Mets 3, Dodgers 2

Most of you saw the game, so I won’t go into unnecessary details. Broxton had no explanation for his implosion. “I haven’t seen it, so I can’t tell you,” he said. “I just got hit around. You’re going to get beat sometimes.” … Dylan Hernandez, Diamond Leung and I got a few minutes with Ned Colletti in the tunnel after the game. Said he might be getting close to acquiring a veteran utility infielder who could better plug the gap while Furcal is out, or if Furcal is out again later in the season. He also pointed out that the Dodgers aren’t getting blown out, that they were a hit or two or a pitch or two away from winning all four of the games they have lost on what is thus far a 1-4 trip and then pointed out that the Dodgers are a young team that hasn’t figured out how to win yet. “We’re still in the process of doing it,” he said. “It’s not like you’re going to go to sleep Thursday night and wake up Friday and it’s there.” … Dodgers fall to 27-28. Season is one-third over. Yes, it’s a long season. But no, it’s not early anymore. Snakes play later, but as Ned also pointed out, “We can’t worry about Arizona, Colorado, San Diego or San Francisco. We have to worry about the Dodgers, first and foremost. We have to get better..”

No real news, so how about another photo?

The only thing we learned this morning was what we already strongly suspected, that Gary Bennett DID spend a lot of time working on his throwing back to the mound while he was in extended spring training this week ostensibly to rehab his foot. Torre said he got good reports, that Bennett seems to have made huge strides in overcoming the problem.

Anyway, took this one from my room this morning, this is looking down Seventh Avenue toward Times Square. Sorry about the glare, but you can only do what you can do. And it’s a gloomy, gray day here anyway.

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Dodgers 9, Mets 5

The Dodgers went 6 for 9 w/RISP. That’s one fewer hit w/RISP than they had gotten in their eight previous games combined. A BUNCH of hits to the right side by right-handed hitters, a very promising sign for an offense that might be about to get untracked. … Clayton Kershaw struggled mightily, walking three consecutive batters at one point and coughing up leads of 3-0 and 4-3. He was gone with two outs in the fourth. But Chan Ho Park saved the day for the Dodgers, holding the Mets sufficiently at bay over the next 3 1/3 until the Dodgers could put together a five-run eighth inning off Pedro Feliciano and a horrendously inept Aaron Heilman. Heilman, who now has a 6.67 ERA left the field to a deafening chorus of boos, but the crowd saved some of those boos for manager Willie Randolph, who left the field moments later after handing the ball to reliever Scott Shoeneweis. … Dodgers reach the one-third mark with a 27-27 record, which if my math is correct puts them on pace to finish 81-81. Snakes are tied 2-2 in the sixth, but they’re playing the Nationals, so …

Tonight’s lineup

Been a crazy day, sorry I haven’t posted yet. What we found out is the Furcal WON’T be ready to return on Monday, but he is still improving, so it shouldn’t be TOO much longer. Here’s the lineup

LF Pierre
CF Kemp
2B Kent
1B Loney
C Martin
RF Ethier
3B DeWitt
SS Maza
LH Kershaw

Mets 8, Dodgers 4

Penny wasn’t himself yet again, and it was too much for the Dodgers to overcome as they suffered their fourth consecutive loss and fell below .500 at 26-27. This team has some serious problems going forward, including a staff ace who is fighting himself and a lineup that still can’t come up with anything that even remotely resembles clutch hitting. Kershaw goes tomorrow night.

Kent back in the lineup

We don’t have it yet, but we know he’s in it because Joe told us. Still no update on Furcal. And Schmidt is going to throw his fourth rehab for Single-A Inland Empire on Saturday, which is significant because it comes after the standard four days’ rest, the first time he has made back-to-back starts on regular rest as opposed to standard rest. The time constraints of his rehab (30 days) are such that he probably only has two more starts, and one club official said Schmidt could jump all the way to 75 pitches this time even though he has yet to throw more than 45. Torre said as long as Schmidt gets up to 85 before he returns, he could throw 100 when he does return. Still anybody’s guess as to how they’re going to fit him into the rotation when the time comes.

And speaking of sewer systems …

That allows me to segue seamlessly from my last blog post of yesterday into my first blog post of today, because I am now ACTUALLY IN A TOILET. Or at least I’m in a big bowl that smells like somebody puked in it, a place the locals fondly refer to as Shea Stadium. The sad part is, you can see this soaring edifice going up beyond the outfield where the Mets are going to move next year, after they finally take a wrecking ball to this place, and it’s just tantalizing, so close you can almost reach out and touch it, but so far away in terms of time. I’ll try to post a photo of it sometime during this four-game series. My boss has suggested, after I posted that shot of downtown Chicago yesterday, that you, the readers, might be interested in a series of photos showing my vantage point from the press box in every major-league park I visit. I actually think that’s a great idea — and no, I’m not just being a corporate brown noser, I ACTUALLY DO think that’s great idea. Here’s the problem: I’m not the most technically advanced person in the world, and even posting that Chicago photo required a couple of phone conversations with the head techster back at the office, a super cool dude named Ryan Garfat, who had to go in and size and fix the photo the way I wanted it. So I’m going to have to figure this out before I start posting photos on a regular basis, so bear with me.

Cubs 2, Dodgers 1

The Cubs outscored the Dodgers 8-3 in this series. That would be a pretty good spanking if it happened in one game. But I’m not going to excuse the boys by telling you they were in every game, because the fact of the matter is, when you score one run a game, you’re never really in any of them. Russell Martin made some candid comments after the game that I didn’t get into the paper, and frankly, I’m not going to waste a bunch of time transcribing them here, either, because it’s almost midnight here and I have a 6 a.m. flight. But in a nutshell, what he said was what we all already know, that you can’t expect your pitchers to win 1-0 every night and that you can’t expect to be very successful scoring one run a game. That said, though, Saito’s blown save in the ninth had nothing to do with a lack of offense. One-run leads in the ninth inning — whether it’s 1-0, 4-3 or 100-99 — are what Saito is paid to protect, and this time, he didn’t get it done. He was, however, a standup guy with the media afterward, and while that probably means nothing to the average fan, it says a lot about him as a guy. … I knew for three days there was something different about Wrigley Field, something I couldn’t quite put my finger on, and someone finally told me before the game what it was. They flattened the field over the winter, taking away the crown that I guess had been there since the place opened in 1914. This was the last park in baseball that still had a crowned field, which obviously was for drainage purposes, and according the Cubs media guide, it was 14 inches high at its peak just in front of second base. Last winter, they installed a state-of-the-art drainage system that actually sucks the water underground and eventually dumps it into the city’s sewer system. You can definitely tell the difference from field level, but the field actually looks MUCH nicer even from the press box. For a 95-year-old park, this place is remarkably well-preserved and even somewhat modern-looking. If you’re a baseball fan and you have never been here, it is definitely worth the trip. Just a truly special place in every way.

Furcal update, and Kent still out

Rafael Furcal will see Dr. Watkins tomorrow, after which we should have a much better idea of whether he is likely to return by the start of the homestand on Monday. For now, he is said to be improving. … Joe Torre said he hopes Jeff Kent will be available to pinch hit tonight. Said he probably could have gotten himself ready to start, but there was a question as to whether he could have stuck around for nine innings. My guess — and I’m no medical expert, believe me — is that getting out of this chilly weather will do wonders for him. … Tony Abreu had season-ending surgery today, and the fact that ISN’T the lead item to this blog post should tell you where he stands in this organization. Anyway, they hope he can be back in time for winter ball back in the Dominican. … By the way, earlier this week I posted a glowing recommendation for a burrito joint just down the street from Wrigley Field. Well, I got the name wrong. It’s El Burrito Mexicano. It is NOT La Burrito Mexicana, as I originally posted. But my recommendation still stands.