Travel back in time … to what was and what might have been … with Mr. French himself, Sebastian Cabot, telling the story.
The Dodgers announced they have designated Justin Miller for assignment and recalled the tantalizing Kenley Jansen.
Jansen has struck out 50 in 27 innings since his promotion to AA Chattanooga this season. He was converted from catcher to pitcher in 2009, when he caught 34 games and pitched in 12.
Miller had a 4.44 ERA with 33 baserunners allowed in 24 1/3 innings and 30 strikeouts. He allowed 12 runs and seven inherited runs in his last 18 innings.
Wednesday it was Chad Billingsley and Casey Blake; tonight it was Hiroki Kuroda and Matt Kemp – with a Hong-Chih Kuo cherry on top, and perhaps that’s the biggest news of the evening.
After pitching two innings Tuesday and warming up Wednesday, Kuo pitched the ninth inning tonight for the save – further suggesting that the protective gloves have come off the precious reliever. It might not be quite accurate to say the Dodgers are going for broke, but it’s definitely a different mentality than we’ve seen for the past year and a half. Actually, maybe it is accurate to say they’re going for broke, figuratively if not literally.
Earlier today, Joe Torre talked about the bullpen situation with Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
Before signing off this short post, a quick tip of the cap not only to Kuroda for his eight standout shutout innings and Kemp for his RBI double and solo homer, but to Russell Martin, who threw out two runners stealing tonight in a tight game.
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Bill Shaikin of the Times has some new and interesting Dodger attendance analysis. Check it out.
Carlos Monasterios will start Saturday, Joe Torre told reporters today. I’m not sure what makes Monasterios, who staggered through his last few starts, a better option than James McDonald, but I’ve decided not to fret over it for now.
Torre also said that Hong-Chih Kuo has been “lobbying” to pitch on back-to-back days, which helps explain why, for better or worse, he warmed up Wednesday. That being said, Kuo might be rested tonight, but Jonathan Broxton is available.
Reed Johnson’s back has not improved enough for the Dodgers to say when he’ll be activated from the disabled list.
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Dodger Stadium organist Nancy Bea Hefley will have increased playing time Friday as part of the team’s “55 since ’55” promotion, and Dodgerfan.net will provide on-the-scene coverage. Looking forward to it!
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Tonight, the Dodgers will play their 857th consecutive home game since their last rainout, on April 17, 2000, breaking their previous record of 856 set from April 26, 1988–April 10, 1999.
Also, tonight’s matchup of Hiroki Kuroda and Hisanori Takahashi is the sixth between Japanese-born starting pitchers in MLB history.
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Thought this was an interesting piece by Dave Campbell of The Associated Press (posted on Farther Off the Wall): Reds outfielder Chris Dickerson is trying to make baseball more green through an organization he co-founded with Jack Cassel, Players for the Planet.
… There is a certain insular, indulgent culture in the sports world that can create hurdles for social causes like this to take hold. Sometimes, they’re masked as mere symbolic gestures and goodwill-generating promotions for teams. The sheer enormity of stadiums makes it difficult to keep carbon footprints small. Players can get caught up in the big-league lifestyle.
“It’s hard to get just any athlete and even then, they’re like, ‘I love what you’re doing, but I can’t really endorse it because I’m driving a big truck and I have a huge house,'” Dickerson said. “So some of the things these athletes do aren’t necessarily a green lifestyle. They like the idea, but they’re not necessarily that green. I think that’s why a lot of them are hesitant to be part of it.”
Dickerson praised the use of solar power at Fenway Park in Boston and Progressive Field in Cleveland as progressive ideas he’d like to see replicated more throughout the majors. He pointed to supportive e-mails and letters he has received as examples of momentum. He also insisted real change can be accomplished in easy steps.
“That’s the message we’re trying to get across: It doesn’t have to be a huge shift in your daily lifestyle,” Dickerson said. “It’s little things like getting a recycle bin, turning off all the lights when you leave your house, trying to cut down on your air conditioning, using compact fluorescent light bulbs.”
Dickerson even has a sign above his locker that says, “Trees are for hugging.” …
I don’t know if it’s possible to put aside debates over mental and guttal makeup when discussing Jonathan Broxton, but if we can try for a moment …
A big problem for Broxton right now is that the pinpoint control that he typically possesses has disappeared. He has walked more batters in his past two games than he walked in the first two months of the season.
Broxton averaged 3.4 walks per nine innings from 2006-2009, then opened 2010 with three walks (one intentional) in 29 1/3 innings, to go with 42 strikeouts, no home runs and a 0.92 ERA.
That period ends with the June 19 evening in Boston when he faced one batter and allowed a game-winning hit. In 10 2/3 innings since then, Broxton has walked eight while allowing 11 runs for a 9.28 ERA. This week alone, Broxton has walked four while allowing five runs for a 27.00 ERA.
Now whatever your thoughts about Broxton are, this is the story of two different pitchers. It’s not as if every game before June 19 was meaningless and every game after was of huge importance.
Another angle is this: Broxton’s batting average allowed on balls in play before June 19 was .358, which is on the high side for a major-league pitcher and certainly higher than Broxton’s career figure of .315. But since June 19, his BABIP has skyrocketed to .448. So Broxton’s loss of command has been coupled with an untimely bout of bad luck. (Look no further than Tuesday’s calamity, when a 60-foot single by Juan Uribe was followed by a walk to Edgar Renteria, who entered the game with one home run and 13 walks for the entire season.)
I obviously don’t need to tell anyone that Broxton has sprinkled bad outings throughout his career. There was of course the 2009 game in San Diego when he allowed three runs (plus an inherited runner) to score in the ninth inning, followed two days later by two runs allowed in an extra-inning victory at Milwaukee. On August 15, Broxton blew a save in Arizona that led to a huge outcry for him to be replaced as Dodger closer by … George Sherrill.
From that point on, Broxton pitched 21 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run, walking five, striking out 33. That streak ended with the ninth-inning disaster in Pittsburgh that cost the Dodgers an early chance to clinch the National League West. And so on …
I’m not sure if the struggles Broxton has been having lately are something more than his typical once-in-a-while problems, or if they are a sign of something more worrisome. What I do know is that the Jonathan Broxton we have seen lately is not the Jonathan Broxton we usually see.
Update: Here’s another piece on Broxton, from ESPN.com’s Tristan H. Cockcroft.
The reason to be concerned about Don Mattingly becoming Dodger manager next year is not that he doesn’t know some arcane baseball rule. It’s that he isn’t experienced or authoritative enough to effectively handle much more common aspects of helming the team.
Is he good with strategy? Can he manage a bullpen? (What of him having Hong-Chih Kuo warming up Wednesday, a night after the fragile lefty threw two innings?) Is he an effective motivator of players? Does he sound too much like Toby Flenderson in an interview? These are all questions that existed long before Tuesday’s chaos.
Mattingly might turn out to be a good manager, but the point is – and has always been – that there might be better candidates.
In any case, our friend Bob Timmermann has everything you could want to know about Rule 8.06 in a post at L.A. Observed’s Native Intelligence.
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Whew – there it is.
Billingsley struck out only three batters, but got 16 groundouts as the Giants went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position. He threw 125 pitches, the most by a Dodger pitcher since Jeff Weaver threw 126 on September 27, 2005.
The Dodgers hadn’t had a complete game since Eric Stults shut out San Francisco on May 9, 2009. Before that, the last Dodger complete game was a Billingsley shutout of the Giants on July 30, 2008.
It’s a bit odd that Billingsley has only three strikeouts in his past two starts (after 17 in the two before that), but we’ll ponder that another day.
Casey Blake homered in the second inning and singled home a run in the eighth to give Billingsley and the Dodgers the runs they needed.
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Jay Gibbons, who some of us expected to be in a Dodger uniform tonight, hit two of six Albuquerque home runs in a 14-5 victory at Nashville.
A.J. Ellis went back to Albuquerque, as expected.
Jack Taschner came from Albuquerque. That was not expected.
The 32-year-old lefty had a 6.05 ERA for Pittsburgh this year, then was cast off. He landed with the Isotopes, for whom he has allowed four homers and seven hits in 10 innings, striking out four.
To be fair, he has allowed one run in his past seven innings. Still, it appears the Dodgers are just messing with us now.
Update: Joe Torre told reporters that James McDonald is in the bullpen and that Saturday’s starter is to be determined – most likely John Ely or Carlos Monasterios. One and done for Jimmy.
Torre also said the following about Tuesday’s denouement: “It’s on us to protest, and the people who were supposed to protest weren’t in the dugout. It was a screw-up all the way around.”
Clayton Kershaw has been suspended for five games, and Dodger manager Joe Torre and coach Bob Schaefer for one game. Here are the details.
Kershaw is appealing his suspension, but Torre will serve his tonight and Schaefer on Thursday.
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A Major League official told Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle that had the Dodgers protested the mistaken removal of Jonathan Broxton in Tuesday’s ninth inning, the protest might have been upheld. But the Dodgers didn’t protest.
Had Schaefer not been ejected from the game, I’m guessing he would have picked up on it.
Each of the following passages is rooted in something real. And yet each reality offers a mystery.
I just had so many different thoughts, and this is me trying (and, as you’ll see, mostly failing) to make sense of them. But whether I make sense of them or not, 10 days from now, on July 31, baseball’s no-waivers-required trade deadline, we get the kick.
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It’s a Dodger team that hasn’t been very healthy, hasn’t been (except for a short stretch in May) very lucky, hasn’t been very deep and lately hasn’t been very good.
Rafael Furcal has exceeded expectations, as has Hong-Chih Kuo for all of 30 of the team’s 840 innings pitched this season. Andre Ethier is a little better than expected, though not as much since early May. Same with Jamey Carroll. And after that, who?
The issue is not whether the Dodgers are out of contention. They’re not. They could be leading the wild card race inside of a week. And unless you’ve completely ruled out the possibility of the upstart Padres having their own problems, the NL West is wide open.
We’ve all seen this show before – twice in recent years, in fact. In 2006 and 2008, the Dodgers had tremendous swoons, only to recover from them.
Each time, they got help at the trade deadline – without blowing up the team.
So, what now?
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Well, it’s not just about now.
At the end of this season, starting pitchers Hiroki Kuroda and Vicente Padilla become free agents. So does outfielder Manny Ramirez – who admittedly might not have much to contribute for the remainder of the year. Casey Blake looks increasingly like he’s not going to hit enough to hold down third base. Russell Martin has devolved into a No. 8 hitter.
Those are the major concerns, before you even get into injury risk for Furcal and Kuo, or paying for James Loney’s power uncertainty, or whether Blake DeWitt is a legitimate second baseman, and so on. People complained about the Dodgers needing to reload after the 2009 offseason, but the 2010 team will require even more new ammo.
And so, dual considerations. If you go for broke this year, you could be digging a hole so deep for the 2011 Dodgers that they can’t recover. But is the hole for 2011 so deep already that you might as well go for broke?
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Random trade deadline thoughts and memories …
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That word ignited off the 2010 Dodger trade deadline frenzy. Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that an anonymous industry source said the Dodgers were “interested” in Pirate pitcher Paul Maholm.
A thinner piece of news, you probably could not find Tuesday. Even if this source is correct – and he might not be – it tells us nothing of how serious the interest is. But suddenly, the Dodger online world was aflame with discussion of this pitcher with 4.5 strikeouts per nine innings, a pitcher who might be as poor a fit with a poor Dodger defense as you could find.
In his past two starts, Maholm has allowed two runs in 16 innings. In two of three starts before that, he allowed 12 earned runs in four innings.
Nothing to see here.
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And then there’s Peter Gammons, whom Vin Scully Is My Homeboy noted last week was thinking out loud about the Red Sox pursuing Ethier.
The one team I keep wondering about if they drop a few games back, if the Dodgers start dropping back, would they talk about Andre Ethier. He’s going to make $10-$12 million next year, the coaching staff feels with their bizarre ownership situation, they don’t want to pay Ethier and might trade him now. That would be a fascinating guy to go after.”
I’d say there’s no chance of Ethier being traded. If the Dodgers aren’t trading Matt Kemp, they’re not trading Ethier. But let’s say I’m wrong. Let’s say there are bluffs all around and everything and everyone is on Colletti’s table. The Dodgers would be trading Ethier at his highest value. The haul for a 28-year-old All-Star whose work ethic is unquestioned and who won’t be a free agent until November 2012 could be astonishing.
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For that matter, how many teams in baseball would like to have Furcal right now?
No, you’d never trade Furcal now. But six weeks ago, you would have. A slumping, injury-prone shortstop with millions upon millions remaining on his contract? You’d have traded him for less than you’d get for him now.
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I’m talking way too much about trading key players away, but allow me just a little more before I move on.
Four days before the trade deadline four years ago, I wrote a lengthy column for SI.com, advocating that being a seller lose its stigma.
… It should not be so shameful for a .500 team, a team that can only win a World Series if karma and luck fall head over heels in love, to say, “Look, we can be a long shot this year, or we can make a small sacrifice and become a serious contender for years to come.”
Teams can get hot instantly — there’s no denying that. Florida surprised everyone in 2003, went on a run and won the World Series. Houston recovered from a faceplant of a start in 2005 and took the NL pennant. If you’re three games out of the playoffs with a .500 record, the postseason possibilities may be so tantalizing that the slim odds of winning it all may not matter to you.
Good enough. That doesn’t mean it should be a sin to step back and decide that whatever you have now, you can build upon with a little more patience. It should be a choice. And it can be a choice that remains open until the moment the deadline passes, a choice that depends on whether you can get a quality deal or not, as opposed to a deal that just makes you look busy.
As for the fans, some will complain. Some will always complain. But if you show you have a plan and you make an intelligent trade for the future, sacrificing a mere two months in the process could render those complaints moot rather quickly …
I’m not saying the Dodgers should become sellers, and I don’t believe they will become sellers, but there is a case for it. And the funny thing is, the McCourt divorce provides cover for it. Ownership would get crucified by the mainstream for turning 2010 into a rebuilding year. But ownership is already being crucified. So why should we care about the bad PR, if that’s status quo and ultimately the team would be better off for it?
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This website celebrates its eighth anniversary today. After proclaiming my intention to exult or vent as appropriate, my first main post wondered aloud about whether the Dodgers should be sellers.
I guess that temptation has often been with me. Buoyed by the drafts of Logan White, the Dodgers were able to make long-term commitments to developing players from within. But the Dodgers have never taken a similarly long view with regards to midseason trades.
What if they did? I know it will never happen, but what if it did?
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Then again, does it need to happen? Manny Ramirez in 2008 was a man-made gift from the heavens. And so was Marlon Anderson in 2006.
And 2004, the most tumultuous trade deadline of them all, worked out rather well.
So why not believe? Why not go for it?
Just a week ago, the Dodgers were in fine shape, a good team that was maybe a player or two away from becoming great.
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Roy Oswalt? Jayson Werth? Dan Haren? Ben Sheets? David DeJesus? Scott Downs?
There are some names that could help the Dodgers. But not many.
Dee Gordon? Chris Withrow? Ethan Martin? Jerry Sands? Aaron Miller? Allen Webster? Joe Etc.? Who’s irreplaceable? Who’s gonna make you go, “I don’t miss him that much – so it was worth a shot.”
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You need to be smart, and you need to be fortunate. And you can do that as a buyer or a seller. It truly doesn’t matter which. If you are smart and fortunate, you will win.
The Dodgers won’t be sellers. We can be sure of this. They will either stand pat or acquire someone to help immediately. They might try to acquire someone but end up standing pat because the price was too high. But those are the options.
But the thing is, if you acknowledge that standing pat is a possibility – and that standing pat probably means you won’t win in 2010 (because the teams that rallied from the depths avoided standing pat) – then how can you not entertain the option of trading for the future instead of the present?
If standing pat is a worse choice than selling high, why wouldn’t you be in talks to sell high, as a backup plan?
The answer is one of public relations, of public perception. But this morning, not too many people like the 2010 Dodgers right now anyway. And those that do aren’t the ones who are likely to complain about sacrificing the 2010 Dodgers to make them more competitive in 2011 or 2012.
That’s the paradox.
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Anyway, enough about Plan B. Plan A is to improve the 2010 Dodgers now.
It can be done. Ownership or not. Roy Oswalt’s contract or not. You can make smart trades. The Dodgers have done it before. They can do it again.
Ten days until July 31. Let the freakout begin.
I’ve had a few people ask for comment on how the rules apparently say that Jonathan Broxton should have been allowed to stay in the game for another batter while Don Mattingly should have been ejected after the double-mound visit Tuesday. Memories of Kevin Malone has it covered.
Of course, some people were happy to see Broxton out of the game. On that, I have no comment.
Where to begin?
Tim Lincecum getting hammered, allowing three runs in the first inning and two more in the third? Giving up a homer to Andre Ethier and 11 baserunners in 4 1/3 innings while striking out two?
Xavier Paul getting two runs, two doubles, a single and an RBI – and still nearly costing the Dodgers the game with a dropped fly ball?
Clayton Kershaw cruising, retiring 11 in a row at one point, in his first career matchup with Lincecum?
No, we can’t start there.
In the most memorable game of a season the Dodgers are desperately hoping won’t be forgettable, Lincecum-Kershaw I devolved into a B-grade beanball war and D-grade display of intelligence, one that showed the Dodgers’ fighting spirit but also highlighted their shortsightedness – and even stupidity.
If you thought the collapse against the Yankees was a nightmare, if Sunday’s meltdown at St. Louis brought you to your knees, those games have nothing on tonight’s 7-5 loss.
The unraveling took root in the fifth inning, with the Dodgers leading 5-1, when Lincecum, who had hit one batter with a pitch this year, threw consecutive knockdown pitches at Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, the second one hitting him. Kemp was angry, but there was no incident. Nevertheless, home plate umpire Adrian Johnson issued a warning to both benches that no other beanball shenanigans would be tolerated. This infuriated Dodger coach Bob Schaefer (the Dodger coach that Kemp reportedly clashed with last month), who had lots of words with Johnson.
Lincecum left the game one batter later. In top of the sixth, Kershaw gave up three hits and three runs, two of them unearned because Paul dropped a long fly ball by San Francisco’s Pat Burrell (one, admittedly, that looked at first like it might leave the park). In the bottom of the inning, Giants reliever Denny Bautista knocked Russell Martin down with a pitch, and Schaefer went ballistic, drawing an ejection from Johnson.
Kershaw was the next batter, which was a bit surprising considering his rough top of the sixth and the fact that he had thrown 103 pitches. What was really bizarre, however, was that the fragile Hong-Chih Kuo was warming up in the bullpen while Kershaw was batting.
Soon, we found out why.
Kershaw came out in the top of the seventh and with his first pitch, drilled Aaron Rowand of the Giants. Johnson immediately ejected Kershaw, who might also draw a suspension. And while some might have thought it improbable that the Dodgers would intentionally put the tying run on base in a game they so wanted to win, it seems clear that they did.
Further explaining what happened, a Twitter user pointed out that pinch-hitter Garret Anderson was the on-deck hitter when Martin was knocked down. After Schaefer was ejected, Anderson sat down, and Kershaw remained in the game to do his dirty work.
Kershaw scored points with everyone who thinks that pride depends on revenge, who thinks that all of the Dodgers’ problems stem from Chad Billingsley not knocking down a Phillie two years ago, but in the meantime, the action risked putting the Dodgers in the very humbling position of losing a game that was very much worth winning. Rowand made it all the way to third base with two outs, before Kuo got Freddie Sanchez on a broken-bat liner to end the inning.
So the extra baserunner didn’t cost the Dodgers the game. But ultimately, we were still reminded that pride doesn’t mean victories.
Jonathan Broxton, forced into the game after Kuo threw two innings, allowed a 60-foot infield single to start the ninth, then issued an ill-advised walk to Edgar Renteria. Rowand sacrificed, and the Dodgers decided to have Broxton walk Aubrey Huff intentionally to load the bases with one out.
And then – and this is saying something – the most bizarre thing happened.
Joe Torre’s heir apparent, Don Mattingly, helming the Dodgers because Torre was automatically ejected once his pitcher hit a batter after the benches were warned, visited the mound to have a conference with Broxton and the infield. He finished, walked off the mound, and then James Loney called out a question to him. Mattingly turned and took three steps back toward Loney – a step that put both Mattingly’s feet onto the mound. Giants manager Bruce Bochy immediately came out to contend that this constituted two trips to the mound, and successfully got Broxton removed from the game.
And thus, we had trying to save the game, with almost no warmup, one George Friderich Sherrill.
Irony was not in supply. Sherrill did not defy expectations. His second pitch was hit for a two-run double, giving San Francisco its first lead of the game. Travis Schlichting came in, and one out later, allowed a single for another run.
Forced to rally for the first time tonight, the Dodgers came out in the bottom of the ninth against Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt, who no doubt entered the game with one eye on Ethier in the dugout, due up fourth in the inning. Jamey Carroll was thrown out by a hair at first base. The ever-lovin’ Rafael Furcal then lined one to left field, sliding into second base with a close double. Ronnie Belliard, pinch-hitting for Paul against the lefty, struck out feebly.
And for the second night in a row with the game on the line, Affeldt got Ethier, this time ending the contest with a strikeout.
And so yes, the Dodgers can pat themselves on the back, knowing that they were man enough to fight back against the Giants. But when they’re done with that, their next move will be to scratch their heads, wondering why that manliness feels so hollow.
It’s because it’s not about who’s mas macho. It’s about who has scored the most runs at the end of the day. Anyone who planned to point to this tough-guy act and say this was the key to the Dodgers’ season was just dreaming.
Update: Some postgame quotes from Torre …
“(Mattingly) didn’t really know where he was. He thought he was still on the mound when James called him back.
“They didn’t look upon (the brushback of Martin) as on purpose. It’s a very gray area that seems to have some flaws in it, and I don’t know how you fix it.
“I think it’s more just (Broxton) is out of sync right now, more so than anything physical to worry about. He’s pretty honest with Honeycutt as far as when he feels good.
“We’ve had some strange things happen. This is a test, and you have to bounce back and reestablish what kind of club you are.”
Update 2: Quotes from Mattingly …
“I turned to walk away, and James said something and I just kind of turned around. He asked me the depth that I wanted him, didn’t even realize that I was off the dirt, and obviously I was.
“I kind of had a little bit of a feeling, because Adrian (Johnson) was yelling, ‘No no no, you can’t go back!’ as I turned to talk to James, so I had a little bit of a feeling at that point.
“I’m aware of the rule, but again felt I had just kind of turned and turned back around, but obviously I guess I didn’t.
“That’s what I asked (crew chief) Tim McClelland. I said, ‘Can he warm up?’ He said, ‘Yeah, I won’t do that to him. I’m not gonna take a chance on letting a guy get hurt. So at that point (I’m) talking to (pitching coach Rick Honeycutt), not realizing how many throws he’s getting.
“I’m not quite sure of (why they cut Sherrill off at eight warmup tosses). Again, Honey and I talked, and pretty much turned around and George is ready to go, so I figure he’s ready to go. At that point I didn’t realize they cut him off at eight.”
The news has finally come back on Manny Ramirez, and it’s not good.
The Los Angeles Dodgers announced Tuesday that they have placed Manny Ramirez on the disabled list for the third time this season, and have activated Brad Ausmus from the 60-day disabled list to take his roster spot.
Ramirez suffered a right calf strain Friday in the first inning of his second game since being activated from the DL following a right hamstring injury.
A right calf malady also sidelined Ramirez from April 23 through May 7.
Ramirez has a .409 on-base percentage and .516 slugging percentage for the Dodgers this season, but has been held to 220 plate appearances — four in July.
Xavier Paul, Garret Anderson and utilityman Jamey Carroll are rotating in left field for the Dodgers in Ramirez’s absence. Paul is in the starting lineup for Tuesday night’s game against Tim Lincecum and San Francisco.
The activation of Ausmus, who had four plate appearances in 2010 before going on the disabled list with back trouble, gives the Dodgers three catchers on the roster for the time being, along with Russell Martin and A.J. Ellis. But with Reed Johnson already on the DL, Los Angeles had only one other outfield option on the 40-man roster: Double-A outfielder Trayvon Robinson. Martin has also been nursing a thumb injury, though he returned Monday and had three hits against the Giants.
Update: Joe Torre told the media today that Ramirez’s strain was significant, and that he is expected to remain sidelined for three weeks.
Torre also said that the Dodgers will return to having two catchers as soon as Wednesday. Robinson is not a possibility for a callup, but the team is considering purchasing the contract of Jay Gibbons, who has a .915 OPS for Albuquerque.
Ramirez was placed on the disabled list retroactive to July 17, which would mean he could come off the disabled list August 1 at the earliest. However, because Ramirez would certainly clear waivers because of the size of his contract, the Dodgers could still trade him after the July 31 non-waiver deadline.
Forget about everything else. Tonight, we’ve got a pure baseball matchup that you don’t want to miss.
Tim Lincecum for the Giants.
Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers.
First time ever.
The current Dodger roster has a .239 slugging percentage against Lincecum. Andre Ethier has done the best, while Casey Blake and Russell Martin are a combined 0 for 23.
Kershaw had been having a statistically better 2010 than Lincecum through the All-Star break, but that changed when Kershaw stunk and Lincecum shined last week.
Also of note, Kershaw has allowed 11 runs and 30 baserunners in 19 first innings this season. By comparison, Kershaw has appeared in 18 fifth innings and allowed one run.
The momentum is on Lincecum and San Francisco’s side. But that didn’t matter when Kershaw faced Ubaldo Jimenez and the Rockies in May. We’ll see if it matters tonight.