Results tagged ‘ Dodgers ’

Live at 5! Don Mattingly, new Dodger manager

Im sure by now youve heard the exciting news that Don Mattingly will take over for Joe Torre next season. Obvoiusly our office is slammed right now with logistics but be sure to tune into PRIME TICKET for the live news conference at 5 p.m. to hear it all for yourself. Im sure Ill post more later…

Road trip starts off right…

The offense seems to have clicked last night and raise your hand if you thought Jay Gibbons was going to start out this hot! He’s back in the starting lineup tonight.

It’s no secret, the Dodgers need to start winning series against every team to help erase the 4 1/2 game wild card lead and 7 game division lead. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s far from impossible. Last night was a good start to a big road trip.

Tonight, Chad Billingsley is going for his 10th win for the fourth straight season. That’s pretty impressive consistency (Derek Lowe was the last Dodger to do it and before that, I think it was Chan Ho Park, but I’d have to go back and really look it up!)

I was surprised to learn today that the Dodgers have won 12 of the last 14 season series with the Phillies going back to 1996. Of course, they’ve gotten the best of us in the two series that matter most, but a game like last night is important because right now, the Phillies are ahead of the Dodgers in the wild card race, too.

Game time tonight is at 4:05 p.m. PT on PRIME Ticket so tune in…

A big weekend by the Bay

First pitch is happening right now and while nothing is truly must-win until the end of the season, these are some pretty huge games right now against the Giants and Padres.

Charley Steiner pointed out that including tonight, we have one third of our remaining games (20 of 60) against these two teams. Obviously that gives us a lot of opportunity to make a move and at the same time, gives these teams a chance to create some distance between us and them.

Should be a fun series, with tomorrow’s trade deadline looming large…less than 20 hours away.

Stephen Strasburg – is this guy for real?

Just noticed that Stephen Strasburg got another win last night and as a few of us were talking in the office today, it seems more and more likely that he’s going to be starting for the Nationals against the Dodgers during our next homestand in our first game against Washington (Aug. 6).

As much as it would be nice to miss him, I’m actually looking forward to seeing him pitch just to witness the hype. And if we can beat Ubaldo (the only ones to do it so far), who’s to say we can’t beat this young phenom? To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best! Anyway, I’d imagine tickets will start flying for that game once people realize that he’s scheduled to pitch so don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Meanwhile, as impressive as he’s been, he hasn’t had a complete game yet (or a shutout), which is exactly what Chad Billingsley did last night when we needed it most. He was very impressive and gave the Dodgers their first complete game of the season.

Incredibly, we looked it up and over the last 10 years, 19 different teams have had one or no complete games in a season and six have gone to the playoffs – the Yankees in ’04, ’07 and ’08, the Dodgers in ’06 and ’09 and the Twins in ’06. So, while it would be nice to have a bunch of complete games, not having many clearly doesn’t preclude you from reaching the postseason.

I’d imagine each of those teams had pretty impressive bullpens but I wonder if any had two All-Stars on the back end like Kuo and Broxton.

Gotta keep it going tonight…

Second half gets underway

How about that NL? Wouldn’t it be something if it turns out that Broxton gets the last out of the Midsummer Classic and the Fall Classic, with one happening in Anaheim and the other in Game 7 at Dodger Stadium?

Lots of preview stories in the media today about the second half and while some have said that our schedule will be more difficult than most, others have said it will be easier. I guess it all depends on perspective. We will be playing a lot of teams over .500, but we’ll also be playing the NL West a lot, and we’ve fared quite well against our own division, as you all know. In fact, the Dodgers actually have the best record in the NL against NL teams, so that’s a good sign, too.

But there’s plenty of work to be done…four teams are right in the thick of things in the NL West and with Manny coming off the DL, here’s hoping the team can stay healthy from here through the end of October.

The last six games against the Cards have ended in Dodger Ws. How about a seventh?

What a weekend

For three days, the eyes of the baseball world were focused on Chavez Ravine. (I’d say the entire sports world but a little footy contest in South Africa may have drawn some attention as well).

Sure there was Halladay vs. the Jays. Santana vs. the Twins. The North Side vs. the South Side. The battle of the Lone Star State. Even the Red Sox vs. the Giants. But one series stood above the rest this weekend as the World of Dodgertown took on Yankees Universe in a marquee matchup that felt like Opening Day…in October…for three games in a row!

First things first, we lost the series. There’s nothing to say that will change that and nothing can erase the pain of Sunday’s defeat. Our fellow blogger, Alyssa Milano, said it best as she tweeted, “#Yankees, breaking hearts since the early 1900′s.”

The good news? This was not October. In fact, these games meant less in the standings than the three to come in San Francisco. So if I may, I’d like to take a quick step back to remember the last 72 hours before the next series is upon us. They were pretty special.

From the moment the teams began BP on Friday afternoon, it was easy to see that there was something different about the weekend ahead. It was made easy by the traveling band of media that accompany the Yankees from town to town. It was wall-to-wall press on the field as Joe Torre, in his first appearance AGAINST the Yankees since he departed the Bronx, greeted his former players. From Derek Jeter to current Yankees Manager, Joe Girardi, every hand-shake and hug was documented.

In case you missed the ads – we’ve been running them since February – there was also a Rivalry being Renewed at Dodger Stadium and a few men who help define the term were also on hand including Tommy, Garvey, Cey, Russell & pinstriper named Reggie. They all exchanged pleasantries as well, including a feisty ‘discussion’ between Lasorda and Jackson on the air during Saturday’s telecast (all done in jest). One thing was certain, Tommy bleeds Dodger blue.

Opening Night (as it could easily have been dubbed) was kick-started by a rocking National Anthem performance by members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which was immediately followed by a standing-ovation-inducing first pitch by Lakers Center, and World Champion, Pau Gasol. If that wasn’t enough to get the engines started, the Dodgers went up 1-0 in the first inning…of course they would fail to score again. However, despite falling 2-1 in the opener, Vicente Padilla gave the fans plenty of moments to cheer.The tight score gave game one the drama the series deserved and the renewal was underway.

Game two of the series was the first of two to be broadcast across the country and included its own pre-game, made for TV – rather HBO – moments as E, Turtle, Johnny Drama and Vinny Chase threw out the first pitch. The Entourage boys got their fair share of applause, but the ovations would come even more often during the game with the Dodgers loading the bases three times, knocking AJ Burnett out of the game early, and earning a much needed victory despite falling behind 3-0 before an out was recorded.

The series finale had it all. First of all, it was on ESPN with Joe Morgan, Jon Miller and a familiar face, Orel Hershiser, calling the game. Second, the stars of Hollywood came out in droves to experience the rubber match of the rivalry for themselves. There was Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore. Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise. Alyssa Milano and Jack. Jake T. Austin and Zac Efron. And those were just the famous faces found by DodgerVision! The celebrities added an air of importance to the game and the Dodgers youngest star took his cue as Clayton Kershaw masterfully shut down the Yankees without allowing a walk for the first time in his career. Of course the drama continued late into the night in a heart-breaking sequence of Broxton, Cano, Mariano, and scene.

As we look ahead to the Giants and D-Backs, followed by the final homestand of the first half, this series will eventually fade in our memories – especially since we ended up on the losing end. However, from the rally towels to the Yankees rally, Dodger fans were treated to a 3-part drama that is typically reserved for the fall. The title, “Christmas in July” is a phrase often used to describe an event that brings about unexpected excitement. I think if we take a step back, we’ll realize that we all just experienced “The World Series in June”. At least in my own estimation. I hope to see you all at the sequel this October.

- Josh Lukin

 

D-Day remembered…

Is there a better history teacher than Vin Scully? He just finished giving viewers a recap of D-Day, June 6, 1944 and those who heard his words will surely remember them. But on his behalf, we ask you all to please take a moment to think about all that happened that day and how grateful we all are and should be for the sacrifice made by so many.

Another person we remember today is Jose Lima, whose son Jose Jr. threw out the first pitch just about half an hour ago. The anthem was a video of his dad from May 13, 2004 and it was a really special moment that I’m sure the family will remember for many years to come. Several players lingered out on the dugout steps after it finished in silent prayer and the legacy of Lima Time will live on in his children and all who knew him.

On a much lighter note, the Dodgers wish to congratulate Bobby Cox on an incredible career. We’ll be saluting him in-game today, his final regular season game at Dodger Stadium but here’s hoping that he’s back here for the postseason. A lot has to happen for that to come to pass, but if the season were to end today, these two teams could face off in the playoffs (there would be a number of play-in games).

But, there are still almost four months to go, so enjoy them. This will likely be the last blog post for a few days but we’ll be back soon…keep your eye on dodgers.com for all the latest news.

A salute to our troops…

Here’s hoping that some of our troops overseas reads Inside the Dodgers or will get this message via Facebook. On behalf of the entire Dodger organization, thank you for all that you do for those of us here in the States and we hope to see you home soon.

To all those who have served in the past, we thank you, too, and hope that you’re one of the many veterans who will be at Dodger Stadium tonight. We’ve given about 1,000 tickets out to branches of the military and three of the team’s most high profile veterans will take part in the first pitch ceremony.

Former Dodgers and proud U.S. veterans Don Newcombe, Rick Monday and Roy Gleason will be accompanied by veterans from various branches of the military. In honor of Memorial Day, the team will also wear white hats with stars and stripes for the LA logo.

We’ll also have a moment of silence for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defending our nation.

On a much lighter note, Andre Ethier is back in the lineup…and the team has a chance to finish the month of May with a 20-8 record! Last year, the Dodgers were 20-9 in May.

An awesome day…

Another Dodger win and on My Town Taiwan Night, both Hong-Chih Kuo and Fu Te Ni both got in the game. The section on the reserved level was going bonkers.

John Ely was dealing again, even with a rough first inning he kept his composure and lasted six innings.

We’ll try to keep it going tomorrow…hope you’ll make it out for the series finale.

First a bobblehead, then a Sportscenter commercial…

Even without Andre Ethier in the lineup, the Dodgers won their ninth straight last night on his bobblehead night and there was a packed house at Dodger Stadium.

Now, Andre is over at ESPN Los Angeles studios to film a “This is Sportscenter commercial,” which usually means you’re pretty darn big if they’re asking you to do this sort of thing. And even better, you’ll get to see the behind-the-scenes footage of the commercial shoot, as the Dodgers Media Network is here getting some pretty cool stuff. Amazingly, there are like 40 people on the set for a 30-second spot. Pretty crazy.

What’s next for the budding star?

Well, he’s got an upcoming action figure night (July 8), a poster (Aug. 20) and a few other big time media requests we’ve gotten for him. We’re going to try to bang out most of these while he’s hurt because unfortunately, he can’t play at the moment. But, hopefully he’ll be back soon and by then, who knows, maybe the Dodgers will be on a 23-game winning streak…

A chance to move into a first place tonight at the Ravine against the Padres…

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