June 2006

Nice win

I enjoyed meeting the Dodger Thoughts crew at tonight’s game. Hopefully they enjoyed the victory.

Izturis goes back to shortstop tomorrow and Furcal gets the day off. Saenz gets to face Zach Duke, against whom he’s 6-for-7.

Today's game

Three hits moves Izzy up to the two-hole. Welcome back to Jim Tracy, Jim Colborn, John Shelby and Jimmy Lett.

Today’s lineup:

Furcal, SS

Izzy, 3B

Nomar, 1B

Kent, 2B

Drew, RF

Kemp, CF

Cruz, LF

Martin, C

Tomko, P

Today's lineup

Time to get back on the right track. D-Lowe on the mound and our infield has a combined 14 postseason apperances, 12 All-Star Game appearances, two Rookie of the Year Awards, five Silver Slugger awards, two batting titles, one Rawlings Gold Glove award and one MVP award.

Congrats are in order for Stan Johnston, our trainer, who is headed to the All-Star Game in Pittsburgh.

And, since the bullpen’s been taking a lot of heat lately, consider this: Takashi Saito has not allowed a run in his last 11 appearances (12.2 IP), lowering his ERA from 2.62 to 1.82. Since May 6, he has posted a 0.45 ERA (1 ER/20.0 IP), the lowest mark of any pitcher in the Major Leagues with at least 20 innings pitched, ahead of Juan Rincon (0.77) and B.J. Ryan (0.79).

Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Furcal, SS

Lofton, CF

Nomar, 1B

Drew, RF

Kent, 2B

Ethier, LF

Izturis, 3B

Martin, C

Lowe, P

A tough loss

I know I haven’t posted very often after games, but before I leave the stadium, I think it’s important to let the fans know that we all share your frustration and continue to work towards improving the team. The biggest thing that I try to remember during losing streaks is that they are bound to happen during the course of a long season. That doesn’t make them any easier to take, but as most of you will remember, we had lost five in a row heading into that Cinco de Mayo game and then became the hottest team in baseball. It’s happened before and it can happen again.

I think that most people would agree that this division will be a dog fight all season. Even with the countless injuries we’ve sustained (Gagne, Mueller, Brazoban, Repko, etc.), the team has been able to weather that storm due to the performances of the young kids we’re calling up. They’re bound to have their struggles, too. Don’t get too down on them or the team. Now’s when they need the fans’ support more than ever.

I know my job is to stay positive, but hopefully it will rub off some of the readers. The key really is to not get too down when we’re losing and not get too far ahead of ourselves when we’re winning.

On a side note, Derek Lowe will take the ball tomorrow instead of Brett Tomko, who fouled a ball off his foot during BP today. Tomko will start on Friday.

More for you all in the morning…

Today's lineup

Furcal, SS

Lofton, CF

Garciaparra, 1B

Drew, RF

Kent, 2B

Saenz, 3B

Kemp, LF

Martin, C

Billingsley, P

We get to see Chad in his home debut, which is what a lot of fans have been waiting for. After seeing him in San Diego last week, it’s hard not to get too excited about his potential.

In the meantime, I’ll spend the afternoon helping get the word out about this weekend’s Hollywood Stars Night. We just got Sandy Alomar Jr. on 96.3 FM and earlier today, Matt Kemp was on KROQ with Kevin and Bean and on Jim Rome’s radio show.

For those of you who haven’t been to the Hollywood Stars game in a couple years, it’s new now, so you can sit on the outfield grass and catch potential home runs hit over the temporary fence by TV and movie stars.

Back from the Road – Roy Smith

I just finished an 11-day trip which included stops in Jacksonville, Vero Beach and our complex in the Dominican Republic. The Jacksonville club couldn’t have been hotter, as they were in the midst of a 10-game winning streak which clinched the first half division title for them. Some standouts included Andy Laroche and right-hander Joel Hanrahan, who were both promoted to Triple-A while I was there.  Second baseman Tony Abreu and shorstop Chin-Lung Hu are providing outstanding defense up the middle for the Suns, as well as Mark Alexander and Casey Hoorelbeke, who are an formidable one-two punch out of the bullpen. Manager John Shoemaker, pitching coach Danny Darwin and hitting coach Mike Easler did a great job in leading the team to their first half title.

Single-A Vero Beach has had its struggles, but there are good signs. Scott Elbert pitched very well while I was there with Xavier Paul, Blake Dewitt and Cory Dunlap providing the offense.

Dodger Vice President Craig Callan accompanied me on a trip to the Dominican, where went over issues concerning the running of our facility as well as observing a workout of young players directed by head of international scouting and longtime Dodger executive Ralph Avila. Overall it was a very fulfilling trip. 

On another note, today we will be hosting our first pick in the recent First-Year Player Draft, left-hander Clayton Kershaw (7th overall) as well as shortstop Preston Mattingly, who was our third selection (31st overall). We look forward to welcoming them to the organization and getting them started on their path to Dodger Stadium.

Today's game

Before today’s game, we will option Willy Aybar to Triple-A, activate Izturis and move Mueller to the 60-day DL. It looks like Izzy will play some third base as well as middle infield. Here’s tonight’s lineup.

Furcal, SS

Lofton, CF

Nomar, 1B

Drew, RF

Kent, 2B

Kemp, LF

Martinez, 3B

Martin, C

Penny, P

Computer woes

A quiet day here yesterday at the stadium, so you didn’t miss much. With a dead laptop, I haven’t posted much in a few days but should be back up and running later today. We’ll also be hosting a live web chat with Fernando Valenzuela today at 2 p.m. in both English and Spanish.

Lots of off-day stories focusing on Adrian Beltre (Daily News, L.A. Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Tacoma News) as well as a nice piece on Dave Stewart’s affect on Chad Billingsley and Matt Kemp on dodgers.com and a story about the meshing of veterans and rookies in the L.A. Times.

It will be nice to see Adrian back at Dodger Stadium today, as he was always a hard worker and a good person.

Finally, here’s an interesting note I found yesterday while doing the daily game notes — the last time the Dodgers faced the Mariners, the winning pitcher for Seattle was Aaron Sele, who improved to 10-1. The day before, the Dodgers won on a ninth-inning walk-off shot by none other than….Adrian Beltre.

It’s a funny game…

Father's Day Game

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. If you’re in LA, you’ve still got time to head over to Dodger Stadium until 1 p.m. and play catch in the outfield.

Happy birthday to Sandy Alomar Jr., who gets a start today to celebrate.

How many of you stayed up through all 17 innings yesterday? Tough way to lose, but those kind of games are always exciting. The bullpen threw more than eight scoreless innings, which is a good sign. In the end, the team that capitalized on their opportunities came out on top, plain and simple.

Thanks for the advice on the laptop…unfortunately, I’ll have to wait until tomorrow in LA to get back on track.

Today’s lineup:

Furcal, SS

Aybar, 3B

Nomar, 1B

Drew, DH

Kemp, CF

Ethier, LF

Cruz, RF

Alomar, C

Martinez, 2B

Sele, P

Today's game

Laptop went on the fritz last night, so there won’t be much more  besides lineups the next two days. Have to post from the clubhouse computer:

Furcal, SS

Lofton, CF

Nomar, 1B

Drew, DH

Kent, 2B

Kemp, RF

Ethier, LF

Martin, C

Martinez, 3B

Lowe, P

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