The Dodgers have placed Chad Billingsley on the disabled list, from which he is eligible to return Monday. Stephen Fife has been officially brought up from Albuquerque to make his major-league debut tonight against the Phillies and Roy Halladay.
Phillies at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B
Mark Ellis, 2B
Matt Kemp, CF
Andre Ethier, RF
Juan Rivera, LF
James Loney, 1B
Luis Cruz, SS
A.J. Ellis, C
Nathan Eovaldi, P
Word spread among the Dodger beat writers that Chad Billingsley’s MRI went about as positively as it could have gone, to the point that he was still in the running this afternoon to make a start Tuesday. The alternative appears to be a callup for Stephen Fife, the righthander who came to the Dodgers as part of the Tim Federowicz deal.
Fife is already on the 40-man roster, which makes him easy pickins. The Dodgers could make room for John Ely, but if it’s only a short-term move, they might not want to bother.
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Since the Dodgers swept the Phillies in Philadelphia, writes Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A., the Phillies are 11-20 and the Dodgers are 11-21.
One time during my junior year in college, I failed to set the parking brake on my Scirocco, and it rolled into the middle of an alley. I got a knock at my door saying that a policeman was giving me a ticket.
Don Mattingly had that moment where he made two trips to the mound at once, costing the Dodgers a relief pitcher.
I’m sure we’ve all had such a brain cramp, more times than we’d care to admit, and now Kenley Jansen has had one as well – allowing a steal of home and topping that with a throwing error that left the Dodgers, one strike away from victory, with a 7-6 loss to the Padres.
The defeat came on a night in which the recently recovered trio of Mark Ellis, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier each reached base three times, with Ethier (four RBI) hitting a two-run home run that seemed to be a game-winner in the sixth inning.
Chad Moriyama looks at all the things that went wrong on that single play. Not to be forgotten is that the Dodgers also allowed a run-of-the-mill unearned point in the first inning.
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Wanted to send along belated best wishes to Javy Guerra, who is in Mexico tending to his father, who suffered a heart attack. Guerra pitched Friday with the knowledge that his father was stricken. He has now taken literal and metaphorical line drives to the jaw this year, not to mention surgery on his knee, and it’s pretty impressive how he’s handled it.
And congrats to Josh Wall for his promotion to the big leagues. Wall’s Albuquerque stats aren’t impressive except for his 9.0 strikeouts per nine innings, so I’m not sure how much we’ll see him during this initial stint, but I will certainly look forward to it.
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The Dodgers have had more games with extra-base hits than you might expect, notes David Pinto of Baseball Musings. Only five times this year have they gone extra-base-hitless, and that includes a no-hitter against them.
The Dodgers had their annual night for independent bloggers. Ron Cervenka of Think Blue L.A. offers a recap.
One-time breath of fresh air John Ely is quietly having a stellar 2012, posting a 3.22 ERA in Triple-A Albuquerque with 9.7 strikeouts and 1.8 walks per nine innings. You just don’t see those stats with the Isotopes very often. James Bailey of Baseball America has more on the Pacific Coast League All-Star.
“It took a couple of years of getting my head beat off the wall a little bit in this league to try to figure it out a little bit,” Ely told Bailey. “The PCL can get to you, man. Ask anybody out here. It’s a tough league to pitch in with the travel and the ballparks and the matter that you’ve got some pretty darn good hitters in this league. I think I underestimated it a little and I probably didn’t take it quite as seriously as I should have.”
“A lot of it has to do with staying ahead and basically just throwing my best pitches when I have to throw them,” Ely added. “You know, making pitches when you need to and realizing, ‘OK, this is what I want to do with this pitch right now.’ ”
Though the Dodgers’ rumored trade-market pursuits include starting pitching, Ely would certainly seem to have some renewed value – either as a stopgap starter if the Dodgers still end up needing one, or as a trade chip.
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Andre Ethier played in rehabiliation games Wednesday and Thursday and is expected to join Matt Kemp in tonight’s Dodger starting lineup, writes Alex Angert of MLB.com.
Ronald Belisario’s certainly got the right to go home to Venezuela during the All-Star break, but somehow it isn’t surprising that his return to the States was delayed, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com (pictured, right, with Ned Colletti). However, Belisario is expected to arrive for tonight’s game.
Yasiel Puig’s arrival in Arizona is documented by Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com.
Kemp will be featured on the next edition of HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, premiering Tuesday.
It’s a quirk to say the least, but Zach Greinke of Milwaukee tonight will become the first pitcher since 1917 to start three consecutive games, notes David Pinto of Baseball Musings. He faces James McDonald of Pittsburgh.
In this Dodger Thoughts piece from July 2003, you can see Ken Rosenthal (then with the Sporting News) report that “the Dodgers continue to target Melvin Mora, and the Orioles might be willing to take third baseman Adrian Beltre if they also received quality prospects in the deal.”
Mora was an All-Star from 2003-2005. Still, it’s amazing to contemplate the idea of needing to give up Beltre and top prospects for him.
I’ll be spending Thursday at the second-annual Variety Sports Entertainment Summit, presented in association with the Sports Video Group at the Loews Hollywood Hotel and offering more than a dozen interesting panels about the intersection of sports and entertainment.
If Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer had been differently inspired:
Take me out to the movie
Take me out with the crowd
Buy me some popcorn and Cracker Jack
I don’t care if I ever get back
Let me root, root, root for the protagonist
If he doesn’t complete the hero’s journey it’s a shame
For it’s lights, camera, action – and cut
At the ol’ movie.
For a good portion of this season, the Dodgers had the best record in the majors. But at the All-Star Break, they have the poorest winning percentage (.540) of the six division leaders, and they are atop a division that is collectively 26 games below .500, also the worst in baseball. The National League West has been outscored by 130 runs in 2012, with the Dodgers and Giants at +10 each.
That could change, but right now, it’s a winning ugly scenario. Not that Dodger fans won’t take it.
The Dodgers looked terrible this weekend – but the Giants looked worse. While Arizona is an object closer than it might appear in the rear-view mirror, you can read about the end of the 2012 first half at Los Angeles Magazine’s CityThink blog.