Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Tag: Brian Wilson (Page 2 of 2)

Uphill battles continue for Dodgers


By Jon Weisman

Another deficit, another comeback attempt thwarted by a close play — in this case, A.J. Ellis removed by an inch at home plate from becoming the Dodgers’ third run in what ended up Saturday’s 7-2 loss to San Francisco (recapped by Ken Gurnick of

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In the past two games, Don Mattingly has used 10 relievers, who have combined to allow only two runs over 11 2/3 innings while striking out 14. But the Dodgers have been victimized by big innings — six runs in the first on Friday, four in the fifth on Saturday.

Paul Maholm was hanging with Madison Bumgarner until he faced Pablo Sandoval with two runners on in that fifth inning. With Jose Dominguez warming up in the bullpen, Maholm gave up a three-run home run. As if to illustrate the rock and hard place Mattingly arguably found himself between, Dominguez then entered the game and immediately gave up a home run to Buster Posey.

Maholm told Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. that the pitch to Sandoval was “a cutter that didn’t cut.”

Yasiel Puig didn’t come out for a relief outfielder, even though he injured his thumb on a head-first slide to first base. Still, the injury was enough for the Dodgers to have it X-rayed. There was no immediate word that Puig would have to miss a start, though he could obviously be the fourth outfielder tonight for the Dodgers when Zack Greinke challenges Matt Cain in a fine Sunday Night Baseball matchup.

Later, Brian Wilson was back on a mound, throwing a perfect inning with one strikeout for Rancho Cucamonga.

* * *

Jon SooHoo’s Saturday photos can be found at the LA Photog Blog.

April 2 pregame: Lather, rinse, repeat

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Dodgers at Padres, 7:10 p.m.
Carl Crawford, LF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Andre Ethier, CF
Juan Uribe, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Dee Gordon, 2B
Dan Haren, P

By Jon Weisman

For all their early season injuries, the Dodgers have the exact same starting eight position players, batting in the same order, for the third straight game.

That hasn’t happened since September 3-5, 2012, when Don Mattingly offered the following octet:

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

* * *

Tyson Ross, the starting pitcher for the Padres tonight, struck out 10 of 20 Dodgers the last time he faced them, on September 1. The first time he faced them, on April 17, he got his first Major League hit but hurt his shoulder on the swing and didn’t pitch again for 15 days. The 6-foot-5 Ross, who turns 27 this month, had a 3.17 ERA and 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings last year (2.93 and 9.6 after the All-Star Break), and at Petco Park, his ERA was 2.03.

* * *

My favorite stats after four games:

  • Team OPS leaders: Dee Gordon .962, Juan Uribe .941
  • Team starting pitching: 23 2/3 innings, 1.14 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 9.1 K/9
  • A.J. Ellis: on pace for 162 walks.
  • Chone Figgins: on pace for 81 walks, zero at-bats
  • No Dodger starter has hit into a double play.

* * *

Update: Jose Dominguez has been recalled from his assignment to Albuquerque, as the Dodgers officially placed Brian Wilson on the disabled list.

Scheduled Dodger starting pitchers for the three-game series against the Giants are Hyun-Jin Ryu on Friday, Paul Maholm on Saturday and Zack Greinke on Sunday.

* * *

From the Dodger press notes: “The Dodgers have limited the Padres to three or fewer runs in each of their last 10 games, winning eight of those contests dating to June 22, 2013.  Los Angeles has posted a 1.13 ERA (11 ER/88.0 IP) in that span. The last time the Dodgers held any opponent to three or fewer runs in 10 consecutive games was April 8-Sept. 9, 2003 against the Diamondbacks (source: Stats, LLC). If the Dodgers hold San Diego to three or fewer runs tonight, it would be their longest such streak against a single opponent since a 12-game run against the Cubs Aug. 26, 1991-Aug. 21, 1992.”

* * *

More news: “The Dodgers will welcome back former Dodger outfielder Raul Mondesi as part of Dominican Heritage at Viva Los Dodgers this Sunday. Mondesi, current mayor of San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, will be holding a clothing drive to benefit his hometown of San Cristobal. He will accept donations of gently-worn clothing and will sign autographs for fans. Fans that bring a donation will be placed in a priority line for autographs. … Mondesi will also throw the ceremonial first pitch prior to Sunday’s game.”

Dodgers reflect on first tough loss


Two innings away from a 3-0 start to the season, the Dodgers didn’t even get to the bottom of the ninth Sunday, surrendering Hyun-Jin Ryu’s impressive outing in a 3-1 loss to San Diego.

Brian Wilson shouldered the blame. The reliever, who allowed only one run with the Dodgers last year, matched that when he allowed a game-tying homer to pinch-hitter Seth Smith. Overall, Wilson gave up three in the bottom of the eighth — two earned, one unearned as the result of his own error.

“It’s a hard one to swallow,” Wilson said, via Ken Gurnick of “I wasn’t able to get ahead of the hitters and make the proper pitches. I’m not particularly used to having one of those nights. I just wasn’t able to get ahead, and they took advantage.”

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In case you missed it: We’re gettin’ close, folks

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By Jon Weisman

Like the saying goes, “It’s Opening Day somewhere …”

  • Dylan Hernandez of the Times explores why the Dodgers and Diamondbacks are in Australia in the first place, talking to Paul Archey, MLB’s vice president of international business operations.

    “We’re not going to know the benefits of this game on Sunday night,” Archey said. “It’s long term. It can be generational.”

    MLB was paid by a promoter to open its season in Sydney, but Archey said that wasn’t the league’s motive for coming. “This is not about money,” he said. “This is about the future. It’s about developing the market for bigger business and it’s about developing the market for more players.”

    MLB has opened regular seasons in Mexico, Japan and Puerto Rico. What makes Australia different is that baseball doesn’t have a large fan base.

    The Dodgers were also involved in MLB’s last venture into a nontraditional market. That was in 2008, when the Dodgers and the San Diego Padres played a two-game exhibition series in China.

    Archey views that trip as a success. MLB now has 11 television partners in China, where it funds three youth academies and a 60-school intercollegiate league.

    “None of this existed prior to that game,” Archey said.

  • You’ve read all about the players fighting jet lag. Now, here’s a guide for us game-watchers on how to handle the sleep challenges for the 1 a.m. season opener, from Mark Newman of  Again, I see no mention of how to handle my son’s 9:30 a.m. birthday party after the game.
  • Brian Wilson gets cricket, writes Ben Horne of the Sydney Morning Herald.
  • A.J. Ellis shared a day in the life from the Australia trip with Michael Chammas of the same paper. I’m ignorant, so I had to Google “a long black with milk.”
  • Did you know the Diamondbacks have won seven straight Opening Day games? I didn’t until I read this stats piece from Mark Simon at The Dodgers have won three in a row.
  • Also of note: Clayton Kershaw has a 2.31 ERA in his past seven starts against Arizona — and one win to his credit.
  • Team Australia, which led the Dodgers 2-0 late before losing, shut out Arizona, 5-0.
  • $36 hot dog, anyone?
  • Chad Billingsley has passed another milestone in his rehab, facing a real-life batter (in this case, Matt Kemp) in a 15-pitch session, reports Jesse Sanchez of Sanchez adds that Billingsley is on track for his first outing in a minor-league game April 6.
  • Kemp then doubled and homered in a Triple-A game against the White Sox.
  • Here’s another piece picking the Dodgers to win the National League West and maybe more, from Marc Normandin of Sports on Earth.

You’d think it was Father’s Day


By Jon Weisman

Why yes, I have noticed that a certain Even Steven approach to the Dodger exhibition season. Cyndi Lauper is putting out her new single, “Tie After Tie,” as we speak.

Today’s 8-8 deadlock with Oakland widened the Dodgers’ Cactus League record to 4-6-4 and gave them ties in nearly 30 percent of their contests. In their past 10 games, the Dodgers are 2-4-4. Their past six games have been as easy as 1-2-3.

Last year, Los Angeles played 15 extra-inning games out of 162 in the regular season.

The Dodgers allowed a game-tying five runs in the eighth inning today, but it could have been worse. Brian Wilson, still mixing the occasional knuckleball, had a visit to the mound from an assistant trainer in the eighth inning (no, I’m not making a connection there), but the team reported no trouble to Ken Gurnick of

Wilson was charged with two runs, while Carlos Frias, who retired none of his four batters, was charged with three.

Los Angeles looked great at the outset, with Andre Ethier lovingly smashing a three-run home run in the first inning, Juan Uribe following with a solo shot, and Hyun-Jin Ryu scattering a run and four baserunners over five innings, striking out four.

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Miguel Olivo added a three-run double (not to mention a stolen base) in helping boost the Dodgers’ lead to 8-3. In addition, J.P. Howell and Dee Gordon each turned in fine defensive plays.

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Following the game today, the Dodgers optioned pitcher Matt Magill and reassigned Frias, J.C. Boscan, Brendan Harris and Clint Robinson to minor-league camp. Harris is the second of the pre-Spring Training infield candidates to miss the cut, following Justin Sellers, who was sent to Cleveland.

Magill has had a nice exhibition season, with six strikeouts against five baserunners in 5 2/3 innings.

And, a postscript: I know the story here is Zack Greinke and Matt Kemp progressing in their rehab, but what really tantalized me was the thought of seeing Kemp bat against Julio Urias. The 17-year-old gave up a sacrifice fly to Kemp in the intrasquad game, but also struck him out.

In short, call it Even Steven.


March 5 pregame: Inside-the-park homerless runs

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Dodgers vs. Reds, 6:05 p.m.
Dee Gordon, CF
Carl Crawford, DH
Yasiel Puig, RF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Juan Uribe, 3B
Joc Pederson, LF
Alex Guerrero, 2B
Tim Federowicz, C
Miguel Rojas, SS
(Hyun-Jin Ryu, P)

By Jon Weisman

I keep risking a jinx, but 60 innings into the exhibition season, the Dodgers haven’t allowed a home run. They’re the only team that hasn’t been taken yard in 2014.

The shot that Joc Pederson flagged down in the video above wouldn’t have been a home run, but it’s about as far as anyone has hit one against Los Angeles so far. Let’s see what happens in the Dodgers’ first night game.

  • Scheduled to follow Hyun-Jin Ryu to the mound today are Jose Dominguez, Javy Guerra, Matt Magill, Paco Rodriguez and Carlos Frias.
  • Ross Stripling had to have arthroscopic surgery today before he can have his Tommy John surgery on a future date. Ken Gurnick has details at
  • Zack Greinke threw off a mound today for the first time since injuring his calf February 27, Gurnick reports.
  • And to complete a Gurnick hat trick, a nice feature providing some welcome background on Dodger pitching prospect Red Patterson. Check it out.
  • Spring Training stats: All-glove, no-hit Miguel Rojas is batting .444 and fielding .895.
  • Former Dodger Trent Oeltjen will play for Team Australia in the March 20 exhibition against the Dodgers in Sydney, notes Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A.
  • Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale are pictured during their 1966 holdout with David Janssen on the set of the movie “Warning Shot” in a post by Scott Harrison at Framework.
  • Peter Gammons has a long piece on the 2014 Dodgers at Gammons Daily.
  • Eric Gagne is managing the Team France baseball team that began a five-game Cactus League tour with an exhibition game today against Dodger minor leaguers.
  • Today in 1961 primary source material on the Dodgers at Ernest Reyes’ Blue Heaven: Gil Hodges.

In case you missed it: Josh Beckett on the rise

San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Though the Dodgers ended up in a 3-3 tie at Camelback Ranch with the Padres, there was a clear winner today: Josh Beckett.

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Active Dodgers join community caravan Friday

caravan MondayBy Jon Weisman

Yasiel Puig, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Carl Crawford, Brian Wilson and Alexander Guerrero are scheduled to be among the active Dodgers participating in the team’s Pitching in the Community Caravan (presented by State Farm) on Friday.

Subject to change, those Dodgers will be joined by Scott Van Slyke, Paco Rodriguez, Tim Federowicz, Stephen Fife, Dee Gordon, Javy Guerra, Justin Sellers, Matt Magill, Seth Rosin, Nick Buss, Drew Butera, Mike Baxter and Jarrett Martin (along with assistant hitting coach John Valentin and broadcaster Charley Steiner), as they make the following stops:

  • 9-11:15 a.m. – Kidspace Children’s Museum, Pasadena
  • 12-2 p.m. – Homeboy Industries, Los Angeles
  • 2:30-3:45 p.m. – Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA, Los Angeles
  • 4:30-6:30 p.m. – Dodgers Dreamfield dedication and baseball clinic at Jesse Owens Park, Los Angeles

This will be Guerrero’s first public appearance as a Dodger.

The overriding mission of the Dodgers’ community efforts in general and this caravan in particular is to build upon the team’s tradition of service with the goal of inspiring youth and adults to play, learn, live and serve. The impact the players can have is pretty priceless.

Note: Caravan activities are not open to the general public, but are specifically targeted for the aforementioned groups.

A clean-shaven Brian Wilson

By Jon Weisman

Because I couldn’t remember and was curious

2010 Topps Brian Wilson Back

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