Game 8: Dodgers 6, Mariners 5.

Howie Kendrick

Howie Kendrick breaks his bat on the game-winning single Tuesday. The hit drove in Jimmy Rollins and Carl Crawford in the bottom of the ninth inning of the Dodgers’ 6-5 win over the Seattle Mariners. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)


Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Dodgers beat the Seattle Mariners 6-5 on a walk-off single in their final at-bat. This time it was Howie Kendrick playing the hero. You can read my game story here for the full details of how it went down, and hear Kendrick’s postgame comments here and here.

The box score is here. The photo gallery is here.

Prior to the game I talked to pitcher Yimi Garcia. He explained how his 20-year-old brother Jairo, a pitcher in the Yankees’ farm system, helped him with his slider over the winter. The small change seems to have made a big difference so far.

Since I didn’t get a chance to talk to anyone before deadline, here were the key points in the clubhouse after the game:

Continue reading

Dodgers spring training 2015: Zack Greinke, Dodgers fall 8-4 to San Francisco.

"<strongGLENDALE, Ariz. — Zack Greinke didn’t pull any punches after his penultimate spring start.

“After today I probably need like five more starts,” Greinke said.

He’ll get one more. Unlike Clayton Kershaw, Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy, he won’t scale back his pitch-count limit in his next start, which should fall next Wednesday against the Kansas City Royals.

“I’ve thrown enough,” Greinke said. “I should be ready. If I’m not, it’s not because of lack of innings — it’s just not getting ready fast enough. I should be ready when the season starts.”

Greinke allowed five hits, four runs — two scored on a dropped fly ball by Carl Crawford in left field — two walks and three strikeouts. He was pulled after reaching his pitch-count limit (76) with two outs in the fourth inning.

“I wasn’t pitching good that last inning or the inning before,” Greinke said. “It was pretty horrible.”

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that Greinke is still on target to start the second game of the season, April 7 against the San Diego Padres.

“I’m confident that he’s going to be ready,” Mattingly said. “It’s just at what level.”

The box score is here.

A couple more notes:
Continue reading

Dodgers sign infielder Hector Olivera for six years, $62.5 million.

The Dodgers and infielder Hector Olivera have agreed to a six-year contract worth $62.5 million, including a $28 million signing bonus, a source confirmed Tuesday. The contract has not been announced because it is pending a physical.

Olivera, who turns 30 on April 5, was the most highly sought-after free agent from Cuba remaining on the market. In terms of both years and dollars, Olivera’s contract represents the most significant commitment to any free agent the Dodgers have made since president Andrew Friedman took over last October.

Olivera profiles as a second baseman or third baseman, which is a potential position of need for the Dodgers after this season. Howie Kendrick, 31, and Juan Uribe, 36, are both eligible to become free agents after 2015, as is shortstop Jimmy Rollins.

The Dodgers believe they have their shortstop of the future in 20-year-old Corey Seager, who slashed .286/.500/.429 in 21 Cactus League plate appearances. Olivera solidifies one of the other two positions; Alex Guerrero, who’s under contract through 2017, could fill the other. The Dodgers might now use the 2015 season to sort all the roles out.
Continue reading