You’re not supposed to be happy at the end of a 2-8 road trip. But then, you’re not supposed to beat Dan Haren and Brandon Webb, on their own turf no less, on back-to-back nights. Because the Dodgers did the latter, they are entitled to do the former. They are right back in this thing, folks, and if they have a good showing against the Snakes at home this coming weekend, it’ll be time to buckle your seatbelts — and maybe even to head down to BevMo to see how much champagne costs. Dodgers go to 67-70 and now trail the Snakes by 2 1/2. But the one thing the boys simply can’t afford is to get tripped up by the Pods. Three-game series starts tomorrow night (5:10 p.m.) at Chavez Ravine. See you there.
The guys coming off the DL are Andruw Jones, Delwyn Young and Scott Proctor. The guys being recalled are Jason Repko, Chin-lung Hu, James McDonald and, of course, Clayton Kershaw, who will pitch on Tuesday night against the Pods as if he had never left. The guy getting his contract purchased is A.J. Ellis, and there already is an open 40-man spot waiting for him to fill it. That’s all, folks. Rafael Furcal and Takashi Saito might be added later, but for now, the Dodgers will start September with 33 guys. Xavier Paul is NOT getting a callup despite having a good year at Vegas and despite being on the 40-man. Outfield is too crowded already, and there wouldn’t be any playing time for him. I realize that raises the question of why Repko is coming up, but I honestly don’t have an answer for that at this point. … Nomar out again tonight, and Torre hinted that Angel Berroa’s recent performance — he is 7 for 18 over the past six games in which he has registered an at-bat — could warrant more playing time. However, Joe seemed to indicate that Nomar is still his primary shortstop because of his ability to hit in the clutch. … Jeff Kent’s MRI is happening today, but we won’t know the results until tomorrow.
Below is a press release the Dodgers sent out last week about the quick success of the Dodgers Trolley, which beginning tomorrow night and through the weeklong homestand will feature certain former Dodgers riding the bus with fans. They’re all listed below. I still don’t really get the connection between the Dodgers Trolley and Marrakesh Express, a song by Crosby, Stills and Nash that the Dodgers play every night when they’re advertising the Trolley on the leftfield video board — and a song that someone just informed me isn’t really about a train trip at all but instead is about another kind of trip that was popular in the 1960s. But after looking it up on that inter-web thingy that all the kids are using these days, what I learned was that the Marrakesh Express WAS actually a popular train ride that many hippies took back in the day. What they did when they got to Marrakesh, well, we can only imagine.
But I digress. Here’s the release:
The Dodgers Trolley has accommodated more than 30,000 boardings in its first month of operation and will now feature Dodgers legends on some of the rides. Created by the City of Los Angeles as a first step to meeting the demand for public transportation to the stadium, the free service, launched on July 25, has shuttled fans each of the last two homestands between Union Station and Dodger Stadium. The buses ride 90 minutes before every home game and conclude one hour after the game ends.
During the Dodgers’ upcoming homestand Hall of Fame Manager Tommy Lasorda and other former Dodgers will ride with fans. Among those scheduled are Rudy Law (Tuesday, Sept. 2), Kenny Landreaux (Wednesday, Sept. 3), Bobby Castillo (Friday, Sept. 5) and Lasorda (Sunday, Sept. 7).
Union Station is the central transit hub for Southern California, with rail lines extending to Long Beach, Santa Clarita, Pasadena, Simi Valley, the San Fernando Valley, the South Bay and the San Gabriel Valley, as well as other areas.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa led the first Dodgers Trolley on July 25 and reiterated his commitment to creating convenient, fast, and affordable options for fans traveling to Dodger Stadium.
“We’re really excited that at this time of high gas prices that the Dodgers and the City of Los Angeles have provided an opportunity to get people on the trolley, give them an opportunity to beat the traffic, beat the high gas prices, and get to a Dodger game and eat a Dodger Dog,” said Villaraigosa.
Mayor Villaraigosa was joined on the first shuttle by City Councilmember Ed P. Reyes and Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, who serves as the Chair of the City’s Transportation Committee.
The Dodgers Trolley is the leading topic among fans providing feedback to the club through firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I really enjoy taking the Dodger Trolley service from Union Station,” said Dodger fan Vicki Addley of West Hills. “I save money on gas and parking. The best bonus is that I do not have to drive in traffic before the game. It has really added to my Dodger game experience.”
“I thought that it was on time, comfortable, quick, not too crowded, and very convenient,” said Trisha Addicks, who took the shuttle during a visit from Atlanta, GA. “If the Dodgers had beaten the Rockies, it would have been a perfect evening. Even with the loss, it was a great experience.”
“We are pleased that Dodger fans have left their vehicles at home, traveled on the region’s public transit system, and taken advantage of the service,” said Senior Vice President Howard Sunkin. “Clearly this pilot program demonstrates an overwhelming need for a comprehensive public transit plan for Dodger Stadium.”
The shuttle route, which is less than two miles, connects with regional MTA bus and rail services, including the MTA Red, Purple, and Gold Lines. Metrolink and Amtrak services are available on day games. The trolley makes two stops as it travels along Sunset Blvd. on its way to Dodger Stadium. At Figueroa St., the shuttle connects with MTA Lines 2, 4, 55, 60; Metro Limited Lines 302, 304 and 355; as well as Metro Rapid Line 704. This stop allows passengers on LADOT’s DASH Lincoln Heights/Chinatown service to easily connect to the stadium. The second stop at Marion Ave. connects the shuttle service with MTA Lines 2 and 4 arriving from the west. The return trip includes all of the same stops.
Fans interested in mapping routes to Union Station from their homes and taking advantage of the free Dodgers Trolley can visit the official Dodgers website at www.dodgers.com/trolley.
The eight-game losing streak, the longest by a Joe Torre-managed team since the 1982 Atlanta Braves, is over, Don’t overlook tonight’s contribution from Hong-Chih Kuo, who was dazzling. He struck out five of the seven batters he faced after entering with a man on second, a run in and nobody out in relief of Chad Billingsley in the eighth. That saved the Dodgers from having to use any other relievers. … By the way, Billingsley won’t start again until next Saturday against the Snakes because Derek Lowe, who pitches tonight, will go Friday night on normal rest because of the off-day Thursday. … Manny Ramirez reached base in nine consecutive plate appearances before grounding out in the ninth inning. Remarkably, this is the first time in his 16-year career that he has had back-to-back, four-hit games. … Dodgers go to 66-70 and pull within 3 1/2 of the Snakes.
Joe Torre said before the game that although Jason Schmidt is going to make another rehab appearance in the Las Vegas season finale on Monday, he isn’t going to pitch for the Dodgers this year. He will rejoin the club after Monday and maybe do some simulated games, or he may pitch some games in the Arizona Instructional League this fall. His velocity was mostly in the high 80s last night against Colorado Springs, when he pitched one inning. … Andruw Jones is back in Los Angeles seeing Dr. ElAttrache because his leg is still bothering him, but he is expected to rejoin the Dodgers and be activated in time for the homestand opener on Monday against the Pods. … The list of players the Dodgers plan to activate or call up from the minors on Monday just keeps getting longer. It now includes Jones, Scott Proctor, Chin-lung Hu, A.J. Ellis, Delwyn Young, James McDonald, Eric Stults and Clayton Kershaw. There could be others. … I talked with DeJon Watson before the game about Greg Miller, and he says the organization is still firmly committed to him. “Yes, we are still committed to Greg Miller,” he said. “We will exhause all our energy to get him back on track and to where he needs to be, with a repeatable delivery that he can sustain.”