From worst to first

On July 26, the Dodgers were in last place, a season-high 7.5 games out of first. In the past 15 days, they have gained 8.0 games in the NL West standings, having won 12 of their last 13 games. Several comments on this blog were among the most positive of the thinkers and it’s paying off for you guys now. Remember, it’s a long season and much like we try not to get too down when we’re losing, we’re trying not to get overly excited about a half-a-game lead on Aug. 11. There’s a lot of baseball left to be played, but it’s nice to be atop the standings again.

And for those who continue to think Kenny Lofton isn’t pulling his weight, consider the following: With his third hit last night, Kenny raised his average to .309 this season and .323 since the start of 2005. That ranks fifth in all of baseball since the beginning of last year behind Miguel Cabrera (.328), Albert Pujols (.327), Joe Mauer (.325) and Derek Jeter (.323) among players with 600 or more plate appearances during that span. Since the All-Star Break, Lofton is hitting .351 (27-for-77), raising his career average to .300. And in the month of August, his .469 average (15-for-32) is third in the Majors behind Omar Vizquel (.531) and Brian McCann (.500) (minimum 30 PA). Suffice to say, it’s tough to take him out of the lineup right now and Grady has him in there today against a lefty.

Tomorrow, the Dodgers Dream Foundation will host the “Jerseys Off Their Backs” Live & Silent Auctions. If you’re at the game, you can bid on all the autographed game-used jerseys worn by all the players and coaches. The silent auction is on the Club Level behind the Vin Scully Press Box and ends at 2:45 p.m. A post-game live auction will consist of jerseys from several of the team’s All-Stars.

Today’s lineup:

Furcal, SS

Lofton, CF

Nomar, 1B (1,500th career hit last night in his 1,152nd career game)

Kent, 2B

Drew, RF (back in the lineup)

Ethier, LF (14-game hitting streak)

Lugo, 3B (his .347 career mark against the Giants is the 3rd among active players with 75 or more plate appearances)

Hall, C (a night off for Russell with tomorrow’s day game looming)

Hendrickson, P

Meanwhile, the Dodgers lead the NL with a .279 average, six points higher than second-place St. Louis (.273). The team also paces the Senior Circuit in hits (1,114), triples (39) and on-base percentage (.352). The Dodgers have never led the league in hitting since coming to Los Angeles, though they shared the league lead with Cincinnati (.270) in 1970 and were atop the NL in 1955 (.271). The last time their team average was higher was in 1953 (.285).

16 Comments

Lofton is the man, glad to see him in there again. Lowry hasn’t been very effective against lefties anyhow, oddly. Lets go Dodgers!!!

well, it looks like j.d. drew has stoped taking advice on injuries from mike marshall, and has decided to tough it out.. but i wouldnt mind it if he went on the d.l., at least matt kemp could provide sock… well, lets avoid a let down today..

BELIEVE IN BLUE!

Makes sense to let Hall work with Hendrickson, and have Martin play on the FOX game tomorrow and with Maddux on Sunday.
Kenny is so much like Brett Butler, love him when he’s on your side, annoying when he’s on the other team.

Giants are ready for the knockout blow,let’s give it to them.

Wow- G. Mota designated for assignment by Cle…. his #s don’t look all that bad (ex. the walks) any chance he gets back in Blue??

Well, the lineup certainly dispells the righty against lefty approach. No question that Lofton belongs there with what he has been showing in the last two weeks, so LET’S GO FOR IT. I would love to see Hendrickson have a good outing. With Penny, Lowe, and Maddux all now throwing well, it would be icing on the cake to have Hendrickson get adjusted to Dodger Stadium and put together a couple of wins.

“Hall, C (a night off for Russell with tomorrow’s day game looming)”[slash] Hendrikson’s personal catcher.

“Lowry has had trouble against lefties this season. He has a 7.04 ERA when facing southpaws, and they bat .362 against him.”

I guess Grady didn’t get the memo above posted on the Dodger home page. The obvious choice was Betemit over Lugo. I would also bat Andre cleanup, Jeff 5th, and Drew 6th.

Keep in mind Betemit would still bat right handed- regardless of that stat. He has probably never hit left on left.

Well Kent probably won’t see much to hit tonight with Drew batting 5th. If I’m pitching, I would pitch around Kent and make Drew beat me. Better odds. Maiden is right; Ethier cleanup, Kent 5th. I would bat Lugo and his .347 6th behind Kent. Hope I’m wrong and Drew finds his niche.

I understand you rarely see a switch hitter bat LH vs LH. But why not? Is there some rule that says they have to bat from the opposite side? My point is that if a switch hitter is significantly better from the left side and the lefty pitcher is significantly better vs righty batter…then why the heck not.

Good game – I was there!

Lofton’s bat is great to have. It is his D in center field that’s becoming a bit shaky. But though he doesn’t hit for power, there’s always a good chance of him lacing a single through somewhere and legging out some long grounders.

Okay… I know that I have been highly critical of this team in the past, especially when the team was down. It’s easy to criticize when things aren’t going well you know. But I must say Josh, you hit the nail right on the head when you spoke of not letting our emotions get the better of us. After all, we as fans don’t personally have anything vested in this team other than our devotion to following them from an entertainment perspective.

It is due time however that I must buck it up and do something I didn’t think I’d be able to do. I need to apologize to the Dodger team, to this blog forum, and especially to you Josh. I never imagined the team doing an EXACT turn-around of their 1 and 13 start after the All-Star break… and yet here we are 13 and 1 since. It’s truly remarkable.

To the men in Blue, you have always been and always will be admired… no matter how bad it may get in the future. I have learned my lesson and I am sorry for being so critical. Grady and Ned… you guys have done a great job righting this ship and making timely additions to make the Dodgers a competitive team down the stretch.

To this forum… I am sorry. I have voiced very strong opinions that have bordered on excessive rant. I have been negative and have pointed fingers at certain players. I should know that the majority of these players do honestly in their hearts’ want to win and win badly. I’m sorry that I have stoked the negativity within this forum with my comments and hope that these comments haven’t offended anyone here that may have read them. Please forgive me.

And for you Josh, I am sorry to have questioned your positive outlook. You have proven why you’re a great Public Relations representative for the greatest sports franchise in professional baseball. You are following the example set by the philosophy of the McCourt era: Win and Win with class. Thank you for not allowing your emotions to get the better of you and for allowing us a place to voice our opinions, no matter how unworthy they may be.

I have been unworthy to have called myself a Dodgers fan during the past couple of months. Please forgive me for my indiscretions. I love the Dodgers and will forever be awed by the traditions that the Dodger organization represent. A tradition of winning and winning with class. I hope to correct my ways and help foster a community of respect for these players and to do so no matter how bad things may appear in the end. I will take this team of class that leaves their best efforts on the field each day over one who do not uphold these traditions. The Dodgers represent class and I will try to do my part as a fan of this great organization.

Here’s to WINNING! And Here’s to WINNING WITH CLASS! : )

Now lets sweep these Giants and send them and their controversial slugger one more game into the cellar!

I’ll rant forever and Chant as long as the Dodgers are My LA Home Team.Born and Raised a Dodger Fan and have never had any other favorite team other then the ones beating the Yankees.
I’ll always try to outguess the management when things aren’t right and encourage the individuals or team when it is right.Thats why I like this open forum atmosphere. We can all be who we are.The best thing about it is we all want the same thing and that is a winning ballclub right here in our little city/Co/mini state of LA!

The way I look at games is that if you screw up with the Glove you have to make it up in run production everyone should be putting up a run everynight when opportunity knocks.If you miss a play and a run scores you better make it up with an RBI or score a run.That was my problem with Furcal and Lofton early on.They were not connecting to score and were making bad defencive plays and losing runs.Now…..Kenny is still not the CF of Brett Butler as mentioned ealier but he is doing better and making things happen at the plate and Furcal is just Plain Great in both areas although he still makes it tough on Nomar with his throws.I’d be Happier with Kent and Drew taking a Step back in the Batting order with Ethier Martin and Lugo and Betemit moving up. I like the way Furcal and Lofton are doing the Top of the line up Nomar is still looking solid as a 3 or 5 hitter think Ethier is ready to clean up maybe kent behind him….Geeze too many good bats….But they just aren’t clicking right with nomar kent drew in the 345 spots in any order.Kent is showing signs of power but seems to be an all or alot of air situation with him right now.

For some Reason the NL West has been able to handcuff us this year as far as Runs go our pitching Staff is Doing an INCREDIBLE job as of late Rotation and Bullpen.Tomko going to the pen has been the biggest and best move by the management and players by far as cooperation and performance is concerned! ^5 Tomko and Management!During the Big 11 game streak we were Scoring alot more runs and last 3 games we are not that is my main concern and challenge to the management and players is to figure out the how and why so our pitchers can continue to be comfortable in pitching their game while the hitters continue hitting their game.Back in The Top spot with a little room now Keep up The Great Job team! Beat S F! Beat SF

Great game Friday night…although I thought for a moment there early in the game, Jeff Kent was going to be going to dugout with Ray Durham still attached to his calf like a chihuahua, trying to hang on to second. Grrr! LET’S SWEEP GIANTS BACK TO THE BAY!

I read a very, very disturbing story in the LA times today. It basically said the dodgers may replace Chad in the rotation with Sele because of Chad’s high pitch counts and how the bullpen has to work in his starts.

Let me just say that if the dodgers do this, they would be very, very wrong for the following reasons:

1) Chad has only given up 3 runs in his last 17 innings pitched spanning over 3 starts, and going back even more, only 9 runs his last 34 innings, spanning 5 starts, good for an ace like 2.38 ERA. Are you really gonna tell me that you’re gonna replace that with a guy who has given up 15 runs his last 27 innings as a starter, spanning over his last 5 starts, good for a 5 ERA?

2) Earlier in the year, Brad Penny would do exactly what Chad is doing, in terms of going 5-6 innings, not allowing more than 1 run, but in turn “taxing the bullpen,” and using a lot of pitches, but I never heard anyone complain about that.

3) Aaron Sele would be the replacement? He has been even worse than Chad in terms of innings over his last 5 starts, mainly because he doesn’t seem to be able to prevent runs that well.

I’m sorry, I don’t like this possibility.

fisher928, my post was very much tongue-in-cheek, but laced with a strong reality check on my part. The apologies are real. Thanks again Josh! : ) This is a great blog…

BTW… anyone care to elaborate on why the Dodger Stadium pitching mound is so “different” from the rest of the mounds in the league? I watch TV broadcasts from other teams home markets on MLB Extra Innings and often times I’ll hear their announcers talk about the slope of the mound being steeper. Don’t all pitching mounds in baseball have to be built to the same dimensions? Curious to know why the Dodger Stadium mound seems to get more criticism around the league.

Also, on average, how many baseballs are used during a game? I’m guessing 50 to 60 balls.

Penny’s the man today… three in a row! Go Blue!

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