Manny, Dodgers Return Home To Face Astros

The first home game for Manny Ramirez since May 6 is tonight, as the Dodgers host the Astros for the first game of a four-game set. 

Here are a few streaks the Dodgers will take into the game:

  • The Dodgers are undefeated at home this season with Manny Ramirez, winning their first 13 home contests before his 50-game suspension.  Since Manny became a Dodger last season, the Dodgers are 31-7 at home in the regular season.
  • James Loney has an 11-game hitting streak, during which time he's hitting .302/.400/.488.
  • Manny Ramirez has reached base in each of his last five plate appearances, and has reached base via hit or walk in each of his last 17 games started.  He is hitting .393/.521/.804 during that span.
  • The Dodgers have won the opening game in each of their last six series

Randy Wolf changed his number to 43 before his last start, and won to bring his record to 4-3.  I don't believe there are plans to temporarily un-retire Don Drysdale's number for Wolf tonight.  Wandy Rodriguez, who threw a five-hit shutout in his last start eight days ago, striking out 11 Pirates, will toe the pitching rubber for the Astros.

Reliever Alberto Arias for the Astros has not allowed a run since May 25, a string of 19.1 consecutive scoreless innings.

Odd stat of the day, per the daily Dodger notes:  "With a cycle April 13 vs. San Francisco and homers from both sides of the plate in the same game Sunday at Milwaukee , Orlando Hudson is the first player in modern Dodgers franchise history to accomplish both feats in the same season.  In fact, he is just the fifth player in the Majors since the advent of divisional play in 1969 to turn the trick, joining Jose Reyes and Carlos Guillen in 2006, Mark Teixeira in 2004, and Jose Valentin in 2000."

Now that Manny is back home, the Dodgers have decided to revive the Mannywood section in left field.  As Ken Gurnick reports:

"We welcome him back with open arms, but we aren't glorifying his return," Charles Steinberg, the team's executive vice president of communications, told The Associated Press. "The magic of the return is the embrace from the fans that will see him again. We're keeping the focus on the team, of which Manny is an integral part."

I can always trust Steinberg for a secret Journey reference! 

Meanwhile, one of Manny's outfield roster substitutes, Jamie Hoffmann has started a blog now that he's back in Albuquerque.  A quick look at some of his comments shows why he was a popular player with the Dodgers:

AB.com: Is the Mighty Ducks series the greatest hockey movies of all-time?

JH: No chance, not even close. I like Slap Shot. Slap Shot was my favorite hockey movie.

Excellent answer!

AB.com: What was the last karaoke song you sang?

JH: Good question. My go-to karaoke song is the song from Top Gun - "You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'."

You have to respect a man with a "go-to" karaoke song.

AB.com: Those ESPN afternoon shows with the reporters....why are they always yelling at each other?

JH: They have too much TV time. There are just so many hours in the day and they have to talk about something. We just watched NFL Live. The NFL doesn't start for how long - why do you need a half hour show right now?

Well said, Jamie.  See you in September at Dodger Stadium!

Mark & Brian of KLOS radio will throw out the ceremonial first pitch tonight.

Get your guesses in for "Clogging The Bases" here.

Game Time:  7:10pm

TV: KCAL

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