Thanks to everyone for their concern about Vin Sculy last night. He should be back this evening, but had to tend to a personal issue and missed last night’s game. That was why Rick Monday was solo on radio and Charley and Steve handled TV, but we should be back to the normal home schedule going forward. Jerry Reuss will make his regular season debut alongside Rick during the upcoming trip to Atlanta and Florida.
Also, I noticed an interesting thing doing the notes this morning which somewhat shows that power isn’t the end-all, be-all of successful teams. Granted, we’re talking about a 26-game sample size, but did you know that this year, in games when the team hits a homer, they’re only 7-6 and when they don’t homer, they’re 8-5? That certainly is a little evidence that it comes down to pitching more than power, or at least that’s one way to look at it. After all, when the Dodgers allow three runs or less, they’re 10-1 and when they allow four or more, they’re 5-10.
Anyway, it’s a night off for Nomar tonight. Here’s the lineup and some game notes:
LET’S PLAY FOUR – Russell Martin got a well-deserved day off last night after catching all 17 innings of Sunday’s marathon at San Diego. Martin also caught all 16.2 innings of last year’s 17-inning game against Oakland on June 17, going 3-for-8 to give him a combined .313 average (5-for-16) average over the 34 innings. In total for those two games, Martin caught 473 pitches, including 191 from Derek Lowe, who started both of the contests.
DEEP SIX – Since moving to Los Angeles, only three Dodgers have had six hits in a game and all three times it came in the month of May. Willie Davis (5/24/73), Paul Lo Duca (5/28/01) and Shawn Green (5/23/02) are the only L.A. Dodgers to accomplish the feat. Five Brooklyn Dodgers had a six-hit game, with Walter Gilbert (5/30/31) being the only one to pull it off in May. Among current Dodgers, only Nomar Garciaparra has a six-hit game and it came on June 21, 2003.
WELCOME BACK – The Dodgers would like to welcome back Kirk Gibson, who serves as Arizona’s bench coach. Gibson’s homer in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series was voted the Greatest Sports Moment in Los Angeles History. Also in uniform that night and tonight is Rick Honeycutt, who played for Oakland and now serves as the Dodgers’ pitching coach.
IN A PINCH – Outfielder/infielder Marlon Anderson collected his 64th career pinch hit last night, raising his lifetime average as a pinch-hitter to .291 (64-for-220). Anderson also has more pinch hits (54) than any other player in baseball since 2004. The Alabama native played the field for the first time this season, logging 2.0 innings last night at second base.
CONTACT COUNTS – As a team, the Dodgers have struck out just 134 times this season, the second-lowest total in the National League. The only team to fan less than Los Angeles is St. Louis, which has struck out 124 times but has also played two less games than the Dodgers. Leading the way in the contact department for the Dodgers are Nomar Garciaparra, Juan Pierre and Luis Gonzalez, who rank sixth, seventh and ninth in the NL, respectively, in the hardest to fan category.
LUCKY PENNY – Brad Penny is seeking to become the first Dodger starting pitcher to begin the season 4-0 since Kazuhisa Ishii went 6-0 with a 2.95 ERA in his first six starts in 2002. Penny’s 1.95 ERA is seventh best in the National League.
DON’T BE LATE – Tomorrow’s game is a special 12:10 p.m. start and is Disney School Field Trip Day at Dodger Stadium. Luis Gonzalez, Andre Ethier and several student volunteers will participate in the event, which will be held in right field from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Some of the students will be demonstrating how bats made out of different compositions will cause different reactions. The bats will be used as giveaways for the kids and will be signed by Mickey Mouse.