Jun 14

Suspensions finally handed out for Tuesday’s brawls

Major League Baseball handed out suspensions to Dodgers and Diamondbacks personnel for Tuesday’s brawls.

For the Dodgers:

  • J.P. Howell and Skip Schumaker were suspended for two games each.
  • Ronald Belisario was suspended for one game
  • Don Mattingly was suspended one game (to be served tonight)
  • Mark McGwire was suspended two games (tonight and tomorrow)
  • Yasiel Puig and Zack Greinke were fined an undisclosed amount.

For the Diamondbacks

  • Ian Kennedy was suspended 10 games.
  • Eric Hinske was suspended 5 games.
  • Kirk Gibson was suspended 1 game (to be served tonight)
  • Miguel Montero and Gerardo Parra were fined.

Also, because multiple players on the disabled list left the bench to join the fight, all of those players will receive some discipline and neither team will be allowed to have any players on the disabled list sit on the bench during their weekend series.

All players can appeal their suspensions. Coaches and managers cannot.

Update: Ken Rosenthal has more explanation about the suspensions.

 

Jun 13

More details of Dodgers TV contract emerge

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times has more details on the Dodgers $6 billion TV deal with Time-Warner.

The Dodgers would retain more than $6 billion from their new television contract under a tentative agreement with Major League Baseball, according to two people familiar with the agreement.

The settlement would avert a showdown between the Dodgers and MLB in U.S. Bankruptcy Court and would effectively end the court’s jurisdiction over the Dodgers’ affairs. The people providing the information about the settlement spoke on condition of anonymity because negotiations have not concluded.

MLB officials declined to comment. Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly said he could not discuss ongoing negotiations but said the team could maintain its record player payroll under the settlement.

The Dodgers would like to sign ace Clayton Kershaw to a long-term contract extension, and the expected price tag could be at least $200 million. New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, the best player among potential free agents this fall, might also command a $200-million contract.

Boehly declined to comment on specific players. However, when asked whether the Dodgers could afford to take on two players with $200-million contracts if the baseball operations department recommended it, he answered, “Yes.”

Jun 13

This was not a Dodgers game, but it could have been

In the first inning of today’s game at Coors Field between the Rockies and Nationals, Colorado left fielder Carlos Gonzalez had to leave the game in the first inning after Jordan Pacheco lined a ball off Gonzalez’s left foot. Gonzalez was standing in the on deck circle when this happened. CarGo (If Vin can say it, I will type it) had to leave the game, but X-rays were negative.

Then in the fifth inning, center fielder Dexter Fowler left the game after the pain in his right ring finger was too bad for him to continue. He had been hit by a pitch by Ross Detwiler in the third. Fowler’s X-rays were negative.

In the eighth inning, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki dove for a grounder by Ian Desmond. He hurt his ribcage and left the game. Tulowitzki’s X-rays were not negative. He has a broken rib and will be out 4-6 weeks.

Pitcher Jhoulys Chacin was used as a pinch hitter in the seventh. And he drew a walk. But the Nats won the game 5-4.

To sum up other major injuries in the NL West: Arizona is without its two best relievers in J.J. Putz and Matt Reynolds, who have arm injuries. San Francisco is missing Pablo Sandoval (foot) and Angel Pagan (hamstring). Also, Marco Scutaro may have to go on the DL with a finger injury.  San Diego is missing closer Huston Street, first baseman Yonder Alonso, infielder Jed Gyorko, and outfielder Cameron Maybin.

Maybin’s replacement is Jaff Decker. His parents named him after an uncle, who died in the military, and the name is pronounced Jeff.  I am trying to anticipate one of Vin’s anecdotes.

Jun 13

Better living through brawling?

Bob Nightengale of USA Today thinks the Dodgers-DBacks brawl will be a boost to the the Dodgers spirits.

Maybe this wasn’t Pee Wee Reese putting his arm around Jackie Robinson, but rookie Yasiel Puig was not only accepted by his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates Tuesday, he also was embraced.

The Dodgers, a dysfunctional and underachieving team that has resembled a bad reality TV show all season, became an actual team during their fight night with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In fact, the brawl might have saved the Dodgers’ season.

In one night, pitcher Zack Greinke became a hero to his teammates, outfielder Andre Ethier showed some life, manager Don Mattingly was fiery and catcher Tim Federowicz proved he belonged. Heck, even hitting coach Mark McGwire was intimidating again.

And Puig, who rubbed some teammates and coaches wrong in spring training with flamboyant behavior, was officially welcomed into the Dodgers family.

 

Sure, whatever you say Bob. The problem still remains that the Dodgers, as presently constituted, are not very good. They are 28-37, 8 1/2 games out of first and three games behind the Padres, who are in fourth. And the Dodgers are 13th in the NL in runs scored. (Ken Rosenthal was definitely not a fan of the brawl.)

Those big graphics that are hung outside the stadium with players pictures on them? You know what they’re for? To remind you, who is supposed to be on the team. Because it is easy to forget.

The Dodgers will be losing players to suspensions. It’s possible Yasiel Puig could be hurt more than we thought. Hanley Ramirez, in theory, should play Friday, but he didn’t look great on Wednesday. A.J. Ellis and Matt Kemp may be back soon. Chris Capuano could come back soon, but he will likely be suspended because he left the bench to participate in a fight while on the disabled list. Carl Crawford seems to have no timetable. And Andre Ethier is the center fielder.

And there was Bill Shakin’s report in the Times about how the Guggenheim Group set up their purchase of the Dodgers in such a way that if an NFL franchise were to go in Chavez Ravine, the landlord would be… that guy. Whoops, wrong image, this guy. Oops, wrong again, here it is.

May your Thursday not be as bleak as mine.

 

Jun 12

DBacks hit back against Dodgers with lots and lots of hits

Wednesday’s game at Dodger Stadium thankfully had no brawls, with all the hitting coming off the bats of the Diamondbacks and Dodgers bats.

Arizona banged out 20 hits, 17 of them singles, to break through against Ronald Belisario and Brandon League in the 12th to win 8-6.

The highlights for the Dodgers all came in the fifth, when they erased a 3-0 lead, scoring four times, highlighted by a Hyun-Jin Ryu triple (helped out by an ill-advised dive by Gerardo Parra).

Then the Dodger bats fell silent. Rookie Chris Withrow made his MLB debut in the 7th and couldn’t hold the 1-run lead.

After the Diamondbacks scored four times in the 12th, the Dodgers tried to come back with a home run by Ramon Hernandez (who also stole a base), a single by Yasiel Puig (who did not start because of a shoulder strain, although he appeared OK in his limited action), followed by a walk to Skip Schumaker. Nick Punto grounded to first and may have been able to beat the throw at first, but he opted for the headfirst slide, and he was out.

Puig scored on Mark Ellis’ ground out. Adrian Gonzalez walked, but pinch hitter Tim Federowicz grounded in to a force play to end the game.

Thursday is an off day for the Dodgers as they head off to Pittsburgh. The Pirates are the only team the Dodgers have swept at home this season. The Pirates are 39-26 on the season and 23-11 at PNC Park. The Pirates go for a series sweep against the Giants Thursday.

Disciplinary action for Tuesday’s Pier One brawl (I think there was a lot of rattan involved) should be handed out Thursday.

 

Jun 12

Dodgers and DBacks may open 2014 Down Under

According to a report in the Daily Telegraph of Sydney, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks are scheduled to open the 2014 MLB regular season at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

In a $13 million coup for the state government, the opening series of the MLB will be held at the SCG on Saturday March 22 and Sunday March 23 – the first time a competitive US baseball fixture will be held in Australia and only the sixth time one has been staged outside America.

The games have been described as the biggest internationally recognised event in this country since the 2003 Rugby World Cup final and come exactly 100 years after the Chicago White Sox played against NSW at the SCG.

“Sydney will host the first two games for the opening series of 2014 Major League Baseball at the Sydney Cricket Ground,” Premier Barry O’Farrell said.

“The opening series will feature the LA Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks playing the first two games of the season.

There is no official announcement from either team, MLB, or the Players Association.

If the plan goes through, both teams would likely start spring training very early and then fly back to the U.S. after the two games that count and then play more exhibition games before their respective home openers.

The Dodgers have never played a regular season game outside of North America.

According to weather.com, the average temperature in Sydney for March 22-23 is a high of 76 and a low of 63.

 

Jun 11

Dodgers win game, possibly lose pointless war

Monday night’s loss by the Dodgers to Arizona was ugly. The Dodgers win on Tuesday night was ugly in a much different way.

A well-pitched game turned into a nasty brawl-filled one with a total of five six people ejected, including Yasiel Puig. It was a night when Dodger fans spent most of the night worried that the Golden Child was going to be taken from them on three different occasions.

In the second inning, Puig grounded out to short and appeared to have become the latest Dodger to succumb to the Hamstring Plague. However, Puig came back out to right field in the third and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

Moving ahead to the fifth inning, Zack Greinke grazed Cody Ross with a pitch and Jason Kubel followed with a home run.

Then it got ugly, in the bottom of the sixth, Arizona starter Ian Kennedy came up and in to Puig and hit Puig in the nose with a pitch. Did Kennedy throw with malice aforethought? Probably not, but most home fans don’t look kindly on seeing their prized rookie getting a pitch near his head. That anger quickly dissipated when Andre Ethier followed the HBP with an HR to make it 2-2.

Greinke took matters into his own hand to fulfill the letter of baseball’s unwritten rules by hitting Arizona catcher Miguel Montero to lead off the 7th. The benches and bullpens emptied, but no one was ejected and it seemed, for a moment, that the famed “cooler heads” had prevailed.

But who was the Dodgers second scheduled hitter in the bottom of the 7th? Zack Greinke, whom Kennedy hit in the shoulder, although it didn’t appear to hurt Greinke at all. The benches and bullpens emptied again and the cooler heads were nowhere to be found. Puig and Ronald Belisario appeared to be going after anyone in gray and red. Mark McGwire wanted to get in on the action, but was kept away by Matt Williams, who was strangely one of the level-headed ones in the whole scene.

Fortunately, no one got hurt this time. Kennedy was ejected as was Arizona manager Kirk Gibson (automatically by rule). Arizona coach Turner Ward, who got tossed over a railing, was ejected along with Puig and McGwire. Also Ronald Belisario it was subsequently learned.

Arizona took the lead 3-2 in the eighth against J.P. Howell and Matt Guerrier and it looked like the Dodgers were headed for the lastest in a string of dispiriting losses to the Diamondbacks.

Adrian Gonzalez led off the eighth with a walk against Daniel Hernandez. Alex Castellanos, who had replaced Puig, tried to sacrifice (this will get worse) and was called out when he ran into his own batted ball. This sent Gonzalez back to first with one out. Ethier walked, and then, the Uribear walked to load the bases.

Ahh, the bases loaded. What could go wrong? Who was coming up? It was Tim Federowicz! And what happened? A double off the leadoff wall to score three runners. Of course. (Few things are more fun to hear than Vin Scully calling a three-run double, but he didn’t call out all the players names like he sometimes does. Probably because you can never remember just who is on the Dodgers now.)

New closer Kenley Jansen pitched a 1-2-3 ninth. And there was great rejoicing in the land.

Until Joe Torre metes out some suspensions. And then all the folderol from Tuesday night will seem even more pointless. Ultimately, like the Quentin-Greinke affair, being on the “right” side doesn’t matter if you aren’t able to play at all. And a team like the Dodgers really don’t need to playing with even fewer available players.

The three HBPs by Arizona pitchers (Joe Paterson hit Mark Ellis in the 8th, but that did not warrant an ejection) was the second time they had done that in a week. Last Tuesday, Arizona hit Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter three times during a 14-inning 7-6 win in St. Louis. That was done by three different pitchers, all relievers.

Update: J.P. Hoonstra of the Daily News passes on AP quotes with Arizona reactions.

Update 2: Nick Piecoro of AZcentral.com has more reaction from both sides.

 

Jun 11

Far be it from me to blog about TV

But I doubt that a TJ Simers inspired sitcom will be a ratings bonanza.

From Sports Business Journal:

“The series is about an old-school reporter in a medium that is quickly evaporating and a daughter who is a participant in the new media,” Tollin said. “Ultimately, it will be a comedy focused on their relationship and the relationship they never had because he was always on the road and was kind of an absentee dad. He’s kind of trying to make up for lost time. She’s trying to teach the old dog new tricks.”

There have been two successful sitcoms that have prominently featured sportswriters: The Odd Couple, which had the advantage of being based on a famous play and film and with great actors, and Everybody Loves Raymond, where the main character was a sportswriter who seemingly never left his own home.

I refuse to acknowledge the series My Boys as being successful or featuring a sportswriter who actually worked as a sportswriter does today.

 

 

Jun 11

There are statistics, and then there is knowledge of statistics

From Ken Gurnick at MLB.com last night.

Mattingly wavered on whether League (who saved his three previous chances but has blown four overall this year) would remain the closer.

“Tonight the numbers said to go with Brandon,” he said. “Does that mean keep the guy? I don’t know. It’s hard to make that decision 12 minutes after the game.”

But he defended his decision to use Kenley Jansen in the eighth inning against Bloomquist, Goldschmidt and Cody Ross (Jansen retired all three) and use League for the bottom of the order. He pointed to the statistical matchups and said if the batting orders had come up the other way, he would have used League in the eighth and Jansen in the ninth.

“If you want to play sabermetrics, those were the best matchups,” he said. “The guys Kenley got are the guys he gets out better than Brandon. The matchups should have been exactly the way it was. But if it doesn’t work, it’s a bad decision. We talked before the game, the eighth and ninth [innings] were up in the air depending who comes up.

“I understand people boo when it doesn’t work out. It doesn’t make the game any less painful. Look up the numbers. I know it was a solid decision. The fact a solid decision doesn’t work, it’s a bad decision. Brandon has done the job in the past. If he gets them out, nobody says anything. As soon as he doesn’t get outs, it’s my fault he doesn’t.”

No. 3 hitter Goldschmidt is 3-for-3 with a homer against League and 2-for-7 with a homer against Jansen. No. 6 hitter Martin Prado, who had the first hit in the ninth off League, is now 1-for-2 against him, but was 3-for-3 with two homers against Jansen.

A debate who should pitch the ninth inning for a team that’s in last place is somewhat ridiculous when you think about it. The Dodgers are 27-36 with 99 games to play. They’ve got a lot of issues. Their issues have issues.

One of them may be teaching Don Mattingly (who, in his defense is like just about every other manager) about relevant sample sizes. I miss Jim Tracy talking about arm angles.

Jun 10

And to catch up

Hi, Bob Timmermann, sitting in for Jon for a few days. He’s off in the Middle East making a movie about a courageous Iranian journalist.

Oh, he’s not. But he’s on a vacation that requires a great deal of courage.

Anyway, I was out of town myself. But I’m back. And here’s how we can sum up tonight:

  • Yasiel Puig moved to the cleanup spot. He went 3 for 4, but didn’t drive in a run.
  • Clayton Kershaw held the first place Diamondbacks to one run over seven innings.
  • The Dodgers led 3-1 in the 8th and had the bases loaded with no outs with Jerry Hairston, who was 3 for 3 on the night at bat. Hairston bounced into a 5-2-3 DP, a call which likely no one agreed with.
  • Brandon League could not hold a 3-1 league, giving up three straight hits, then a walk, and then an infield hit by Willie Bloomquist to score two runs. Peter Moylan was called in to stop the bleeding, but he had to face Paul Goldschmidt, who singled in another run to make it 5-3.
  • But, there was hope in the bottom of the ninth. Juan Uribe led off with a home run off of Arizona closer Heath Bell. Tim Federowicz doubled to right as Gerardo Parra, the archnemesis of the Dodgers, couldn’t quite catch the ball.
  • Skip Schumaker, of 15-game hitting streak fame, sacrificed pinch runner Scott Van Slyke to third and reached first himself when Martin Prado couldn’t come up with the ball. Schumaker’s hitting streak lives another day! First and third and nobody out.
  • It was Nick Punto’s turn to be the hero. But he popped out to short left.
  • Then it Mark Ellis’ chances to be a hero. He had already homered. He was 3 for 4 against Bell in his career. As soon as you could say “small sample size warning,” Ellis struck out.
  • But there was still Adrian Gonzalez, the Dodgers best hitter over the course of the season with runners in scoring position. All Gonzalez could do was bounce back to Bell, who knocked the ball down and threw to first in time to send the Dodgers down to a 5-4 loss, their sixth in seven games against Arizona this season.
  • Yasiel Puig watched from the on deck circle.

And yet, we’ll probably still watch tomorrow.

 

Sep 11

Another dry day in the desert for the Dodgers

This pinch-hit Dodger Thoughts post is dedicated to Mark Sweeney.

Two days after getting shut out in San Francisco, the Dodgers traveled to Arizona. This time, they would have their ace, Clayton Kershaw on the mound. Their best hitter, Matt Kemp, would be back in the lineup. And, it didn’t matter, as the Diamondbacks picked up an unearned run in the 7th on a Hanley Ramirez throwing error and a Miguel Montero RBI double to win 1-0.

The Dodgers had only one look at the game. That came in the fifth after Andre Ethier hit a two-out double. Luis Cruz then sent a drive deep to left that Jason Kubel leaped for, and, to the surprise of many, actually caught. In the seventh, Cruz reached on a one-out single and was pinch run for by Dee Gordon. Gordon never tried to steal and A.J. Ellis hit into a double play. Shane Victorino got a two out double in the ninth off of David Hernandez, but Adrian Gonzalez was caught looking to end the game.

It may finally be time for the Dodgers to retire their “the Dodgers are challenging for the NL West title” commercial. The Giants won a very Coors Fieldish 9-8 game against the Rockies to increase their lead to six games. The Rockies were mathematically eliminated from NL West contention, but they are still alive for the wild card.

But, there was good news down in San Diego. The current owner of Wild Card #2 in the National League, St. Louis, lost again, 6-4. The Cardinals lead over the Dodgers remains at one game. Even the Pirates, who have lost 11 of 16, are still just 2 1/2 games back. Even more surprisingly, the Phillies and Brewers both got to the .500 mark and they are just four games out of a playoff spot. However, if your team still needs to pass up the Pirates this late in September in order to make the playoffs, there is something inherently wrong with your team’s late season surge.

And with this I bid you adieu and go back to the world of commenting. Sorry I didn’t have better news to relate to people. But, if it were all good news, it would have been boring right? No, it would have been more interesting. Life doesn’t let you pick your spots that often.

The Dodgers, somehow, still have a decent chance at a playoff spot. All they need to do is score a run. Not a run or two. We’ll settle for one and go from there.

Sep 11

Last best hope for Dodgerkind Game Chat

Dodgers at Diamondbacks, 6:40 p.m.
Kershaw CXLVI: Kershaw Among the Ruins
Mark Ellis, 2B
Shane Victorino, LF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Matt Kemp, CF
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Andre Ethier, RF
Luis Cruz, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Clayton Kershaw, P

This pinch-hit Dodger Thoughts post is dedicated to Johnny Frederick. (Please not his 1932 HR Log.)

Today, I got a customer survey from the Dodgers, which I filled out. I do this mostly in hopes that there will be some sort of prize at the end. There usually isn’t. (For some reason, I filled one out from Southwest Airlines that took an hour to fill out and I got bupkis.)

One question asked which Dodgers figure I wanted to see on a bobblehead in 2013. I said, “Dazzy Vance.” For a guy who did not become a regular in the majors until he was 31, he put up numbers that were incredible. In 1928, he had an ERA of 2.09 when the league ERA was 3.99. In 1930, the league ERA was 4.97 and Vance’s was 2.61.

The next best ERA on the 1930 Dodgers was 3.40 by reliever Sloppy Thurston (who apparently was a neat person, but had a father who liked to give out free soup to the indigent.) The next best ERA for a starter was 3.95 by Jumbo Elliott, who was officially listed as being 6’3″ and 235 lbs (other sources put him at 6’5″, 250 lbs), which makes him smaller and lighter than me. And nobody calls me Jumbo. To my face. Twice.

The 1930 Dodgers also had Babe Herman in the outfield. He batted .393. He hit 35 home runs. He drove in 130 runs. And what did he lead the league in? Nothing.

Oh what were we supposed to be discussing today? Oh yeah, a Dodgers-Diamondbacks game. The Dodgers have brought in reinforcements from Albuquerque, to bring the active roster total up to 34. Elian Herrera (who can make it less likely that Juan Uribe will play), Stephen Fife (who will be waiting around to see if another starting pitcher gets hurt), and Dee Gordon (who will get to pinch run if Juan Rivera is fortunate enough to reach base) are all back from Albuquerque. Since Gordon was on the 40-man roster, another player had to be taken off. And that was …. Adam Kennedy, exiled to the 60-day DL.

Adam Kennedy looks to have taken over Orlando Hudson’s spot as “Dodger who homered in his last at bat with the team.” Hudson had taken over that spot from Tom Wilson. The last Dodger to homer in his last at bat with the team in the regular season, also did it against the Giants, Tony Brewer back in in 1984. Of course, I’m piecing this facts together mainly using my memory and some poorly-sourced websites. But, Philip Roth and I agree on these facts at least.

But Kennedy’s homer could very well be the last one in his major league career. I need to reanimate John Updike and have him write “Kid Bids Angeleno Fans Adieu.” The last player to homer in his last MLB at bat was Jim Edmonds, who like Ted Williams, was taken out of the game early after hitting a home run.

Sep 11

A Happier 9/11

Per Jon’s request, I’m reposting his piece that he first published nine years ago today.

* * *

Twenty years ago today, Dodger Stadium hosted its greatest game.

It began swathed in bright blue skies and triple-digit temperatures. When it ended, 228 crazy brilliant minutes later, shadows palmed most of the playing field, and every Dodger fan who witnessed the spectacle found themselves near joyous collapse.

The game was between the Dodgers of Steve Sax and Pedro Guerrero, of Greg Brock and Mike Marshall … and the Braves of Dale Murphy, of Bruce Benedict, of Brad Komminsk.

In the end, however, it came down to one man. A rookie named R.J. Reynolds.

Continue reading

Sep 10

The NL Wild Card race continues its reverse stampede

This pinch-hit Dodger Thoughts post is dedicated to Robin Ventura.

The Dodgers found perhaps the best way to gain ground in the NL Wild Card and NL West races: they didn’t play. While the Dodgers spent a day off in Phoenix, the two teams the Dodgers are pursuing, the Giants and Cardinals, both lost.

The Giants started a three-game series in Denver Monday against a Rockies team that had lost five straight and had been swept in a split doubleheader the day/night before in Philadelphia. The Giants were coming off a 4-0 shutout win over the Dodgers. So, the vagaries of baseball made the Rockies a 6-5 winner. Ryan Vogelsong took the loss for the Giants. In his last six starts, Vogelsong has a put up a 9.57 ERA. And he’s still managed to win two of those games. But it does appear that Vogelsong is pitching himself into a long relief role for the Giants in the playoffs. (Yes, I’m assuming that the Giants will make the playoffs.)

** Checking back in history, the 1951 Giants, with 21 games left in the season were trailing the Dodgers by six games. They went 16-5 before the tiebreaker. In 1962, with 21 games left, the Giants trailed the Dodgers by 1/2 game, although that would increase to four games with seven left to play.

Down south (as Vin likes to refer to San Diego), the Cardinals started a seven-game road trip to Southern California with an 11-3 pounding by the Padres. Old Friend Eric Stults improved to 6-2 on the season. NL RBI leader Chase Headley drove in … none.

So, as the Dodgers get ready to play Arizona Tuesday night, they will be trailing the Giants by five games in the NL West and trailing the Cardinals by one game for the NL’s second wild card.

The Pirates lost to the Reds, 4-3 in 14 innings to remain 2 1/2 games behind the Cardinals. Making very late runs are Milwaukee and Philadelphia, both of whom are now 70-71. The Brewers have won 16 of their last 21 and the Phillies have won 13 of their last 17. So, if you’re looking for a 2007 Rockies-like run to the wild card, keep an eye on these two teams.

However, all the losing by teams in front of them won’t help the Dodgers until they actually win games. The Dodgers last trip to Arizona was at the beginning of July before the All-Star Break and they lost three of four games. The Dodgers lineup on the day before the break:

Tony Gwynn, CF
Mark Ellis, 2B
Bobby Abreu, LF
Juan Rivera, 1B
Jerry Hairston, 3B
Elian Herrera, RF
Luis Cruz, SS
Matt Treanor, C
Chris Capuano, P

The Dodgers lost the game 7-1, with the only run scoring on a pinch hit sacrifice fly by Juan Uribe in the ninth inning.

Tuesday should bring the return of Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp to the lineup. And Dodgers fans can only hope in the healing power of cortisone. And rest. (Or else we can read more about the relative levels of manhood shown by people in 1965 as opposed to today. Or maybe not.) The Diamondbacks will be countering with Ian Kennedy.

In other games of note Tuesday, the Giants will be at Coors Field in a 5:40 pm game matching up Madison Bumgarner and Jhoulys Chacin. The Cardinals and Padres start at 7:10 pm with Adam Wainwright pitching against Edinson Volquez.

There will likely be news during the day regarding injured players and maybe some minor league call ups, but I may not be able to get to them unless they are all announced while I’m on my lunch hour. And that never seems to happen.

Sep 10

Taking half measures

The Dodgers are off today as they will be the two Mondays after that. So, for a few days, the half-games that appear in the “GB” column in the standings will disappear.

Or at least for some teams, the Dodgers and Cardinals will have the same number of games to play until September 24, when the Dodgers will be off and the Cardinals will be playing in Houston. All the teams in the majors won’t be on equal footing (barring rainouts that can’t be made up) until September 28 when all 30 teams play the final six days of the year.

The Dodgers have an off day on the road as they head off to Phoenix to play a two-game series at Chase Field against the Diamondbacks. They will both start at the traditional screwball Arizona time of 6:40 pm. (Although Arizona is in the Mountain Time Zone, that state, with a few exceptions, doesn’t use Daylight Saving Time, so it’s effectively the same time zone as the Pacific Time Zone during baseball season.) The last time the Dodgers ventured to Arizona was in early July when they lost 3 of 4.

If the Dodgers can survive those two games, and there’s no guarantee they will, they will have their last best chance to get into a playoff spot with four games at home against the Cardinals.

Today, while the Dodgers are off, the Cardinals will be starting their West Coast road trip with a game in San Diego. The Giants will be travelling to Denver to take on the Rockies, who will be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs with a combination of losses or Cardinals wins that add up to three.