Dodgers Week 17 In Review: Road Weary

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The Dodgers stumbled out of the gate on their seven-game road trip, getting drubbed the first two games in St. Louis by the new-look CardinalsClayton Kershaw's gem on Wednesday made it seem like a Dodger win was in order, but a stumbling offense -- lots of hits and baserunners, but very few runs -- couldn't come through as the Dodgers dropped their third straight game in 15 innings.

However, as they have all season, the Dodgers rebounded, winning the finale in St. Louis, then pasting the Braves on Friday and Sunday to salvage the week.  The Dodgers were almost one dropped catch at home -- on Saturday in Atlanta -- away from actually having a winning trip.  After starting the trip with four hits in 25 at-bats with runners in scoring position, the Dodgers hit .318 (14 for 44) in such situations to finish the trip.

It is worth noting that the worst ten-game stretch for the Dodgers all season is 4-6, something they have done only three times all year.  Avoiding long losing spells will go a long way toward winning a division.

Dodger Batter of the Week:  Even though he missed Sunday's game with a wrist injury, Casey Blake was the top batter for the Dodgers this week.  Entering the week in an eight-for-45 slump, The Beard was a hit machine this week, tallying 11 hits in six games while hitting .440/.464/.600.  Andre Ethier made a strong bid for his second straight award, hitting a pair of big home runs in Atlanta while hitting .300/.400/.567 for the week.

Dodger Pitcher of the WeekFor the fifth time in seven weeks, this award goes to Clayton Kershaw.  Kershaw was brilliant in his lone start this week, pitching scoreless frames for a career-high eight innings against the Cardinals.  Even though Kershaw exited with a 1-0 lead, the Dodgers were unable to get him a win, and ended up losing in 15 innings in what was, despite the outcome, one of the best games of the year.  Honorable mention goes to a pair of oft-injured pitchers:  Hong-Chih Kuo, who after three months off, intentionally walked two batters but retired the other 11 he faced, and Jason Schmidt, who allowed just one hit (and five walks) in six scoreless innings Friday in Atlanta.

Week 17 Record:  3-4
25 runs scored (3.57 per game)
27 runs allowed (3.86 per game)
.462 pythagorean winning percentage

Overall Seasonal Record:  65-40 (.619)
516 runs scored (4.91 per game)
408 runs allowed (3.89 per game)
.615 pythagorean winning percentage

Vice Versa:  In a blowout loss on Tuesday in St. Louis, Mark Loretta was asked to get the final out of the game on the mound, and did retire Ryan Ludwick on a flyball after plunking Matt Holliday in the foot with a 78 MPH pitch.  As Loretta, who also pitched a scoreless inning for the Brewers in 2001, told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, "It's been eight years.  I was well rested."

On Sunday night, after Chad Billingsley was removed for precautionary reasons with a cramp in his right leg, pitcher Jason Schmidt was asked to pinch-hit in the sixth inning.  Schmidt lined a single, and ended up scoring later in the inning.  It was the first time Schmidt had a hit, as well as the first time he had a run, since the Dodgers' home opener in 2007, when he homered.

No Steaks For Me, I'm On A DietManny Ramirez, in the midst of his first real slump as a Dodger, doesn't have a run batted in since hitting his Bobbleslam, a span of nine games.  Manny has gone 43 plate appearances without an RBI, the fourth longest streak of his career:

Dates Team PA
5/31/97-6/16/97 Indians 53
5/29/95-6/13/95 Indians 47
4/20/08-5/2/08 Red Sox     44
7/24/09-present        Dodgers 43

A Striking DebutGeorge Sherrill, acquired from the Orioles on Thursday, became just the third Los Angeles Dodger reliever to have three strikeouts in his first inning with the team, by striking out three Braves in the seventh inning on Friday.  Pete Richert actually struck out the first six hitters of his big league career (one reached base on a passed ball) on April 12, 1962 against the Reds in just the third game at Dodger Stadium.  The last Dodger to accomplish this feat was Bob O'Brien, who struck out three Padres in his first inning on April 11, 1971.

Personal Best:  Andre Ethier set a new career high by hitting his 21st home run of the season on Friday in Atlanta, a three-run shot that propelled the Dodgers to victory.  Ethier, whose previous career high was 20, set last year, homered again on Saturday for number 22.  The season is not quite two-thirds completed yet, as there are still 57 games remaining on the schedule.

But, At Least We Had More Hits:  On Tuesday, the Dodgers were shutout 10-0 by the Cardinals, despite outhitting them nine to eight.  This was the first time the Dodgers have outhit an opponent and lost by 10 or more runs since April 24, 1958 against the Cubs.

Transactions:  There were quite a few transactions during trade deadline week:

  • Monday: Xavier Paul was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL, opening up a 40-man roster spot, along with...
  • Monday:  Blake DeWitt was optioned to AAA Albuquerque for the fifth time this year, opening up a 25-man roster spot for...
  • Monday:  Hong-Chih Kuo was activated from the 60-day disabled list, seeing his first major league action since April 29
  • Thursday: Brent Leach was optioned to AAA Albuquerque, after allowing six straight batters and 11 of his last 16 to reach base, in order to make room for...
  • Thursday:  Scott Elbert was recalled from AAA Albuquerque, the third time he has been called up to the Dodgers this season, trying to catch Blake DeWitt in frequent flyer miles.
  • Thursday: Will Ohman was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL, opening up a 40-man roster spot for...
  • Thursday:  George Sherrill was acquired via trade from the Orioles, for 3B Josh Bell and SP Steve Johnson, minor leaguers ranked 10th and 13th, respectively, by Phil Gurnee in the True Blue LA midseason prospect rankings.
  • Friday: To open up a spot on the 25-man roster for Sherrill, Claudio Vargas was traded to the Brewers for 29-year old nonroster minor league catcher Vinny Rottino, who reported to AA Chattanooga
  • Sunday:  Cory Wade was activated from the 15-day disabled list after pitching three games with AAA Albuquerque on a rehabilitation assignment, but he will stay with the Isotopes since he was also simultaneously optioned to AAA

There are currently 39 active players on the 40-man roster, but that open spot will presumably be taken by Doug Mientkiewicz, who is close to being activated from the 60-day disabled list.

Upcoming Week:  The Dodgers return home this week, halfway done with their latest 20-games-in-20-days stretch.  The Brewers come to town for three games, and the Braves begin a four-game series at Dodger Stadium on Thursday.

Week 17 Stats

Player AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SB/CS BA/OBP/SLG OPS
Blake 25 4 11 2 1 0 1 2 0/1 .440/.464/.600 1.064
Ethier 30 5 9 2 0 2 5 5 1/0 .300/.400/.567 .967
Kemp 30 2 10 1 0 1 9 2 1/0 .333/.364/.467 .830
Loney 33 1 12 2 0 0 4 1 0/0 .364/.382/.424 .807
Martin 25 2 8 2 0 0 0 0 0/0 .320/.346/.400 .746
Furcal 33 3 11 1 0 0 4 2 1/0 .333/.361/.364 .725
Hudson 27 2 7 2 0 0 1 4 0/0 .259/.375/.333 .708
Manny 29 2 5 2 0 0 0 5 0/0 .172/.294/.241 .535
Castro 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 1.000/1.000/1.000 2.000
Ausmus 5 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 .400/.400/.400 .800
Pierre 6 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 .333/.333/.333 .667
Loretta 9 1 2 1 0 0 1 0 0/0 .222/.222/.333 .556
Pitchers 17 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 .118/.118/.118 .235
Totals 270 25 82 15 1 3 25 21 3/1 .304/.355/.400 .755

 

Pitcher G W-L Sv IP H R ER BB K ERA WHIP
Kershaw 1 0-0 -- 8.0 4 0 0 2 7 0.00 0.750
Schmidt 1 1-0 -- 6.0 1 0 0 5 3 0.00 1.000
Kuroda 1 0-0 -- 6.0 4 2 2 0 5 3.00 0.667
Wolf 2 0-2 -- 12.0 16 6 5 4 11 3.75 1.750
Billingsley 2 1-1 -- 10.2 6 6 6 7 14 5.06 1.406
Kuo 4 0-0 -- 3.2 0 0 0 2 4 0.00 0.545
Sherrill 2 0-0 -- 1.1 0 0 0 1 3 0.00 0.750
Loretta 1 0-0 -- 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.000
McDonald 3 1-0 -- 3.2 2 3 1 1 2 2.45 0.818
Mota 5 0-0 -- 3.1 5 1 1 0 1 2.70 1.500
Elbert 1 0-0 -- 2.2 1 1 1 1 1 3.38 0.750
Weaver 1 0-1 -- 2.2 2 1 1 1 2 3.38 1.125
Troncoso 3 0-0 -- 2.1 6 1 1 1 1 3.86 3.000
Broxton 2 0-0 1 2.0 2 1 1 1 1 4.50 1.500
Vargas 1 0-0 -- 2.0 2 1 1 1 4 4.50 1.500
Leach 2 0-0 -- 0.0 3 4 4 2 0
Totals 7
3-4 1 66.2 54 27 24 29 59 3.24 1.245
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