Here are some pregame notes for today's game:
- Tony Abreu has been optioned to Triple-A Albuqerque to make room on the 25-man roster for Eric Stults, today's starting pitcher.
- Torre said Stults should have no restrictions today, despite throwing three innings and 61 pitches with the Isotopes on Thursday.
- In the clubhouse, bullpen coach Ken Howell told George Sherrill he was "down," meaning he won't pitch today, and Howell told James McDonald, who occupies the locker next to Sherrill, that he was "up," so we might see McDonald perhaps following Stults today (I would imagine Jeff Weaver, who hasn't pitched since Monday, is another candidate, especially for long relief).
- Torre said Clayton Kershaw's performance last night was his best of the season, calling him a "cool customer."
- Torre is looking forward to the series in San Francisco, and feels the club is ready for the challenge. They have been tested all year, and there's not a team in baseball they feel they are overmatched against. Torre quipped that, beginning tomorrow, the Dodgers "won't have to look over their shoulders anymore; they can just look across to the other dugout."
- Torre also welcomes the return of playing NL West teams, after nearly a month of playing outside the division, because the Dodgers are more familiar with the clubs in their own division, and have a better feel how to approach them, unlike a team like the Braves, who the Dodgers didn't see until last weekend.
- I did see the size of the packet labeled "San Francisco Giant Hitters," given to all pitchers and catchers, and it was quite voluminous. It is advisable to wear a back brace if carrying that report.
- On acquiring a potential perceived clubhouse problem player via waivers (the example of Vicente Padilla was brought up by a reporter), Torre said he didn't think it would be a problem at all because there are so many good guys in the clubhouse already, that they could easily handle any type of incomng player.
- Chad Billingsley threw off flat ground today, and feels fine. He will throw off a mound tomorrow, and if his hamstring feels okay after that, will start Wednesday in San Francisco.
- Mark Loretta informed Torre that he made the big time today, as Torre was an answer in today's New York Times crossword puzzle.
- I was at last night's game so I didn't notice Matt Kemp out of the batter's box on the final play of the game, but overhearing a conversation from someone in the press box, some are less than enamored with Kemp's effort running down the line on that play. I won't reveal who said that, but I am just happy to know the score on that issue.
Vin just walked by again. That never gets old.