Hyun-Jin Ryu’s injury could alter Dodgers’ rotation for upcoming homestand.

Hyun-Jin Ryu injury

Dodgers head athletic trainer Stan Conte talks to injured starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu (99) as catcher A.J. Ellis looks on at left, in the sixth inning of the Dodgers’ 3-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday. Ryu left the game under his own power. (Associated Press photo)

ATLANTA >> Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was hoping to use an off-day in the schedule on Monday to give his starters an extra day of rest.

Now, the possibility exists that Roberto Hernandez, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw will all pitch on regular rest in the three-game series against the San Diego Padres beginning Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.

That’s because Hyun-Jin Ryu left last night’s game with a strained right gluteal muscle, putting his next start in jeopardy.

“I don’t feel like his chances are very good of pitching on his turn,” Mattingly said of Ryu. “Let’s say he can’t pitch on his turn, if we’re going to go hypothetically. He may be ready to go next time.”

Continue reading

Tonight’s game story, on Dan Haren’s well-timed turnaround.

Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp catches a foul ball hit by Atlanta Braves pitcher Mike Minor in the second inning of the Dodgers’ win Tuesday. (Associated Press photo)

The game story is here.

The box score is here.

The White Sox beat the Giants in 10 innings, so the Dodgers’ lead is up to six games in the National League West, a season-high. For comparison’s sake, the Dodgers’ lead a year ago was 7.5 games. They ultimately won the West by 11 games.

Today’s game story, on Kevin Correia’s unexpected excellence.

The game story is here.

The box score is here.

One more postgame note that didn’t quite fit anywhere in the story: One Dodgers player suggested to me that the Twins’ catchers (Kurt Suzuki, Josmil Pinto and Eric Fryer) might have lacked the experience needed to get the most out of Correia during his time in Minnesota. Suzuki is a 30-year-old veteran; Pinto and Fryer are 25 and 28, respectively. Their catchers’ ERA figures correlate inversely to their ages: 4.26, 4.72 and 4.50, respectively. Maybe there’s something to that. Correia certainly was impressed with Ellis’ pitch-calling.

Kevin Correia’s Dodgers debut could come tomorrow.

MILWAUKEE — We didn’t bother asking Dan Haren if he was starting tomorrow in Atlanta. His name was on the sheet. There was no reason to expect otherwise.

Besides, Haren earned it. In his most recent start in Anaheim, he gave up three singles, didn’t walk a batter, and only allowed one run in the Dodgers’ 2-1 win over the Angels on Wednesday. His reward: His next turn in the rotation will be pushed back – at least for one day, it seems — by new Dodger Kevin Correia.

“We talked to (Correia) last night,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He seemed excited about being here. As I told him, right now we’ll use him as spot starts, coming out of the bullpen kind of filling Paul (Maholm)’s role, having some length but also giving us some insurance at the starter’s spot.”

When might that spot start come up?

“It might come up tomorrow,” Mattingly said. “That would come up quick. If it would come up tomorrow, hypothetically speaking, during this little stretch of all the games in a row to give our guys a little bit of a breather. Making sure we’re not overtaxing Kersh, Greinke. We know Hyun-Jin’s pitched better with that little extra day.”

Continue reading

Even at 1-1, Dodgers, Atlanta Braves turn to same lineups in Game 3 of NLDS.

Hyun-Jin Ryu

Game 3 starter Hyun-Jin Ryu went 14-8 with a 3.00 ERA in the regular season. (Sarah Reingewirtz/Staff photographer)

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez are in no mood to change things up — yet.

Both the Braves and the Dodgers will use identical lineups in Game 3 to those we saw in Games 1 and 2 in Atlanta. Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu will start for the Dodgers and right-hander Julio Teheran will start for the Braves, a matchup of two rookies making their 31st start of the season.

As for Game 4, well, some things seem TBA.

Ricky Nolasco is the Dodgers’ scheduled starter. He made the Dodgers’ playoff roster despite a 12.75 earned-run average in his final three starts of the season. Asked if Nolasco was still his starter Monday if the Dodgers lost today, Mattingly said “right now, Ricky’s the guy.”

That caveat could be an important one. Clayton Kershaw, who threw seven strong innings in Game 1 on Thursday, threw a bullpen session Saturday and appears ready to go in case Mattingly has a change of heart.

Here are both teams’ lineups for Game 3:
Continue reading

Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez on Dodgers shortstop, former Marlin Hanley Ramirez.

Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez played for Fredit Gonzalez in Miami from 2007 until Gonzalez was fired in June 2010. (Associated Press photo)


Was Hanley Ramirez responsible for Fredi Gonzalez getting fired as the Florida Marlins’ manager in June 2010?

That was a legitimate question at the time and Ramirez, the Dodgers’ shortstop, quickly denied the notion.

Here’s what the Palm Beach Post wrote at the time:

Hanley Ramirez said Sunday he is upset for being named as a reason for Fredi Gonzalez’s firing.

“Everybody will miss him,” he said. “But at the same time, you’ve got to forget and move forward. A lot of people put it on me. I don’t know why. It had nothing to do with me. Things that should have happened, happened. That’s it.”

Ramirez said his relationship with Gonzalez improved after Ramirez was benched last month for not hustling after a ball he inadvertently kicked down the left field line. Ramirez then criticized the manager and his teammates after learning he was not in the lineup the next day.

“I think, yeah,” he said when asked if there was more of an understanding between the two after the incident.

“There was more respect for each other. It was great. I told him we should have explained ourselves before that.”

Friday, Gonzalez was asked if Ramirez is still the same player he remembers managing in Florida.
Continue reading

If it ain’t broke: Dodgers, Atlanta Braves using same lineups in Game 2.

Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke has allowed seven earned runs in 11 innings — a 5.73 ERA — in two career starts at Turner Field. (Staff photo)

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez aren’t making any changes to their lineups for Game 2 less than 24 hours after the Dodgers beat the Braves 6-1 in Game 1.

Of the Dodgers’ starters, only Juan Uribe doesn’t have a hit in his career against Braves left-hander Mike Minor (0-for-5). Collectively, the other seven are batting .333 against Minor, led by A.J. Ellis (4-for-10, home run), Adrian Gonzalez (3-for-9, home run) and Carl Crawford (1-for-2, double, walk).

Conversely, the Braves are no stranger to success against Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke. Only Evan Gattis (zero career meetings) and Andrelton Simmons (0-for-3) have never gotten a hit off Greinke; Justin Upton (6-for-14, two home runs) and Brian McCann (2-for-6, home run) are batting second and fifth again today. Also lurking on the Atlanta bench: Gerald Laird (6-for-20 career against Greinke) and Jordan Schafer (5-for-11, triple).

The complete lineups for both teams:
Continue reading

Skip Schumaker in center field, Yasiel Puig bats fifth, in Dodgers’ Game 1 lineup.

Ryan Braun

Skip Schumaker is 4 for 9 with a double in his career against Kris Medlen. (Getty Images)

Skip Schumaker will start in center field and bat seventh, as Andre Ethier will be relegated to the bench, for Game 1 of the Dodgers’ National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly will load up the middle of the lineup with power bats: Hanley Ramirez is hitting third, Adrian Gonzalez fourth and Yasiel Puig fifth, with Carl Crawford leading off for the first time since Sept. 8.

Puig has batted fifth only once, an Aug. 25 game against the Boston Red Sox. He finished 0-for-3.

There were fewer surprises in the Braves’ lineup, which has had little success against Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw in the past.

Four Braves positional starters have career at-bats against Kershaw: Justin Upton, Chris Johnson, Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward. They’re a combined 5 for 47 (.106) with 17 strikeouts; Heyward has struck out in all four plate appearances against Kershaw.

Only Mark Ellis hasn’t faced Atlanta starter Kris Medlen among Dodgers position players. A.J. Ellis (1-for-1), Hanley Ramirez (5-for-9), Skip Schumaker (4-for-9) and Yasiel Puig (1-for-3) are a combined 11-for-22 in their careers against Medlen. Adrian Gonzalez (0-for-8), Juan Uribe (0-for-7) and Carl Crawford (0-for-3) are still looking for their first career hit against the right-hander.

The full lineups for both teams:
Continue reading