attack while Chad Billingsley held the Padres to one run for the win in the first game of the series.

The Dodgers gave themselves a nice cushion, scoring six runs in the first inning for an early lead. Kemp and Martin led off with base hits, being switched atop the lineup, before Manny drove them home with a two-run double. Two batters later, Nomar blasted a three-run homerun to make it 5-0 before Billingsley chipped in with an RBI on a squeeze play. He then helped himself out by driving in another run in the third on an RBI-single. Blake DeWitt, who started at second base, then drove a three-run shot in the fifth to cap the scoring.

Billingsley earned his 16th win while driving in more runs than he gave up. His only run allowed was a two-out RBI-single in the second. He left after six with five K’s before McDonald, Troncoso, and Elbert each tossed a shutout inning apiece.

The magic number is three, and Clayton Kershaw gets the chance to lower that number tomorrow. Kershaw is looking to pick up his fifth win while facing lefty Shawn Estes, who is 2-3 with a 4.73 ERA.

September 21, 2008

Dodgers Fall to Giants in Extras

by @ 4:57 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers and Giants matched each other in a shutout until the Giants knocked one in in the 11th inning. The Dodgers have now lost 3 of 5, with the Diamondbacks creeping behind them at 2 1/2 games.

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The Dodgers had five hits, all coming in the first six innings, including having the bases loaded in the first with no outs. The bases for the Dodgers in the last five innings stayed empty as the Giants scored in the 11th with the Dodgers unable to rally for anything off Brian Wilson.

Derek Lowe pitched a phenomonal seven shutout innings, spreading out five hits while striking out seven. He was lifted after tossing 120 pitches and Wade and Broxton combined for the next three frames. Saito then gave up a two-out RBI single in the 11th to give the Giants the lead, he takes his fourth loss.

The Dodgers magic number stays at 5, and they have Monday off before opening their final home series of the season against the Padres on Tuesday. Chad Billingsley will get the start and face Jake Peavy, who hasn’t seen a win since August 14. Billingsley is 3-1 in his last four starts and 0-2 against the Padres this season, but has only seen two total runs of support.

Offense Heats Up in 10-7 Win

by @ 2:03 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers, Uncategorized

The Dodger offense came back after being held to one run on Friday to explode for 10 runs on nine hits to take the second game of the set from the Giants.

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The offense was keyed by a five-run third inning, including Manny’s first homerun of the night, a three-run shot. Matt Kemp then a added a two-run homerun that same inning. The Dodgers then loaded the bases in the seventh and walked in two runs, with RBI for Angel Berroa and Delwyn Young with the walks. They then added three insurance runs in the eighth, including Manny’s second homerun of the night to total 5 RBI. Despite the 10-run attack, the Dodgers failed to rally with RISP after getting 11 walks and leaving 22 men on base for the night.

 Hiroki Kuroda chipped in with two hits at the plate, but struggled on the mound in his four-plus innings, and was tagged for three runs on eight hits before being pulled after giving up a leadoff double in the fifth. Chan Ho Park then came in but was no relief for the Dodgers, allowing two more runs to score without recording an out. Beimel, Saito, Wade, and Broxton then finished the game, with Broxton being tagged for two unearned runs in the ninth and Saito taking the win.

The Dodgers have lost just four times in their past 20 games, which gives them the MLB lead for the best record in that span. Last night’s win also clinched at least a .500 season for the boys. Derek Lowe will make the start in today’s rubber match and will face Matt Cain. Lowe is 4-0 in his last four decisions while Cain is 0-5 lifetime against the Dodgers, with two of the losses coming this year.

September 20, 2008

Unlucky Loss #13 for Maddux in Series Opener

by @ 11:25 am. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

Greg Maddux was tagged for all seven Giants’ runs while the Dodgers could only score one off Bary Zito in the loss.

The Dodgers were held to six hits by Zito, with their only run coming in the eighth on Ozuna’s solo homerun. Matt Kemp and Manny each had two hits with Ethier getting the other.

Maddux was 7-0 against the Giants since 2003, but this game handed him his first loss against them in five years. He gave up two in the first and one in the second before the Giants had a four-run fifth, including a two-run homerun to Molina. McDonald, Troncoso, and Johnson each combined for four shutout innings after Maddux was lifted after five.

The Dodgers stay 3 1/2 games up and haven’t had consecutive losses since August 28-29 against the Nationals the Dbacks. Hiroki Kuroda looks to keep that streak going, taking the mound and facing Brad Hennessey. Kuroda looks to even his record at .500 with a 10th win after a three-hit seven-inning shutout in his last start. Rookie Hennessey is 1-2 and gave up two runs in 2/3 an inning of relief against the Dodgers in April.

September 18, 2008

Dodgers Win Game, Series in 12th

by @ 3:19 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers were able to bump-up their lead by a half game, at least until the Dbacks play tonight, with an extra innings win on Thursday.

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The Pirates put up one in the first for an early lead but the Dodgers stole it back with two in the fourth off Blake DeWitt’s two-run single. The Pirates tied it up in the sixth but the Dodgers took the lead again in the seventh with Andre Ethier delivering an infield RBI-single, though the Dodgers had the bases loaded and could only score one run. They were then blanked by the Pirates bullpen, five pitchers used, until the 12th when James Loney drove an RBI-single with the bases loaded.

Clayton Kershaw pitched a two-hitter, giving up one run through five while striking out five. He gave up a run in the first but then shut out the Pirates until being lifted after five. Saito tossed the sixth but gave the Pirates a run on an RBI-single. Cory Wade then threw two innings, but allowed the Pirates to tie it in the seventh on an RBI-single. Park, Beimel, and Proctor then combined for three scoreless innings, with Proctor picking up the win after Broxton closed out the 12th inning, leaving the tying runner on third.

The Dodgers return home after going 7-3 on the road trip. They will host the Giants, with Barry Zito making the start for them on Sunday, who is 1-2 this season against the Dodgers. Greg Maddux will take the mound for the Dodgers, who is making his first start since getting a no-decision against Colorado with a perfect game into the fifth outing. He is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA against the Giants this year.

September 17, 2008

Dodgers Give Up 8 Runs in the Seventh for Loss

by @ 9:24 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers were tagged for just their third loss in this month, with a wild 8-15 loss to the Pirates after they had the game tied at 7 in the stretch.

The Pirates scored two early, but the Dodgers took the lead with four runs in the third. They put up three more and had a tie in the seventh before the Pirates exploded for their eight runs. Kemp had a 4 for 5 night, Martin had 3 hits and 3 RBI, and Nomar, Ozuna, and Berroa each chipped in with two hits. Nomar was lifted in the fifth after singling when he slammed into third and appeared to have sprained his left knee, no word on if or how many days he’ll be out.

After 12 straight quality starts, I guess Chad Billingsley was about due for a rough outing, though he is still winless in his last four. He gave up a run in the first and third innings but the Dodgers gave him the lead back in the fourth. He then gave up a solo homerun in the bottom half by Adam LaRoche followed by another homerun to LaRoche in the fifth, a granny that ended his night. He gave up seven runs, six earned, on eight hits with 5 K’s, but wasn’t tagged for the loss. Beimel finished the fifth and Proctor tossed the sixth and two outs in the eighth before Elbert came on. He inherited no runners with two outs, but ended up giving up four runs, a two-run homerun and a two-run single, to end his night without recording an out. Jason Johnson didn’t fare any better, giving the Pirates three more runs in the eighth. Troncoso allowed another run before finally escaping the inning, with the Pirates touching home EIGHT TIMES with TWO OUTS. James McDonald was probably the only Dodger pitching highlight of the night, going 1-2-3 with two strikeouts in his big league debut.

The Dodgers don’t have much time to recover from this one, with Thursday’s game being a 12:30pm start. Clayton Kershaw will get the nod and can give the Dodgers a series win. He’ll face lefty Paul Maholm, who is 9-8 with a 3.68 ERA, with one of the losses coming back in April against the Dodgers.

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September 16, 2008

Dodgers Get 6-2 Win, Halfway to Series Sweep

by @ 8:48 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

Derek Lowe went seven strong innings as Casey Blake and Manny each had three hits to lead the Dodgers past the Pirates for their second straight win.

The Dodgers put up a quick lead with four runs in the second, triggered by Blake’s leadoff solo homerun after missing yesterday’s game for a stiff lower back. The bases were then jammed, with the help of a safe call on Lowe’s bunt. Russell Martin then knocked in a run with a sac fly. Andre Ethier and Manny each picked up an RBI, with Ethier singling and Manny doubling. The next inning, Blake tripled and scored on Blake DeWitt’s sac fly. Blake then picked up his second RBI in the sixth for an insurance run, he fell a double short of the cycle with his last AB being a groundout.

Lowe pitched his way to his 14th win, giving up just one run on five hits while walking none and striking out three. He also got on base in the rallying second inning and came around to score a run. Park, Beimel, and Broxton all saw work out of the bullpen.

The Dodgers have now won 14 of 16 and are a season-high 7 games above .500. They can make it eight and clinch the series in tomorrow’s game, with Chad Billingsley taking the mound to face lefty Zach Duke. Billingsley is going for his 16th win, and hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in his last 12 straight starts. Duke is 5-14 and gave up four runs in six innings against the Dodgers back in April.

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September 15, 2008

Kuroda Shuts Out Pirates, Dodgers Win 8-2

by @ 9:22 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

Hiroki Kuroda tossed seven shutout innings as the Dodgers put up eight runs for the win in the first of this four-game series.

The Dodgers broke the scoreless tie with three runs in the third, keyed by Manny’s two-RBI double. Manny singled the next inning before James Loney drove a two-RBI single to give the Dodgers a quick 5-0 lead. Juan Pierre then drove a solo homerun in the sixth, his first in nearly two years, and he ended up with 3 hits and 3 runs scored. The Dodgers added two more runs in the seventh and eighth innings off sac flies by Blake DeWitt and Loney.

Kuroda held the Pirates scoreless through his seven innings of work, giving up only three runs. He was lifted after throwing just 83 pitches, because Torre wanted to use Saito with the eight run lead. Saito completed the eighth, his first outing in two months, while striking out two and walking one. Penny came in for his second appearance since coming off the DL, and gave up a two-out, two-run homerun to Adam LaRoche that snapped the shutout. Kuroda gets the W and moves his record to 9-10.

Derek Lowe will get the nod for Tuesday’s game. He was lifted in the sixth in his last outing after getting hit by a come-backer off his right knee, but he appears to be alright to start. He will face Jeff Karstens, who is 2-5 with a 4.46 ERA, and the Dodgers can take advantage of Karstens’ current five-game losing streak.

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September 14, 2008

Rockies Shut Out Dodgers in Extras to Avoid Sweep

by @ 9:29 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

Greg Maddux took a perfect game into the fifth but it was the Rockies who scored the first and only run of the game for the win in the 10th inning.

It was a pitchers duel the entire game, with Aaron Cook allowing eight hits to the Dodgers in his eight innings, but held the shutout. The closest the Dodgers came to touching home was in the first when they hit three singles but left ’em all on base.

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Maddux pitched just about his best game of the year…he took a perfect game into the fifth and gave up just two hits before leaving after seven. But Cook was just an even a match for Maddux, who didn’t allow the Dodgers to give Maddux any run supports for a win. Cory Wade tossed two perfect innings before Hong-Chih Kuo came on for the tenth. He gave up four singles, including the RBI game winner to Tulowitzki for the loss.

The Dodgers still have a decent lead in the division as they head to Pittsburgh for a four-game series with the Pirates. Hiroki Kuroda will make the start on Monday and face Ross Ohlendorf. Kuroda is looking for his ninth win in his first career start at PNC Park while Ohlendorf is 1-2 and is making his first career start against the Dodgers.

Kershaw Leads Dodgers Past Rockies

by @ 9:08 am. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw pitched a four-hitter as the Dodgers went on to beat the Rockies 5-1 to clinch the series while gaining another game on the Diamondbacks.

Casey Blake got things started for the Dodgers with a solo homerun in the second inning. The Rockies tied it up in the third but the Dodgers took the lead for good with three runs in the fourth. Matt Kemp singled and came around to score on Angel Berroa’s RBI-double. Russell Martin drove an RBI-single before Juan Pierre knocked one in with a sac fly. They added an insurance run in the sixth, with Blake DeWitt walking and coming around to score on Martin’s RBI-groundout.

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Kershaw pitched a gem for his fourth win. He gave up a two-out RBI-single in the second, but the Rockies were held to just four hits through Kershaw’s six innings of work. Chan Ho Park tossed two before Broxton got a 1-2-3 ninth with two strikeouts. Wasn’t a save situation, and Torre decided to put in Broxton instead of Saito, who was activated and warming up before the ninth. Saito’s activation need a roster move for room, so Andruw Jones was placed on the 60-day DL.

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Greg Maddux can seal the sweep for the Dodgers today, and will face Aaron Cook. Maddux is 8-2 at Coors Field, which is the most wins of any visiting pitcher. Cook is 16-9 and is 2-0 with a 1.79 ERA against the Dodgers in 2008.

September 13, 2008

Billingsley Leads Dodgers Past Rockies

by @ 12:20 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

Chad Billingsley picks up his 15th win as the Dodgers beat the Rockies 7-2 in the first game of the set for their third straight win.

The offense was lead by James Loney and Matt Kemp, who each had two hits with Loney notching three RBI and Kemp two. They scored two in the second and regained the lead in the fourth on Kemp’s second RBI hit. Manny chipped in with an RBI-single in the seventh before they added three insurance runs in the ninth. Loney cleared the bases with his double in the ninth after being put in as a defensive replacement for Nomar at first in the seventh.

Billingsley notches his 15th win, and his first career win against the Rockies. He gave up a solo homerun in the first and another run in the second, but then shut out the Rockies for the next four innings. Park, Elbert, Wade, and Proctor all combined for three shutout innings, with Park giving up the only hit in the span.

The Dodgers can clinch the series with a win tonight, with Clayton Kershaw taking the mound to face lefty Jorge De La Rosa. Kershaw shoots for his fourth win, his lasting outing at Coors was a five run, 10-hit pounding and was lifted after three for the loss. De La Rosa is 8-7 and held the Dodgers to one run through six in his last start against them on August 21. The bullpen will also welcome the return of Takashi Saito, who will be activated before tonight’s game. If he is used tonight, it will be his first outing in exactly two months after spending the time on the DL for his torn elbow ligament.

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September 12, 2008

Dodgers-Rockies Preview

by @ 10:41 am. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

After an off day Thursday, the Dodgers take their 3 1/2 game lead and head into Colorado for a three-game series with the Rockies.

Chad Billingsley is set to face lefty Jeff Francis. Billingsley looks for his 15th win, and is 6-2 with a 2.48 ERA in his last 11 starts. He is 0-2 in starts against Colorado lifetime. Francis is 4-9 with a 5.03 ERA.

September 10, 2008

With Win, Dodgers Gain Another Game in Division

by @ 9:47 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers ran away with a 7-2 win over the Padres in Wednesday’s rubber match, which adds another game to their lead in the division.

The offense was powered by Manny Ramirez, who went 2 for 5 with 4 RBI and two homeruns. After the Padres scored one in the first, the Dodgers stole the lead in the next inning with three runs. James Loney tied it with a solo homerun before Blake DeWitt drove in the go-ahead run on his RBI-double. Russell Martin then chipped in with an RBI single. The offense was all Manny after that, with a two-run blast in the fifth followed by another of the same fashion for a couple insurance runs in the ninth.

Derek Lowe allowed a run to score in the first but was lights out after that until he was lifted in the sixth after being struck in the right knee with a ball off the bat of Kevin Kouvmanoff. Torre let him toss a few warmup pitches before pulling him and putting in Scott Elbert, who finished the inning. Brad Penny then came out of the ‘pen and was tagged for a run after loading the bases for Cory Wade.

Dodgers Even-Up Series, Hold 2 1/2 Game Lead

by @ 6:27 am. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers moved their division lead up by a game with a 6-2 win over the Padres in the second game of the set.

The offense was again led by streaking Andre Ethier, who went 2 for 4 with 4 RBI. The Padres took an early lead with one in the first and had a 2-0 lead until the sixth when Manny triggered the offense with a solo homerun. They then took the lead with two runs in the eighth, with Russell Martin doubling and scoring the tying run on Ethier’s triple before Manny drove in go-ahead run Ethier with a sac fly. They added three insurance runs in the ninth when Ethier drove a double for three RBI with the bases loaded. Andruw Jones was also back in the lineup in center, but in typical Jones fashion, went 0 for 4 with 2 K’s in his first game in one month.

Hiroki Kuroda struggled with his commanded, yielding nine hits through six innings, but only allowed two runs to touch home. He didn’t factor into the decision and Chan Ho Park and Joe Beimel came in to relieve the seventh, with Beimel pitching into the eighth and picking up the win. Broxton also tossed the ninth, but there was no save opportunity.

The Dodgers go for the series sweep today, with Derek Lowe taking the mound, who is 3-1 with a 1.02 ERA in his last five starts. He will face lefty Shawn Estes, who is 2-1 but has made just one start, a win, in his return from a three-month stint on the DL for a fractured thumb. If Lowe runs into trouble at all, Brad Penny will be available out of the bullpen, he is expected to be activated today.

September 9, 2008

Dodgers Shut Out, End Win Streak

by @ 7:24 am. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers’ win streak went as far as eight games until the Padres shut them out on Monday night, but they still hold a 1 1/2 game lead above Arizona in the division.

Padres’ starter Cha Seung Baek held the Dodgers to three hits through seven and they totaled just four on the night. Andre Ethier had three of those, two doubles, to add to his NL Player of the Week nod, batting an incredible .650 with 8 RBI during the span. Baek’s shutout performance of the Dodgers is a complete turnaround from almost one week ago, where the Dodgers tagged him for 7 runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Greg Maddux was touched for four runs on seven hits through six to take his 12th loss. He gave up a two-run homerun in the first before two more in the third and fifth innings. Elbert, Proctor, and Beimel combined for two scoreless innings.

The Dodgers will look to kick-start another win streak tonight, with Hiroki Kuroda taking the mound to face lefty Wade LeBlanc. Kuroda’s last outing was a shaky win against the Padres, giving up four runs on 10 hits through 5 1/3. LeBlanc is making his second big league start, with his first being a loss against the Dodgers last week.

…..Brad Penny Update……

The hurler could be activated and ready to be a reliever by as early as this weekend. His simulated game on Monday went well, and he could be used as early as Friday against the Rockies.

September 7, 2008

Dodgers Seal Sweep, Gain a Game on Arizona

by @ 5:16 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers finished their sweep of the Dbacks with Sunday’s 5-3 win and are now 1 1/2 games above them in the division.

The Dodgers put up an early 2-0 lead and made a late-innings rally for the comeback win. Andre Ethier singled and Manny doubled and both scored on James Loney’s single. They were then held scoreless until the sixth, when Ethier scored the tying run on a sac fly by Loney. The Dodgers rallied for the go-ahead runs in the seventh, led off by Blake DeWitt’s double. Angel Berroa got on board with an error and DeWitt scored the go-ahead run on Nomar’s sac fly. Berroa then came around to score the insurance run on Ethier’s infield hit.

Clayton Kershaw lasted just four innings, scattering three runs on six hits. He gave up a solo homerun in the second and another in the third for the tying run. He then gave the Dbacks the lead in the fourth with an RBI-double. Proctor, Park, and Kuo then combined for 3 1/3 scoreless frames, with Kuo picking up the win before Broxton closed it out for his 13th save.

The Dodgers look to extend their win streak to nine when they head out on the road, beginning in San Diego on Monday. Greg Maddux will take the mound and face Cha Seung Baek. Maddux picked up his first win as a Dodger against his former team and looks to make it two straight. Baek is 4-10, with one of those losses against the Dodgers this past week.

September 6, 2008

Dodgers Take First with Two Wins Over Dbacks

by @ 5:01 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers followed a shutout on Friday night with a 7-2 win on Saturday to put themselves atop the division, with Arizona sitting 1/2 game behind.

Friday’s offense was just about a one-man show, with Andre Ethier going 5 for 5 with 5 RBI. He started off with a solo homerun in the first before the Dodgers took a 4-0 lead with three runs in the second, including a two-RBI single by Ethier. Russell Martin scored in the fourth off Ethier’s RBI-double, and the two combined for the same feat in the sixth for another run.

Derek Lowe tossed a two-hit shutout through eight innings, moving his consecutive scoreless streak to 19 innings. He picked up his 12th win and Chan Ho Park threw the ninth with two K’s.

The Dodgers touched home seven times again in Saturday’s win, led by Manny’s five-RBI game. They scored all seven runs in the fifth and sixth innings, with Manny getting the Dodgers on board with a three-run homerun in the fifth. The boys then added four more the next inning, including two more RBIs by Manny.

Chad Billingsley totaled nine K’s while holding the Dbacks to four hits through 6 1/3. Wade, Elbert, Johnson, and Broxton then combined to finish the game, with the Dbacks scoring two off Elbert in the ninth for an attempt at a come-from-behind win.

The Dodgers look to move their win streak to eight while holding their first place lead. Clayton Kershaw looks to lead the Dodgers to the sweep. He will face Max Scherzer, who is making the start in place of Randy Johnson, who has a tired left shoulder. Scherzer was brought up in April for a couple starts but holds an 0-2 record.

September 4, 2008

Dodgers Finish Sweep with 6-4 Win

by @ 7:50 am. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers completed a sweep of the Padres to hold their place 1 1/2 games behind Arizona in the division. They have an off day Thursday before hosting the first-place Dbacks this weekend at home.

The Dodgers squeezed six runs out of nine hits, with two each by Ethier, Casey Blake, and Berroa. The Dodgers scored one in the third before the Padres came back with three the next inning. The boys then regained the lead with four runs in the bottom half, keyed by back-to-back homeruns, Blake DeWitt’s two-run blast and Berroa’s solo homerun, his first in almost two years. Blake also added an insurance run in the seventh with a solo shot.

Hiroki Kuroda pitched a decent outing, giving up four runs on 10 hits and earning the win, with six of his eight wins now coming at home. He struggled in the fourth, allowing the Padres to rally for three runs, and was lifted with one out in the sixth. Proctor, Elbert, and Wade all combined to hold the Padres scoreless until Broxton came on to close out the ninth in 1-2-3 fashion.

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The Dodgers now have a five-game win streak as they head into this weekend’s crucial series with Arizona. The matchup for Friday will be Derek Lowe and Dan Haren. Lowe looks for his 12th win while Haren is 14-7, with his most recent loss last weekend against the Dodgers, giving up five runs through six.

Also, congrats to Manny for picking up the NL Player of the Month award.

September 3, 2008

Dodgers Clinch Series with 8-4 Win

by @ 9:53 am. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers have now notched three straight wins, with Clayton Kershaw leading the Dodgers past the Padres on Tuesday.

The Dodgers put up an early 2-0 lead in the first, with Andre Ethier singling and scoring on Manny’s two-run shot. They added another in the third before exploding for four runs in the fourth, two off James Loney’s single to extend his hit streak to 13 games and one from Blake DeWitt’s solo homerun. Ethier capped off the scoring in the sixth with a solo homerun, and was just a double short of the cycle; he ended 3 for 4 with 4 runs scored on the night.

Kershaw took a no-hitter into the fifth and went into the eighth inning for the first time in his career. His shutout held until the seventh and he was taken out in the eighth after walking the first two. Ramon Troncoso came in and allowed the runners to score, tagging Kershaw for three total runs on three hits with six K’s. Kershaw notched his third win, his first in almost a month, and Joe Beimel finished the eighth and ninth in scoreless fashion.

The Dodgers can complete a sweep today, with Hiroki Kuroda taking the mound in search of his eighth win. He will face lefty Wade LeBlanc, who is making his big-league debut tonight. The Dodgers have now cut the Dbacks’ lead to 1 1/2 games, and they have a chance to regain the series lead this weekend by hosting the Dbacks at home. The Dodgers also received some more good news, with word that even though Jeff Kent underwent minor surgery, he could still be available to play this season.

September 2, 2008

Dodgers Follow Up Series Win of Dbacks with Win Over Padres

by @ 7:26 am. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers beat up on the Diamondbacks in an 8-1 victory in Sunday’s rubber match before heading back home to get a 5-2 win over the Padres in Monday’s opener.

The Dodgers scored all eight runs off Brandon Webb and chased him out of the game in the fourth inning. Andre Ethier started things off with a solo homerun in the first on an 0-2 count before Casey Blake blasted a three-run homer. They scored another off Webb in the third before rallying for three more in the fourth, with Ethier smacking a double before two runs scored on an Arizona error. The Dodgers were then blanked for the next five frames, but an eight-run head start led them to the win.

Derek Lowe evened his record at .500 with the win, giving up no runs through six. He was given a four-run cushion before even taking the mound, and gave up just four hits. Scott Elbert gave the Dbacks their only run off a solo homerun in the seventh before Cory Wade and Jonathan Broxton each tossed an inning.

The Dodgers now remain 2 1/2 back after getting a win against the Padres on Monday, with Greg Maddux getting the win over his former team while totaling 354 for his career to tie him for 8th on the all-time list.

The Padres scored one in the first but the Dodgers answered back in the bottom half on James Loney’s RBI-single, which moves his hit streak to 12 games. The Dodgers took the lead for good in the second, with Angel Berroa driving an RBI-double before Maddux chipped in with an RBI-single. Blake drove a solo homerun in the third before Manny capped off the scoring in the seventh with a sacfly to score Russell Martin, who had singled and took third on Ethier’s single.

Maddux got his first win as an ’08 Dodger, giving up two runs through 5 2/3. He gave the Padres a run in the first before holding them scoreless until the sixth when he gave up back-to-back doubles. Cory Wade then finished the inning before Hong-Chih Kuo tossed two hitless, scoreless innings, complete with three strikeouts, before Broxton notched his 11th save.

The Dodgers have gotten two straight wins, but have also suffered a loss, with the news that Jeff Kent will undergo knee surgery. At best, he could return by the end of the month as a pinch-hitter. The month of September, though, allows the roster to be expanded, with the Dodgers making a few activations and call-ups to add depth to the lineup and staff. The bullpen will add James McDonald, Eric Stults, and Scott Proctor, with outfielder Jason Repko also being called up and Andruw Jones and Delwyn Young being activated from the DL. There is also chatter of Saito returning to the closer role by season’s end, but Broxton will remain the closer for now, getting 11 saves in 13 chances since taking over the role.

The Dodgers look to make it three straight tonight, with Clayton Kershaw taking the mound to face Cha Seung Baek. Kershaw is 0-2 in his last two starts and Baek is 4-9 with a 4.99 ERA.

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