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December 9, 2008

Dodgers Get Blake for Three More Years; Rumors of CC Interests in Dodgers

by @ 7:47 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

Halfway through the Winter Meetings in Vegas, the Dodgers have already made a few moves.

Casey Blake accepted a three-year, $17.5 million dollar deal with an option for 2012.

With Loney and Blake secured on the corners, and Blake DeWitt expected to be the starting second baseman, the Dodgers are still in need of a shortstop. Free agent Furcal has narrowed down his options to Oakland, Toronto, KC, and the Dodgers. The Dodgers are also reportedly close to a one-year deal with Mark Loretta, who would likely be a utility infielder while sharing the second base position with DeWitt.

Even after the Yankees and Brewers have offered deals to CC Sabathia, he is still keeping the Dodgers as an option. Colletti will likely not jump on a CC offer until the shortstop hole is filled. CC likes that the Dodgers are an NL team near his southern California home, but the Dodgers could probably not top the Yankees six-year deal.

December 6, 2008

What's In Store for Dodgers at Winter Meetings

by @ 9:20 am. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The biggest question is the decision of Manny Ramirez. The Dodgers offered him, as well as Derek Lowe and Casey Blake arbitration. All three are unlikely to take the Dodgers up on this, but the move was made to ensure at least one first round draft pick and a sandwich pick in the 2009 Draft. The Dodgers will have to compete with the Twins for Blake, who offered him a two-year, $6 million deal.

The Dodgers also passed up arbitration on Rafael Furcal, which likely means they will be in pursuit of a new shortstop. They have offered a minor-league contract to veteran Juan Castro, which would likely make him the back-up shortstop for the club if he accepts.

The #1 need, though, is starting pitching. With Maddux expected to announce his retirement on Monday, and Lowe likely passing up his arbitration, the Dodgers have some spots in their rotation to fill. They will also likely not follow through on the 2009 option for Brad Penny. This would leave the ace position to Chad Billingsley, but his expectations for 2009 remain a question after undergoing surgery for a broken leg two weeks ago. The Dodgers may propose a one or two year offer to a veteran starter, with names like Randy Johnson and Andy Pettitte popping up. But just a few days ago Torre reported that the Dodgers would not pursue Pettitte after he declined the Yankees one-year deal.

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Full list of Dodger FA’s: Lowe, Blake, Penny, Maddux, Manny, Blake, Furcal, Joe Beimel, Chan Ho Park, Nomar, Jeff Kent, Mark Sweeney, Gary Bennett, Jason Johnson, Pablo Ozuna.

October 14, 2008

Phillies Score 4 in Eighth for Comeback Win

by @ 5:28 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers are a loss away from elimination after Monday’s 7-5 loss to the Phillies.

The Phillies touched Derek Lowe for two early runs in the first but the Dodgers gained a run in the first, with Rafael Furcal getting a leadoff bunt-hit and coming around to score on James Loney’s two-out double. They took the lead with two runs in the fifth, ledoff again by Furcal with a walk. Andre Ethier singled and Furcal scored on Manny’s RBI-single before Ethier scored the go-ahead run on Russell Martin’s groundout. The Phillies tied it again in the sixth but Casey Blake put the Dodgers on top with a solo homerun.

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Lowe gave up three hits in the first that resulted in a quick 2-0 lead, but recovered for four shutout innings after that. The Dodgers pulled ahead with their two runs in the fifth, which prompted Torre to pull Lowe after just 74 pitches, likely because he had started on three days rest. It took three relievers-Kershaw, Park, and Beimel-to get through the sixth, but not before the Phillies tied it up, with Ryan Howard scoring on a wild pitch by Park. Hong-Chih Kuo threw a 1-2-3 seventh and took the mound for the eighth but was lifted after giving up a leadoff single. Cory Wade then gave up a two-run homerun to give the Phillies the lead and was replaced by Broxton after giving up another single. Matt Stairs’ then drove a two-run homerun off Broxton to complete their four-run inning.

The Dodgers are at the brink of elimination, with Chad Billingsley taking the mound on Wednesday in a must-win Game 5. Billingsley tossed a one-run win in the NLDS before taking the loss in Game 2 in Philly, with a career-high eight runs given up. Billingsley will be back at home, though, where he has a 6-0 record with a 1.65 ERA in his last seven starts. He will face Cole Hamels, who is unbeaten this postseason and went 1-0 against the Dodgers this year.

October 13, 2008

Five-Run First Gives Dodgers First NLCS Win

by @ 6:34 am. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

Hiroki Kuroda cruised through six innings while the offense rallied for five runs in the first in a 7-2 win over the Phillies to move the series to 2-1.

Manny Ramirez again triggered the offense in the first, driving in the first Dodger run with an RBI-single before Casey Blake followed up with the same to make it 2-0. The bases were then loaded with two outs for Blake DeWitt, who blasted a triple to the right field corner to clear the bases and give the Dodgers a quick 5-0 lead. Phillies got on board in the second but Rafael Furcal answered back with a solo homerun that same inning. Nomar also drove a run in in the fourth in his first start of the postseason to make it 7-1.

Kuroda picked up the win after giving up two runs on five hits in six-plus innings. He gave up a run in the second but still had a four-run lead after the offense’s big first inning rally. Kuroda hurled a pitch behind the head of Shane Victorino in the third, after an inside pitch to Russell Martin in the first, that cleared the benches and was close to being a brawl but ended up just having both pitchers warned. Kuroda started to tire in the seventh, giving up a run and leaving two men on for Cory Wade, who got out of the inning and tossed the eighth before Broxton got some work in the ninth.

The Dodgers have a chance to even up the series tonight, with Derek Lowe taking the mound on three days’ rest to face Joe Blanton. Lowe is 2-1 with a 5.09 ERA lifetime on three days’ rest, and is 4-1 lifetime against the Phillies. Blanton went 9-12 in the regular season and is 1-0 with a 3.32 ERA in three career starts against the Dodgers.

October 11, 2008

Dodgers Roughed Up by Myers

by @ 7:37 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers fell 0-2 for the series with a 5-8 loss on Friday, with Brett Myers holding the Dodger offense while going 3 for 3 with 3 RBI.

James Loney and Blake DeWitt each drove in a run in the second and third inning, but the Phils scored four in the second to hold the lead. Manny drove a three-run shot in the fourth to bring the Dodgers within three runs, and Casey Blake had a chance to tie it in the sixth but fell inches short of a homerun to center.

Chad Billingsley escaped the first and struck out the first two batters in the second before the Phillies rallied for four that same inning, with Myers getting his first RBI-hit to tie it at 1-1. Three runs and one inning later, Billingsley gave up a two-RBI hit to Myers before giving up two more runs to exit the game. James McDonald struck out Pat Burrell with the bases loaded in the third in his postseason debut and went on to three more scoreless innings. Clayton Kershaw and Cory Wade each came out of the ‘pen to toss, which likely eliminates Kershaw as a Game 4 starter.

The Dodgers need to win at least one of their next three at home to bring the series back to Philly, where they are now 0-6 this season at Citizens Bank Park. Hiroki Kuroda will get the nod for Game 3 on Sunday and face veteran Jamie Moyer. Derek Lowe will also likely be the starter for Game 4. Kuroda went 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA against the Phils this year while Moyer was 16-7 overall in the regular season and lost his NLDS start to the Brewers.

October 10, 2008

Phillies’ 3-Run Sixth Gives them Game 1 Win

by @ 12:43 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers let a 2-0 lead slip away in the sixth as the Phillies scored three to take Game 1 of the NLCS.

Manny contiued his postseason hit streak in the first, driving in a run with an RBI-double that was a hopper off the wall that would’ve been a homerun in any other part of the park. Blake DeWitt made it 2-0 in the fourth with a sac fly to score Matt Kemp.

Derek Lowe cruised through the first five innings, and his offense game him a 2-0 lead as he took the mound in the sixth. Chase Utley tied it with a two-run homerun after Rafael Furcal made a throwing error to put a man on second. Lowe then got MVP-candidate Ryan Howard out before giving up a go-ahead solo homerun to Pat Burrell. Lowe takes his first postseason loss since 2003 and his first against the Phillies since 2001.

Game 2 is an early afternoon start LA time, with Chad Billingsley making the start and facing Brett Myers. Andre Ethier will also be batting behind Manny in the cleanup slot.

October 7, 2008

NLCS Game 1 Preview

by @ 7:07 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

Game 1 is set for Thursday with a 5:22 PST start time. Derek Lowe will take the mound and face LHP Cole Hamels.

Hamels went 14-10 with a 3.09 ERA in the regular season. The 24-year-old got a win in Game 1 of the NLDS, giving up just two hits through eight in a 3-1 win over the Brewers. Lowe got a win in the NLDS at Wrigley last week and is an unbeaten 2-0 in three career starts at Citizens Bank Park. Lowe could potentially pitch on three days rest and start Game 4, with the other potential starters for that being Maddux and Kershaw. Game 2 is set for Friday, with Brett Myers being the starting pitcher for the Phillies and the Dodgers having yet to announce theirs, though it will likely be the same Lowe-Bilingsley-Kuroda shuffle that they did in the Division Series.

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October 5, 2008

Dodgers Sweep Cubs for NLDS Championship

by @ 6:20 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

The Dodgers got a 3-1 win over the Cubs on Saturday to get their first postseason series win since the ’88 World Series and their first postseason series sweep since 1963.

 James Loney drove in two runs with a two-out double in the first, and that was all the Dodgers would need to seal the series. Russell Martin also went 2 for 4 with two doubles and drove in a run in the fifth.

Hiroki Kuroda’s starts this season have been either near perfection or near distasterous, but he came out with near perfection against the Cubs to seal the win. He shut them out for 6 1/3 innings and was lifted in the seventh, walking to the dugout receiving a standing O from his fellow fans. Cory Wade came in and gave up a run in the eighth before Jonathan Broxton got the save with a perfect ninth, striking out the side.

The Dodgers NLCS opponent was a big question mark until the Phillies knocked out the Brewers today. In the regular season, the Dodgers swept the Phillies at home but were swept by them in Philly a week later. The Dodgers have met the Phillies four times in NLCS, but this is the first time it being a seven-game series. The Dodgers will have had a five day rest by the time Game 1 gets underway on Thursday night in Philly, a 5pm start time in LA. Game 2 is in Philly at 1pm PST on Friday before the teams head to LA for a 5pm start time for Game 3 on Sunday.

October 3, 2008

Dodgers Now One Win Away from NLDS Title

by @ 2:31 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

A five-run second inning in Game 2 powered the Dodgers past the Cubs to move the series to 2-0 in a 10-3 win.

Carlos Zambrano managed to stay until the seventh, but not before the Dodgers tagged him for seven runs, with five in the second inning. The Dodgers were helped by back-to-back Cubs errors who helped the Dodgers load the bases for Rafael Furcal, who drove in a run on a bunt single before Martin cleared the bases with a three-RBI double. Manny added his second postseason homerun with a solo shot in the fifth to center to make it 6-0. He then walked in the seventh to sent Zambrano to the clubhouse before being driven home by Kemp’s double. They added two more in the eighth, with Furcal driving an RBI-single and scoring on Manny’s single. Juan Pierre then capped off the scoring in the ninth.

Chad Billingsley got his first postseason win in his first postseason start of his career. He held the Cubs to two hits through six shutout innings before giving up back-to-back doubles in the seventh to end the shutout. Cory Wade got the final out that inning and pitched the eighth before Saito came on for the ninth with a 10-1 lead. Saito gave up three consecutive hits and was tagged for two runs before Broxton got the final three outs.

The Dodgers can get the series sweep to take them to the NLCS with a win tonight. Hiroki Kuroda will take the mound and face Rich Harden.

October 2, 2008

Loney’s Slam Leads Dodgers to Game 1 Win

by @ 3:03 pm. Filed under 2008 Dodgers

James Loney gave the Dodgers a go-ahead grand slam in the fifth as Derek Lowe held the Cubs to two runs through six.

Ryan Dempster shut out the Dodgers through four until he loaded the bases, with walks to Furcal, Manny, and Ethier. Loney then sank into an 0-2 count before drilling the ball to left-center for the go-ahead runs and the first Dodger postseason grand slam since Dusty Baker’s in 1977. Manny and Martin then drilled solo shots in the seventh and ninth innings to make it 7-2.

Lowe gave up a two-run homerun in the second, but otherwise shut the Cubs out before being lifted after six, tallying six strikeouts. Wade, Broxton, and Maddux then each pitched an inning, which likely means that Maddux will not be in the starting rotation for this series.

 In the NL, Game 1 NLDS winners have a 23-3 series record. Chad Billingsley has a chance to put the Dodgers up by two games, making the start tonight and facing Carlos Zambrano. Billingsley led the staff with 16 wins this year, but will also have to watch out for Zambrano at the plate-he had a .337 BA with four homeruns this year.

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.

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