Here’s the lineup for tonight. I’m heading downstairs to help get Brad Penny and Rick Honeycutt for an upcoming commercial you’ll see during Dodger broadcasts, so be on the lookout.
I’ve also been putting notes on the blog a lot lately so if you’d prefer to get that elsewhere, please post comments to that end. If not, I’ll keep doing it, as it’s a good way to send this info to the public, even if it makes each post a little longer.
SWINGIN’ IT – Since June 15 when Bill Mueller took over as hitting coach, the Dodgers are batting .292 (222-for-759), tying them with Houston for the second-highest average in the National League during that span behind Colorado (.308). The club’s .364 on-base percentage during that period is third-best in the NL behind the Rockies (.384) and Astros (.368).
PITCHING IN – Over the last 12 games, Dodger pitchers are hitting .375 (9-for-24), raising the staff’s batting average to .175 (25-for-143), the second-best mark in the NL behind the Mets (.180).
PUT HIM ON THE BOARD – Former Dodger outfielder and current radio broadcaster Rick Monday has been named to the Board of Directors of the Citizens Flag Alliance. Last season, at the invitation of the U.S. Congress, Monday and his wife, Barbaralee were in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the 30th anniversary of an attempted flag burning at Dodger Stadium that was thwarted by the then-Chicago Cub outfielder.
SHOEMAKER SETS RECORD – The Double-A Jacksonville manager John Shoemaker piloted the Suns to his 303rd victory yesterday, surpassing the franchise record set by Tommy Thompson from 1985-88. Shoemaker, who has been a member of the Dodgers’ minor league system since 1977, has led the Suns to two Southern League championships and has twice earned Manager of the Year honors. In the Suns’ win yesterday, Chin-lung Hu had three hits and six RBI.
DID YOU KNOW?: It took a Dodger Stadium parking lot attendant to help launch the professional baseball career of Tommy Hutton, today a Marlins broadcaster. When Dodger scout Tommy Lasorda tried to enter the main parking lot one afternoon in 1964, he was stopped because he didn’t have a pass. The attendant agreed to let Lasorda into the parking lot if he scouted his friend Hutton, a senior first baseman at nearby South Pasadena High School. Lasorda signed Hutton, who spent seven years in the Dodger system, including brief Major League appearances in 1966 and 1969. Hutton appeared in 952 career games with the Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays, Montreal Expos and Philadelphia Phillies. His father, George Hutton, was a longtime Dodger Stadium usher who can be seen on videotape stationed behind home plate in the old dugout seats when Kirk Gibson hit his pinch-hit home run in the 1988 World Series against the Oakland Athletics.
SNUBBED? – Derek Lowe has pitched well enough to earn All-Star honors this season, as his 2.98 ERA is sixth in the NL, which is better than Cole Hamels (3.72), Roy Oswalt (3.52) and Ben Sheets (3.41), each of whom were named All-Stars. Lowe is tied for the Major League lead in complete games (3) and is fourth in the NL in innings pitched.
AT THE BOX OFFICE – The Dodgers’ paid attendance last night was 51,050, the 17th time this season that the attendance has topped the 50,000 mark. In addition, the team passed the two million mark in attendance for the 34th consecutive season, a Major League Baseball record. The last time the Dodgers didn’t get two million fans out to Chavez Ravine was in 1972 when the team finished in third place at 85-70.
HOME BOX OFFICE – The upcoming HBO special “Brooklyn Dodgers: The Ghosts of Flatbush” examines the heyday and impact of the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1947 to 1957 in a two-part sports documentary that debuts this Wednesday, July 11. From Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in 1947 to the team’s move to Los Angeles at the end of the 1957 season, the show examines how the franchise has changed the landscape of sports.