Dodgers manager Don Mattingly offered his second unenthusiastic endorsement for closer Brandon League this homestand Monday, sounding no closer to a long-term solution to the Dodgers’ growing ninth-inning problem.
Asked if League was still the closer one day after giving up two runs in the ninth inning in a non-save situation against the Miami Marlins, Mattingly said, “Yeah, for right now he is. I hate to say it like that but yeah, for now.” Continue reading →
One day after Brandon League allowed the game-winning home run in the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks Tuesday, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly defended his closer. Sort of.
“I don’t feel Brandon’s done anything really wrong,” Mattingly said. “I know he’s given up — gives up the home run to (Guillermo) Quiroz (Saturday), the home run (to Paul Goldschmidt) last night. Even the blown save, we feel like if we make plays for him he gets that one (April 24 in New York). Then he’d have zero (blown saves). So I don’t really feel like Brandon’s come in and walked the park, gotten hit all over the place. Obviously he’s getting hit a little bit, though.” Continue reading →
Paul Goldschmidt’s home run off Brandon League in the ninth inning Tuesday makes him 9 for 20 with two homers against the Dodgers this season. (John McCoy/Staff Photographer)
You get the feeling that the Dodgers will have a new closer soon.
Brandon League didn’t blow a save Tuesday, but he added another shaky performance to a long list of them in 2013. League allowed a pair of runs in the ninth inning, both on a Paul Goldschmidt home run that lifted the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 5-3 win at Dodger Stadium.
The Goldschmidt home run came on a belt-high sinker over the middle of the plate, the last of 11 pitches that included five foul balls after the count went full.
“My plan was to get Goldschmidt to ground into a double play,” League said. “That’s an example of what happens when you throw a good hitter a (feces-infused) pitch.”
Hanley Ramirez said before the World Baseball Classic that he would play each game as if it was his last. Turns out he really didn’t want the WBC to end.
The Dodgers shortstop, serving as the designated hitter for his native Dominican Republic, went 1 for 3 in a 4-1 win over the Netherlands in a WBC semifinal game at AT&T Park in San Francisco on Monday.
Hanley Ramirez delivered the first of three runs for the Dominican Republic in its 3-1 win over the United States on Thursday, a home run in the second inning off R.A. Dickey that traveled 451 feet and was the fourth-longest ball ever hit at Marlins Park.
It was the only run allowed by Dickey in five innings, and Dominican starter Samuel Deduno was just as stifling in his four innings. The game was tied 1-1 in the ninth inning when Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel allowed two runs on back-to-back RBI singles by Erick Aybar and Jose Reyes.
Ramirez served as the DH in the game. Reyes played shortstop.
Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansentoldreporters Thursday he’s “95 percent sure” that he will join The Netherlands in the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic. Jansen is a native of the Central American island of Curacao, a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The Netherlands will play the winner of Pool 2 — either the U.S., Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic — on March 18 in San Francisco. Jansen will reportedly remain with the Dodgers until Sunday.
Jansen represented The Netherlands in the 2009 WBC, when he was still a catcher. He went 1 for 13 in six WBC games.
Sandy Koufax (second from left) was in his wheelhouse Friday morning: In the shadows of the bullpen mound, at a distance, at Camelback Ranch.
The man commanding the most attention at the Dodgers’ camp is also the least comfortable in the spotlight.
Through his work with the club’s pitchers, Sandy Koufax may prove himself to be a master mentor, Yoda and Mr. Miyagi rolled into one. But he’s never been one to embrace his celebrity. In that regard, this spring — even with Koufax donning a Dodger uniform for the first time in decades — is no different.
“It’s fun,” Koufax said during a brief media session Friday. “I’m having a good time. If I wasn’t having a good time, I wouldn’t be doing it.”
Chad Billingsley gave an upbeat self-diagnosis on his right elbow when spring training began. One week later, he looks like the same pitcher, Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said Tuesday.
“Chad, the ball’s coming out fine,” Honeycutt said. “He hasn’t missed any time other than just having a little bit of soreness in the calf from our running program. Arm-wise, it’s been very impressive.”
Billingsley hasn’t been limited in his throwing since spring began. Only two Dodgers pitchers have: Javy Guerra and Ted Lilly. Guerra had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder November 2. Lilly had the same procedure on his left shoulder Sept. 21.
“Ted, even though we’ve taken a little more conservative approach with his times on the mound,” Honeycutt said, “giving him two days in between — him and Javy Guerra — each time he’s been on the mound he’s been very good. Very solid.”
Maybe the biggest injury news is this: Kenley Jansen has been bothered by an ingrown toenail. Other than Scott Elbert, who had elbow surgery on Jan. 23 and is expected to miss opening day, the entire pitching staff is healthy one week into spring training. Knock on wood.