Another crazy day, so I’m only now getting around to posting. Great pitching duel going on here between D-Lowe and J.D. Durbin. Durbin gave up a one-out double to Kent in the fourth followed by a two-run homer by Ethier, and that is the difference so far. D-Lowe has allowed just one baserunner, a leadoff double by Jimmy Rollins in the fourth, but Rollins didn’t advance. Dodgers 3, Phillies 0, bottom 5
By Tony Jackson
PHILADELPHIA — Dodgers left-hander Randy Wolf, who played catch on Wednesday for the first time since his ill-fated rehabilitation start for Single-A Inland Empire on July 25, said that if he does pitch in the majors again this year, it likely will be as a reliever.
“I think (starting) would be hard, because we’re running out of time,” said Wolf, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since July 4 with shoulder soreness. “The minor leagues are going to be over. For me to build up my stamina and get enough innings to start will be difficult. So realistically, I think to help out in the bullpen would be my best bet.”
Wolf said his throwing session went “great,” and he plans to have another one today. But there still is no target date for throwing off a mound.
“Usually when I don’t throw for a while, my arm feels really funky, like I have never thrown a ball before in my life,” said Wolf, who was celebrating his 31st birthday. “But I actually didn’t feel that way this time. … I don’t want to get caught up in the calendar. You want to be smart about it. If I have to take it easy one day, I don’t want it to feel like a setback.”
Left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo (elbow inflammation) also played catch for the first time. Right-hander Chin-hui Tsao (shoulder) is not on the trip and isn’t expected to start playing catch until sometime next week.
Not yet: The Dodgers aren’t considering promoting right-hander James McDonald from Double-A Jacksonville to start Sunday night’s game at New York, so embattled right-hander Brett Tomko apparently will stay in the starting rotation.
“When (McDonald) is ready, he will be here, just like all our other young players,” Dodgers manager Grady Little said. “(Tomko) is one of our five starters right now.”
The front office is still trying to find another pitcher outside the organization and is believed to have at least some interest in veteran lefty David Wells, who was released by San Diego a week ago. An additional pitcher probably would push Tomko back to the bullpen or even off the roster.
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti has personally witnessed three of McDonald’s starts this season, including Tuesday night’s loss to Mississippi when McDonald gave up three runs in a shaky first inning but otherwise dominated in a five-inning performance.
“He looked really interesting, in a good way,” Colletti said. “This kid had a great feel for pitching. He has four pitches, and he throws them for strikes, he changes speeds, he changes eye levels, he throws on a downhill plane, he puts a lot of thought into what he does, and he is successful doing it.”
McDonald is 6-2 with a 1.65 ERA since his promotion from Single-A Inland Empire. But he also has thrown 125 2/3 innings this season, and his velocity, which reached the 92-93 mph range earlier in the season, is topping out now at 87-88. That probably is a sign he is tired, and that could be enough to dissuade club officials from calling him up this year.
Nostalgic trip: The Dodgers will make the 130-mile trip to New York after today’s game by train, a mode of transportation they haven’t used in recent memory. Traveling secretary Scott Akasaki had arranged for the team to travel by bus, but a couple of veteran players who had taken the train with their previous clubs suggested the Dodgers do the same.
“It’s a little bit quicker as opposed to the bus because we don’t have to worry about getting stuck in rush-hour traffic,” Akasaki said.
While the team will ride a regularly scheduled commercial train from 30th Street Station to Manhattan’s Penn Station, special arrangements have been made to ensure the team’s security. The Dodgers will ride private cars and will wait in a first-class lounge before boarding the train. The club then will be escorted onto and off the train by Amtrak police.
Major-league clubs traveled primarily by train until the 1950s, when the game’s westward expansion and the advent of the jet engine made air travel both more necessary and more convenient.