The Dodgers are currently en route to the big apple and Don Mattingly’s first game as a manager in the town where he first became known to the world of baseball.
Once again, I’ll be back in LA for this trip but it’s going to be quite the media circus for Donnie tomorrow. He’s done an incredible job to date at balancing all the needs and requests that come with being a big league manager and that’s not an easy task in a town like Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, we’re still awaiting any medical updates on Broxton and/or Ethier but with the team en route right now, I’m not expecting much in the next few hours. The Dodgers certainly have been bit by the injury bug to date but that’s part of the game and the team will keep clawing through it.
And Andre’s going for 30 straight, assuming he can play in tomorrow’s game (that’s my assumption, not a medical one). First pitch is at 4:10 p.m. PT on PRIME Ticket, KABC 790 and 1020 KTNQ (in Spanish).
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…
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?
Time to celebrate our independence and thank all those who serve in our nation’s military, including one of the newest members. Taylor Jackson, daughter of ESPNLA.com beat writer Tony Jackson, graduated from basic training last weekend in the U.S. Navy. Congrats, Seaman Apprentice Taylor!
And congrats are also in order to Andre Ethier and Jonathan Broxton on their All-Star honors. A great case could have been made for Furcal, Kuo and even Kershaw, but I guess that’s what the All-Star selection Sunday is all about – debate. So feel free to debate it here.
Here’s hoping you all are enjoying a BBQ and watching or listening to the game and then roll out tomorrow night to Dodger Stadium for Fifth of July fireworks.
James Loney just drew a walk to load the bases in the first inning…
It was hard to believe, but researching the notes for today, it dawned on me that James has basically carried the offense for the past six weeks. The Dodgers were six games under .500 on April 29 and have gone 30-16 since then, for a .652 winning percentage.
During that time, Loney leads the team in slugging percentage, on-base percentage, batting average, doubles, homers and RBI…and his 38 RBI are twice as many as the next-highest total (DeWitt’s 19). That’s crazy. Meanwhile, during that same period, Broxton, Kuo and Weaver are a combined 7-0 with a 1.44 ERA. Pretty impressive.
Anyway, here’s hoping we can get out of town with a victory tonight. For those who follow the team on Twitter @dodgertownusa, we posted some random photos from around town today, as I wandered along the Freedom Trail in Boston, a very nice stroll throughout town. Dodger fans, as expected, were everywhere.