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.
I’m pretty optimistic heading into the second game of this series in which the Dodgers got punched in the mouth in the first game. Wondering why? A guy by the name of Clayton Kershaw is taking the mound. He has pitched a total of 40 innings at AT&T Park. The Giants have managed to score in just two of those innings. His current innings streak without an earned run is up to 32.2. In his last four starts in San Francsico, he has only allowed one run total.
So needless to say, barring a Eovaldi-type breakdown, I think the Dodgers will be in good condition to win this ball game. With that being said though, expect a very low scoring game. Ryan Vogelsong is on the mound for the enemy and he has been anything but inconsistent this year. He has only had one start this entire year that didn’t result in a quality start, which requires a minimum of six innings pitched, and only three earned runs allowed. That’s impressive. I’d still take Kershaw’s track record in SF though.
Dee Gordon looks to continue his hot streak, just three days out of having a one-on-one session with Maury Wills. In those three days, he is batting .500 with three stolen bases, two runs scored (impressive considering the Dodgers lack of runs) and a walk. He has been definitely improving his offense, despite the inconsistency in the field. Posey is also in the lineup tonight after getting the first game of the series off.
And wouldn’t you know it!! My DREAM lineup has finally come. No kennedy…No uribe…No loney. I really hope this works out to show that this is the way it should be. This is the time to shine for the Dodgers. Here is what Donnie and Bruce Bochy have scratched in for tonights game starting at 7:15 PT.
1. Dee Gordon, SS
2. Elian Herrera, 3B
3. Andre Ethier, RF
4. Juan Rivera, 1B
5. Bobby Abreu, LF
6. Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B
7. Tony Gwynn Jr., CF
8. AJ Ellis, C
9. Clayton Kershaw, SP
1. Blanco, RF
2. Theriot, 2B
3. Cabrera, LF
4. Posey, C
5. Pagan, CF
6. Sandoval, 3B
7. Belt, 1B
8. Arias, SS
9. Vogelsong, SP
I wanted to quickly give a shoutout to Mrs. Ellen Kershaw. In all honesty, she had me rolling in laughter today by the way she decided to celebrate Father’s Day. I logged on to Twitter and saw that she had posted something. What I ended up reading, however, I was flat out NOT expecting. Let me show you…
Now I don’t know about you…..but I definitely thought that Clayton Kershaw was about to be a Dad. My body went through about a thousand emotions ranging from shocked, to happy, to confused, to shocked again, back to happy…but again…didn’t want to speculate on anything. And keep in mind…that’s just me we’re talking about — the last person that should be emotionally involved in this situation, considering my non-existant ties to the Kershaw family, other than admiration. I can only imagine what Clayton thought when he saw it. When all this was going on, amidst the tears and excitement (haha ok now I’m getting out of hand, I never actually got to that point, but still) Ellen rocked my world yet again…and hit the Twitter world with this shot:
Well played Ellen…well played. You 100% had me going and I hope Clayton had a kick out of it as well. Enjoy your Father’s Day!!
Want to learn more about this awesome couple? Be sure to check out their book, Arise, and order it (click here for the link) if you’d really like a great read. It’s a very inspirational story about their faith and their journeys to where they are now; with Clayton playing professional baseball, and Ellen traveling to Africa to not only help orphans in Zambia, but to also share their faith in the Lord with the kids.
They have started a foundation called Kershaw’s Challenge where, among many other things, Clayton donates $100 for every strikeout he records to “Hope’s Home” in Africa, which is a home for “vulnerable children living in desperate conditions in Lusaka, Zambia.” Their hope is to ultimately hire “parents” that can live in this home and raise these children with Christian values. Personally, I think its amazing that God has blessed Clayton with the ability to raise as much money as he has with his strikeouts. It’s amazing to see what the Lord can do when you put your talent in His hands. After the foundation was started, and Clayton decided to donate money for every strikeout, as we all know, he went on to lead the entire league in strikeouts along with winning the Triple Crown, and Cy Young. That’s no coincidence, people.
“It’s been a cool season to see how the Lord can use baseball to expand His Kingdom,” Ellen said in regards to the 2011 season. “And we hope, as I always say, with every pitch that Clayton throws that the Lord is glorified in that.”
I really do encourage you to visit their site and see what they are all about. The Kershaw’s are so inspirational and completely give what God has given them for others, rather than for themselves. They understand that no matter how successful you are on the field, or even in Zambia, you never do anything by yourself. To watch an amazing video on Clayton Kershaw talking about exactly that, watch this video, called I Am Second. The entire website is an incredible way to spend just a couple moments of your time, and I can almost guarantee you won’t regret browsing around the site. Until Next Time!
The Dodgers take on the Mariners for game 2 of their three game series. This game marks the second to last game of the current 10 game road trip where the dodgers are 5-3. Kershaw takes the mound tonight and looks to get “back into form” even though his numbers have still been very good this year. Clayton is always his own harshest critic.
Andre Ethier gets a somewhat day off today, as he gets to rest his legs and be utilized in our DH spot. Alex Castellanos will be replacing him in right with Gwynn (CF) and Rivera (LF) completing the outfield. Here is the Dodgers lineup card for tonight:
1. Dee Gordon, SS
2. Elian Herrera, 3B
3. Juan Rivera, LF
4. Andre Ethier, DH
5. Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B
6. James Loney, 1B
7. A.J. Ellis, C
8. Tony Gwynn Jr., CF
9. Alex Castellanos, RF
Clayton Kershaw, Pitcher
1. Ichiro, RF
2. Figgins, LF
3. Montero, DH
4. Smoak, 1B
5. Seager, 2B
6. Olivo, C
7. Saunders, CF
8. Liddi, 3B
9. Ryan, SS
Jason Vargas, Pitcher
Andre Ethier Confident Dodgers’ New Management Will Extend Contract
‘Dre is very optimistic about his contract extension. Although still standing by the fact that he is letting his agents and the club discuss it so he can keep his focus on the field, there are still hints that something could happen within the next couple of days. Such as: Nez Balelo, Ethier’s agent, is in Seattle during the Dodgers-Mariners series. Weird? A little…but what makes it a little bit more interesting is the fact that Ned Colletti also made the trip to seattle. Balelo seems to insist he is there because he represents Seattle’s pitcher, Jason Vargas, however no one really knows why Ned would be there as well. It all may be one big coincidence, and I may be looking too far into it, but you never know. I would keep my eyes open in the next couple days to see if Ethier has signed anything long term. I would love to see us lock up ‘Dre for a couple more years, so would he.
“I expect to be here a long time, and both sides have expressed that. They want me here and I want to be here. Mutually, both sides want me here. Obviously, this is a good fit. It’s where I want to be and a great opportunity to play with these guys who have put a lot of hard work in, and I hope we continue what we’re doing right now.”
As of immediate updates, not much has changed since the beginning of the season. Until there is an offer that Balelo feels comfortable showing Ethier, Ethier won’t know anything. At the same time, they could be talking behind closed doors and Ethier would be none the wiser.
“Nothing’s changed, they haven’t made anything that I’m aware of,” said Ethier. “Maybe they made something to my agent, but I told him not to tell me until there’s something for me to consider. I’ll keep playing and helping the guys win.”
Hopefully, I can update a post soon talking about his new extension…until then…I can only speculate and hope.
Kershaw Takes the Mound, Night After No-Hit Effort for the Mariners
Clayton Kershaw gets to take the mound today, despite dealing with plantar fasciitis all week. For those of you that don’t know (because I sure didn’t), Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fasciitis which is a connective tissue in the sole of your foot. The injury is actually very common, and somewhat difficult to treat, but with proper inspection from the Dodgers training staff and Sue Falsone, it should all be fixed in a short matter of time. Fortunately for Clayton and for Dodgers fans, the injury does not affect him while he pitches.
As all of you know, Kershaw is insane about his daily routines. He is very much on a routine every single day, almost down to the minute, and that routine includes running in the outfield before starts. Scratching that will be a must and so that effect is what is annoying him.
“It kind of got progressively worse the last 10 days to two weeks,” he said. “Kind of the peak of the pain was when I was running to first, but it’s gotten better the past three or four days. I should be fine.”
Luckily for everyone, due to it being an interleague game, playing AT Seattle, Kershaw won’t have to worry about batting or baserunning because of the DH position. He can focus on the one thing that doesn’t hurt him…pitching. Don Mattingly isn’t consider either.
“Right now it’s not concerning at all,” Mattingly said. “He’s not feeling it pitching. With Javy, it affected his pitching, and that we can’t allow to happen with Kershaw. As long as it doesn’t get worse, I’m not really concerned about it. Maybe I should be, but I’m not worried about tomorrow today.”
It should be interesting to see how Kershaw pitches, not only to see how he handles the injury, but also to see how he pitches without having to worry about swinging the bat.