About Jill Painter

Jill Painter is a sports columnist for the Los Angeles News Group, covering everything from the Dodgers, Lakers, Clippers, USC, UCLA, Kings, golf and all human interest stories in sports.

Game over Gagne

Eric Gagne is at today’s Dodgers-Cardinals game. As a spectator, of course. The Dodgers showed a montage of Gagne, the Dodgers’ former closer, and then showed him on the JumboTron. If the Dodgers keep this 2-1 lead, we’ll see if Jonathan Broxton can do his best Gagne impersonation if he has an opportunity to earn a save.

The new face of the Dodgers?

I was just driving down Fallbrook in Woodland Hills, and much to my surprise, I spotted a Dodgers billboard with Kim Kardashian on it. I found her to be quite an interesting person for the Dodgers to use in their “This is my town” campaign. I was at Dodger Stadium earlier this season when Kim and her two sisters – all reality TV stars – threw out the ceremonial first pitch. They sat behind home plate for the game and left after a couple of innings, which is even crazy by L.A. baseball fan standards. Whatever sells!

Manny’s return

Manny Ramirez was 0-for-3 with a walk in tonight’s game. That’s understandable since he just came off a 50-game suspension, but he had promised before that it was going to be “Showtime.”
Ramirez was taken out of the game after the top of the sixth inning.
Ramirez didn’t even have to deal with much grief from fans and there was no syringe thrown at him, which happened to Barry Bonds here in 2006.

Kobe sighting

Kobe Bryant is celebrating Father’s Day by attending today’s Dodgers-Angels game at Angel Stadium. Bryant is sitting next to his dad, “JellyBean” Bryant, and Kobe has had his arm around him and they’ve been laughing a lot. He was the star attraction as he made his way down toward his seat, which is just behind the Dodger dugout. Unclear who he’s rooting for right now. Bryant is wearing a black T-shirt.

Andre Ethier’s heroics

Andre Ethier may have been struggling at the plate most of the season, but he’s had game-winning hits in each of the last two games.
“I can’t believe it’s been two days in a row,” Ethier said. “You can make it through half a season or a whole season where you don’t come up with the game-winning hit. To get the opportunity two nights in a row, it’s such a good feeling.”
He hit a solo home run off Chad Durbin to win Saturday’s game in the 12th inning.
The Dodgers have won four of six games against the defending World Series champ Philadelphia Phillies this season.

Today’s lineups

Rafael Furcal and Casey Blake were given days off today. Joe Torre said Furcal was just an offday and that he was just being cautious with Blake’s hamstring but that Blake would be available.
Shane Victorino cf
Jayson Werth rf
Chase Utley 2B
Ryan Howard 1B
Raul Ibanez lf
Pedro Feliz 3B
Eric Bruntlett ss
Carlos Ruiz c
Joe Blanton p

Juan Pierre lf
Orlando Hudson 2B
Andre Ethier rf
Russell Martin c
James Loney 1B
Matt Kemp cf
Mark Loretta 3B
Juan Castro SS
Hiroki Kuroda p

Dodgers avoid the shutout in 3-2 loss to D’backs

The Dodgers lost to the Diamondbacks, 3-2 after scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth. Hiroki Kuroda had a solid start – his first since Opening Day – in allowing two earned runs on three hits in five innings. He also struck out six and walked three. The Dodgers, however, had FIVE wild pitches tonight – a club record. Cory Wade had three and rookie Brent Leach two, making Russell Martin work overtime behind home plate.