Today “marks” a huge day for Mark Ellis (See what I did there? Eh? Ok, sorry, no more puns) Considering our absurd amount of injuries, I figured that everyone would like a brief little summation on all the players to see when we’ll have our Dodgers team back, healthy, and ready to make a push back to first place. Here it is:
Mark Ellis: Mark is literally one month ahead of schedule in regards to his rehab. After a May 19th collision at second base, he was hospitalized for five days, and came within six hours of losing his leg. I’m not a doctor…but that’s not typically a “let’s get back to playing baseball” type situation. That’s more of a “I’m lucky to be walking” type situation. Nonetheless though, he is not only walking, he’s playing again. Like I said before, today is a huge day for Mark. He will be making his first rehab start of a four day assignment for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. Tonight, he is going to just DH. Then he will play the field the remaining three days, and rest after that. The Dodgers have targeted Mark to make his official comeback with the club (assuming all goes well with rehab games) for the Arizona series which starts this upcoming Thursday, July 5th.
Matt Kemp: Matty is also doing well and is progressing right along in his rehab. Don Mattingly came out last week and said that the Dodgers had sat down with Matt to discuss the All-Star break and whether or not he would be able to participate. The agreement that they came up with was that he would be able to compete in the Home Run Derby no matter what, but would not play Center Field in the ASG if he had not yet played a game for the Dodgers. Which is understandable. Donnie has since said that Sue Falsone and the Dodgers training staff are now working to not only allow Matt to compete in the Home Run Derby, but also manage to work that into his rehab as well.
“The plan right now is that it would be part of what he’s doing. We’re going to try to build it into the program.” Mattingly said.
Don went on to add that Matt still has another round of testing to do on his hamstring before he starts his rehab assignment, but that there is a chance he could start his rehab assignment before the All Star Break.
Andre Ethier: ‘Dre, as we all know in that dreaded Giants’ series, tweaked his left oblique in a slide to second. Good news for us all, is that it wouldn’t require a DL stint. I know that oblique’s are incredibly touchy injuries and depending on the severity, could literally take months to heal, but Don and Andre have both said it was a very minor injury, and they are just playing it safe. ‘Dre is still sore, but he says that he expects to be back in the lineup either tonight or tomorrow. Judging by the way they have played it so far, my guess would be tomorrow night, but we’ll see when the lineup card’s scratched in.
Ted Lilly: Ted’s recovery is still moving along slowly, but moving along nonetheless. Last Friday he made a big improvement and made about 15 soft throws. I know that may not sound like much, but initial reports were saying that his shoulder inflammation would cause Lilly to undergo an operation, so the fact he can make throws without it, is a huge progression. Don said that they will continue to take it slow and cautious with Lilly. Luckily for everyone, Eovaldi has done a very nice job (contrary to his win-loss record) replacing Lilly in the rotation, so we don’t have to rush anything. There has not yet been a timetable on his return.
Javy Guerra: Javy underwent right knee surgery on June 5th, and has made a very good recovery from that. He is said to possibly be ready for a rehab assignment as early as this upcoming week. He threw back-to-back bullpen sessions on Thursday and Friday and is progressing along nicely. Similarly, there is no timetable set for Javy’s return either.
My best guess would be that if everyone stays on the pace they are at, and we don’t have any setbacks, we could be looking to be full strength by the end of July, if not a week or two before. At this point, it will almost be weird to have all of our players back again. I can’t imagine the strength of our lineup with all of our players healthy, and a successful trade deadline. Only time will tell…
Today, the Dodgers bad luck just kept on packin’ on. I am very thankful for Vin Scully, because if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t know what to write today to sum it all up. He, as always, had a theatrical one-liner that did a better job than I could have done in a paragraph.
“When it rains, it pours — and it’s pouring on the Dodgers.” – Vinny
Andre Ethier, after walking in the first inning, slid into second to try and break up the ever-so inevitable double play that the Dodgers can’t seem to avoid lately. The slide didn’t work, and of course, the Dodgers did hit into the double play and it ended the “rally” as usual. All seemed to be normal, until Don Mattingly and Sue Falsone walked out towards ‘Dre in the middle of the inning. After a few words, he was pulled and Herrera was put in RF to replace him. He was taken out due to a left oblique strain. Now, depending on the severity of the injury, this could take quite a while to heal. A move will probably have to be made. Everyone’s money would probably be on Alex Castellanos to be brought up, if necessary.
With Ethier and Kemp both sidelined, (responsible for the Dodgers’ 22 of 45 homeruns) the HR leaders on the team are AJ Ellis with six and Juan Rivera with three.
In the third inning, Juan Uribe lead off, so naturally, that limited our outs to only two for the inning which brought up Chad Billingsley with one down. Bills decided to help his own cause. How? By destroying a pitch to right center that bounced off the wall for a double. The last time I remember seeing power like that was Bobby Abreu’s homerun in Anaheim. Then, with Billingsley on second, Lincecum threw a wild pitch which advanced Chad over to third with one out. Could it be? Could that horrid 23 consecutive scoreless inning streak end? A couple pitches later, sure enough, Lincecum throws his second wild pitch, and Chad takes off for home. Unfortunately for us all, the ball bounced right back to Sanchez and he threw a bullet to Tim who was covering the plate…Out…24 consecutive innings.
In the bottom of the same inning, the Lincecum-Billingsley battle continued with Lincecum singling on a line drive to left field. Gregor Blanco grounded out, which advanced him to second and a Ryan Theriot single moved him over to third. With runners at first and third with two out, Melky Cabrera hit a double on a fly ball to left field which scored Tim and moved Theriot over to 3rd. Dodgers down 1-0. After a Buster Posey walk that loaded the bases, Angel Pagan also worked the count for a walk and that forced in Theriot. Dodgers were then down 2-0.
In the fifth inning, Juan Uribe tried to end the inning by striking out with another ugly swing, but swung at a ball that actually got away from Sanchez so he ended up on base. Billingsley would strike out right after him though…26 consecutive scoreless innings.
To the top of the seventh we go. We have runners on second and third with two outs, and who steps up to the plate…Juan Uribe again. Maybe this is his chance to shine. Maybe this is finally the time where he will stop swinging at terrible pitches and just maybe get a run in. What if Uribe was the one to end this now 27 inning scoreless streak? Nope. He strikes out swinging to end the inning. Weird.
28 Consecutive Scoreless Innings.
With the Dodgers losing this one today, 3-0, that runs their total to 30 consecutive innings. Now anytime that you are shutout in an entire series, you start wondering how close to that dreaded history you are. Well I checked, and fortunately for us all, I couldn’t find an official record for most consecutive innings by a team, however I did find something interesting. Almost exactly a year ago today, the Seattle Mariners were shutout for 30 innings in a row. Now before I go on, the last time the Dodgers have scored was in the sixth inning against the Angels on Sunday Night. When the Mariners had their streak, the last time they had scored was also against the Angels. Strange. Either way, the Dodgers now have 30 consecutive scoreless innings, and man, I can’t wait for it to end. This is brutal.
It’s that time again…that time where we are forced to be made sick by watching the team that turns the stomachs of Dodgers fans across the nation. Where we are forced to stare at these awful colors of black and orange. To be honest, I’ve never been fond of Halloween because of the colors. I laugh at the people that thought the Angels-Dodgers had a “hardcore” rivalry this past weekend. To them, maybe it is. To us, this is the team; these are the hated ones that will always have that special place in our hearts as the grossest team in baseball.
It’s also time to face another reality…we sucked tonight. There’s no way around it. The Dodgers are losing steam, and they need a pick-me-up. This road trip has been anything but good for us. We have now lost six of our last seven and on the border of losing the lead for the NL West. Where to point the finger? Well, in all actuality, no one in particular. These have been team losses. But ya know what? I’m going to do it anyways. I’m pointing the finger at — Ned Colletti. NOT Don Mattingly.
Ned Colletti has been ruining this Dodgers team for a lot longer than just this year, but he’s really out done himself as of late. The reason I’m not blaming Mattingly is because about a month ago, every button this guy pushed, whether we agreed with it or not at the time, was working. There was nothing but praise for him, and now that we’re in a bit of a bind, people want his head. It’s not his fault. Donnie has been an extraordinary manager ever since he got here. All of the players love him, the only problem is, he has just had nothing to work with, and that is Ned’s fault. He looks at players like Uribe and Kennedy, thinks they’re good and signs them for deals in which we are still paying for. I’m actually not even going to get into Uribe, because I literally need to take a night off from thinking about him. It just frustrates me at this point, as it does you, I’m sure. So I’ll save my negativity towards him for the bad game he’ll have tomorrow night. Unless of course, he’s not in the lineup!! Haha yeah right…I crack myself up.
Back to the game though, as well all know, Eovaldi got knocked around for the first time in 2012…hard. But weirdly enough, I have to hand it to the guy. I know he gave up 7 runs in the first two innings, and pretty much took us out of the game early, but he battled. I’d be lying if I wasn’t one of the many yelling “Get him out of there!!” in the second inning, and was slightly irritated when he came out for the third inning, but he definitely proved me wrong. Eovaldi grinded out another three strong innings, while having a span of 9 consecutive batters that he retired. On Twitter, I always point out the fact that every time that Nate had given up a homerun this year, he has followed up the next batter by striking him out. I thought this showed amazing maturity from him, and the same can be said for tonight. In a much larger scale, he showed maturity by not letting the lead get to him and falling apart (more than he already had). Was there more pressure on him being the first time pitching in the Dodgers-Giants rivalry?
Before the game, Mattingly seemed optimistic about the way Nate would handle that pressure. “If he’s going to be any good, he’s got to pitch here,” he said. “I have no real concerns. I look forward to seeing how he handles it.”
Unfortunately for us all, he didn’t seem to have handled the initial pressure very well. Although when asked about it in the locker room after game, he didn’t agree.
“It’s a great baseball atmosphere, a great rivalry, but I didn’t feel like there was extra added pressure,” said Eovaldi.
“It was a good experience for him,” Mattingly said. “He’s going to be fine. He’s not the kind of kid to get rattled. He is a work in progress.”
Dee Gordon had another great game which put him at three straight after receiving a one-on-one coaching lesson from Maury Wills. I hope, for his sake, that he can continue this hot streak and work on his defense a little more. I am one of the few that still have faith in Dee and think if he can find a way to get on base, day in and day out, he will be an incredible force to be reckoned with, especially with the arrival of Mark and Matt from the DL. Do you remember how that used to go?
1. Dee singles to get on first.
2. With Mark Ellis batting, Dee steals second.
3. Mark Ellis sacrifices, Dee moves to third.
4. Matt Kemp singles, doubles, triples, or homers in Gordon.
But for now, we deal with what we have; and that is a desperately struggling team which we all still love. Game two of this rivalry continues tomorrow with Kershaw on the mound against Ryan Vogelsong. Game is scheduled to start at 7:15 PT. Be sure to follow Dodgers Insider on Facebook and Twitter as well!
The Dodgers look to wrap up the Freeway Series and take their first series from the previous six. Aaron Harang takes the mound tonight as he looks to mimic Chris Capuano’s brilliant night last night as he went seven strong innings, while only allowing one run on seven hits, while striking out four. Dee Gordon also had a breakout night, which was fun to watch. He got two hits, stole a base, and also scored two of the Dodgers three runs. Before the game, Dee met with Maury Wills and apparently, whatever Maury told him…worked.
What I loved about yesterday’s game was the fact that it was the first time in a while that the Dodgers were working on all cylinders. Everyone was playing a role: Cappy was dominant on the mound, Hairston and Rivera had some key at bats, Dee was all over the place, on offense and defense, and Elian Herrera made an outstanding catch in Center that took a three run homerun away from Torii Hunter. Everyone was playing their part and I can say, despite the fact we scored on two errors by the Angels, that we earned that victory. Yes, we scored on errors, but the fact of the matter is, the Dodgers put themselves in positions to win all day by being aggressive on the basepaths. I really hope that we can carry this momentum into today, and more importantly, into San Francisco this week.
Today, Don Mattingly is giving Juan Uribe the day off (we’re all super bummed about that, I’m sure) and actually giving Herrera the nod at third! I thought this would finally be the day I’d get to see my dream lineup…but sure enough, Adam Kennedy is in at second instead of Hairston. One day! I’m still keeping my hopes up. Anyways — Here are the lineups Donnie scratched in for today.
1. Dee Gordon, SS
2. Elian Herrera, 3B
3. Andre Ethier, RF
4. Bobby Abreu, DH
5. Juan Rivera, LF
6. James Loney, 1B
7. Adam Kennedy, 2B
8. Tony Gwynn Jr., CF
9. Matt Treanor, C
Aaron Harang, Pitcher
1. Mike Trout, LF
2. Alberto Callaspo, 3B
3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Kendrys Morales, DH
5. Mark Trumbo, RF
6. Howie Kendrick, 2B
7. Erick Aybar, SS
8. Peter Bourjos, CF
9. Bobby Wilson, C
Garrett Richards, Pitcher
Hey Dodgertown!! Grab the popcorn — put on your lucky articles of clothing — sit down and get ready for round 2 of the Freeway Series. Here’s to hoping that the Dodgers remembered to bring their bats to Anaheim, considering they seemed to have forgotten them in L.A. when they visited Oakland this past week. I’ve got some good news and bad news for everyone. Let’s start with some good news. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to say that:
Good News: Mr. Juan Uribe is OUT of the lineup!! It will be so refreshing to get a break from seeing that haggard swing every ninth at bat. Now I don’t mean to bash on any of our Boys in Blue, and I know its not fair to single any one person out considering the recent offensive slump the entire team is in, but this is one that I just don’t agree with. Let me explain my reasoning. Juan Uribe, even after a DL stint because of his recent wrist injury, is batting a mere .185. I double checked myself, and to answer your question, no, that’s not a typo. Remember how hopeful everyone was back in 2010? And the hope that Ned Colletti gave us after he signed him by saying, “He will provide more power, he has thunder in his bat.” Really Ned? Cause that so called “thunder” has only struck five times since you’ve signed him. Mike Petriello for Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness wrote a great article about Uribe describing why he is actually the third, possibly second worst Dodger signing in history. Click Here for a great read about more on that. Despite all that criticism, that was my good news: Uribe. Is. Out. Celebrate.
Bad News: Kennedy is in at third instead. As much as I’d like to rejoice that Uribe is out…we’re really not gaining much here. Oh well, at least Adam’s swing isn’t as atrocious as Uribe’s is. Plus, Adam provides the slight gleam of hope that he can come through sometimes. Whereas Uribe really doesn’t give you that hope. Ever.
But hey! I’m not here to be all negative. Here’s some more good news. That DH spot that we get to use in Anaheim is allowing Ethier, Abreu, and Rivera to hit together in the middle of the lineup. Maybe that could potentially spark some offense that we’ve so desperately needed the past couple series. Here’s what else Donnie scratched in for tonight’s lineup against the Orange County Angels of Anaheim.
1. Dee Gordon, SS
2. Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B
3. Andre Ethier, RF
4. Bobby Abreu, DH
5. Juan Rivera, LF
6. James Loney, 1B
7. Adam Kennedy, 3B
8. AJ Ellis, C
9. Tony Gwynn Jr, CF
Chad Billingsley, P
I feel like I’ve said this quite a bit this year…but what a game!! These guys just never stop fighting. Although, most of tonight’s was quite frustrating to watch, it was still an incredible race to the finish.
I need to be a little negative at first. I want to get this out of the way, because I told myself that I would talk about it, but overall I’m pleased with tonight’s performance. Now, I’m not a major league manager…obviously. Nor do I claim to be. However, with that being said, I have no idea what we’re doing with Uribe and Kennedy; mainly Kennedy. Today, he had a very costly error that cost the Dodgers a run early in the game. Then in the fourth inning, after a Juan Rivera single that scored Ellis and moved Ethier to third, Kennedy grounded into a double play to end the rally. I just don’t feel like there’s any energy from him. Not only from him alone, but it just seems like the team never plays the same with him in the lineup. I dunno, thats just my opinion, and like I said, that’s probably why I’m not a major league manager…but if it were up to me…I definitely wouldn’t have him in, unless it was a last resort type situation. Uribe and Kennedy combined to go 0-6 on the night.
Anyways…now that I have that negativity out of the way. Time for some good reports. I think its safe to say that Andre Ethier was very thankful for his new contract extension. At the press conference today, and while interviewing him, you just saw this constant glow and that famous Ethier grin. It was like it was pasted on all day, even in the dugout before the game. Ethier loves L.A. and he always has. “This is the place I’ve wanted to be all along and I hope to finish my career in LA,” Ethier said after the conference. Tonight, he showed Dodgers fans everywhere that he’s not taking that money for granted. He played a huge factor in tonights game from not only making a superb catch in right field to save a run, but also added on to his NL Leading 54 RBI’s as he knocked in the game tying run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. I’ve heard a lot of people, both Dodgers fans and non-Dodgers fans, say that they don’t think ‘Dre is worth near $100 Million. After tonight’s game, have their opinions changed? Only time will tell. All I know is…I’m happy to know that we will have Kemp and Ethier going back to back for at least the next five years.
I can’t only talk about Andre though…he definitely wasn’t the only one that made an impact tonight. Dee Gordon (DeeGo) had an incredible game as well. For the third time this season, he had three stolen bases in the game. THREE! He made a costly catching error in the sixth inning, however, if you watch, I want to blame that on Kennedy as well. And no, not just because its Kennedy. With two outs and a soft grounder like that, you go to first base to get the automatic out. Sure, second base is a shorter throw, but its also a shorter run. When you have the pitcher (Jerome Williams) running down to first, its an easy, easy play. That error also scored another run that put the Angels ahead 2-1.
And theeen there was Rivera. Juan Rivera hit a go-ahead three run homerun in the bottom of the eighth inning immediately after Ethier tied it up. And honestly…I have not heard that stadium erupt like that in a LONG time. It honestly gave me flash backs of the 2008 and 2009 playoff runs. With a sellout crowd of over 50,000 fans, every single one of them were on their feet. It got so loud, that when I rewatched the telecast, they had to blackout the sound just because it was peaking so much. It was absolutely breath taking. I know that’s kind of a ridiculous term, but I honestly don’t know how else to describe it. Seeing Matt Kemp jumping for joy, being that incredible cheer leader that he is, seeing the faces of the young guns that haven’t gotten a chance to see that stadium erupt, everything about it was just amazing.
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, this team is an absolute “Wonder Team.” They never give up, and I couldn’t be happier to see where this season will go. Here’s to hoping that the Stanley Cup Champion, L.A. Kings will give us some good luck when they throw out the first pitch tomorrow, with the Stanley Cup right beside them, inside the stadium.
The rubber match is set to start at 7:10 PT at Dodger Stadium. Nathan Eovaldi takes the mound, looking for his first win since being brought up. He has pitched amazing, but just ran into some bad luck along the way with run support. Hopefully tomorrow the Dodgers can take the series and give this kid the Win that he’s deserved for a while now!
Mike Trout has been killing the competition ever since his promotion earlier in the year. The current competition between Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, in my opinion, has been completely one sided, despite the hype that Harper has gotten. To say that he was the sole reason the Angels beat the Dodgers tonight is an understatement. From hitting the only homerun, to stealing two bases, to knocking in the tying RBI, scoring in the go ahead run, and even catching the last out, he was all over this game.
Chris Capuano had another decent outing tonight as he got the no decision and went 5+ innings, with 2 earned runs and 2 strikeouts. After Capuano was taken out, a bullpen duel would ensue as the game remained 2-2 until the ninth. Jansen gave up a single to Pujols that scored the go ahead run (Trout).
A lot of talk was given about the two leadoff men of this game. Dee Gordon for the Dodgers and obviously Mike Trout for the Angels. Dee really stepped it up tonight and had himself a great game, going 2 for 4 with a walk, a stolen base, and a run scored.
Andre Ethier would pad his NL Leading RBI total as he now has 53 on the year. He is now on pace for 139 RBI’s on the year. Speaking of which…
As most of you now know, Andre Ethier has officially signed a 5 year extension worth $85 Million. Vesting Options include a sixth year worth $17.5 Million puts that over $100 Million total. For more details read the previous post. Long story short, Andre Ethier is going to be a Dodger for at least half a decade and I like the sound of that!!