Buzz: Who starts on Friday?

Joe Torre has not named his starting pitcher for Friday’s game in Atlanta, although he’s expected to do so today.

Basically, Torre and the Dodgers are still deciding if Jason Schmidt is up to the challenge. Unless they make a trade for a starter, Schmidt is on target for the Friday start, but after his brutal outing Sunday they may decide to go in another direction.

On a positive note, Schmidt did say his bullpen session Tuesday was one of the best he’s had in awhile. With all due respect, though, would you expect him to say anything else?

Barring a trade, if the Dodgers opted to not use Schmidt, the next logical choice would be Jeff Weaver.

Postgame: Cardinals 10, Dodgers 0

The Cardinals beat the Dodgers 10-0 tonight to give the Dodgers their first three-game losing streak of the season. For a full recap and boxscore click here.

THE BARE ESSENTIALS:

Chad Billingsley was masterful in his first five innings of work, walking two and allowing only one hit, but he truly imploded in the sixth, issuing four walks (two intentional) and giving up three singles while being charged with six runs.

Adam Wainwright wasn’t fooling the Dodgers, but he navigated out of jams with incredible consistency in eight innings of work, stranding nine runners. He got better as the game went on, retiring the last eight batters he faced.

The 3-4-5 hitters in the Dodgers order went 1-for-11 on the day, including two strikeouts from Manny Ramirez.

ETC…ETC:

Brent Leach continued to struggle in relief, allowing four batters to reach base while retiring none. He was charged with three runs.

There was an 80-minute rain delay that pushed the start of the game back from 5:15 P.M PST to 6:35.

The Dodgers had been 10-0 in games in which they had a two-game losing streak this season. This is the first time since August 30, 2008 that the Blue have lost three in a row.

Joe Torre was non-committal today of his Friday starter. It would be Jason Schmidt’s turn in the rotation but he struggled his last time out. Jeff Weaver could make the spot start.

ON DECK:

Clayton Kershaw (8-5, 2.96) and Joel Pineiro (9-9, 2.95) are scheduled to start tomorrow at 5:15 P.M. PST.

Pregame: Dodgers at Cardinals

Tonight’s lineups:

Dodgers
1. Furcal, SS
2. Hudson, 2B
3. Ramirez, LF
4. Ethier, RF
5. Blake, 3B
6. Loney, 1B
7. Martin, C
8. Kemp, CF
9. Billingsley, P

Cardinals
1. Schumaker, 2B
2. DeRosa, 3B
3. Pujols, 1B
4. Holliday, LF
5. Ludwick, RF
6. Rasmus, CF
7. Molina, C
8, Ryan, SS
9. Wainwright, P

Also, Jay Johnstone of 1981 World Series fame will be at the ESPN Zone at L.A. Live tonight signing autographs for fans. The ESPN Zone is hosting a Dodgers viewing party for the game, starting at 5 p.m, featuring an all-you-can-eat buffet complete with unlimited Dodger Dogs for $10. Check it out?

Postgame: Cardinals 6, Dodgers 1

The Cardinals beat the Dodgers in the first game of a four-game set in St. Louis, 6-1. For a full recap and boxscore click here.

THE BARE ESSENTIALS:

Randy Wolf threw his sixth consecutive solid start, throwing six innings and giving up two runs, but took the loss to fall to 5-5. By comparison, Wolf made 18 starts in 2007 with a 4.73 ERA and was 9-6. This season, he’s made 22 starts with a 3.43 ERA.

The Dodgers had at least one hit in every inning and 11 in all, but could muster only one run. The Cardinals also had 11 hits but produced big hits, going 3-for-8 with RISP.

Chris Carpenter, operating almost strictly in the high 80′s with his fastball, threw seven strong innings, although he allowed 11 baserunners. Carpenter is a good example of a starter getting older and losing MPH on his fastball but still being effective — although Carpenter is younger and has a bit more left in his fastball than the Dodgers’ Jason Schmidt.

ETC…ETC:

Every hitter in the Dodgers lineup had at least one hit. Rafael Furcal went 3-for-4 with the lone RBI, raising his average to .263.

Manny Ramirez struggled, going 1-for-5, grounding into two double plays and striking out once. He left 5 men on base.

Left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo made his first appearance since April 29 tonight, throwing a scoreless inning.

Jeff Weaver was fined an undisclosed amount today by MLB for hitting Hanley Ramirez with a pitch in the sixth inning of Sunday’s loss to the Marlins.

ON DECK:

Chad Billingsley (10-5, 3.72) and Adam Wainwright (11-6, 2.95) start tomorrow at 5:15 P.M. PST.

Postgame: Marlins 8, Dodgers 6

The Marlins beat the Dodgers 8-6 today to win the weekend series. For a full recap and boxscore click here.

THE BARE ESSENTIALS:

Jason Schmidt was completely ineffective, allowing five runs in 3+ plus innings and earning the loss. Long reliever Jeff Weaver didn’t get the job done either, allowing three runs of his own in 3 innings. That put the Dodgers in a 8-0 hole.

.The Dodgers put up four runs in the sixth and two more in the ninth, but couldn’t rally all the way back. They put up 13 hits to the Marlins’ 11.

Spots 2-6 in the Dodgers order — Orlando Hudson, Andre Ethier, James Loney, and Kemp — went 9-for-18. Loney had 3 RBI.

ETC…ETC:

Manny Ramirez had the day off with a sore left hand and didn’t pinch hit. Juan Pierre replaced him, batting ninth, and went 1-for-4.

Marlins starter Chris Volstad shut the Dodgers down through five innings, but he ran into trouble quickly in the sixth. A two-run homer by Russell Martin sent Fredi Gonzalez to the mound to pull him.

A ninth-inning rally that brought in two runs fell short when Matt Kemp popped out on a Leo Nunez fastball to end the game.

ON DECK:

Randy Wolf (5-4, 3.45) and Chris Carpenter (8-3, 2.26) face off in St. Louis tomorrow as the Dodgers face a Cardinals team featuring new acquisition Matt Holliday.

Reaction: Dodgers deny trade rumors

A Dodgers spokesman said there was no truth to a published report that the Dodgers and Indians were in serious discussions in a trade that would bring pitcher Cliff Lee and catcher Victor Martinez to the Dodgers and send James Loney and either Chad Billingsley or Clayton Kershaw and prospects to the Indians.

The report surfaced on Foxsports.com, but the Dodgers shot it down immediately.

Postgame: Dodgers 4, Marlins 3

The Dodgers beat the Marlins 4-3 tonight at Dodger Stadium. For a full recap and boxscore click here.

THE BARE ESSENTIALS:

Casey Blake won it with a walk-off single in the ninth with the bases loaded, two outs, and a 2-2 count. He was facing Marlins reliever Luis Ayala and hit a bloop pop-up that found a hole between second and center.

Hiroki Kuroda turned in only his second quality start this season, going six innings and giving up three runs.

The Dodgers won this one on the strength of their bullpen, as Guillermo Mota and Jonathan Broxton turned in spotless relief (only one walk and no hits allowed in three innings), and they scored three runs off a total of five Marlins relievers. Mota extended his scoreless innings streak to 19. Broxton got the win, his seventh.

Andre Ethier and Orlando Hudson each had three hits as Ethier continued his tear of late. Rafael Furcal went 2-for-5.

ETC…ETC
:

Marlins starter Rick Vandenhurk stymied the Blue, allowing a run in the first but shutting them down before exiting after five innings.

After 14 hits last night, Florida had only six Saturday. No Marlin had more than one hit.

Manny Ramirez went 1-for-5 and struck out in a key situation in the ninth.

ON DECK:

Chris Volstad (7-9, 4.34) and Jason Schmidt (1-0, 5.40) tomorrow night in the rubber game of the three-game set.