The Dodgers officially activated Jeff Kent. Torre says he will be a pinch hitter and that Blake DeWitt will remain the everyday 2B. Dodgers get the best of both worlds that way, with DeWitt’s superior range in the middle of the infield and Kent’s bat a dangerous weapon off the bench. Joe said if Kent reaches base, there will be a pinch runner inserted for him. … Torre also said Brad Penny is now “out of the mix.” After getting that cortisone shot in his AC joint yesterday, Brad tried to throw today and felt discomfort. Torre also said it would be “tough” to add Penny to the postseason roster if, in fact, there is one. Too early to tell how all of this will affect the club’s decision whether to exercise Penny’s contract option ($9.25 million).
Torre going with the basic eight guys tonight, along with Kuroda. Rich Hammond covering tonight, not Doug Padilla as I reported here yesterday.
Not much point in rehashing what took place other than the fact that Greg Maddux lost to the Giants for the first time since May 9, 2003. Since then, he had been 7-0 in 13 starts against them. The Dodgers fell to 80-74, but they maintained their 3 1/2-game lead over the Snakes, who lost at Colorado, and the Dodgers’ magic number shrank to six. … By the way, if you were here tonight, you were probably handed, as you walked into the park, this ridiculous little piece of useless garbage that was a full-color flip-photo book (54 pages) of Kirk Gibson’s HR, because as we all know, that thing isn’t celebrated nearly enough around here. The booklet was supposed to serve as a reminder to vote in this year’s election and to promote the fact you can register here at the stadium. The promotion was sponsored by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk. If you look inside the front cover, you see it printed in plain English: Paid for with Federal Help America Vote Act Funds. Yep, your tax dollars at work. There was a crowd of 55,589 here tonight, so I’m guessing if you walked through the now-empty stands at Dodger Stadium, you would find approx. 55,562 of these things laying in the aisles. Wonder how much each one of them cost to print. Oh, and don’t forget, the guy hitting that home run that everybody around here still fawns over 20 years later is now the bench coach for the team that is trying to catch the Dodgers in the N.L. West.
He might be slightly banged up from yesterday’s football-style collision at the plate with Nyjer Morgan, the same guy who was giving him a ride back to the team hotel two nights earlier. He is taking BP as I write this, so he’ll probably be back in there tomorrow. BTW, Padilla covering the next two games, so probably light blogging. After that, you’re stuck with me every night for the rest of the season, however long that turns out to be.
Got an email from the Dodgers within the past hour stating that tonight’s game and tomorrow’s game are sold out and that fewer than 5,000 tix are left for Sunday, which is Fan Appreciation Day. Just an FYI.
Craig Hansen, one of the guys the Buccos got from the Red Sox in the Manny trade, faced four batters in the 12th and walked three of them (the second one was intentional). He then handed it off to T.J. Beam, who inherited a no-win situation with the bases loaded and one out. He got two strikes on James Loney, and Loney took a perfect two-strike swing, lining an opposite-field single to put the Dodgers in front. Jonathan Broxton walked a couple in the bottom of the inning, too (also one intentional), but stranded the tying run on third when he got Jason Michaels to pop up, ending a 7-3 homestand for the boys. Play of the game came in the bottom of the 10th. With runners on first and second and one out, Michaels hit a shot off Chan Ho Park’s glove. Park recovered quickly and would have had a play at second if anyone was there, which no one was. But Park threw it anyway, and a heads-up play by Blake DeWitt — who later said he should have been covering the bag because Chin-lung Hu had gone to his right to field the carom — made a diving stop behind the bag. Seeing Nyjer Morgan rounding third, DeWitt then got up and threw him out at the plate, catcher Russell Martin making a nice pick of the short-hop throw and withstanding a thunderous collision with the charging Morgan to make the tag. … Dodgers go to 80-73. Snakes play late tonight, but at the very least, the magic number goes to seven. Snakes going for the four-game sweep of the Giants, but they have to face Tim Lincecum.
Here’s the official release, just sent out by the club, on what was reported here yesterday.
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced their seven minor league affiliates for the 2009 season, which will include the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes, the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts and the Rookie-level Arizona League Dodgers. The announcement was made by Dodger Assistant General Manager, Player Development De Jon Watson.
The Triple-A farm club of the Dodgers makes a return to Albuquerque, where their top minor league affiliate was previously housed from 1972-2000, producing such talent as Ron Cey, Pedro Guerrero, Orel Hershiser, Davey Lopes, Mike Marshall, Pedro Martinez, Mike Piazza, and Bill Russell. The club’s Double-A affiliate, the Albuquerque Dodgers, played there from 1963-71 before becoming the Dukes and moving to the Pacific Coast League.
The Dukes won eight PCL championships under such well-known managers as Tommy Lasorda (1972), Del Crandall (1980-82), Terry Collins (1987), Kevin Kennedy (1990), and Rick Dempsey (1994), while the Albuquerque Dodgers won Texas League titles under Roy Hartsfield (1965), Duke Snider (1967) and Crandall (1970).
Since the Dodgers were last affiliated with Albuquerque, the Isotopes have built a new stadium, Isotopes Park, which is one of the finest facilities in minor league baseball, and saw a franchise record 593,606 fans visit in 2008.
“We’re very excited to be returning to Albuquerque,” said Watson. “Their top-notch facility will undoubtedly help us develop future Dodgers and their fans have been following this franchise for many years.”
The Dodgers’ new Double-A home will be in Chattanooga, TN following eight seasons in Jacksonville, FL. The Lookouts, who play their home games at AT&T Field, had previously been affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds.
“Our move to Chattanooga will continue to help bring all of our affiliates closer to home,” said Watson. “We look forward to making an impact throughout the city as our minor league players continue to hone their skills en route to the big leagues.”
Single-A Inland Empire and Single-A Great Lakes return for their third seasons, respectively, as Dodger affiliates while the Rookie-level Ogden Raptors remain in the fold for their seventh consecutive season.
The Dodgers’ entry in the Gulf Coast League will move to the Arizona Rookie League and be named the Arizona League Dodgers. The franchise will continue to field a team in the Dominican Summer League based in Santo Domingo.
All field personnel at the minor league level in 2009 will be announced at a later date.
Because I know many of you are going to ask, we (I) did ask Joe Torre about removing Scott Proctor in the seventh inning. For those who weren’t watching, Proctor had retired all five batters he had faced in what was now a 7-7 game, and Torre brought in rookie lefty Scott Elbert, who came on with two outs and nobody on, walked the first batter he faced and wound up allowing four runs without recording an out.
Here is what Joe said:
“The guy comng up (Nate McLouth) had hit 26 home runs, 23 of them against right-handers. I felt pretty good about that situation. We thought we were set up for that line of hitters, but it just didn’t work out. (Elbert) just tried to overthrow the ball.”
Nomar’s knee isn’t as bad as it originally looked, but he’ll miss at least a day or two. He said he fully expects it to feel a lot worse tomorrow. But he also said he thinks the injury is limited to the MCL, the same injury that resulted in the most recent of his DL stints this season. He wouldn’t guess as to how long it will keep him out, but given that the Dodgers aren’t expected to try to re-sign him this winter, I supposed it’s possible he has played his last game for them. But again, he didn’t sound like a guy whose season just ended, so we’ll see. … Dodgers fall to 79-73. Snakes are leading the Giants 7-3. If they win, it will be the first time they have gained ground on the Dodgers in the standings since Aug. 29, the day they handed the Dodgers their eighth consecutive defeat in the opener of a three-game series at Chase Field.