Just when the Dodgers thought they were back at full strength, adding 2009 key contributors Ronald Belisario and Hong-Chih Kuo to a beleaguered bullpen, they lost Manny Ramirez and Vicente Padilla to the disabled list, testing an already thin depth chart. The Dodgers continued their road woes, dropping two more series away from home this week, and they end the week tied for last place (albeit just three games out of first place). Counting the playoffs, the Dodgers have won just six of their last 22 road games, and they have lost six consecutive series on the road.
Dodger Batter of the Week: Casey Blake turned on the power this week, walloping five extra-base hits in his five starts. For the week, he hit .333/.360/.750 and drove in eight runs. Honorable mention goes to Manny Ramirez, who was on his way to the award with five hits in nine at-bats before re-injuring his right calf.
Dodger Pitcher of the Week: Clayton Kershaw had the best start of the week, Saturday in Washington, but this award goes to that day's winning pitcher, Carlos Monasterios. Monasterios got the final eight outs yesterday to pick up his first major league win, and pitched a total of 4 1/3 scoreless innings on the week.
Week 3 Record: 2-4
33 runs scored (5.50 per game)
34 runs allowed (5.67 per game)
.486 pythagorean winning percentage
Season Record: 8-10
103 runs scored (5.72 per game)
104 runs allowed (5.78 per game)
.496 pythagorean winning percentage (9-9)
Paging Hugh Downs: When Matt Kemp touched home plate Thursday night in Cincinnati, he scored his 20th run of the month. Kemp put up the 52nd 20-run/20-RBI month in Los Angeles Dodger history, including just the second April 20/20 month.
Always On Base: Over eight straight plate appearances Tuesday and Wednesday against the Reds, Manny Ramirez reached base. In order, his plate appearances produced the following: walk, double, walk, walk, single, single, single, walk. The Dodger franchise record for consecutive plate appearances reaching base is 14, by Pedro Guerrero from July 23-26, 1985.
A Trio of Firsts: Carlos Monasterios picked up his first major league win by throwing 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief on Saturday, and that marked the third straight Dodger game featuring a first major league win. Mike Leake of the Reds beat the Dodgers in his third major league start on Thursday, and Luis Atilano of the Nationals defeated the Dodgers on Friday in his major league debut.
Bullpen Getting Better: Not only did five of the nine relievers used this week pitch scoreless baseball, but the nearly full strength squad got better as the week progressed. The Dodger bullpen ended the week with a streak of 10 innings without allowing an earned run, including seven walk-free innings in Saturday's extra-inning win.
I Hope His Luggage Arrived On Time: Jon Link made his major league debut in relief Tuesday night, pitching two scoreless innings against the Reds just two days after he was recalled from Triple A Albuquerque. After the game, Link was optioned back to the Isotopes to make room for Ronald Belisario. Four days later, Link was recalled again when Vicente Padilla was placed on the disabled list. Ken Gurnick of MLB.com recounts Link's busy travel day Saturday:
When starter Vicente Padilla was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sore right forearm Saturday, Link had already left New Orleans with the Triple-A Albuquerque Dukes, connected through Houston and landed in Omaha, Neb., the next stop on Albuquerque's trip.
At the Omaha airport, however, Albuquerque manager Tim Wallach got the word that Link had been promoted, and he told Link to grab his bag and get to Washington. Link left Omaha, connected in Chicago and arrived in Washington on Saturday night.
"I woke up in New Orleans at 3:30 in the morning and landed in Washington at 9:30 at night," said Link.
Because Link was recalled within 10 days of being optioned, he gets full credit for major league service time and salary as if he was never optioned.
Trouble at Both Ends of the Spectrum: In 2009, the Dodgers were 20-1 when they scored nine or more runs. This week, they lost 11-9 to the Reds on Tuesday. Last season, the Dodgers were 25-0 when they allowed one run or less, but they lost 1-0 to the Nationals on Sunday. It was their first 1-0 loss since September 21, 2008.
Raffy's Back: Battling a back injury for most of 2009, Rafael Furcal struggled not only at the plate, but on the bases as well. He didn't run very often at all, and had a career low 12 stolen bases. He didn't steal his eighth base until September 19, his 149th game of the year. This season, Furcal is healthy again, and he stole his eighth base in game number 17, on Saturday. More importantly, Furcal is hitting .312/.384/.429, with 16 runs scored in 18 games.
On the Defensive: The Dodgers allowed a total of nine unearned runs in six games this week, pushing their season total to 15 unearned runs, tied with Cleveland for the most in the major leagues. Last year, the Dodgers didn't give up an unearned run until their 20th game.
Extra, Extra, Read All About It: Heading into Friday's game, 13 of the 14 Dodger non-pitchers used this season all had at least one extra-base hit. All except for Blake DeWitt, that is. DeWitt joined the club on Friday, hitting a double to center field in his 54th plate appearance of the season, off Atilano.
Deja Vu All Over Again: Last season, when Manny was suspended for 50 games, Xavier Paul was recalled from Triple A, and the Dodgers' next opponent was the Washington Nationals. This season, Manny was placed on the disabled list Friday, and again Paul was recalled to take his place on the roster. The Dodgers' next opponent was...again, the Nationals.
- Tuesday: After the game on Tuesday, Jon Link was optioned to Triple A, to make room for...
- Wednesday: Ronald Belisario was activated from the restricted list. Belisario was on the restricted list for 17 days, and lost $38,320 in salary during his punitive exile
- Thursday: Activated Hong-Chih Kuo from the disabled list. To make room for Kuo, Jeff Weaver was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a lower right back strain.
- Friday: Placed Manny Ramirez on the 15-day disabled list with a right calf strain; Xavier Paul was recalled from Albuquerque to take his spot on the 25-man roster
- Sunday: Placed Vicente Padilla on the disabled list with a sore right forearm, retroactive to Friday; recalled Link from Albuquerque to take his spot on the 25-man roster
- Tuesday: Reds 11, Dodgers 9
- Wednesday: Dodgers 14, Reds 6
- Thursday: Reds 8, Dodgers 5
- Friday: Nationals 5, Dodgers 1
- Saturday: Dodgers 4, Nationals 3 (13)
- Sunday: Nationals 1, Dodgers 0
Upcoming Week: No rest for the weary this week, as the Dodgers play three against the Mets in New York, followed by a four-game set back home against Pittsburgh. The Dodgers will recall a starter to take Padilla's turn in the rotation either Tuesday or Wednesday, believed to be Josh Towers or perhaps John Ely.
Week 3 Stats
*FIP is estimated