Dodgers spring training 2015: Brandon McCarthy struggles in loss to Cubs.

Brandon McCarthy

Brandon McCarthy allowed (Associated Press photo)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Brandon McCarthy took this one on his shoulders.

“Today was horse (crap),” he said after allowing eight hits and six runs, all earned, in four innings against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.

The 7-5 loss ended the Dodgers’ “six-game unbeaten streak,” a line that could have been lifted straight from a 1996 Hartford Whalers press release.

“Today’s one of those that … you’re not entirely surprised,” McCarthy said. “You’re fighting a little bit mechanically and stuff-wise, I just couldn’t get anything to do what I wanted it to do. That makes it really hard to locate at that point. Sinkers were cutting, cutters were sinking. Everything was going the wrong direction. It’s really hard to get outs against big league hitters and good ones when everything is heading back toward the middle of the plate.”

The box score is here.

Some postgame thoughts:

Continue reading

Dodgers spring training 2015: Joc walks off the Padres, Matt Kemp, Will Ferrell, Ryu, etc.

Associated Press photo

Associated Press photo

PEORIA, Ariz. — Will Ferrell pitched for the Dodgers today.

I already wrote about that here, but the sentence bears repeating. It’s not every day I get to write that.

Still, lest we forget, Garth Brooks got a total of 46 at-bats in spring training for the Padres (1998/99), Mets (2000) and Royals (2004). Kevin Costner went 0-for-3, scored a run and committed an error in a 2002 game for the San Bernardino Stampede against the Seattle Mariners. Billy Crystal batted leadoff for the Yankees in a 2008 spring game (against Paul Maholm). Tom Selleck got one spring at-bat in 1991 for the Tigers as he prepared for his role in Mr. Baseball. And Chad Gaudin pitched to Tom Verducci once. I talked to Gaudin about that after the game. I’ll share his thoughts here tomorrow.

Here’s what else happened today:
Continue reading

Dodgers spring training 2015: Contracts signed, and identifying The Story of camp.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Someone asked me today what (or who) is the “story of camp.” There might be a few contenders, and I’ll get to those in a minute.

Something every club is trying to square away this time of year is its contracts with players who have 0 to 3 years’ service time. I’m told the Dodgers have finalized those, though I’m not sure when the ink dried on the last of them.

Seventeen players on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster fall into this group:

Yasmani Grandal, Paco Rodriguez, Scott Van Slyke, Chris Hatcher, Chris Withrow, Pedro Baez, Austin Barnes, Mike Bolsinger, Daniel Coulombe, Carlos Frias, Yimi Garcia, Kike Hernandez, Zach Lee, Adam Liberatore, Joc Pederson, Chris Reed and Scott Schebler.

They’re all under contract now. This isn’t the story of camp, but it’s something we get to report this time every year.

So what is the story of camp? Here are the early contenders:
Continue reading