June 2007

Loney recalled and in the lineup

The Jacksonville Five from a few years ago is now 80 percent here. Loney, Billingsley, Kemp and Broxton. La Roche was technically part of that group but so could Abreu have been and he’s here…so’s Ethier, who was also in Double-A that year but it was with another organization. Here’s today’s lineup:

Furcal, SS

Abreu, 2B

Martin, C

Gonzalez, LF

Betemit, 3B

Loney, 1B

Ethier, RF

Pierre, CF

Schmidt, P

Definitely a different lineup…

Hollywood Stars is tonight, along with Andre Ethier the Canadian singing Oh Canada and Lisa Loeb, the American, singing Oh America (a.k.a. the National Anthem).

I put some game notes down below for reference so check those out.

Furcal, SS

Abreu, 3B

Nomar, 1B

Kent, 2B

Gonzalez, LF

Vote for Russ, C

Kemp, RF (he arrived to the stadium pretty late yesterday from Vegas, which was part of why he wasn’t in the starting lineup then)

Pierre, CF

Lowe, P

GONZO GOES DEEP – Luis Gonzalez hit his 334th career homer as a left fielder last night which ties him with Ralph Kiner for third on the all-time home run list by a left fielder. The duo trails only Ted Williams (477) and Barry Bonds (710). The homer raised Gonzalez’s average to .294 on the year, its highest point since he was batting .300 on April 25. Gonzalez is on a pace to hit 21 homers on the season. His two RBI last night give him 108 in his career in Interleague Play, tying him with Paul Konerko for the ninth most in history.

BRING ON THE STARS – Tonight is the 49th Annual Hollywood Stars Game and will feature such celebrities as Carlos Mencia, Michael Clarke Duncan, James Denton, Jordan Farmar and Luc Robitaille, among others. Popular singer/songwriter Lisa Loeb will perform the National Anthem. The celebrity softball game will benefit The Painted Turtle, the sixth addition to Paul Newman’s family of Hole in the Wall Camps for seriously ill children located in Lake Hughes, CA. Prior to the Dodger game, The Painted Turtle will receive a check from Dodger owners Frank and Jamie McCourt and Dodger pitcher Randy Wolf, who are donating their own money to help build a Dodger Dream Field for the camp along with Dodger sponsor DHL.
 
ETHIER HITS AND ETHIER SINGS – Andre Ethier has a .339 average (21-for-62) with three homers and 10 RBI in 18 career Interleague contests. His five-hit game last year against the Angels was the first ever for a Dodger in Interleague Play. Prior to tonight’s game, a different Andre Ethier who is a Canadian musician and formerly the lead singer of the Dead Snakes will perform Oh Canada.

KILLER TOMATO – Olmedo Saenz hit his first pinch-hit homer of the season, 11th of his career and seventh as a Dodger last night, tying him with Duke Snider and Billy Ashley for fourth on the all-time franchise pinch-hit home run list. It was his fourth career walk-off homer and first since July 2, 2002 off Minnesota’s Eddie Guardado while playing for Oakland.

THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE WATER – Takashi Saito’s streak of 26 consecutive converted saves — the second-longest active streak in baseball — came to an end last night, one night after Billy Wagner’s streak of 31 straight was broken. Saito converted 40 of his first 42 career save opportunities, surpassing Eric Gagné for the best percentage (.952) in their first 42 chance in the Major Leagues since the save became an official statistic in 1969.

VOTE FERNANDO – ESPN Deportes is hosting a nationwide vote for the All-Time MLB Greatest Latin Team and this week’s highlighted position is left-handed pitcher. Fernando Valenzuela is one of three nominees along with Johan Santana and Mike Cuellar. Fans can vote on espndeportes.com or by texting the word BASEBALL 32 to 35355. Valenzuela, a native of Mexico who changed the face of the game during Fernandomania in 1981, serves as an analyst on the Dodger Spanish-language radio broadcast on ESPN Deportes 1330.

PACKED HOUSE – Last night’s paid attendance of 52,173 was the Dodgers’ seventh home crowd over 50,000 this season. They now lead the National League in average attendance at 44,863, slightly ahead of both New York and St. Louis.

ON CONTACT – The Dodgers have struck out just 297 times, the second-lowest total in the NL this season. Three Dodgers rank among the Top 10 in the Hardest to Fan category this season – Luis Gonzalez (3rd, 1 K per 16.0 PA), Juan Pierre (4th, 13.0) and Nomar Garciaparra (10th, 10.6).

Tonight's lineup

Pierre, CF

Furcal, SS

Nomar, 1B

Kent, 2B

Gonzo, LF

Martin, C

Ethier, RF

Abreu, 3B

Penny, P

Kemp recalled

Last night stunk, there’s just no way around it. You always here baseball people say that things tend to even out, so I guess this was the evening out of the four-homer game last year. Crazy to think two of the last 10 games between these two teams featured four-run bottom-of-the-ninth comebacks, but they did. So, we move on. A year ago today, we had virtually the same record and same spot in the division and we still ended up in the postseason with people thinking we had a chance to do some damage.

Matt Kemp will join the team tonight and Ramon Martinez, who has been battling back problems, is going on the disabled list.

On another note, the second day of this year’s draft is going on and among the local products selected by the Dodgers were UC Riverside shortstop Jaime Pedroza (ninth round), USC right-hander Paul Koss (11th round) and Cal State Fullerton catcher Matt Wallach (22nd round), the son of former Dodger Tim Wallach. The team also drafted an outfielder named Joris Bert from France in the 19th round. Bert began his career in MLB International’s game development initiative in Europe.

MLB’s draft tracker with all the Dodgers’ picks is here.

Lineup and draft

Furcal, SS

Abreu, 3B

Nomar, 1B

Kent, 2B

Gonzo, LF

Vote for Martin, C

Ethier, RF

Clark, CF

Kuo, P

Plenty of info on Chris Withrow is in the post below. James Adkins of Tennessee was our second pick (#39 compensation for Lugo) and then Michael Watt (#86 from Capistrano Valley H.S.)

Welcome RHP Chris Withrow

He’s our first round pick and from the cheer that went up in the draft room, it’s safe to say it was exactly who we wanted. Here’s what Logan White had to say about him a couple minutes ago:

"With Chris, he’s tall and rangy. He’s a kid with a good body and he’s athletic. He’s got good mechanics and there’s not any real flaws in his delivery and mechanics. He’s got a real loose, easy arm. In my mind, it’s one of best arm actions I’ve seen in a long time.

"He’s ranges from 88-94 mph and pitches at 91-92. He’s got a plus curveball with the makings and the hard rotation on it that can make it very much a plus pitch. He’s a very smart kid, an intelligent kid who competes along the lines of the kind of players we’ve tried to target in the past. He’s a quality person with good character but the main thing that impresses you about him is his size, mechanics, and his secondary pitch."

And here’s Baseball America’s review:

Withrow first boosted his stock last summer at the Texas Scout Association showcase and he has continues to rise up draft boards this spring. He has a projectable 6-for-3, 195-pound body and plenty of present velocity. He was reaching 93-94 mph as the draft approached and conistently pitching at 88-92 mph. He has a clean delivery, no surprise for somone whose father, Mike, pitched at Texas and reached Double-A with the White Sox. Mike is also his pitching coach at Midland Christian High. Withrow doesn’t always finish his curveball, but it’s a promising pitch with bite and has improved this spring. He should get drafted high enough to pass up the opportunity to attend Baylor, but if he does go to college, he’ll be a two-way player. He has some hitting ability and the athleticism to play an outfield corner."

And of course there’s complete coverage at MLB.com.

Tonight's game

Pierre, CF

Furcal, SS

Nomar, 1B

Kent, 2B

Gonzo, LF

Vote Martin, C

Ethier, RF

Abreu, 3B

Wolf, P

And as for Rudy Seanez, since April 19 (including last night) he has a 1.99 ERA (5 ER/22.2 IP), the second best mark among all Dodger relievers not named Takashi Saito (that includes Broxton and Billingsley). He has, in fact, allowed the most inherited runners to score (6) but he’s also inherited more than all but two other relievers, so it’s not exactly fair to only cite the number of runners scored. For example, Billingsley has only allowed four inherited runners to score but he’s only inherited six of them (67 percent).

As long as we’re talking inherited runners, Joe Beimel has been unreal in that area. Only 2 of his 21 runners have scored (9.5 percent), the seventh-best mark in the league. He’s also now appeared in 30 games, more than any other lefty in the big leagues besides Tyler Johnson.

Superstitions and stuff…

Well, I certainly didn’t intend to start a holy war with yesterday’s post, nor do I hope to quell the dissenting opinions on this blog, as that is definitely what makes this site worthwhile. Debating the lineups, moves, players and more is the main reason people leave comments here, which is good and I’m sure it’ll continue. I was simply saddened that a group of Dodger fans that regularly visit the site were actually looking to split off for another blog because of too much negativity so I passed along their thoughts with the hope that at least the criticism might be a little more constructive (which at times, it certainly is). Anyway, that’s really the last I’ll add on this issue and I’ll leave the rest up to you all to sort out.

As for Charley Steiner jinxing the no-hitter, I have to say that I’m just not that superstitious. If you want to blame anyone, blame me because after six innings of no-hit ball, I called Jason Repko to talk about a few things for the upcoming community program that he’s launching and I asked if he was watching the game. When he said he wasn’t near a TV, I told him about the no-no and he assured me that I had jinxed it. About five minutes after we hung up, the first hit came and I got a text message from him blaming me for the loss of the no-hitter.

However, in my first year as an intern at the team, I was in the press box when Ramon Martinez was throwing a no-hitter and I made a comment about it to Robert Schweppe, who worked in Baseball Operations for many years. When I told him I was worried that I might have jinxed it, he said, "Josh, if you have that much control over what goes on down on the field, you’re a lot more valuable to us than I realized." It was then that I decided that Charley, me or you don’t really affect what is happening on the field. We’re just supposed to enjoy it. I don’t believe in jinxes and I can tell you that it’s generally accepted within the baseball industry that broadcasters are the only ones who are allowed to talk about no-hitters without jinxing them. If my memory serves me correctly, Vin does it pretty regularly and I don’t think we ever blame him for that.

The lineup is below and I hope everyone enjoys Schmidt’s start tonight. It would be a huge boost to the team if he’s able to pitch the way we all hoped before the shoulder injury.

Pierre, CF

Furcal, SS

Nomar, 1B

Kent, 2B

Gonzo, LF

Martin, C

Ethier, RF

Abreu, 3B

Schmidt, P

Enough of the $*@&# negativity!

OK, so I guess that probably got people’s attention. But the truth is, I’ve tried hard not to weigh in on this topic but after receiving email this weekend that people actually want to stop visiting this site and start their own Dodger blog because so many people here are being so negative, I finally had to at least try and help the situation along.

Please know that I am not trying to stop you all from sharing your opinions here, but I do believe that there is a tendency to harp on every minor thing that goes on with certain players/staff/executives that some of you on the blog don’t like. All I ask is that you actually try to keep the criticism remotely constructive and for a second, consider that this is actually not intended to be a place to rip the team to shreds whenever someone makes an error or an on-field decision that you disagree with.

This is also a place where many young fans like to read and the constant bad language is getting tiresome. My headline to this post was a joke because let’s be honest, just because you put a bunch of numbers or symbols in place of a bad word doesn’t mean that you aren’t having the same effect. I think everyone can get their respective points across without the bad language or mock bad language. At least I hope so. I hate to think that a few negative folks are making this a less enjoyable site to visit for the rest of the fans.

So please, keep this in consideration while you’re posting your comments. I don’t want this to become a place where everyone has rose-colored glasses on (that’s my job), but I also think that mistakes will happen from time to time and once you’ve made your point that you aren’t a big fan of a player or a decision, you don’t have to continue to point it out four times on each thread or every single day of the season.

Thanks for making this a "happy" place to visit…here’s the lineup:

Furcal, SS

Pierre, CF

Nomar, 1B

Kent, 2B

Martin, C

Ethier, RF

Abreu, 3B

Clark, LF (.714 average in his career off Maholm)

Lowe

Lineup

Pierre, CF

Furcal, SS

Nomar, 1B

Kent, 2B

Gonzo, LF

Lieberthal, C

Ethier, RF

Abreu, 3B

Kuo, P

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.