The Dodgers don’t HAVE to set their roster until 9 a.m. tomorrow morning, but my guess is it will happen right after the game tonight, because the team is leaving for Milwaukee around 10 tomorrow morning. Can’t imagine they would leave anything unresolved until then. In reality, there really is only one more decision to be made, that being whether to DL Rafael Furcal retroactive to March 21 so Wilson Valdez doesn’t have to be waived, at least not before Furcal comes off the DL on Friday. The club still has to purchase the contracts of Rudy Seanez and Larry Bigbie, but those moves are formalities. There is one 40-man spot already open, and the club will open another by putting Jason Repko on the 60-day DL. Players on the 60-day don’t count against the 40-man limit. Players on the 15-day do. I’ll get this stuff on the blog as soon as I know it. Forty-three hours and 35 minutes to first pitch.
Rudy Seanez, Jonathan Broxton and Takashi Saito combined to retired the final nine Angels batters in order, striking out six of them (two by each pitcher). The Dodgers won a game in this annual exhibition series for the first time since 2003. With that, the Dodgers clinched a winning spring, running their record to 17-15-1 with one game to go … but I’m guessing there isn’t a single player in that clubhouse who knows that, or even cares. Sixty hours and eight minutes until the first real pitch of the Dodgers’ season. Hasta manana.
Russell Martin, who will be the everyday catcher, and Matt Kemp, who won’t make the team but will be a major-league star one day soon, homered in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively. Kemp’s was a no-doubt, three-run blast deep into the pavilion in left center. James Loney legged out a double, although he might have been out at second if the throw from right field hadn’t been offline. Anyway, with that hit, Loney raised his spring average to .415.
The Dodgers hung nine runs and 11 hits on Ervin Santana in 2 1/3 innings in the kind of offensive display that figures to define this club — stringing together a bunch of singles and doubles and scoring runs in bunches without a single home run. Juan Pierre and Nomar Garciaparra already have three hits apiece. Wilson Betemit has two hits, including a two-run homer, and Olmedo Saenz has two doubles and three RBI. But if you believe the gun readings displayed beneath the leftfield scoreboard, Jason Schmidt’s fastball still is routinely registering in the mid-80s. So far, though, he has only given up one earned run, and that came in an inning when he issued a leadoff walk to Maicer Izturis. Dodgers 9, Angels 2, top 4
They’re still in the hospital, but they’re doing fine, and so is their mom. Their names are Grace and Ava, and their father was beaming in the clubhouse today. “People ask you what it’s like, and I tell them, `You can’t describe it,”’ said Nomar, who experienced it for the first time in his life. For those of us who have gone through it before (especially us dads, who didn’t have to do any of the real work), we know exactly what he was talking about. For those who haven’t, Nomar is exactly right, you can’t describe it. … Just saw the forecast for the three days in Milwaukee. Wednesday: a high of 38 degrees and snow. Good thing they have that retractable roof.