The Dodgers managed the near impossible this week, getting outscored despite scoring 17 runs in a game on Tuesday against Milwaukee. Their 2-5 record was not only their worst week of the year, but it was also the first losing homestand of the season.
The Dodgers were riding a five-game winning streak after the Manny Bobbleslam game, but in the two and a half weeks since they have lost 11 of 17 games.
The good news of this week was that in three of the losses they had the winning run(s) on base in their final at-bat, so a few bounces here and there would have made this week much more palatable. Then again, if Andre Ethier didn't connect with a 96-mph fastball on Thursday night, the club also could have gone only 1-6 instead of 2-5.
Dodger Batter of the Week: Casey Blake had another very good week, and won the award for the second straight week with a .375/.429/.625 line, including a three-run home run to give the Dodgers the lead on Friday night. The Beard even stole a base! Honorable mention goes to Manny Ramirez, who rebounded from a slump with a .320/.393/.560.
Week 18 Record: 2-5
36 runs scored (5.14 per game)
37 runs allowed (5.29 per game)
.486 pythagorean winning percentage
Overall Seasonal Record: 67-45 (.598)
552 runs scored (4.93 per game)
445 runs allowed (3.97 per game)
.606 pythagorean winning percentage (68-44)
Don't Plead The Fifth: When Jason Schmidt was placed on the disabled list, that created a vacancy in the starting rotation. Before Friday's game, it was announced that Hiroki Kuroda would be pushed back to Monday, and that Scott Elbert would start on Sunday against the Braves, for his first major league start. Then, with Friday's game in extra innings, Elbert was needed to pitch in relief and proceeded to give up the go-ahead run followed by a three-run home run in the 12th inning. Before Saturday's game, Elbert was not only scratched for Sunday's start, but was also optioned to AAA Albuquerque.
Before Saturday's game, it was announced that Jeff Weaver would be the Sunday starter, but in yet another extra-inning game he was warming in the bullpen Saturday night, ready to go in. By the end of the game, it was announced that Eric Stults would start on Sunday instead.
Almost Legal: The Dodgers scored 17 runs on Tuesday against Milwaukee, their season high in runs scored. It was the most runs scored at home by the Dodgers in 30 years. On May 25, 1979, the Dodgers banged out 17 runs against Tom Seaver and the Reds. Prince Fielder of the Brewers was so impressed that he wanted to go into the Dodger clubhouse after the game to get some hitting tips.
Mr. Walkoff: Down 4-2 in the bottom of the ninth on Thursday, Andre Ethier hit a game-winning three-run home run off Braves' closer Rafael Soriano, giving Ethier an MLB-best fifth walk-off hit of the season. As a team, the Dodgers lead all of baseball with 11 walk-off wins.
Man of Steal: On Thursday night against Atlanta, Randy Wolf noticed Derek Lowe wasn't paying attention to him at first base, so he took off toward second and made it easily. It was the first stolen base of Wolf's 11-year career. Thanks to the amazing Baseball-Reference.com, we can see that Wolf has had 170 stolen base opportunities in his career, that is times on first or second base with the next base open.
Yippee Ki-Yay: The Dodgers staged some late rallies this week, and although not every one came to fruition, the Dodgers died hard against closers Trevor Hoffman and Rafael Soriano this week. It wasn't just Ethier's home run that did the damage; in save situations against them Dodger hitters had nine hits in 17 at-bats, hitting .529/.579/.824.
Take A Number: When reliever George Sherrill arrived from Baltimore on July 31, James McDonald gave up his number 52 to the veteran, who wore that number in both Baltimore and Seattle. McDonald switched to number 31, and since then has pitched four straight scoreless relief appearances of at least two innings, allowing only four hits and no walks while striking out six, and opposing batters are hitting .143/.143/.179 off number 31.
Transactions: It was a busy week for a man who had almost drifted out of existence:
- Friday: Taking Schmidt's start on the 25-man roster was Tony Abreu, who was recalled from Albuquerque. Abreu last played in a big league game on September 23, 2007.
Upcoming Week: The Dodgers hit the road, starting with a three-game series in San Francisco with their closest competitor in the West, as the Giants are only 5½ games back. Tim Lincecum pitches Wednesday, and will oppose Chad Billingsley, pending the health of Billingsley's hamstring. After a Thursday off day, the Dodgers play three in Arizona, against a Diamondback team who, even though they were swept in Washington, has won 19 of their past 32 games.
Week 18 Stats