Following the Dodgers and Exploring The Team’s Past
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The Dodgers may have a defacto owner but they locked up one of the best players in 2011 for the forseeable future. The Dodgers signed Matt Kemp to an eight year, $160 million deal today. This is the biggest contract in the team’s history and it surpasses the $105 million deal they have Kevin Brown back in 1998. If Kemp doesn’t win the MVP this year, then he got robbed.
Kemp gets a $2 million signing bonus an while he’ll make just $10 million in 2012, it goes up quite a bit from there. He’ll make $20 million in 2013, $21 million in 2014 and 2015 then $21.5 million from 2016 through 2019. It’s the biggest deal ever given to a National League player and the seventh largest deal ever in either league.
Kemp made just under $7 million in 2011 which was quite the bargain for what we got out of him. It’ll fun seeing him in a Dodgers uniform for years to come.
Chad Billingsley shut the Padres out through four, but gave up two in the fifth after walking the first three batters to tie the game up. He got through the sixth and was pulled after six when the Dodgers pulled ahead in the seventh. Billingsley picked up the win, holding the Padres to two runs on two hits with four K’s. Cory Wade and Hong-Chih Kuo each tossed a shutout inning before Broxton picked up his second save with a perfect ninth, complete with two strikeouts.
Manny led the offense, giving the Dodgers a quick 1-0 lead with an RBI groundout in the first to score Rafael Furcal, who had doubled. Casey Blake then made it 2-0 with a solo shot in the second. The Padres tied it up in the fifth but the Dodgers pulled ahead for good in the seventh, including the go-ahead, two-run double by Manny. Furcal, Orlando Hudson, and James Loney each had two hits apiece.
With the win, the Dodgers have avoided a series’ loss, but Clayton Kershaw can give them the series win tonight. He will face Kevin Correia, who went 3-8 with a 6.05 ERA in 2008.
Eric Milton and Claudio Vargas, both fifth starter possibilities, were roughed up on Sunday’s game against the Rockies. Milton gave up four runs on six hits in the first inning before completing two more scoreless innings. Vargas gave up three in the fourth before also tossing two scoreless innings. Hong-Chih Kuo also gave up two runs.
For the offense, Valentino Pascucci drove a two-run homerun. Matt Kemp and A.J. Ellis each had an RBI-single. Manny started for the first time this spring in left, but had to be pulled before getting an at-bat for his left hamstring. Manny was scheduled to start in left again today against the Mariners, but instead will take the day off.
The Dodgers have another split-squad game today, against the A’s and the Mariners. Hiroki Kuroda is expected to start against the Mariners, facing Erik Bedard, with Jason Schmidt starting against the A’s. This will be another test for Schmidt, who appears to possibly need a few rehab starts at the beginning of the regular season before joining the club.
Andre Ethier reported to Spring Training camp a few days early and a few days before his set arbitration hearing. But a day before the hearing, the Dodgers and Ethier agreed on a one-year, $3.1 million contract. Ethier was going to seek $3.75 million in the hearing, and with the Dodgers originally offering $2.65 million, the $3.1 is just about halfway for both.
Also in a Yahoo! Sports article, Brad Penny was quoted saying he was happy to leave the Dodgers. Along with claiming the Dodgers made him pitch more than enough innings while injured, he dropped Larry Bowa’s name, saying he didn’t get along with him and that he would talk about the players to others. Bowa reacted by calling Penny a “lazy underachiever” whom the Dodgers are glad to part with.
Regardless of what’s being said off the field between coaches and former players, the Dodgers are now just a week away from their first Spring Training game.
In less than three days, the Dodgers will begin their ’09 spring training season with pitchers and catchers reporting to the club’s new facilities in Glendale, Arizona.
The rotation has four set as of now: Billingsley, Kuroda, Kershaw, and newly-signed Randy Wolf. The fifth spot could go to: Jason Schmidt (depending on how his rehab, at best he could be ready by Opening Day), James McDonald, newly acquired Claudio Vargas, or Minor League-invitee Shawn Estes.
The Dodgers have also signed RHP Jeff Weaver to a minor league deal. Weaver will not be in the run for the fifth spot in the rotation, though he is reporting to Spring Training in a few days and will compete for a bullpen spot, but will more than likely see most of his time with one of the farm teams.
While pitchers and catchers report this week, the Dodgers’ first exhibition game isn’t until February 25th against the Cubs.
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.
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.
The Dodgers blew a five-run lead to send the game to extras, but Jeff Kent drove a solo shot in the top of the 11th to lead the Dodgers to the win to even the series.
The offense got two in the first off Russell Martin’s two-run shot with Delwyn Young on base. They then scored one run in the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th innings to make it 6-1. Martin ended up 3 for 5 with 3 runs and 3 RBI, Jeff Kent 2 for 4 with 2 BB’s and 2 RBI, James Loney 2 for 6, and leadoff man Matt Kemp 1 for 4 with 2 BB’s and an RBI. Kent’s one-out homerun with a 3-2 count put the Dodgers up 7-6 and Saito held the bottom half to give the Dodgers the win.
Clayton Kershaw’s eighth start in the big leagues failed again to give him his first win as he pitched in his home state. He was tagged for three runs on six hits through 5 2/3. Kershaw left in the sixth allowing just one runner to touch home, but he was tagged for two more runs when Brian Falkenborg came in and gave up a three-run shot to Ty Wigginton. Hong-Chih Kuo came in to escape the inning but Jonathan Broxton allowed Carlos Lee to get a 2-RBI double in the seventh to tie the game. Joe Beimel and Chan Ho Park then kept the A’s scoreless until Saito came in for the bottom half of the 11th with a one-run lead courtesy Jeff Kent, and pitched a 1-2-3 inning to give the Dodgers the win and put them 2 1/2 above the Dbacks.
Hiroki Kuroda will get his first start tonight after spending three weeks on the DL. The bullpen was used heavily last night so the Dodgers will need some innings from Kuroda at the very least. He will face Runelvys Hernandez, who is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA this season.
These are the kind of series you like to see. A bad team comes into town, and the Dodgers took care of business and they’re back in first place a game ahead of the Padres.
On Friday, the Dodgers gave Bret Tomko a nice cushion by putting up seven runs through the first four innings. Bret Tomko threw five shutout innings and improved to 6-6 while Jae Seo was knocked around in mopup time. Jeff Kent homered and drove in three runs while the first three batters in the order (Rafael Furcal, Cesar Izturis and Nomar Garicapara) all scored twice in the 10-4 win.
Yesterday, Aaron Sele and three relievers combined for a seven hit shutout. He improved to 4-2 on the season and struck out four in six innings. Andre Ethier had two hits and four RBIs in the 7-0 win.
Today’s game was the closest of three but outside of the first few innings, the Dodgers had the lead for most of the game. Rafael Furcal and Ramon Martinez drove in two runs and Nomar Garciapara and Ethier scored twice. Brad Penny improved to an impressive 8-2. Takashi Saito closed out the game and he picked up his fifth save of the season.
Next up is a three game series in Minnesota against the Twins. The Twins looked horrible in the first couple of months, but they’ve really turned it on in June. They’re riding a four game winning streak like we are and they’ve been very good (24-10) at home so the Dodgers have their work cut out for them.
The skid continues. I guess I shouldn’t be too upset because I never really thought (at least deep down)they’d contend. The Mariners came to a town, and a mediocre team made us look bad.
Brad Penny was knocked around on Tuesday. Five runs on ten hits through six innings. Rafael Furcal had two hits and two runs.
Danys Baez was the culprit on Wednesday. He came in with a one run lead and proceeded to give up four runs on six hits. Jon Broxton didn’t too much better because he gave up two runs without getting anyone out. Chad Billingsley had a nice start go to waste and Olmedo Saenz drove in two runs.
The Dodgers finally got back on track yesterday. Derek Lowe had a really nice start and he gave up two runs on seven hits in the complete game. He improved to 6-3 on the season. Rafael Furcal and Russ Martin both drove in two runs in the 4-2 win.
The Pirates come to town for three so hopefully we can get back on track against a bad team. Right now we’re one game back of the Padres, but only a game and a half in front of last place. The NL West should be a very interesting division this year.
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