Edinson Volquez was 9-10 with a 6.01 earned-run average this season before he was placed on release waivers Wednesday by the San Diego Padres. (Getty Images)
Edinson Volquez was laughing Friday. Maybe it was nervous laughter; reading someone’s emotions can be difficult the first time you meet them.
The right-handed pitcher, who officially signed a one-year contract with the Dodgers on Friday, was talking about his last start seven days ago against the Chicago Cubs.
“Every pitch I threw, they hit them,” Volquez said. “I was surprised because I have good numbers against the Cubs. I saw my record agianst them, it was 5-0, 2-point ERA [actually 2.98]. I had a lot of confidence. Then in the first inning it was like six runs, five (earned) runs, in the first inning. It’s not good.”
Matt Kemp is scheduled to play his first game in center field tonight with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. Kemp went 0 for 5 and grounded into two double plays last night. (Rachel Luna / Staff Photographer)
Puig is back at the top of the Dodgers’ batting order today with the San Diego Padres in town. The rest of the lineup has a very normal look to it with Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound.
There will be no (re-)rematch between the Dodgers and Carlos Quentin. The 31-year-old outfielder, who brokeZack Greinke‘s clavicle in April, is having season-ending knee surgery. Greinke is scheduled to start Sunday.
San Diego is also giving Chase Headley a second consecutive game off. The third baseman came down with back spasms Tuesday in Phoenix and hasn’t played since. No word yet whether Headley, who hit 31 home runs last season but has been stuck on eight since July 27, will be available off the bench.
Left-hander Eric Stults, whose first eight seasons were spent in the Dodgers’ organization, starts for San Diego. He’s 1-2 with a 3.75 earned-run average in four career starts against his former team.
Leave your jackets at home — it’s 90 degrees with a slight breeze.
In digging through some numbers yesterday, here’s one:
This Dodgers team might well finish with no 100-strikeout batters.
Andre Ethier is the club’s most prolific whiffer, with 82 coming into today’s game against the San Diego Padres. He and Adrian Gonzalez (79) are likely to get a fair amount of rest in September, so keep an eye on Yasiel Puig (79 strikeouts) and, remarkably, Matt Kemp (69) over the final month too.
If the Phillies’ Ryan Howard can avoid striking out five more times over the final month of 2013, and Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig doesn’t stay stuck on 94, the Dodgers might be the majors’ only team without a 100-strikeout man.
How’s that for a statistical anomaly from a Mark McGwire-coached lineup?
Did we look up the last time that happened? Sure did: 2007, when Russell Martin whiffed a team-leading 89 times. Before Martin, the last Dodger to lead the team with fewer than 100 strikeouts was current third-base coach Tim Wallach in 1994.
But McGwire took the job last fall with a mantra about patience, and has stayed true to that in his first season as hitting coach.
Some bullet points for a Friday morning:
• Kemp went 0-for-5 with a strikeout and two double-play groundouts in his first rehab game with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga last night. Kemp was the Quakes’ designated hitter and figures to play center field the next couple days. There were no ankle problems, mercifully, but Kemp was fooled by a couple changeups.
• In one early-morning pre-waiver deadline trade, John Axford went from the Milwaukee Brewers to the St. Louis Cardinals. If the Dodgers hook up with the Cardinals in the postseason, they will face a bullpen that can claim this:
Axford/Siegrist/Rosenthal/Mujica have a combined K/BB ratio of 224/58 over 202 1/3 innings this season.
• From ESPN.com: “Scorekeeping in baseball, however, is an art form, individual expression that makes you feel you are part of the game. It personally and precisely records every moment of the game, allowing you to replay and relive it forever.” • Not a baseball photo, but: Championship-winning coach takes a photo of himself and his wife kissing a championship trophy in 1976, loses hair, joins Twitter, re-stages the photo in 2013, shares photo with the world. Enjoy. • Baseball photo.