Today's game

Here’s today’s lineup, followed by some notes for the game.

Furcal, SS

Pierre, CF

Saenz, 1B

Kent, 2B

Gonzalez, LF

Martin, C

Clark, RF

Valdez, 3B

Tomko, P

BUCS STOP HERE – The Dodgers have a 35-11 mark against Pittsburgh since 2001. Los Angeles has won 26 of its last 33 games against the Pirates and seven of the last nine meetings.

SLAM THEM HOME – Last night’s walk-off grand slam by Russell Martin brought back memories of Steve Finley’s homer with the bases loaded clinched the NL West for the Dodgers on Oct. 2, 2004. Among those in uniform that day were Dodger coach Manny Mota, then-manager Jim Tracy and coaches John Shelby, Jim Colborn and Jim Lett and Dodger infielder Olmedo Saenz. The starting pitcher for the Giants that afternoon was Brett Tomko while Yhency Brazoban, who is currently on a rehabilitation assignment, earned the victory by the same score of 7-3. Last night’s homer was Martin’s first career grand slam and the 11th walk-off slam in franchise history, joining Hack Wilson (5/14/33), Dolph Camilli (8/23/42) Jackie Robinson (6/24/48), Tommy Davis (6/2/61), Davey Lopes (7/6/78 and 9/2/79), Mike Marshall (9/7/83), Dave Hansen (6/28/93), Finley (10/2/04) and Nomar Garciaparra (9/24/06).

EXTRA-INNING YARDWORK – Last night’s game-winning shot was the seventh extra-inning grand slam in Dodger franchise history. The only others to accomplish the feat previously were Dolph Camilli (8/23/42), Arky Vaughan (7/6/43), Tommy Davis (6/2/61), Davey Lopes (7/6/78), Mike Marshall (9/7/83) and Steve Finley (10/2/04). Each of the grand slams came in the 10th inning with the exception of Lopes, which was hit in the 11th inning.

BIG TIME RELIEF – The entire Dodger pitching staff has gone 58.1 consecutive innings without allowing a home run, led by a bullpen that has allowed just three in 58.1 innings this season. With 4.0 scoreless innings last night, the ‘pen has an ERA of 2.16 (14 ER/58.1 IP), which is good for third in the National League. The group has struck out 44 batters and is led by set up men Joe Beimel and Jonathan Broxton and closer Takashi Saito. The trio owns a combined 0.66 ERA (27.1 IP/2 ER) with six saves and 23 strikeouts in 25 outings. Broxton has not allowed a run in 15 consecutive outings dating back to Sept. 20, 2006, striking out 16 and walking just one during that span. Saito has converted 16 consecutive save opportunities dating back to 2006, which is the third-longest active streak in baseball behind Mike Gonzalez (24) and Billy Wagner (21).

BRADY’S BUNCH – Brady Clark’s run-scoring single on Wednesday was the 200th RBI of his career. He has started out the year on fire, batting .368, logging seven hits in his first 19 at-bats.

BIRTHDAY BOY SET TO CHAT – The Dodgers would like to wish a happy 41st birthday to De Jon Watson, the club’s Director of Player Development. Watson, a graduate of Santa Monica High School, played baseball at West Los Angeles Community College before playing in the minor leagues, will host a live web chat with Dodger fans on Tuesday at 2 p.m. PT on dodgers.com.

THREE IS THE KEY – So far this season, when the Dodgers have scored more than three runs they are 10-0 and when they have allowed three runs or less, they are also 10-0. There has yet to be a Dodger game this season in which both teams have scored more than four runs.                           Source: Dodgerthoughts.com

SWASHBUCKLING – Despite starting the series 0-for-2, Olmedo Saenz has enjoyed tremendous success against the Pirates in his career. Last year, Saenz batted .524 (11-for-21) with three homers and nine RBI and his career numbers are .449 (22-for-49) with six homers and 21 RBI. Saenz will start at first base today as Nomar Garciaparra gets a day off.

A LITTLE STABILITY – Last night the Dodgers used the same lineup for the fifth time in the first 18 games this season. Last year, the Dodgers did not use the same lineup five times until Aug. 12, which was game No. 117. Up to that point, Grady Little had used 90 different lineups during the season. The magic lineup that appeared for the fifth time on Aug. 12 was Rafael Furcal (SS), Kenny Lofton (CF), Julio Lugo (2B), J.D. Drew (RF), Andre Ethier (LF), Wilson Betemit (3B), Russell Martin (C) and James Loney (1B).

A SHORT STAT – Today’s game features two of the top-hitting shortstops in the NL over the past two-plus seasons. Since 2004, only Jimmy Rollins (597) has more hits than Rafael Furcal (530) and Pittsburgh’s Jack Wilson (513).

SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST – The Dodgers have yet to lose a series finale this year. In the final game of a series, Los Angeles has posted a 6-0 record. Los Angeles has won five of its seven series this season.

29 Comments

Oh honorable Bleeder of Blue88… who doth thou pronounce to be our champion of this day? : )

Finley’s grand slam came in the ninth, not extra innings.

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2004/B10020LAN2004.htm

Let’s finish off the Bucs today! Look for 3 bombs from the guys today.

Go Blue!

I know, I know, stop complaining. But Grady needs to stop sitting Ethier against lefthanders. Went to the game last night—the offense was pretty woeful until the 10th inning. I don’t expect us to score many against Gorzy, but hey, who knows after last night.

g/genius-roger that! ESPN coverage of West Coast baseball is just about non-existent

Josh,

Any response to Bill Plaschke’s article about Tim Crews’ family?

Grady should have given Russ the day off today, he just caught 10 innings last night and with an off day tommorow it’s a perfect opportunity for him to get back to back days off.

jspelk2 i agree about Ethier. He hit .359 againts lefties last year. Plus he’s finally getting out of his slump and is getting hot.

I agree Martin needs the day off. Not only did he catch 10 yesterday, but he missed several balls that he normally gets behind the dish… thats what happens when a guy catches just about every day…. such a great player, but we need to make sure hes still got something left in september. Besided, Liberthal is a nice option.

Holy **** that was a fantastic finish last night!!!!
Is Russ Martin the man or what?

Anyway, I love the blog.

I am a long time Yankees fan who also likes the Dodgers (they are my official NL team… LOL!)

So keep up the good word !

I’m liking what you’ve got doing and — just as long it’s not a World Series with both the Dodgers and the Yankees — go DODGER BLUE !

I’ve added a link to your page on the blog that I just started here a few days ago on MLBlogs.

Check it out if you like, I’ve been very happy with the content of it as well as the small amount of positive feedback it’s gotten.

It’s a Yankees blog and that may give you the willies…

But if you would like to see it, here is the URL.

Hey, if nothing else it has a link to your blog ?

LOL !

http://mointhe9th.mlblogs.com

kssparkuhl it was just a feeling yesterday. I don’t have that “feeling” today but i’m thinking Saenz will have a good day, like Josh said Saenz has had really good success against the Bucks.

today would have been a good day to rest martin since there is a day off tomorrow but Nomar needs the rest more since he hasn’t had a day off this year. Even if Grady gave martin the day off today that would have ment 3 regulars would be out of the line up and we all remember what happened last time he did that.

I’m watching the replay right now & i gotta tell you Salomon Torres made some REALLY NASTY pitches to Saenz.

My husband and I feel really ignorant, but we are confused. We both thought that a “walk-off” home run was when a player came in off the bench and hit one. Martin played all game. So what is a “walk-off” home run? A game ending one? All you knowledgable people must know!

Go Blue!!!!

Are center fielders supposed to do that???

Good Grief!!!

A walk-off home run is a game ending home run. It has nothing to do with a player coming off the bench.

In regards to Bill Plaschke’s article, I’m certain that someone from the organization will reach out to the Crews family in the coming days and offer our support as we do with all of our former players. We actually have an Alumni Relations Department, which is pretty rare for Major League teams, so I’m not sure why she wasn’t able to be transferred there by anyone at Dodger Stadium, but I’m certain we’ll find a way to make her and her family feel welcome, which they certainly are. Next year is the 20th anniversary of the 1988 World Championship and 50th anniversary of the franchise’s move to Los Angeles, so they would certainly be invited to anything we would do to honor those events, much like the family of Steve Howe at last year’s 1981 World Series celebration. As a huge fan of the ’88 team growing up, I always heard great things about Tim Crews and while this morning’s story was sad, in some ways, I was actually happy to see that they are all doing so well in life despite their tragic loss.

man, this is UGLY

talk about a buzz kill game. Such an awfully played game. The Dodgers don’t deserve to win this one and it looks like they won’t.

thank goodness the bad “character” that prompted lofton v. penny last year is gone, because today, well, you know…

Lofton threw like a girl too.

i don’t know why, but i never minded lofton. pierre, i mind. maybe because he’ll be here for so darn long.

Reading about the Crews family made me feel sad. I’ve remembered Tim Crews from when he was with the blue until this very day. Everytime I see the number 52, I think Tim Crews. It was sad to see that they feel he’s forgotten, because I never have, and I had hoped most baseball fans wouldn’t have, either. Hopefully, the Crews family will have seen the worst of this, and maybe the Kile and Lidle families won’t have to go through this. I look forward to seeing Shawn Crews pitching in the bigs.

yeah i liked Lofton. Knowing that out centerfielder can get ran on all the time for 5 years is tough to swallow.

Billingsley should be sent back to Triple-A to start – he’s not really cut out to be a reliever. He’s most effective when using his complete arsenal of pitches (like the 12-to-6 curve) rather than throwing nothing but fastballs. Bring up Meloan, who will be much better suited for that role.

I feel like the Dodgers screwed him over, maybe not in the long term…but they signed 2 pitchers in the offseason, handed Tomko the 5ht starter job despite a great spring, and are asking him to be a reliever even though he is cleary not one. If they had given him the 5th job and he had failed, they’d STILL have Tomko/Hendy waiting for the 5th spot (and 4th spot since Schmidt is gone for now). Like Kuo, I think he cannot warm up in time to come out of the pen. We know and they know he’s capable of being a great starter, that doesn’t mean he can be an effective reliever. Let him go get stretched out prepare him to take over Tomko’s job once again.

Its pretty tough to make a case Billingsly deserves a rotation (or even bullpen) spot. He had an ok ERA last year, but 1.6+ WHIP is awful, and he is doing the same thing now in relief. Eventually, the ERA will balloon if you allow that many base runners… that’s what were seeing this year. Looking back over the game logs in AAA he wasn’t really ready to come up when he did. Wasn’t getting past 5-6 innings in AAA starts either. The guy might be a slow starter/need another year or two of seasoning. His stuff looks pretty good- he just doesn’t throw enough strikes. Hopefully that changes over time.
In other news Martin looked a little tired today and that was horrible balls and strikes calling by the umpire crew- pretty much all series.

Juan Pierre had a really bad day today… that’s an understatement. What I don’t get is his apparent lack of taking command in the outfield thus far. Bautista’s fly ball to the gap in left field should have easily been caught, but for whatever reason Pierre pulled up in what appeared to be “alligator arms” in a potential collision with Gonzalez… but they weren’t even that close to each other… and the ball landed between the two.

Pierre is taking some awfully wierd angles to balls hit his way and the fact he can’t throw is really getting in his head. This became sorely evident in the third inning when his inability to catch the pop-up to short center field by Jason Bay allowed an easy run to score from third base. This is certainly not the way a five-year, 44 million dollar center fielder is supposed to play… and the fans at Dodger Stadium are starting to let him know of their displeasure. If we’re going to talk defensive liability, perhaps this discussion should start here.

I wonder how Ned feels about the Pierre signing now. Pierre’s bad points clearly outnumber his good ones. Hopefully he’s out of here long before his 5 year contract ends.

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