Furcal gets a day off

He’s 0 for 17, so Grady gave him this game off to go with the team’s off-day tomorrow, after which Grady said he thinks Furcal will come back fresh on Tuesday night. Coincidentally, that begins what is easily the most critical stretch of the season for the Dodgers, a six-game homestand with the Pods and D-backs that isn’t make or break only because it can’t make them, but it CAN definitely break them if they go 2-4 or worse. … Got a very pleasant surprise this morning while waiting for the valet to bring my car up at the hotel. Also waiting for his car was Al Downing, and it was great to see him again. He was in town this weekend for his nephew’s wedding and was about to drive home to Valencia. Had a nice chat (which we had time for, because there were a ton of people checking out, and it took a half-hour for them to bring up my car). Al is one of the all-time great guys. Got to know him when he was on the Dodgers’ broadcast team in 2005. … Nice pitchers’ duel brewing here between Penny and Cain, although Cain has been more dominating. Giants have five hits off Penny and haven’t been able to convert in the red zone (little football reference on the first Sunday of the NFL season). Dodgers, on the other hand, have had just one AB with a runner in scoring position, and that was by Penny in the second inning. He grounded weakly to second. … Dodgers 1, Giants 1, middle 4

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