Friday, August 31, 2007

Game 134 Thread: August 31 @ Padres, 7.05p

Dodgers start David Wells, LHP (6-8, 5.46) vs. Jack Cassel, RHP (0-0, 6.00).

Dodgers: 70-63 (3rd place NL West, 4.0 GB; 3rd place WC, 3.0 GB; W4)
Padres: 73-60 (2nd place NL Wast, 1.0 GB; 1st place WC, 2.0 GA; L1)

Current postseason odds for the Dodgers, from Baseball Prospectus: 27.7%

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: Wells rose to the occasion of his Big Apple return as a Dodger on national television, with five effective innings and even started the winning rally with a bunt single. Just seeing him chugging down the first-base line was priceless. Now he gets to show if it was a one-shot deal or if he has enough left to help in a September surge.

Padres: Cassel will be recalled from Triple-A Portland in order to make his first Major League start. Cassel made his first big league appearance on Aug. 10 at Cincinnati, allwoing two runs on two hits over three innings of relief. Cassel has appeared in 27 games (24 for starts) for Triple-A Portland, going 7-14 with a 3.91 ERA.

From Inside the Dodgers, the lineup:

Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Kemp, RF
Kent, 2B
Ethier, LF
Martin, C
Loney, 1B
Hillenbrand, 3B
Wells, P

Wolf, Tsao Toast

Injury news from Diamond Leung:


Randy Wolf will undergo diagnostic arthroscopic surgery on Wednesday after experiencing more discomfort in his shoulder. It's a tough blow for Wolf, who turned down multi-year deals this offseason to pitch for his hometown team. Now he's looking at going into next season without a guaranteed contract. "I took a gamble, and I lost," Wolf said.

Chin-hui Tsao has been shut down indefinitely, and will miss the remainder of the season. He is resting and rehabbing his shoulder, but could be facing another major surgery.

Also, Nomar Garciaparra could be activated from the disabled list as soon as today to serve as a pinch hitter. His attempts have jogging have been met by sharp pain, but he can swing a bat. Kirk Gibson, anyone?

And from Tony Jackson:


Randy Wolf experienced more pain when he started throwing harder while playing catch. He'll have a diagnostic arthroscopic procedure on Thursday at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic just to get a more up-close look than what the two MRIs could show. If they find nothing, he will be out six to eight weeks, which knocks him out for the season. If they find something, they'll fix it, and he could be out six to nine months. Stan Conte said they don't think there is anything seriously wrong, but Randy Wolf didn't seem so optimistic. This might or might not mean he is done with the Dodgers, but the club clearly isn't picking up his $9 million option for next year.

Thanks go out to Wolf for giving the Dodgers a hometown discount. Here's to a full recovery.

ESPN Finally Abandons Sinking Scripted-TV Ship


Hot on the heels of the critically-skewered and publicly-ignored series, "The Bronx Is Burning" (more like, "The Fans Are Yawning"), ESPN is finally throwing in the towel on ESPN Original Entertainment, saving sports fans from having to muddle through any more poker-themed "dramatic" series (Exhibit 1: Michael Madsen, sleepwalking through "Tilt"), forced promotional product placement tie-ins (Exhibit 2: "Madden Pay Per View"), or bad hairpieces (Exhibit 3: Tom Sizemore, playing Pete Rose in "Hustle").

Now, fans will just have Karl Ravech's hairpiece to admire on Baseball Tonight.

And I'm not even mentioning EOE's classic series, "Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith," or "Bonds on Bonds." Yawners, all.

From the Hollywood Reporter today:

ESPN is taking a timeout from the scripted business....[T]he company will spend more time on its bread and butter sports properties and news-oriented shows while announcing plans to run selected documentaries.

That amounts to a holding pattern in terms of the Hollywood-style development in what used to be called ESPN Original Entertainment, which was responsible for those types of shows and a short-lived daily news program called "ESPN Hollywood." It's a marked shift from the days for former executive vp Mark Shapiro, who sought to broaden the company's appeal to more than just sporting events and scores.

Today, ESPN executives say that sports and strictly sports-related content are what its audience wants. John Skipper, who as executive vp content at ESPN is in charge of content across ESPN's many platforms, said it's not about broadening the audience but instead about giving their current audience more of what they crave."

"I'm a little less interested in the intersection of where entertainment and sports combine," Skipper said.

Way to go, Skip! Now, maybe you can start bringing us fans other things we crave. Like an end to stupid "Who's Now" segments lengthening an already elongated SportsCenter program. And maybe getting a Sunday Night Baseball team that doesn't involve Joe Morgan.

Maybe we can watch programs which focus on, oh, I don't know, sports highlights? Just for starters, that is.

Turns Out This Was All Brett Tomko Needed

From this week's New Yorker:

Who the Hell Tattoos Their Pet? What Is Wrong With You People?

Via Deadspin and Jen's Free Throws comes proof that not all NFL QBs are dog killers. But check out that subhead. TATTOOING A PET? I hope that article is one word: "Don't!"

Former Marlin Goes Fishing

Brad Penny hosted a fishing trip for 40 kids from the Daniel Hernandez Youth Foundation yesterday, and we at Sons of Steve Garvey salute this good deed the only way we know how: by mocking him.

The Dodgers' bench is looking a little thin these days.

"Why am I on a boat when I could be with Eliza Dushku?"

No symbolism in this picture at all, no sir.

photos by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers

Some of Those That Throw Pitches, Are the Same That Blog Baseball

Via Diamond Leung comes news that some of our favorite Dodgers have their own blogs:


I'd like to extend a warm welcome to the latest blogger, and his name is Chad Billingsley. You can find his blog here.

Billingsley joins Takashi Saito as the other member of the Dodgers' pitching staff with a blog. Saito's blog can be found here.

Billingsley likely takes after his agent, former Dodger Dave Stewart, who blogs here.

If anyone reads Japanese, we'd love to know what Sammy's blogging about.


Thanks to Dodger Thoughts poster GoBears for the following translation:

In case the non-Japanese readers can't decipher the Babel Babble, the gist of the first 2 paragraphs is:

35th Save!

1. He's noting how late they got into LA after the 3rd game of the Mets series. Blames it on TV, which made it a night game, and said it's pretty tough (kitsui) on an old guy. But, they won, so he and the team feel good.

2. Talks about Wells joining the team. The word used is "dai-beteran" which means not "large veteran," (though that would be funny) but something like "true veteran," or "super-veteran" (how would we say that?) The anecdote is that, on his way into the dugout after the last out, he saw a Dodger fan in the stands (he explains that there are a lot of such folk in NY, because of the team's Brooklyn roots), and instinctively gave him the ball. When he remembered that Wells is a big collector, he went over to apologize to Boomer for not giving HIM the ball (to mark his first win as a Dodger), but Wells told him, "it's OK, it's OK...don't worry about it." Wells is really a nice guy.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dodgers' Stage Performance Seems Eerily Familiar...

Got the latest issue of Playbill (easy there, tiger--PlayBILL) the other day. The Dodgers' stretch pennant race run indeed seems familiar. But apparently (according to the flyer which dropped out of the magazine, below), the cast may have changed but the story remains the same...

I do miss Marlon Anderson, though if Shea Hillenbrand can hit a lucky streak for the next couple months, in the face of his performance this year with the Angels, I will be ready to cheer for Anderson' understudy. NOt to mention that, at our Sons of Steve Garvey staff meeting this morning, a fellow Son pointed out that Marlon Anderson is pulling stunts like this over with the Mets. Yikes.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Post-Game 133 Chat: Orel Gets His Sweep (Dodgers 10, Nats 9 / 12)


Well, Orel, you got your sweep. Happy now?

In a game that lasted over four hours on a scorching afternoon, the Dodgers earned a sweep using every trick they had up their sleeves. Overcoming a five-run deficit in the late innings. Jonathan Broxton pitching in a non-hold situation. Takashi Saito pitching in a non-save situation. Scott Proctor pitching not one, not two, but three innings of white-knuckle baseball, his stamina fading with every pitch. James Loney knocking in four runs. Shea Hillenbrand and Russell Martin each homering with one on. Pitcher Eric Stults asked to pinch hit (unsuccessfully, but for what it's worth, Stults fared no worse than Olmedo Saenz today).

And Jeff Kent, sliding into home on the sac fly, bones creaking with each step as he flopped face-first to get his left arm over the plate before the tag. Last night, Kent was "interviewed" on the post-game show by a FSN reporter who failed to bring up any Kent-specific points, despite the fact that Jeff had just surpassed Joe DiMaggio with his 362nd home run, or the fact that Kent was still suffering from the impacts of a vicious beaning Sunday night at the hands of the Mets' John Maine. What kind of post-game reporting is that? Makes me wish for Carolyn Hughes again (right, Derek?). I wasn't watching today's game on television (some of us have to work), but I'm hoping FSN actually asked Kent about his gritty performance today--which won the game for us in the 12th.

Phillies and Braves both won and the Padres/D'backs game is just underway. Thursday is a rest day before we open a three-game series at Petco Park.

UPDATE: Now that I've had the evening to think about the final play, can someone please explain to me why Austin Kearns was playing up in right field, with one out and the bases loaded? Is it to prevent the bloop single, rather than be well-positioned for a throw should a sac fly result? Vin made a big point about saying if Kearns had been playing the position normally, he wouldn't have had to step back and he could have made a more accurate/powerful throw, which would have probably nailed Kent. I don't understand why Kearns was playing in.

Game 133 Thread: August 29 vs. Nationals, 12.10p

Dodgers start Brad Penny, RHP (14-4, 2.65) vs. Shawn Hill, RHP (3-3, 2.31).

Dodgers: 69-63 (3rd place NL West, 4.5 GB; 3rd place WC, 3.5 GB; W3)
Nationals: 58-75 (T-4th place NL East, 16.0 GB, L5)

Current postseason odds for the Dodgers, from Baseball Prospectus: 27.5%

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: Penny had trouble with the top of the Mets' order, and he was unusually wild, a bad combination when the Dodgers' offense isn't scoring. In his four losses, the offense has supported him with only four runs. He's only 5-11 lifetime against the Mets and 1-9 at Shea Stadium, so the outcome wasn't a complete surprise. He's 12-5 with a 2.21 ERA lifetime against Washington/Montreal.

Nats: On Friday, the Nationals lost to the Rockies in the bottom of the ninth inning, and it spoiled a nice outing by Hill, who faced Rockies left-hander Jeff Francis. They became the first Canadian-born pitchers to face each other since July 1, 2000, when Marlins right-hander Ryan Dempster faced Expos right-hander Mike Johnson. Hill, who is from Mississauga, Ontario, pitched seven innings and gave up one run on four hits. The run scored in the first inning, when Troy Tulowitzski drove in Kazuo Matsui with a single to right field to tie the score at 1. At one point during the game, Hill retired 12 consecutive batters.

The lineup, from ITD, shows Ethier sitting so Gonzo can get another start. I hope this pays off.

Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Kemp, RF
Kent, 2B
Gonzo, LF
Martin, C
Loney, 1B
Hillenbrand, 3B
Penny, P

Verducci Re-opens Wound, Pours Salt

By now we all know how Ned Colletti's attempts to get a power bat have proved futile. But leave it to Tom Verducci to bring up a big fish that got away in his latest mailbag:

With the Yankees' recent bump in the road on their trip through Anaheim, and the Angels' continued success against them, it reminded me of something I've been puzzled about since the 2003 offseason: Why did the Yankees pursue Gary Sheffield instead of Vladimir Guerrero when they were both free agents?

Guerrero is younger, a better hitter, better defender, and faster than Sheffield. Plus, he would not have come with all of the attitude and hoopla that Sheffield generates. In the end, they signed Sheffield for nearly as much money per season (three years, $39 million) than Guerrero signed for (five years, $70 million). -- Jeff Neiger, Chicago

[Verducci:] Good observation. In fact, there was a split among Yankees people on which guy to pursue. A lot of the baseball people wanted Guerrero, largely because he was younger. George Steinbrenner, though, preferred Sheffield. Remember, too, some people in baseball were concerned about Vlad's back at the time. The team you also should call out for not signing Vlad was the Dodgers, who let him slip through their hands to the Angels.

What's even more painful about this mailbag response is that the Dodgers weren't even mentioned in the original question, yet out of nowhere they get suckerpunched. Maybe we just like our crappy batting average with RISP, Tom. Did you ever think of that?

Ned Picks Esteban Loaiza from All-You-Can-Eat Waiver Wire

From Robothal:

The Dodgers have added another starting pitcher to their rotation, claiming right-hander Esteban Loaiza on waivers from the A's.

The teams did not complete a trade for Loaiza; the A's simply allowed the Dodgers to assume the rest of Loaiza's contract — less than $1 million this season, plus Loaiza's entire $7 million salary for 2008.

Loazia, 35, joins a rotation that recently was bolstered by the signing of left-hander David Wells, who had been released by the Padres. The Dodgers are 4 1/2 games behind the Diamondbacks in the NL West and 3 1/2 games behind the Padres for the wild-card lead.

Loaiza had spent the entire season on the disabled list with a bulging disc in his neck before rejoining the A's rotation last week. He has since made two starts, both against the Blue Jays, in which he allowed only three earned runs in 14 2/3 innings.

The Dodgers also have right-handers Derek Lowe, Brad Penny, Chad Billingsley and Jason Schmidt under control in 2008, though Schmidt will be coming off right-shoulder surgery. The team holds a $9 million option on left-hander Randy Wolf that it is unlikely to exercise.

illustration by Alex Eben Meyer/Slate

Vick Supporters Rally to His Defens

This shot was taken from's cover page (no photo credit listed) to accompany a story about embattled quarterback Michael Vick and throngs of his supporters outside the courthouse.

Look, I know there's no "i" in "team". Apparently there is only one "i" in "believer". But only two "e"s in "everyone"?

The self-referential irony of this kid's sign is classic.

Dodgers Conspiracy Theory Links Wells Signing to Stadium Renovations

"Make those aisles wider and keep the beer flowing, Frankie!"

Call me Fox Mulder, but this "coincidence" seems pretty strange to me.

August 24, 2007: The Dodgers add David Wells to the team.

August 28, 2007: The Dodgers announce a new stadium renovation plan dedicated to doubling the number of concession stands, widening the concourses, and establishing some new "all-inclusive" dining options.

Thank God we have Takashi Saito as our closer. I shudder to think what renovations the Dodgers would have announced had we picked up Armando Benitez. (As if parking costs could go any higher. (That's right, Frank--we have a pretty good idea exactly how you're going to fund said renovation plans. I'm picking up an extra paper route this winter just to save up for the inevitable parking increase.))

The truth is out there, once every five days--and, it's 6'3" and 250 lbs.

August 16 Game Recap: "Prepare for Extra Innings"

I'm a little late on posting this (this is Steve Sax here), but fellow Son Alex Cora snapped these pictures from the Dodgers-Astros game on August 16 (Dodgers 6, Astros 2). Given that these shots came up in the sixth inning, when the Dodgers were stoked to a six-run lead, isn't the phrase "Prepare for Extra Innings" a little disheartening to fans of the home team?

I mean, I know it's the catchphrase for Las Vegas, but it seems to me that this add was poorly timed. Who is running sponsorship marketing here? Don't tell me it's still Drew McCourt!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Game 132 Thread: August 28 vs. Nationals, 7.10p

Dodgers start Chad Billingsley, RHP (8-4, 3.48) vs. Jason Bergmann, RHP (2-5, 4.56).

Dodgers: 68-63 (3rd place NL West, 5.5 GB; 3rd place WC, 3.5 GB; W2)
Nationals: 58-74 (4th place NL East, 16.0 GB, L4)

Current postseason odds for the Dodgers, from Baseball Prospectus: 24.3%

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: Billingsley snapped a month-long four-game losing streak in Philadelphia. He scattered four hits over seven innings and was charged with only one run, striking out seven. He said he had better command than in recent games, and he was economical with his pitch count (93). Billingsley won his only start against Washington in his career, allowing one run in six innings.

Nationals: With John Lannan shutdown as a starter, it means Bergmann will get the start. He has been on the disabled list for almost a month because of tightness in his left hamstring. In Bergmann's last rehab start on Thursday for Triple-A Columbus, he tossed seven scoreless innings and gave up six hits against Louisville. He struck out nine batters in the game.

From Inside the Dodgers:

Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF (15-game hitting streak, one shy of his career best)
Ethier, RF (.444 avg, .545 OBP over last seven games)
Kent, 2B
Gonzo, LF
Martin, C
Loney, 1B
Hillenbrand, 3B
Billingsley, P

Q: Why Aren't There Any MLB Teams in South Carolina?

A: Because South Carolinians may not be able to find their way to the stadium.

Hat tip to Deadspin for this non-sports-related post. I know, it's a bit mean-spirited of us to post this. But it's funny. And Lord knows the Dodgers need some humor right now.

BTW, gotta love Mario Lopez trying not to bust a gut as he takes the microphone back. Too bad poor Lauren Caitlin Upton wasn't Saved By The Bell.

UPDATE: For even more fun, here's Morning Toast with a map that you can use to follow along with Upton's stream of consciousness. Fire up the video, listen to the audio, and follow the map. Good times!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Game 131 Thread: August 27 vs. Nationals, 7.10p

Dodgers start Derek Lowe, RHP (10-11, 3.47) vs. Mike Bacsik, LHP (5-7, 4.61).

Dodgers: 67-63 (T-3rd place NL West, 6.5 GB; T-3rd place WC, 3.5 GB; W1)
Nationals: 58-73 (4th place NL East, 16.0 GB, L3)

Current postseason odds for the Dodgers, from Baseball Prospectus: 23.2%

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: After going eight starts without a win, Lowe has a two-game winning streak going. Even if he's still bothered by a hip or groin problem, his sinker doesn't seem to be hampered, as he's getting ground balls by the dozens. He's now reached double figures in victories six consecutive years.

Nationals: Bacsik had a strong outing against the Astros but still lost on Wednesday. He went six innings and allowed three runs on six hits and a walk, striking out four, but the Nats lost, 3-2.


  • You may have noticed we haven't posted the Nationals' chances of making the post-season. That's because they have no chance. And neither will the Dodgers unless they beat teams like this. A sweep is preferable; anything less than a series win is unacceptable.

This Is SoSG's 1500th Post. Wow.

Un-frickin-believable. When we started this blog in October, we had no idea it would carry on this long. Thanks for reading, everyone.

How else to honor the occasion than posting another picture of Julia Schultz?

Starbucks, Meet Frankie McCourt. Frankie, Starbucks.

Remember that marathon game back on August 18? The 14-inning, five-hour plus game in which the Dodgers lost, 7-4?

Turns out that, according to my father (he goes by "Mr. Sax"), who stayed for the duration--that around the 10th inning all of the concession stands started closing up such that he couldn't even buy a cup of coffee. He went up a couple of times to the field-level concourse, and the vendors had boarded their stalls up as if Hurricane Katrina was rolling into town. Imagine that: adding to the already long list of woes of the poorly-designed and worse-executed Dodger Stadium concession stands, is the fact that at 12 midnight, they can't even serve their loyal fans some coffee.

Seems to me like this would be a huge business opportunity for an enterprising entrepreneur who wanted to serve coffee--in the stands, on the concourse, or even from temporary carts in the parking lot as the crowds filed out. Five-dollar coffee sold by the cup, Frank--I'm shocked that you haven't thought of this revenue opportunity by now.

Now if we could only find a coffee vendor...anyone know any names?

This business idea and incremental revenue opportunity provided by Sons of Steve Garvey at no cost to the Dodgers organization. Use as directed.

AvB 20: Nobody Beats the Abes 11 Times in a Row

Yesterday you may have heard that David Wells legged out a bunt single, Jonathan Broxton got a hold, and Angelina Jolie announced she was leaving Brad Pitt to pursue me. While each of these events may have been somewhat unexpected, I think we can agree they're not so far fetched that they fall outside the realm of possibility. On the other hand, after totalling up this week's Abes vs Babes scores, it turns out, after 10 consecutive losses, the Abes edged the Babes, 5 - 4.

I was tempted to come full circle and give the Player of the Week Award to Edwin Jackson for his solid performance(W, 1ER in 6IP), but in the end it had to go to Jackson's teammate Josh Wilson for his 2 steals - only the 2nd time the Abes have won the steals category - and the Giants' (cringe) Brian Wilson, who had a 0.00 ERA and 2 saves. These two performances tilted the scores in the Abes favor:

Week 20 Scoreboard:
The Abes The Babes
Avg 0.247 0.278
Runs 21 28
HRs 4 3
RBIs 13 19
SBs 2 1
ERA 3.54 8.05
Wins 2 1
Saves 4 1
Ks 22 30
Total 5 4
Normalized by AB/IP:
The Abes The Babes
Avg 0.247 0.278
Runs 23 28
HRs 4 3
RBIs 14 19
SBs 2 1
ERA 3.54 8.05
Wins 3 1
Saves 5 1
Ks 30 30
Total 5 3

The Babes lead the Abes 15-3-2

Yes, it really happened: the Abes beat the Babes straight-up. And in other news, the Red Sox announce they're picking up Brett Tomko to shore up their rotation.

Michael Vick Announces Sponsorship Deal with Phrase "You Know"

Excerpts from his post-plea apology statement:

For most of my life, I've been a football player, not a public speaker, so, you know, I really don't know, you know, how to say what I really want to say.

You know, I understand it's -- it's important or not important, you know, as far as what you say but how you say things. So, you know, I take this opportunity just to speak from the heart.

First, I want to apologize, you know, for all the things that -- that I've done and that I have allowed to happen...I want to apologize to all the young kids out there for my immature acts and, you know, what I did was, what I did was very immature so that means I need to grow up.

I totally ask for forgiveness.

I particularly like how he threw in a 'totally' at the end to show off his range.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Game 130 Thread: August 26 @ Mets, 5.05p

Dodgers start David Wells, LHP (5-8, 5.54) vs. John Maine, RHP (13-7, 3.64).

Dodgers: 66-63 (T-4th place NL West, 6.5 GB; T-3rd place WC, 4.5 GB; L2)
Mets: 73-55 (1st place NL East, 7.0 GA; W2)

Current postseason odds for the Dodgers, from Baseball Prospectus: 18.6%

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: Wells has been preparing for this start with three weeks of surfing and golf, which happens when you're 44 and believing you've retired. The Dodgers changed those plans, but Wells hasn't pitched in three weeks or won in five weeks. He replaces Brett Tomko in the rotation and on the roster. Not sure if he's got anything left, but if he does, a nationally televised comeback in New York is just his style.

Mets: Maine began his last outing on a sharper note than he has of late, but eventually unraveled and couldn't escape the sixth inning. While he finished with a no-decision, Maine -- for the fifth straight outing -- wasn't able to record a quality start. His ERA in August stands at 8.68, and his career ERA against the Dodgers at 5.23.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Game 129 Thread: August 25 @ Mets, 12.55p

Dodgers start Eric Stults, LHP (1-1, 3.91) vs. Orlando Hernandez, RHP (8-4, 3.09).

Dodgers: 66-62 (3rd place NL West, 5.5 GB; 4th place WC, 3.5 GB; L1)
Mets: 72-55 (1st place NL East, 6.0 GA; W1)

Current postseason odds for the Dodgers, from Baseball Prospectus: 22.9%

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: Stults had only a brief lapse against Colorado, he otherwise appeared overpowering as he allowed two hits in six innings with nine strikeouts. And now he returns to the scene of his other Major League victory, accomplished in the pressure of last year's pennant race. Stults seems to rise to the occasion, as he's pitched better for the Dodgers than he did in the Minor Leagues.

Mets: El Duque has been spectacular for the Mets in the past month, pitching into the late innings and always giving his team a chance to win. They're 11-1 in his last 12 starts, though Hernandez has not received the decision every time. He said that he doesn't mind large pitch counts and thinks that fatigue from long outings is mostly mental. He avoids that by not paying attention to his count.

Martin in Dire Need of High School Science Course Refresher

Russell Martin is our All-Star catcher and some have argued "the face of the Dodger Franchise" (I would vote for Vin Scully, but that's another story). So we don't mean to bag on him even when his overuse, at the non-nimble hands of Grady Little when filling out lineup cards exactly the same every single frickin' game, has caused Martin's numbers to decline down the stretch.

But today's LA Times article not only reflects poorly on Martin (in the wake of the Dodgers' impotent loss last night to the Mets, 5-2), it also impugns the entire educational system of his home country, Canada:

The Dodgers got runners on in every inning except the fifth, but couldn't get any of them home until there were two outs in the eighth. They left the bases loaded in the first, stranded two runners in scoring position in the eighth and had the tying run at the plate in the ninth when Andre Ethier struck out looking to end the game.

All told, the Dodgers left 12 men on base and went one for nine with runners in scoring position while being held to fewer than four runs for the first time in 10 games. If they had built any offensive momentum during a recent streak that saw them score 54 runs in winning six of nine games, Mets starter Oliver Perez robbed them of it Friday.

Or maybe it never existed in the first place.

"I don't believe in momentum," catcher Russell Martin said. "What's momentum? It's one game at a time. In baseball, you can win or lose any given day no matter who's on the mound."

Ah, Russell? You should probably start believing in momentum, seeing how it's a fundamental part of classic Newtonian mechanics. I don't know if they taught this up in Canada, but momentum (p) is the product of mass (m) and velocity (v) such that p = mv. It's pretty elementary to any high-school physics class.

To be fair, though, it is understandable that Martin is a little fuzzy on this equation given that Dodger third-base coach Rich Donnelly also lacks an understanding of this fundamental construct. It was here, in the Dodgers' own house of horrors known as Shea Stadium, where Donnelly sent home Jeff Kent (6' 2", 210 lbs) and J.D. Drew (6' 1", 200 lbs) to home on the same play. Both Kent and Drew were coming home to meet their opponent, Paul Lo Duca (5' 10", 205 lbs). Yet despite both Kent and Drew having velocity (albeit less velocity, in Kent's case), and Lo Duca basically motionless (v = 0) at the plate, Donnelly had neither Kent nor Drew pound into Lo Duca to dislodge the ball and/or railroad the catcher. Everyone knows the result of this disaster--yet only now is it becoming clear that a lack of physics knowledge on the Dodgers is at the root of the problem.

Donnelly, for the record, had better learn this equation soon now that we've got Matt Kemp in the lineup more often. Kemp is 6' 2", 230 lbs, and runs like a freight train. If he ever wimps his way into home during a play at the plate, I will probably throw something at my television set.

Getting back to the Dodgers, though--momentum is real, and it's important, and if we are going to have any chance at making the playoffs, it means keeping momentum when you've got it. It means crashing into the catcher at home plate. It means knocking runners in when you've got them on base. It means winning strings of consecutive games to buoy the spirits of your team as well as deflate the spirits of our competitors being chased in the standings. I know that you're tired, Russell, and I don't expect you to be Albert Einstein with the physics. But the Dodgers need momentum in the worst way, and everyone had better be on the same page (of the physics textbook).

Friday, August 24, 2007

Game 128 Thread: August 24 @ Mets, 4.10p

Dodgers start Brad Penny, RHP (14-3, 2.59) vs. Oliver Perez, LHP (11-8, 3.52).

Dodgers: 66-61 (3rd place NL West, 5.5 GB; 3rd place WC, 2.5 GB; W2)
Mets: 71-55 (1st place NL East, 5.0 GA; L2)

Current postseason odds for the Dodgers, from Baseball Prospectus: 28.0%

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: Penny was brilliant on three days' rest on Sunday afternoon against the Rockies. The only problem was he ran out of gas after five innings, exiting the game with a one-run lead. Penny allowed just one run on two hits while striking out three in five innings while throwing 111 pitches and giving up five walks, but he made pitches when it counted. Penny is 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA against the Mets this season.

Mets: Perez admitted he didn't have his best stuff on Saturday, but he got enough offensive support to claim his 11th win of the season. He went 5 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits and three runs. His command was off at times, and he said he was relying too heavily on his sinker. He will go to the bullpen and work on his control before his next outing.

Brett Tomko Designated for Assignment!

Last chance for Julia Schultz pictures!

From Inside the Dodgers:

Brett Tomko designated for assignment

Tomko will presumably receive the remainder of the $4.1 million he's due this year (and a $1 million buyout for 2008?), plus he's married to a Playboy centerfold, so don't shed too many tears for him.

Rosenthal Breaks Down a Dodger Squad on the Cusp

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports writes that this weekend's series with the Mets could stand to get the Dodgers back on track for the post-season, despite recent woes:

For all of the Dodgers' troubles, guess what?

They still might make the postseason.

It would be quite an accomplishment, considering the team's injuries and offensive ineptitude, not to mention the clubhouse frustration with manager Grady Little and failure of general manager Ned Colletti to complete a major trade.

Granted, most postseason teams don't start August by going 5-for-88 with runners in scoring position. And most don't contend when two major free-agent additions, right-hander Jason Schmidt and lefty Randy Wolf, combine for only 24 starts.

Ah, but all sins are forgiven in the National League, and the Dodgers actually might be on the verge of a revival entering their weekend series against the Mets at Shea Stadium.

Robothal goes on to break down the sources of the Dodgers' offensive woes:

The Dodgers' offensive problems start with leadoff man Rafael Furcal, who opened the season on the disabled list with an ankle injury and still does not appear fully recovered.

Furcal is on pace for career lows in stolen bases and slugging percentage. With Martin and Juan Pierre the team's only other stolen-base threats and the club ranking 14th in the NL in slugging, the Dodgers are the worst possible combination — a station-to-station team of singles hitters.

Heaven forbid the Dodgers grind down an opposing starter; they're last in the NL in pitches per plate appearance. First baseman Nomar Garciaparra, currently on the disabled list, has hit only six homers. Little rarely employs the sacrifice, depriving the offense of another element.

If the Dodgers' hitting was even mediocre, the pitching would be good enough. Penny and Lowe are terrific starters. Jonathan Broxton and Takashi Saito are lights-out relievers. Even without Schmidt, Wolf, Kuo and relievers Yhency Brazoban and Chin-hui Tsao, the Dodgers are second in the NL in ERA.

Thirty-five games remain, plenty of time for the Dodgers to steal the wild card or even the division. One final push, and few will remember the myriad of issues that the club faced in 2007.

The present isn't so bad. The future remains bright. All teams should have the Dodgers' problems.

The future could be now--but only if we keep playing the young guys who have home-run potential...

Dodgers' Youth Movement Train Has Left Station; Are Colletti and Little On Board?

Curious article in USA Today mentioning that the Dodgers are committed to the youngsters on the squad:

Years ago when Colletti was a young sportswriter in Philadelphia, he'd hear Paul Owens, the late Phillies GM, preach, "Sometimes the best deal is the deal you don't make."

Colletti agrees with that. He adds, "Year by year, the ways to build your club become more limited. The free agent market continues to get thin, the cost of free agents continues to rise and the ability to trade for an accomplished player usually has strings attached. It always entails moving not one prospect, but in our case multiple prospects who're sitting in the big leagues. I don't know how you replace the youth."

Little insists "holding on to the young players will pay off in the future."

I guess we'll never really know if Colletti's stance on not trading prospects was deliberate or not. It is pretty clear though that his penchant for veterans, which may have yielded more benefits earlier this season, is not translating to on-field success late in the season (case in point: Luis Gonzalez' declining offensive and defensive play of late).

But even though we have veterans aging before our very eyes, and youngsters like Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and James Loney breaking out the bats, Grady Little seems staunchly determined to play the old guys--logic and recent results be damned. His quote that "holding on to the young players will pay off" is curious...they'll only pay off in the 2007 season if you play them, Grady!

Bread and Circuses at Chavez Ravine

From "Starting pitching among keys for up-and-down Dodgers" by Jerry Crasnick at

PHILADELPHIA -- The Dodgers rank second in major league attendance behind the Yankees this season, but Los Angeles fans will never be described as "passionate" in the manner of the hardcore wackos in, say, Boston or New York.

Chalk it up to East Coast bias and color-coded television images. When every visiting broadcast pans out to show white headlights streaming into Dodger Stadium in the third inning and red taillights leaving the parking lot in the seventh, it reinforces the notion that baseball is a nice diversion on the way to something else.

Pitcher Randy Wolf, a Southern California native, knows a bogus perception when he sees one. In his last start before going down with a sore shoulder in July, Wolf pitched three ineffective innings against Atlanta and received an earful from the home fans. The only thing they didn't do was pelt him with beach balls.

"My mom was like, 'Oh my God, they were booing you so hard,' " Wolf said. "I told her, 'I deserve it.' Dodger fans are die-hards. It's definitely a misconception that they're kind of blasé and aloof and don't care."

Crasnick goes on to break down the Dodgers' issues as follows:

  • Can the little guys lead them?
  • Can Russell Martin hold up?
  • Can they shore up the rotation?
  • Veterans or kids?

But it's Wolf's quote about Dodger fans that is most intriguing. Most Dodger fans (at least the ones who attend games) simply want two things: (1) winning and (2) entertainment—and they hate anything counter to those goals.

If the Dodgers are winning, that's entertaining and everybody's happy. But when the Dodgers are losing?

  • Boo the Dodger who's playing poorly.
  • Boo the ex-Dodger who's beating his former team.
  • Boo the usher who confiscates a beach ball.
  • Boo the section that stops the wave.
  • Boo fans of the opposing team.
  • Eat.

There's no gray area with this crowd. Just ask Randy Wolf.

I'm Bringing SaxyBack (Yeah!)

Astute readers of Sons of Steve Garvey will note that I haven't posted in two weeks. Both astute and casual readers of SoSG will also notice a marked improvement in both news and humor quality, as well, during this period. But today, the two-week anniversary of my departure, marks the return of Steve Sax. I'm bringing SaxyBack. Yeah!

The truth is, I've had a great excuse for my absence besides the fact that the Dodgers continued their losing ways for another four-game streak since I dropped off the face of the blog. Two weeks ago, I was blessed to welcome a Grandson of Steve Garvey to the world. Things were dicey there for a while during the process, but everything came out fine and Daughter-in-law and Grandson are doing well. It is truly an incredible experience to be blessed with a child--sorry Lou, but I feel like the luckiest guy on the face of the earth, too.

This Son has a pretty cool family now, and it's a really nice feeling to know that I'm going to hold my son in my arms as he falls asleep to the dulcet tones of Vin Scully's voice. With any luck, he won't be rudely awakened after that by the cursing of his father at the television; I remain optimistic.

And I remain optimistic about the Dodgers' 2007 season and playoff chances, which is still on shaky ground but is showing glimmers of hope recently. The series win against Philadelphia was huge, as will be this upcoming weekend series in Shea Stadium, our house of horrors from last year's playoffs. Rich Donnelly had better be crystal frickin' clear with his signs (more on that later).

I also want to thank my fellow Sons for keeping the posts coming (and improving the overall quality of writing) while I've been occupied elsewhere.

SoSG readers will be delighted to know that, during my respite, I've been building up a ton of vitriol about the Dodgers, the McCourts, the upcoming TV season, and life in general, all of which should come spewing out over the next couple of weeks. I am also overdue on a couple of posts recounting great stadium experiences. I honestly missed blogging while I was on hiatus. So look for more posts from Sax from here on out.

Take it to the bridge, now!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Olmedo Saenz to Have Competition at Post-Game Buffet? Dodgers May Sign David Wells

From "Last gasp for Dodgers? Wells has tentative deal" by Buster Olney at

Left-hander David Wells, released earlier this month by the San Diego Padres, reached a tentative contract agreement with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday.

It's expected that Wells, 44, will start for Los Angeles against the Mets on Sunday.

Wells was 5-8 with a 5.54 ERA and opponents had a .322 average against him when his hometown Padres designated him for assignment on Aug. 10. Talent evaluators who saw Wells pitch in July and August believe he was having a difficult time maintaining his delivery into the middle innings.

This move has the stench of desperation all over it, but the downside seems minimal given the wretched state of the Dodger rotation. And guess who's currently scheduled to start Sunday? Brett Tomko. Maybe not such a bad idea after all.

Game 127 Thread: August 23 @ Phillies, 10.05a

Dodgers start Chad Billingsley, RHP (7-4, 3.63) vs. Fabio Castro, LHP (0-0, 12.27).

Dodgers: 65-61 (3rd place NL West, 6.0 GB; 4th place WC, 2.5 GB; W1)
Phillies: 66-59 (2nd place NL East, 5.0 GB; 2nd place WC, 1.0 GB; L1)

Current postseason odds for the Dodgers, from Baseball Prospectus: 22.1%

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: Billingsley can't seem to get a win. The righty has lost five consecutive outings, including Saturday's start against the Rockies in which he allowed three runs on eight hits while striking out four in five innings of work. Billingsley left too many fastballs out over the plate and was unable to get batters to chase his offspeed pitches with two outs. Billingsley has a 7.20 ERA in one career start against the Phillies without a decision.

Phillies: Castro will get his first Major League start in his 26th career appearance on Thursday. Castro cut his teeth in the bullpen last season as a Rule 5 Draft acquisition and had control issues early this season. He's had some success as a starter, posting a 4.23 ERA in six starts for Triple-A Ottawa after returning to the rotation.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Game 126 Thread: August 22 @ Phillies, 4.05p

Dodgers start Derek Lowe, RHP (9-11, 3.45) vs. J.D. Durbin, RHP (5-2, 5.36).

Dodgers: 64-61 (T-3rd place NL West, 6.0 GB; T-4th place WC, 2.5 GB; L1)
Phillies: 66-58 (2nd place NL East, 5.0 GB; T-1st place WC; W1)

Current postseason odds for the Dodgers, from 16.5%

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: Lowe snapped a streak of eight starts without a win by shutting down the Astros on Friday, scattering five hits over seven scoreless inning without a walk. Lowe showed no signs of groin or hip discomfort in his first scoreless outing since May 30 and his longest start since June 15.

Phillies: In his last outing, Durbin tossed six innings and allowed three runs -- two earned -- on four hits as the Phillies defeated the Pirates, 11-8, on Saturday. Durbin is 4-1 with a 4.11 ERA in six starts for the Phillies.

More on Wes Parker and the lineup from Inside the Dodgers:

I'm pleased to let you all know that Wes Parker was named as the first baseman on Rawlings All-Time Gold Glove team. So many of you voted for him and having spoken with him yesterday, he couldn't possibly be happier. He sent along this message to share with everyone:

"This award wraps up my career in the most beautiful way possible. I did not expect it. I had a shorter career than the other honorees, have been retired the longest (one year longer than Willie Mays) and was not sure fans would remember me after 35 years away from the game. Also, I am the only one of the nine who is not, or will not soon be, in the Hall of Fame, so am thrilled to have won.

I took great pride in my fielding. The first base position, I think, has been slighted over the years by players thinking they have only to catch throws and dig balls from the dirt to play it well. Nothing could be further from the truth. Dedicated first basemen charge bunts, range to their left and right for grounders, dive for balls, run all over the place for pop-ups and use their arms aggressively. They take risks, go after everything and defend their ground with pride and determination. And in doing all this they expand the position from one of passivity and conservatism to one of action, excitement, daring, beauty and grace.

I was lucky to have been born with good eyesight, quick reactions and a younger brother, Lyn, who for ten years smashed ground balls at me in our front yard. We were just two kids doing what we loved but that period between the ages of eight and 17 clinched for me the respect I have always felt for good defensive play and tried to exhibit during my nine-year career with the Dodgers.

Six months ago, when I first heard of my nomination, I was excited to be the lone Dodger representative among the other 50 and to be included among such fine men and long-time friends as Bill White, Brooks Robinson and the great Roberto Clemente. I am even more excited today to have learned that I finished on top at my position and for this I thank the many voting fans and friends around the country for recognizing my contributions. I also thank the O’Malley family for giving me the chance to play this wonderful game at the big league level, and the current Dodger organization for believing that I deserved to win. Lastly, I thank Rawlings for their 50 years of honoring defensive excellence. I am proud to bring this award home to Los Angeles, prouder still to call it my own personal Hall of Fame."


Lineup for today is:

Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Kemp, RF
Kent, 2B
Ethier, LF
Martin, C
Loney, 1B
Hillenbrand, 3B
Lowe, P

Congrats, Wes Parker

From a Rawlings press release:


Fans Cast Nearly 1 Million Votes in Naming Mays, Clemente, Griffey Jr., O. Smith, Robinson, Morgan, Parker, Bench, and Maddux "Finest in the Field"

ST. LOUIS (Aug. 22, 2007) – Rawlings today announced results of worldwide fan voting for the All-Time Rawlings Gold Glove Team, which generated nearly 1 million votes and sparked great debate during the "Summer of Glove" – the golden anniversary celebration of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award®.

Fans selected pitcher Greg Maddux, catcher Johnny Bench, first baseman Wes Parker, second baseman Joe Morgan, shortstop Ozzie Smith, third baseman Brooks Robinson, and outfielders Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, and Ken Griffey, Jr., as the best nine defensive players of the past 50 years. The players have exactly 100 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards between them....

"I'm thrilled to be recognized as one of those who worked hard at what is an under appreciated skill," said Parker, who won six Rawlings Gold Glove awards during his nine-year career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. "I'm particularly pleased to be the lone representative of the Dodgers and the only awardee who is not and will not be in the Hall of Fame. This is my Hall of Fame. I also want to thank all of the fans who appreciated watching me and voted for me."

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Game 125 Thread: August 21 @ Phillies, 4.05p

Dodgers start Brett Tomko, RHP (2-10, 5.67) vs. Kyle Kendrick, RHP (5-3, 3.94).

Dodgers: 64-60 (3rd place NL West, 6.0 GB; 4th place WC, 2.5 GB; W1)
Phillies: 65-58 (T-2nd place NL East, 5.0 GB, T-2nd place WC, 1.0 GB; L2)

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: Tomko was doing all that was asked of a fifth starter by allowing only one run through five innings against Houston in his last start, but he unraveled in the sixth inning with too many walks and the runners he left on base later scored. He wasn't hit that hard by the Astros, but as a starter he has one win since early May.

Phillies: Kendrick hasn't won since July 29, despite pitching well in his previous three outings. He could've won on Aug. 15 against the Nationals -- though he allowed four runs in five innings -- but the Philadelphia bats were silenced. Kendrick has received five runs of support in his past three starts, which resulted in two losses and a no-decision.

According to ITD, Pierre is back in the two-hole, despite the recent wins garnered when he was lower in the lineup (and Grady's boasting that "changes will be made" (apparently not for long)):

Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Ethier, RF (second career start batting third)
Kent, 2B
Gonzo, LF
Martin, C
Loney, 1B
Hillenbrand, 3B
Tomko, P

Holds of Glory: The Brox is Yearning

...yearning for a hold opportunity, that is. What once was so plentiful during the Dodgers' glory days of yester-month has suddenly become rarer than Dracula's steak - and Broxton's chances of breaking Tom Gordon's fabled single-season record of 36 holds are fading fast. Consider: last month Broxton had a binge of 4 holds over 6 days. As of today, he's seen one hold situation in the past 24 days. Since our original Holds of Glory post, Broxton has been passed by Derrick Turnbow and Scot Shields, and caught by Heath Bell - dropping him from 1st to a tie for 3rd faster than anyone since, well, the Dodgers.

Why? Of course losing 15 out of 19 hurts. But even during the Dodgers' recent upswing, Broxton can't catch a break. Just take a look at last weekend's games:

  • Friday - Dodgers up 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh. Two outs, nobody on, Juan Pierre up. Excactly the guy you can count on to get a quick out and preserve the 3-runs-or-fewer lead required for a hold situation. But Pierre triples and later scores. 6-2, 4-run lead, no hold opportunity. C'mon Juan, I mean trying to win the game is nice, but have a little perspective. This is history you're messing with.
  • Saturday - Broxton pitches the 9th and 10th of a tie game. Seems inconsequential, until...
  • Sunday - Dodgers up 2-1 going into the eighth. Shakespeare couldn't have written a better scenario for a Broxton hold. But because of Saturday's game, Grady has to put Proctor in, who promptly gives up a 2-run HR.

For those who love math and graphs as much as we do, here's a visual of Broxton's hold flatlining:

(click graph to enlarge)

So it looks like Broxton won't be re-writing any history books this season. Anyone know the record for team LOB?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Abes vs Babes 19: Anything Can Happen

As the saying goes, it's worse to be unlucky than suck. Unfortunately, the Abes are both. They suck thanks to guys like Kelly Johnson (0.143 with 1 RBI for the week) and Joe Kennedy (6 ER in 0.1 IP for a 162.00 ERA - that's no typo). And they're unlucky because such performances came in a week when the Babes had a mediocre offense, no wins, and a 7.30 ERA. In other words, a very winnable week. But in the end, shockingly, the Abes lost again. The only surprise was that Carl Crawford didn't win the Player of the Week award - the honor goes to Freddy Sanchez (0.294, 8 runs, 6 RBI).

But anything can happen. And despite recent (well, year-long) trends and convention wisdom, the Abes will win a week before the end of the season. That's a guarantee.

Week 19 Scoreboard:
The Abes The Babes
Avg 0.229 0.268
Runs 14 27
HRs 1 4
RBIs 6 23
SBs 0 4
ERA 5.31 7.30
Wins 0 0
Saves 2 0
Ks 13 26
Total 2 6
Normalized by AB/IP:
The Abes The Babes
Avg 0.229 0.268
Runs 24 17
HRs 2 4
RBIs 10 23
SBs 0 4
ERA 5.31 7.30
Wins 0 0
Saves 2 0
Ks 16 26
Total 2 6

The Babes lead the Abes 15-2-2

The Delino Road Show

Hey there webslingers. For two weeks, I'll be in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver (including a stop to see the fine gentlemen of Single A's Vancouver Canadians). Sorry to be deserting you in a time of need. In my absence, I offer this sign recently posted by our building manager. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Post-Game 124 Thread: The Dodgers Win a Series! The Dodgers Win a Series!

Game 124 Thread: August 19 vs. Rockies, 1.10p

Dodgers start Brad Penny, RHP (14-3, 2.61) vs. Jeff Francis, LHP (13-6, 4.43).

Dodgers: 63-60 (4th place NL West, 7.5 GB, L1)
Rockies: 63-59 (3rd place NL West, 7.0 GB, W1)

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: Penny didn?t have his best stuff and his command was a little shaky against the Astros on Wednesday. Despite allowing 10 hits, he only gave up three runs and earned his 14th victory of the season. Penny, who will go on four days? rest on Sunday, said he felt strong after pitching a bullpen on Friday and asked manager Grady Little for start. He is 2-0 with a 2.19 ERA in two starts against the Rockies this season.

Rockies: Francis had his worst start of the season in Tuesday night's 8-0 loss to the Padres, when he gave up eight runs and six hits -- two homers -- and walked six in just 3 1/3 innings. Francis said he felt good in the bullpen sessions leading up to the game and even right before it started, but his ability to put key pitches where he wanted them wasn't there. Hopefully for the Rockies it was just a blip, as he had gone 11 starts without a loss before Tuesday's rough outing.

From Inside the Dodgers, the lineup:

Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Kemp, RF
Hillenbrand, 3B
Ethier, LF
Martin, C
Loney, 1B
Martinez, 2B
Penny, P

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Game 123 Thread: August 18 vs. Rockies, 7.10p

Dodgers start Chad Billingsley, RHP (7-4, 3.54) vs. Franklin Morales, LHP (0-0, -.--).

Dodgers: 63-59 (3rd place NL West, 6.5 GB, W3)
Rockies: 62-59 (4th place NL West, 7.0 GB, L2)

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: Billingsley struggled on Monday night against the Astros, allowing four runs over five innings. He threw 116 pitches in the outing and had to work out of jams in the second, third and fourth innings before giving up a two-run homer to Luke Scott. Billingsley had trouble with his command, walking four batters and throwing a wild pitch. He is 0-1 with a 7.94 ERA in two games (one start) against the Rockies this season.

Rockies: The Rockies' injury-driven pitching shuffle created a mystery that lasted until Friday, when they announced that 21-year-old left-hander Franklin Morales would make his Major League debut against the Dodgers in Game 2 of the weekend series. Morales was 2-0 with a 3.71 ERA in three starts at Triple-A Colorado Springs after moving up from Double-A Tulsa, where he made 17 starts and was 3-4 with an ERA of 3.48.

From Inside the Dodgers, a reminder and the lineup:

Three days ago, there was no hope (at least according to most fans) that we would turn this around. Three days ago, people were writing off the team completely and starting to focus on football (and fantasy football). But today, with three consecutive victories, the team is within 2.5 games of the Wild Card and the playoffs are very much within reach. Remember that age-old cliche, it's a marathon, not a sprint, and just because you trip and fall at Mile 20 doesn't mean you can't finish the race in front. It's just going to take a lot better effort in the final 6.2 miles.

Here are the Dodgers' marathoners for today:

Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Kemp, RF
Kent, 2B
Saenz, 1B
Martin, C
Gonzo, LF
Hillenbrand, 3B
Billingsley, P

Friday, August 17, 2007

Welcome to the Scottish Odour Steering Group!

From The Free Dictionary:

Acronym - Definition
SOSG - Scottish Odour Steering Group
SOSG - Sons Of Steve Garvey (LA Dogers blog)
SOSG - Standard Operating Safety Guide
SOSG - station operations support group (US DoD)
SOSG - Supervisor Of Shipbuilding, Groton

Game 122 Thread: August 17 vs. Rockies, 7.40p

Dodgers start Eric Stults, LHP (0-1, 4.50) vs. Josh Fogg, RHP (7-7, 4.64).

Dodgers: 62-59 (4th place NL West, 6.5 GB, W2)
Rockies: 62-58 (3rd place NL West, 6.0 GB, L1)

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: Stults is expected to be called up from Triple-A for this start, replacing mark Hendrickson. He's made one start for the Dodgers this year, a loss to the Mets,and has allowed three home runs in only 16 innings.

Rockies: In his last start, at home against the Cubs, Fogg walked in a first-inning run but settled down and gave up just one more run in six solid innings. Starting July 17, Fogg has lowered his ERA from 5.36 to 4.64. He has won six of his past eight decisions.

From Inside the Dodgers:

Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Sweeney, 1B
Kent, 2B
Gonzo, LF
Martin, C
Ethier, RF
Hillenbrand, 3B
Stults, P

No Loney, no Kemp, but Sweeney starting at first and batting third? Here's his chance to get out of the doghouse.

The Legend of Russell Martin Grows this why Grady Little won't rest him more?

From "No pain, no game for these hard-nosed players" by Jerry Crasnick at

Russell Martin, Dodgers catcher

As one National League catcher recently observed, "Mike Lieberthal has the best job in baseball." Considering that Lieberthal makes $1.25 million and has started 11 games behind the plate as Martin's backup, it sure seems like a good gig.

Martin leads all major league catchers in games played and ranks second to Cleveland's Victor Martinez in plate appearances. He blocks balls, shakes off foul tips, breaks up double plays with abandon and doesn't know the meaning of the words, "I can't go, Skip."

We became acquainted with Martin's toughness last September, watching him walk into the Dodgers' clubhouse with a stiffer gait than the Tin Woodsman in the "Wizard of Oz." At this point in the season, Martin needs a daily massage just to climb the dugout stairs and make it onto the field for pregame stretching.

"I'm becoming a big fan of Russell Martin," said Arizona's Tony Clark, a 13-year veteran.

photo by the Big Blue Car Crew

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Game 121 Thread: August 16 vs. Astros, 7.10p

Dodgers start Derek Lowe, RHP (8-11, 3.61) vs. Wandy Rodriguez, LHP (7-10, 4.34).

Dodgers: 61-59 (4th place NL West, 6.5 GB, W1)
Astros: 54-66 (4th place NL Central, 8.0 GB, L1)

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: It sometimes hurts to even watch Lowe, as he buckles from the occasional shooting pain in his injured left hip. It happened on a handful of pitches and during one at-bat, yet he stuck around to make 97 pitches and qualified for a quality start in the heat and humidity of St. Louis. The Dodgers have scored one or no runs in seven of his 11 losses.

Astros: It shouldn't be of any surprise that Rodriguez threw well in his start this past Saturday, allowing one run on six hits in seven innings against the Brewers. After all, he was pitching at Minute Maid Park, where he's 7-2 with a 1.65 ERA. But the problem for Rodriguez has been transferring his success to the road, where he's just 1-8 with a 8.16 ERA. That's the biggest discrepancy by a starting pitcher in home vs. road performance in the past 50 years. The left-hander will look to begin the process of evening that out with his start against the suddenly offensively-challenged Dodgers.

From Inside the Dodgers:

Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Kemp, RF
Kent, 2B
Loney, 1B
Martin, C
Ethier, LF
Hillenbrand, 3B
Lowe, P

UPDATE 5.14p: In an incredible recent turn of events, TWO Sons of Steve Garvey will be at the game tonight. Third base side, field level. Post a comment if you're at the game and we'll go grab a beer.

Hey Ladies!

Who says non-slacker culture dies north of San Francisco? On Tuesday, August 28, Safeco field is hosting one of the greatest promotions of the summer. Read on:

Jackie Koney & Deidre Silva are two Northwest women that love baseball and spending time with family and friends. Together they have formed a social group called the Savvy Girls of Summer and are set to author their first book this fall.

The Savvy Girls of Summer want you to enjoy a game and learn everything you need to know about baseball from their perspective!

Female fans of all ages, as well as children under 14, are invited to join the Savvy Girls of Summer at a pre-game function at Safeco Field's Ellis Pavilion. Festivities begin at 5:05pm. Activities for the evening include social networking, female sports executive speakers, light snacks and beverages and more!

There will be a scoring clinic shown on the Safeco Field video board throughout the game and more fun to be had in the stands with the Savvy Girls.

Almost as good as Latino night (aka Free Maracas Night) in Tampa.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Game 120 Thread: August 15 vs. Astros, 7.10p

Dodgers start Brad Penny, RHP (13-3, 2.54) vs. Jason Jennings, RHP (2-7, 6.15).

Dodgers: 60-59 (4th place NL West, 6.5 GB, L4)
Astros: 54-65 (4th place NL Central, 8.0 GB, W3)

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: Penny battled to a tough no-decision in the St. Louis heat, scattering five singles over seven scoreless innings, his first scoreless start since May 29. He struck out six and walked three -- two in the first inning -- and was assisted by a pair of double-play grounders. He appeared to still be hurting from a lower abdominal strain when running and fielding, but not while pitching.

Astros: Jennings struggled with the long ball yet again in his last start, giving up massive blasts to J.J. Hardy and Prince Fielder on Friday night. He stayed out of trouble otherwise until the sixth, when a walk and hit-by-pitch led to two more runs. That left him with yet another mediocre start, as he scattered four runs over 5 1/3 frames. He turned in his only quality start in recent weeks against the Dodgers on July 24, giving up three runs on three hits in six innings.

Jose It Ain't So

From, this unfortunate story:

Former major league All-Star Jose Offerman was charged with two counts of second-degree assault after hitting the pitcher and catcher with his bat during an independent minor league game.

Offerman, playing for the Long Island Ducks in the Atlantic League, homered in the first inning. The next inning, he was hit by a pitch from Bridgeport's Matt Beech and charged the mound with his bat.

According to the Post, Beech was hit on the hands as he attempted to defend himself, while catcher John Nathans was hit in the back of the head on Offerman's backswing. Police said Beech, a left-hander, sustained a broken right middle finger, and Nathans later suffered from nausea, the newspaper reported. Bridgeport manager Tommy John told ESPN2's "First Take" that Nathans suffered a concussion.

You'd think after 15 MLB seasons, Offerman would have enough experience getting plunked - if even on purpose - to know to at least leave the bat at home when charging the mound. Perhaps, unbeknownst to us at the time, this is what Offerman's major offense was referring to back in our June post.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Time to Play the Kids More...Except Russell

If you were waiting for the Dodgers' struggles to reach a nadir, it just happened. And even if this team pulls a miracle out its ass and makes the post-season, it's another three-and-out waiting to happen. So in the spirit of being really pissed off right now, we look ahead to 2008. Some suggestions:

  • (1) DFA Mark Sweeney. Now. The Dodger organization should show the team and its fans that although we are losers, we are professional losers.
  • (2) Put Derek Lowe on the DL and let him fix that hip for next season.
  • (3) Play James Loney, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier as often as possible.
  • (4) Promote Jonathan Meloan and, when he's healthy, Andy LaRoche.
  • (5) Rest Russell Martin more often. He's already fatigued and therefore more susceptible to injury.
  • (6) Fire—er, do not renew the contract of—Rick Monday.

No more waiver-wire pickups of hoary veterans. No more shuffling the lineup like a blackjack dealer with ADD. If 2007 is the price for keeping the kids, we'll pay it.

Post-Game 119 Thread: 2007 Season in a Nutshell

For those of you lacking the fortitude to endure the latest Dodger loss, here's how their last out went:

7-4 Astros. Brad Lidge pitching. Mark Sweeney on first, Shea Hillenbrand on second. One out. Juan Pierre at bat. Matt Kemp (who homered earlier) on deck. Pierre fouls out to the catcher. No problem, Kemp up with a chance to tie, right? Not so fast! Sweeney, thinking the game is over, is caught loitering around second and gets thrown out at first. NOW the game is over.

To paraphrase Vin, now he's a real Dodger!


Rob at 6-4-2 brings us a transcript of Vin calling the end of the game.

It seems like Dodger Blues was made for games like this.

Jon's take: "Forget it, Mark. It's Chinatown."

Diamond Leung gets in a zinger of his own.

From Tony Jackson:

Mark Sweeney never came out of the video room after the game, and who can really blame him?

Game 119 Thread: August 14 vs. Astros, 7.10p

Dodgers start Brett Tomko, RHP (2-9, 5.49) vs. Matt Albers, RHP (2-5, 6.20).

Dodgers: 60-58 (4th place NL West, 6.5 GB, L3)
Astros: 53-65 (4th place NL Central, 9.0 GB, W2)

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: Although he still has only one win since May 9, Tomko provided a quality start against the Reds. Tomko let two leads get away with his typically shaky early innings, but he kept the Dodgers close enough with four scoreless innings and left with a no-decision.

Astros: Albers will move back to the rotation for this game after having his slot skipped the previous week because of an off-day. Albers has thrown well out of the bullpen but has struggled in the rotation, and his last start was no different, allowing five runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings on Aug. 5 at Florida. This could be his last start before Chris Sampson returns from the disabled list to reclaim the No. 5 spot in the rotation.

From Inside the Dodgers:

I know the Hillenbrand move confused some people yesterday, but there was certainly reasoning behind signing him and then bringing him up. Nomar Garciaparra, who has been dealing with a strained left calf for a while, has finally had to go on the disabled list and knowing that he was hurting, adding a third baseman made the most sense. Of course, no one knew that Nomar would get ejected last night for the first time in his 1,300-game career, but so it goes.

So coming up from Triple-A today will be Eric Hull, who will join the bullpen. And there should be another move coming on Friday when we add a starting pitcher for that night's game.

There's not much I can really add about the play on the field these last two weeks. We're all disappointed that it hasn't been better and there's not a person in baseball operations who isn't spending every waking minute trying to figure out how to fix it.

Here's today lineup:

Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Kemp, RF
Kent, 2B
Loney, 1B
Martin, C
Ethier, LF
Hillenbrand, 3B
Tomko, P

Los Angeles Times Columnist joins

Sorry, I didn't mean to get your hopes up. It's not Plaschke, but J.A. ("I'll take the Tribune Buyout for $800, Alex") Adande. I guess having The Dyson Formerly Known As Ric Bucher wasn't sucking up to Kobe enough for ESPN?

Oh, and nice try selling the "Santa Monica was a place of ex-hippies" line, Mr. Crossroads graduate.