A few interesting notes from today’s game notes:
A LOT OF PAIN FOR THESE TWO TEAMS – The Nationals and Dodgers rank first and third in the Major Leagues, respectively, in days missed to the disabled list. Washington has missed a ******** 1,058 games due to injury while the Dodgers’ 763 days is third behind the Braves (766). At some point during the season, the Dodgers have lost six everyday starters to injury – Nomar Garciaparra, Jeff Kent, Bill Mueller, Dioner Navarro, Cesar Izturis and Kenny Lofton as well as closer Eric Gagné, setup man Yhency Brazoban, starter Brett Tomko and key reserve outfielders Ricky Ledee and Jason Repko. Overall, the team has missed 672 games to the DL.
CAUSE AND EFFECT – Not surprisingly, the high number of injuries has caused the Dodgers to use 43 players this season, tied with Cincinnati for the third most in baseball behind Washington (47) and Kansas City (44).
TAKE YOUR PICK – The top two candidates for NL Rookie of the Year are in the house this weekend. Dodger outfielder Andre Ethier leads all NL Rookies in batting average (.344), on-base percentage (.396) and slugging percentage (.532) while the Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman leads in hits (111), RBI (68), doubles (31) and extra-base hits (45). Ethier has a .396 batting average since June 21, the fourth-highest mark in the Majors behind Atlanta’s Chipper Jones (.438), San Diego’s Josh Barfield (.403) and Minnesota’s Justin Morneau (.398) among players with 100 plate appearances during that span.
OLMEDO SAENZ HIS NAME IN HISTORY BOOKS – Olmedo Saenz was part of five double plays on Wednesday, tying the Dodgers’ individual single-game mark set by second baseman Teddy Martinez on Aug. 21, 1977 at Chicago. Saenz was two shy of the Major League record for a first baseman set by Curt Blefary of Houston, who was a part of seven twin killings on May 4, 1969. As a team, the Dodgers came within one double play of the franchise record which occurred on August 5, 1956 at Ebbets Field when Brooklyn turned six of them against the Cardinals.
SHORTSTOP GETS BETTER BY THE SECOND – Dodger shortstop Rafael Furcal has raised his batting average to .275, the highest it has been since April 5, the Dodgers’ third game of the season. He continued his recent string of hot hitting on Wednesday when he went 3-for-4 with a double and a homer. Since May 1, the Dominican native is hitting .298 with 19 stolen bases and 49 runs scored. He has stolen 25 bases this season, which ties him for sixth in the Senior Circuit. He ranks also third in the National League with 418 at-bats.