Dodgers Week 18 In Review: Don't Stop The Bleedin'

Previous Weekly Recaps: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17

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 WeekCasey 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.

Dodger Pitcher of the WeekClayton Kershaw pitched the best game of the week, with seven scoreless innings on Saturday, but also had a game in which he couldn't get out of the fifth inningChad Billingsley pitched very well in his one start, but left due to a mild hamstring strain.  This award goes to James McDonald, who pitched 6.1 innings of scoreless relief this week.  There's a good chance he saved his roster spot with his outing Friday night, when his curves were ultra-sharp and he pitched two perfect innings in an extra-inning loss to Atlanta.  McDonald out of the bullpen this year has a 1.93 ERA in 28 innings, and opposing batters are hitting .222/.284/.303 off McDonald the reliever.

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 RedsPrince 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: Jason Schmidt was placed on the 15-day disabled list officially with a strained right shoulder, although his stay might be longer than that.  It is likely that Schmidt's Dodger career is over, but kudos to him for making it all the way back after two years away from MLB, and kuods to the Dodgers for not waiting too long to pull the plug.
  • 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.
  • Saturday:  In one of the most heartbreaking transactions of the season, Scott Elbert, one day after being named the starting pitcher for Sunday in what would be his first MLB start, was optioned to Albuquerque after pitching in relief in Friday's extra inning game.  Elbert's 25-man roster spot went to...
  • Saturday:  Ronald Belisario was activated after about a month on the disabled list
  • Sunday:  Tony Abreu's stay on the big league club was short, as he was optioned back to Albuquerque after only two days on the roster.  Abreu's stint is the shortest of the season to date, narrowly beating the three-day stint of A.J. Ellis back in May while the team was at Wrigley Field.  A 25-man roster spot was needed to make room for...
  • Sunday:  Eric Stults was recalled from Albuquerque to make a start on Sunday, with only two days rest after throwing 61 pitches in three innings with the Isotopes on Thursday.

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

Player AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SB/CS BA/OBP/SLG OPS
Blake 24 4 9 3 0 1 6 3 1/0 .375/.429/.625 1.054
Manny 25 3 8 3 0 1 4 2 0/0 .320/.393/.560 .953
Martin 20 3 8 1 0 0 2 3 1/0 .400/.500/.450 .950
Ethier 29 7 7 2 1 1 6 5 0/0 .241/.371/.483 .854
Kemp 29 6 9 3 0 1 5 0 1/0 .310/.310/.517 .828
Hudson 21 1 7 1 0 0 3 2 1/1 .333/.391/.381 .772
Furcal 32 5 8 0 0 1 2 3 0/0 .250/.314/.344 .658
Loney 24 2 3 1 0 0 2 4 0/0 .125/.250/.167 .417
Pierre 9 3 3 0 0 0 1 2 0/0 .333/.462/.333 .795
Ausmus 6 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 .333/.333/.333 .667
Abreu 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0/0 .250/.400/.250 .650
Loretta 10 1 2 0 0 0 2 0 0/0 .200/.200/.200 .400
Castro 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 .000/.000/.000 .000
Pitchers 14 0 3 0 0 0 1 0 1/0 .214/.214/.214 .429
Totals 251 36 70 14 1 5 34 25 5/1 .279/.351/.402 .753

 

Pitcher G W-L Sv IP H R ER BB K ERA WHIP
Billingsley 1 0-0 -- 6.0 4 2 1 3 3 1.50 1.167
Kershaw 2 0-1 -- 11.0 6 3 3 7 16 2.45 1.182
Kuroda 1 1-0 -- 6.0 9 3 3 1 7 4.50 1.667
Wolf 1 0-0 -- 7.0 9 4 4 3 4 5.14 1.714
Stults 1 0-1 -- 5.0 5 3 3 1 3 5.40 1.200
Schmidt 1 0-1 -- 3.2 5 4 4 3 2 9.82 2.182
McDonald 3 0-0 -- 6.1 4 0 0 0 4 0.00 0.632
Sherrill 3 0-0 -- 3.0 3 0 0 1 2 0.00 1.333
Belisario 1 0-0 -- 0.2 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 1.500
Broxton 3 0-0 0 3.0 2 1 1 2 2 3.00 1.333
Weaver 2 0-0 -- 6.0 3 3 3 1 4 4.50 0.667
Kuo 3 0-0 -- 2.1 2 2 2 1 4 7.71 1.286
Mota 4 0-1 -- 4.0 5 4 4 3 3 9.00 1.750
Elbert 2 1-0 -- 1.0 2 2 2 0 2 18.00 2.000
Troncoso 4 0-1 -- 2.0 5 6 6 1 1 27.00 3.000
Totals 7
2-5 0 67.0 64 37 36 28 57 4.84 1.373
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