It's a beautiful day…

Or at least that’s what U2 was singing about on my way to the ballpark. Which made me think of the old Dodger radio classic "It’s a Beautiful Day for a Ballgame."

As most Angelenos can relate, there are some days when the commute to work can be a pain, but driving in this morning, I couldn’t help but think what a great game this should be. On a picturesque late afternoon at the greatest ballpark setting in the country, a worldwide audience on ESPN will be tuning in to watch Greg Maddux vs. Jason Schmidt and the Dodgers vs. the Giants. We haven’t swept the Giants at home since June 22-25, 1995 or about a month after I started working here and we have a chance to put our rivals in a position of being 7.5 games out of first place with six weeks left.

Add to that the intrigue of Maddux looking to tie Steve Carlton for 10th place and you don’t have to go back to Tuesday’s post to see how rare a feat like that really is. If you haven’t bought tickets yet, there’s still a chance to get down here in the next five hours (it’s only noon right now). Plus, it’s autograph day, so bring the kids down to the parking lot early and see which Dodger player they might get to meet.

The other thing I heard on my XM Radio as I drove to the stadium just now was Katrina and the Waves’ "Walking on Sunshine," which hearkens back memories of the early 90s pennant races with the Braves. Don’t ask me why…it must have been a video montage that the team put together back then, but every time I hear that song, I think of a weekend series in 1991 at Dodger Stadium. Does anyone else associate that song with that season or am I nuts?

Anyway, here’s the lineup:

Furcal, SS

Lofton, CF

Nomar, 1B

Kent, 2B

Ethier, LF

Betemit, 3B

Lugo, RF

Martin, C

Maddux, P

40 Comments

I think you’re nuts. But in a good way. :)

I think of “If You Want Cryin’ ” by Katrina and the Waves. I associate that one with the giants season after this game today.

You could be crazy, but who isn’t?. I hope Betemit is in the lineup today. I wouldn’t mind seeing Loney either.

Never sure what will be your post on this blog, Josh. One of many reasons why it is so much fun. The song(jingle) I associate with the Dodgers was the Gillette shaving cream jingle in the 50’s that came on radio between innings of the World Series games. That was followed by Vin’s voice. Most exciting time in my Dodger fan life, although 1959, 63,65, 81, 88 and numerous other events were also great. Exciting now too. Looks like a sprint to the wire with SD, AR, COL. We know the team will most likely settle into a .600something winning percentage over the last part of the schedule so this spurt will have us a bit spoiled but also in a position to compete for the division championship. Looking forward to the game on ESPN which is carried on Rogers Sportsnet here in Nova Scotia.

Sorry if this is rude but what you mean you hope Betemit be in the lineup? There wasn’t a doubt that he’s will play against the right hand pitcher when he batting in the 290+ range and sit where he hitting under .200 against southpaw.

Speaking of music, my girlfriend thinks Martin needs a new song, something more fitting for him. Low Rider is perfect for Nomar, and Lofton’s got a good one. Of course, Gagne’s Welcome to the Jungle will always be a classic.

Nice line up, let’s go for the sweep blue crew.

This is a great line up. I don’t care if Lugo doesn’t play the outfield as well as Drew does, it always good when Drew sits.

i say when wilson betemit comes up to plate they play something from castaway where tom hanks is yelling WILSON!! would be something funny and would be cool with all the fans just yelling it

Welcome back Patriotacts. Missed your usual five points. No need to sweat. Ray has been looking after the kids and others predicting lineups in your absence. You and skunkspot close on tonight’s lineup. Lugo is a fixture. He is a gamer and very versatile. I expect Grady wanted the experience against Schmidt today. Martin and Ethier settled into usual spots. Let’s do it tonight on ESPN guys. SD has already won.

Thanks Josh…

For those who missed it earlier this year, here’s the ballgame song I posted way back. It brings back some fond memories of the Dodgers for me as well… and then Vinny’s classic, “It’s time for Dodger Baseball!”

http://www.sky-decks.com/music/IABDFABG.mp3

Let’s send the Giants another game deeper into the cellar! I love the lineup and know we’ll play good baseball from here on out. Our confidence right now is UNBEATABLE! Go Blue!!

My internet connection failed when I wrote my usual 5 points earlier, but I think I’ll still throw a few things out there.

1) I’d like to start by thanking a few people first.

euhlman – thanks for the welcome back

kssparkuhl – thanks for posting the link to “It’s a Beautiful Day for a Ballgame”

Josh – thanks for doing this blog and putting out the lineups as faithfully as you do.

2) I was kind of employing some wishful thinking of Loney over Lugo, but Lugo makes a lot more sense from Grady’s perspective. Schmidt is a good pitcher, and Grady doesn’t want any situations that may potentially hurt his rookies’ confidence. Grady is also comfortable enough with the lineup now to put Martin back in the 8 spot.

3) Kenny Lofton is playing the kind of ball that we need from him this month. He’s been on a tear, and now he’s putting up close to a career average year offensively, which is really quite good.

4) The game preview article on Dodgers.com said Maddux felt nervous in his last start. After Joe Beimel’s fearlessness against Bonds yesterday, I doubt Maddux will have confidence issues.

5) Given that Schmidt has not won against the Dodgers this year and that the bullpen problems (coughdanysbaezcough) have been addressed, I like the Dodgers’ chances of a sweep tonight.

i just read in the daily news that the dodgers new video on demand feature on time warner cable is in the process of being challenged by MLB for violating some rights contract that all of MLB signed in 20006. Josh, anything to this? I like the channel

cosmow123@yahoo.com

it’s blocked in my area, the cable guy said it would appear this week for sure.

“With injuries to star players, Dodgers’ supporting cast took on starring roles, in a recent run of 11 straight wins, pushing the team to top billing in the division.”

Narration by Jon Miller, while showing Jayson Werth slugging at the plate during the end of their opening segment to tonights’ game. Duh… like Jayson Werth hasn’t even swung the bat for this team in almost two years! Way to go ESPN! You guys are really doing your homework! Keep up the good work and show us some more of those Yankees and Red Sox highlights while you’re at it! We love that here on the west coast!

What’s Joe Morgan talking about? Have you ever heard accusations that Maddux has doctored the ball? I don’t think he ever had to with over 300 wins. By the way, I like how he has his pant legs, like the guys in the 50’s – 70’s. Don’t like the long pants to the ground or short ones at the knees.

the pitchers are at there A game today 0-0 thrue 5.

Pinch hit for Maddux? Graddy must still have nightmares about leaving Pedro in too long.

What a gem by Greg!!!!

Im a red sox fan, but am in awe in what Maddux has done tonight.

WHY WHY WHY pinch hit??????

All right! Finally, an extra inning win! We become the last team in the majors this year to win an extra inning game.

Yay!

Who sent the memo to ESPN to pronounce it “Betameet”? Everyone on ESPN pronounces it that way, but everywhere else it’s Betamit.

Looks like Grady did OK. Super game Maddux. Love Russell Martin. Another great win. Four one run victories in a row. Broxton ready to close tomorrow night. Tough game with Dontrelle pitching.
Go Dodgers.

Russell Martin & Ethier are simply awesome, were would we be with out those rooks.

dodgerduke27: The announcers stated early in the game they had asked him for his preferred pronounciation of his name and he stated it was “Betameet” though almost everyone pronounced it the other way.

what a win! My friend and I were watching the at bat, and as we were both saying “wait for it, wait for it”…the rookie took it yard.

BELIEVE IN THE ROOKIES.

Russell Martin is my hero! : )

F*ck Yeah!!!!!!!!

SWEEP!!!!!!

Gonna be tough again tomorrow but they are finally figuring out how to win these close ones. Also their first OT win ALL YEAR, even the Royals have had better luck than us!!!

Lineup I hope Grady starts vs. Willis:

Furcal – SS

Lugo – LF (Andre hasn’t had an off-day in awhile)

Nomar – 1B

Kent – 2B

Drew – RF (doubt he does anything against Willis but JD had a day off to prepare)

Betemit -3B (would prefer Saenz to start against LHP Dontrell but Olmeda may be too big a risk out in the field)

Martin – C (OUR HERO!)

Repko – CF (Lofton needs his regular day off and doesn’t fair well vs. lefties)

Lowe – P

Not sure why Giants didn’t bring in Benitez, but I’ll take it off anyone as I’m sure Russ doesn’t mind either. We’ve got 3 legitimate rookie of the year candidates, Saito, Russ, and Dre’. Since this streak began, Furcal has been playing outstanding, he’s alot of fun to watch, because he does so many things well. You don’t see a bunt to the SS too often, but that just show’s his high bsaeball IQ. Greg looks rejuvenated to be on a winner, in Chicago, losing probably wore on him quickly, especially coming from the perenial contender Atlanta Braves. Would really like to see Penny hand over 31, no matter what number Brad ends up with, Greg has earned that respect. Kudos to Lofton as well, he has been a big key in our recent success. We sent a big message to Frisco today, because we are only going to get better, while the Giants are about to begin a rebuilding era. With Cards struggling(no SP), the Mets are the only team we don’t matchup well against. At this point I like our chances against anyone. D-Train is one of my fav’s, but I hope we rough him up a bit manana. Go Dodgers!!! Put a fork in the Giants, because they’re done. :)

skunkspot2001 – You’re cheering for Robert Fick of the Nationals? How could you? He tried to hurt Eric Karros’ arm in 2003 in the playoffs (Karros proved he was ok by hitting a homer in the next inning, but still).

dodgerduke – Jon Miller always insists on the Spanish pronunciations, etc. Like Odalis Pear Ezz. It’s nice but I’d be more impressed if he and Joe Morgan could be impartial.

Russell F-ing Martin.

Anyone know where I can buy his jersey?

Dioner who?

Yet again Ned is cleaning up after that retard Depo-Dork-O.

The question now isn’t are we going to win the west, its can we beat the Cards and Mets.

With Penny Maddux Lowe pitching like they are and the hitters hitting like that are.

Bring ‘em on.

How did you figure I’m a Fick fan or anyone else??

I still hope we bring Gagne back for a much lower deal with incentives. I don’t trust Japanese pitchers like Saito becuase they are prone to sophomore slumps. Broxton is only 22 and could benefit from having a full season as the set up guy to Gagne!

Good news, Dessens might be back by Friday! So long to Gio, Sele, or Ramon??

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/5640/news;_ylt=ArNo0W5fqMd2_psdXtAq5teFCLcF

Still like Gio as a Dodger he gives an inning everynight if needed and keeps his era. in check just fine.He might cough up a hit or 2 but he gets outs.Sele seems to be the odd man out if they are gonna stay with chad and hendrickson because dessens is a long reliver still isn’t he? Ramon is too far valuable even though we have Lugo too now.

Ethier looked lost today schmidt sure had his number but I think that you are right skunkspot he could use a well deserved day off.

Furcal is Just too good to be true from what he was doing to what he is doing now.Glad he decided to join the team. He is now earning those $$$ but hope he doesn’t return next year playing like he did to start this year.

Martin is flat out a stud and Joe Morgan made a comment about him being slow on the paths today because he is a catcher. I guess Joe doesn’t look at stats before he speaks as he steals bases just fine and has 3 triples so far this year. Not to mention his Leg doubles.

I hate these espn games because i don’t care about Bonds nor what the rest of there over 40 team is doing next year nor the Sox or Yanks….

I’ve seen the Dodgers tear the D train off the tracks before so he doesn’t really scare me. I think our bats will put enough into play and work the counts so where we will get enough Runs for Lowe to work with.

Keep up the Broom Work GO BLUE!!!!

gillette21, you’re not being rude. What I meant was that Betemit should be our everyday 3rd baseman. It’s true he dosen’t hit lefties as well as righties, at least so far. They say he’s a switch hitter so if that’s true let him play everyday, eventually he’ll hit everybody.

How sweet can it get, sweeping the Giants and going 15 for 16 !! It was great to see the jubilation at home plate last night. These guys are having fun !! And what a performance by Maddux !! This guy is earning his full share of post season pay !!!

Fisher, I have to disagree Sele has to stay !! Not only can he start but you know exactly what your getting when you put him in the game !! I think it’s either Gio or Chad and Chad still has options. Sept is only a couple of weeks away and this way we don’t lose anyone off waviers. But, in this game and this year, anything can happen !! You never know another player going on the DL could happen. Lets hope not !!

I think Ethier has a great chance of R.O.Y and his contributions have earned him that consideration, but in my book Martin is the guy. His numbers don’t equal what Ethier has done but his stepping in and controling the most difficult position on a team defensively as well as contributing as he has with his bat, base stealing etc… has been simply amazing !! Kssparkuhl I think you would agree !!

Patriotsacts, great to see you back !!

One game at a time !!

Go Dodgers !!

I agree also fliegel. He’s a switch-hitter but most of these player should ban the other side of the plate if they can’t hit them. I bet Grady wish him would only bat right hander and I wish he would. Same goes with Cruz when he was here. I think Valentine that now playing with the Mets gave up his switch hitter also. I still don’t understand why we got Lugo. It really don’t make sense having him when we got Nomar and Kent back. I hope we can resign him next year.

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