Ted Lilly, who has been out since May 24 with left shoulder inflammation, is finally starting to pitch close to 100%. He threw yesterday, and expected to feel strong again today. Lilly said that he was likely to throw one more solid bullpen session, then face hitters in practice, then finally head out for a minor league rehab stint. Once this happens, Ted will obviously be well on his way to being back in the rotation.
“I feel pretty confident I can start being aggressive with the throwing program,” said Lilly. “This was the most intensity I’ve had.”
With Ted being close to his return, what will that say about our rotation if the Dodgers acquire Ryan Dempster? It is easy to say that Nate Eovaldi would be sent down if we acquired Dempster now, but with the rotation of Kershaw, Bills, Cap, Harang and Lilly, will a move with Billingsley finally be made? My initial guess would be to send Bills to the pen, but with a lingering $9 Million contract just for this year alone, it’s too political to say for sure. If anything else, the Dempster move will shake things up if it happens. Only time will tell.
Today the Dodgers played, to say the least, a very strange game in Oakland. Not weird in the typical sense, like blown calls, or interesting plays — no, I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about an interesting day for Aaron Harang. In a year where he has had overall success, (5-3, 3.59 ERA) he could not find the strike zone. Ironically, he did not allow a hit past the first inning. The problem is, he only lasted 3 2/3 innings and managed to walk a career high eight batters, allowing three runs all the while. But hey, for what its worth, Sandy Koufax also had an outing in 1955 where he also walked eight batters (in five innings) and Koufax ended up to be…pretty good. 1955 also wasn’t a bad year for the Dodgers either, seeing as we won our very first World Series. So if by some weird chance, this outing is an omen…I wouldn’t mind that.
Strangely enough, Harang wasn’t the story of the night. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, Brandon McCarthy, making his first start since June 7th, pitched an absolute gem tonight. McCarthy allowed only two hits, struck out five and only allowed one free baserunner with a walk in an outstanding 81 pitch outing. There are sometimes when you come up against a great pitching performance, and you have to give credit where credit is due. Tonight — the credit goes to Brandon McCarthy.
The Dodgers bullpen had a long, but very effective night as they didn’t allow another run to keep the Boys in Blue in the game. Overall, it wasn’t as bad as a performance as you would typically think a 3-0 loss would be. We ran into a pitcher that had an amazing outing and sometimes you just have to accept that, move on to the next game and keep truckin’.
The next game is scheduled for tomorrow at 7:05 pm PT. Nathan Eovaldi still seeks his first win since being brought up for the Dodgers despite an incredible 1.82 ERA. Hopefully we can find a little bit more luck against Tommy Malone, who is taking the mound for the Athletics.
Dodgers dropped another tough one today in Chicago. Click the link here to watch the video highlights from today’s game.
It was an interesting day to say the least at Wrigley Field today. After almost three hours of waiting for the rain and weather to clear up, the game finally got under way around 4:00 CT. After an RBI fielder’s choice by Harang in the first and a 2-run homerun by Juan Rivera in the second, the Dodgers found themselves up 3-0. The cubs fought back and maintained a one run deficit for the majority of the game. In the ninth inning, with Javy Guerra on the mound, the Cubs showed they weren’t ready to be done and scored on a game tying RBI double by Tony Campana. The Cubs then went on to win it on a bases loaded walk to bring in the game winning run.
Jerry Hairston Jr left after the second inning due to a hamstring injury he suffered running to first on an infield single. If the injury is serious enough for a DL option, the Dodgers do plan on bringing up Justin Sellers, who was optioned down to AAA Albuquerque to make room for Bobby Abreu. Jerry said he doesn’t know much about it yet, but that he thinks it will only be a couple of days and will know more about the injury tomorrow. Check back for an update on his recovery process.
Hairston wasn’t the only Dodger out with a hamstring injury either. Matt Kemp was scratched from the lineup before the game to preserve a “tight hamstring” that he said he felt after his remarkable catch to end the seventh inning of last game. Fortunately, it didn’t seem to be too big of an issue, considering he was able to come and relieve Aaron Harang by pinch hitting in the seventh inning. Not only did this allow Dodger fans to breath a little easier knowing he can still play on it, but also kept his consecutive games played streak in tact. He is now at 393 games, leading all active players.
Javy Guerra blew yet another save this year, and it raises the closer question once again. Will Mattingly make a move? When asked about it, he merely replied, “I have to keep looking at the situation, that’s for sure.” No matter what happens Donnie, I will stick behind you, because as far as my philosophy goes, theres a reason he’s managing and I’m just sitting at home blogging. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts on the matter! I’d love to hear them.
The Dodgers finally wrapped up their tough road trip and come back home with an NL West leading record of 18-10 to face the arch enemy SF Giants this week. The pitchers scheduled to go are Ted Lilly, Clayton Kershaw, and Chad Billingsley, respectively. Should be a great week! I know I’m looking forward to it. Be sure to check out our Facebook and Twitter pages as well!
Dodgers get cinco on Cinco De Mayo,which is plenty for Capuano as he gets the job done with both the bat and the arm, as the Dodgers go on to beat the Chicago Cubs 5-1.
Capuano held the Cubs scoreless through 7 innings and also doubled in a pair of runs to help his cause. Capuano is proving that he can definitely be more than just a fifth spot in the rotation of the number one team in the national league west. With the 7 shutout innings today, that brings his consecutive scoreless innings count to 18 2/3. One of the few rare tough situations he got in tonight was in the first inning. After a Dee Gordon/Jerry Hairston Jr. mishap that allowed David DeJesus on board, a one out single to Starlin Castro, and finally a walk to Bryan LaHair, Capuano was looking at bases loaded with one gone. He stayed calm as can be and went on to strikeout the next two batters looking.
Bobby Abreu, in just his second game wearing Dodger blue, got his first hit for his new club and also got in the scoring mix as he knocked a double down the third base line, to later be driven in by…you guessed it…Chris Capuano’s two rbi double.
Matt Kemp let beastmode off the leash yet again, this time flashing his glove as he made a tremendous play to end the seventh inning and cap off capuano’s gem.
Ronald Belisario, making his first pitching performance since 2010, looked extremely solid throwing a perfect eighth inning, and only using 11 pitches to do so. He appears to have his velocity back and in control. His sinker was getting clocked consistently around 93 in the inning. “If we get the guy from ’09, the back-end guy that we can use earlier in the game, it’s a real addition,” said Mattingly. “It’s just another power arm if he’s throwing like that — a big bonus for us.”
If the game didn’t include a little of everything as is, there was also a moment of comedic relief in the fifth inning. With Abreu up to bat, the umpire was calling balls that were – well let’s just say interesting – that Ted Lilly didn’t seem to agree with. When Lilly decided to let home plate umpire Tim Timmons what he thought of it, Timmons would have no part of it and ejected Lilly. Mattingly, originally confused on who he threw out, ran out to argue. After he found out it wasn’t Matty or ‘Dre, it was all smiles and laughter in the Dodger dugout as Lilly walked down and into the clubhouse.
Dodgers wrap up the series tomorrow in Chicago as the rubber match starts at 11:20 PT. Aaron Harang is on the mound facing Travis Wood, making his Cubs Debut. You can watch it live on PRIME or on mlb.tv.