Yesterday, I compared the Dodgers’ offense to a sputtering Corvette idling in the driveway (Usually not my driveway, usually my neighbor’s driveway at 2 in the morning).
Don Mattingly tacitly agreed with the comparison in his postgame press conference, saying: “we’re having our troubles putting up runs. (Eric) Stults, he can pitch, he can change speeds and keep the ball down, but I think we’ve got to do a little better job.”
ESPN, which televised last night’s game, put together this nifty head-to-head comparison of Stults and Clayton Kershaw, yesterday’s starters. Stults’ numbers aren’t bad this season. Neither are Kershaw’s.
Kershaw said he got to know “Stultsie” well during their two years together in L.A.
“It’s nice to see him doing well,” Kershaw said. “Wish he hadn’t done as well tonight.”
Maybe a 1-1 tie when both starters exited the game was to be expected. But at some point doesn’t the Dodger lineup have to start mashing?
Adrian Gonzalez’s first game against the Padres as a Dodger on Monday inspired a bit of soul-searching in San Diego. Not from Gonzalez himself — he called it “just another series” — but from the local media, which is taking advantage of this series to look both forward and backwards.
The Union-Tribune sent its sports enterprise reporter to Dodger Stadium recently, as did a San Diego radio station. Jay Paris of the North County Times today came to grips with the unfamiliar sight of Gonzalez in (Dodger) blue:
It’s still difficult accepting that Gonzalez exited San Diego in the prime of his career. …But that is dirty water under the bridge. He’s a Dodger, like it or not Padre Nation, and will be for a long time.
The U-T also offered this poll question last week: Will you root for Adrian Gonzalez to make the playoffs with the Dodgers?
To summarize the early returns: The Dodgers shouldn’t expect any love coming from the city to the south.
Carlos Quentin was scratched from the Padres’ lineup for Monday’s game against the Dodgers because of irritation in his right knee.
Quentin was originally scheduled to bat fourth and play left field. He’ll be replaced in left by Chris Denorfia, who bats fifth, while Yonder Alonso moves from fifth to fourth in the batting order.
The longtime Chicago White Sox outfielder has been on something of a tear since Aug. 18. Since then, he has a .969 OPS with three home runs and 12 RBIs in 13 games, including an eight-game hitting streak during that span.
Quentin has no hits and one walk in three career plate appearances against Dodgers starter Joe Blanton.
Denorfia has hit .135 (13-for-96) in his career against the Dodgers.
The Dodgers announced Monday that Mark Sweeney was leaving his post as a special assistant to pursue another opportunity in baseball.
Although no official announcement has been made, Sweeney is expected to become the San Diego Padres’ television analyst this season. Tom Krasovic (formerly of the San Diego Union-Tribune) was the first to report the news on his “Inside the Padres” blog Saturday.
The reason no announcement has been made is that the Padres are changing broadcast affiliates, to Fox, but the deal hasn’t been formally approved. (Yes, there’s an unfortunate Frank McCourt connection.) The North County Times recently called it “the worst kept secret in town.” Basically, Fox is lining up its talent and that includes Sweeney.
Sweeney joined the Dodgers’ staff following a 14-year major league career that ended in 2008.
The Dodgers edged the Padres, 7-6, in 13 innings today. For a full recap and boxscore click here.
THE BARE ESSENTIALS
- And that was a wild one. Entering the bottom of the ninth inning, the Dodgers were up 6-1 as Chad Bilingsley went for the complete game. Suffice to say, Billingsley — although he threw only 97 pitches and allowed only four of the 28 batters he faced to reach base — couldn’t get the job done, and neither could Jonathan Broxton. The Padres scored five in the ninth to tie the score.
- James Loney came up huge. He went deep to lead off the 13th against Padres reliever Edward Mujica, providing the only run the Dodgers would need in extra frames.
- Ronald Belisario and Guillermo Mota struggled a bit in the tenth, but the Padres put a couple of horrid at-bats and the Blue escaped a risky situation.
- The Dodgers had 18 hits. The Padres had six.
- Both Orlando Hudson and Manny Ramirez were out of the starting lineup, but each made appearances as a pinch-hitter. Neither reached base.
- Adrian Gonzalez was intentionally walked twice. Once in the 10th to set up a forceout, and once in the 13th with no one on base.
- The Dodgers have the day off tomorrow. They’ll have the day to spend in New York to prepare for what will surely be a circus, as they face the Mets Tuesday-Thursday. Clayton Kershaw (5-5, 3.49) and Mike Pelfrey (6-3, 4.26) are slated to start.
Manny, Orlando Hudson out of the lineup for today’s day game. Hudson is one of the Dodgers’ three All-Stars, as named today. Jonathan Broxton and Chad Billingsley also make the list, and Matt Kemp still has a shot to get in with the final vote or as a replacement for the likely-to-bow-out Carlos Beltran. Find out how to vote here.
Rubber game today.
A. Gonzalez, 1B
E. Gonzalez, RF
E. Cabrera, SS
The San Diego Padres beat the Dodgers 7-4 today at Petco Park. For a full recap and boxscore click here.
THE BARE ESSENTIALS
- Manny Ramirez went 1-for-3 with a home run in his second game back. He was again lifted for Juan Pierre in the sixth inning.
- Casey Blake a had a bit of a slump-busting performance, going 2-for-4.
- Three errors and unusually spotty relief were the Dodgers’ undoing today, as both Ronald Belisario and Ramon Troncoso allowed three runs. All of Troncoso’s were unearned, though.
- Randy Wolf got…another no-decision. He went six strong innings, allowing only four hits and one run.
- The Dodgers mounted a bit of a rally in the top of the eighth to trail by only one, 4-3, but Troncoso couldn’t do the job in the bottom of the inning. The Blue put together another run in the ninth, but it wasn’t enough. Padres closer Heath Bell got the five-out save.
- The top three of the Padres’ order — Everth Cabrera, David Eckstein, and Adrian Gonzalez — combined for six of the team’s 10 hits.
- Orlando Hudson got the day off today. Joe Torre said he might not play tomorrow either.
- The Dodgers will try to win the series tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. Chad Billingsley (9-4, 3.12) and Josh Banks (1-0, 3.38) face off.
Here’s what Manny Ramirez had to say from his afternoon press conference at Petco Park on Friday. He said plenty of words in his 12 1/2-minute press conference, but he really didn’t say anything significant. Here’s the transcript: