Here are some notes from today's pregame meeting with Dodger manager Joe Torre:
- Orlando Hudson is sitting today, for the eighth time in 19 games since the arrival of Ronnie Belliard. Torre said he is getting Hudson rest, the rest he didn't get earlier in the season. Hudson started the season with the club, which was not expected, and he was playing so well that he didn't get a day off until game number 55. Torre wouldn't say whether or not Hudson was injured, noting "you can't get him to admit anything" anyway, and that the season was simply taking its toll on the O-Dog. When asked whether or not Hudson was the starting second baseman going forward, Torre bristled, saying "He's not starting today."
- Torre also noted its easier to rest Hudson with Ronnie Belliard on the club, noting that Belliard is swinging the bat very well right now. Torre praised Belliard's ability to play multiple positions, even first base if needed, an important asset especially in the National League.
- I asked Torre about the importance of plate discipline, noting the Dodgers had eight players with 50 walks, and Torre said that when the club has been successful offensively, it has been because it is running the pitch count up, and making opposing pitchers work.
- Rafael Furcal, who has two stolen bases this week for only the second week all season, "has had a lot more life in it lately," according to Torre. Torre specifically mentioned the benefit of the rest day Wednesday coupled with the scheduled off day Thursday to Furcal and others in the lineup.
- Torre said it is likely that one or both of Jonathan Broxton and George Sherrill will pitch today. Neither have pitched the last two games, and Monday is a scheduled off day. Of Sherrill, Torre praised his consistency and efficiency, and that with Sherrill's experience as a closer, Torre doesn't always worry about matchups when deploying The Brim Reaper (although he didn't use that term).
- The pitching rotation schedule looks like this for the upcoming week:
- Clayton Kershaw will pitch an inning in relief on Wednesday in Washington
- As far as the postseason starting rotation, it is too early to tell. Torre was asked if Jon Garland has pitched his way into the postseason rotation, and Torre said he doesn't wait to get ahead of himself.
- In the clubhouse, Manny Ramirez and Ronnie Belliard were talking about how hard it is to see the ball during day games at Dodger Stadium. Ramirez, who misplayed a flyball to start yesterday's game, noted that the sun makes it very difficult to pick up the ball off the bat. Even from second base, the sun wreaks havoc, according to Belliard, even with sunglasses.
- With the minor league seasons now completed, the Dodgers have a couple of extra coaches here with the team. Tim Wallach, manager of the year in the Pacific Coast League, is here wearing number 29, and Carlos Subero, manager of the Single A Inland Empire 66ers, is also here, wearing number 64.
- Per the Giants game notes, Randy Winn leads all active major leaguers with 1,590 games played without ever reaching the postseason.
- After the game, a well-rested Hudson will host his inaugural "Skate for Autism Fundraising Event," benefitting the C.A.T.C.H. Foundation. The event is open to the public, and will be held at Skateland in Northridge. General admission is $25, and VIP access is $50. There will be a red carpet showcase beginning at 7pm. For tickets, call (404) 872-9899.
Here are today's lineups: