Dodgers Go For Six

The Dodgers look for their sixth straight win tonight, and what better way to do it than against a divisional opponent.  The Dodgers are 10-3 against the National League West this season, and own the best intra-divisional winning percentage in baseball.

Clayton Kershaw gets the start for the Dodgers, fresh off arguably the best start of his career (he did have the highest game score of his career Sunday).  Kershaw has thrown four quality starts in his last five starts.  Adrian Gonzalez has just two hits in 16 at-bats off the southpaw, and is hitting .125/.263/.188 against Kershaw.

Kevin Correia gets the start for the Padres, one week after his brother died in a hiking accident in Santa Barbara.  Since joining the Padres last season, Correia has better peripheral numbers away from Petco Park:

Kevin Correia as a Padre, 2009-2010
Split G W-L IP/start HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA FIP* WHIP
Home 21 6-7 5.95 0.79 3.46 6.12 3.53 4.11 1.232
Away 18 10-6 5.94 0.84 2.36 7.32 4.37 3.57 1.355
*FIP is estimated

Legends Behind the Mic

On Thursday, Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote about the two legendary announcers calling this weekend series, Vin Scully and Dick Enberg, who joined the Padres this season:

And if anyone could attest to that, it was Enberg, who spent many an afternoon between 1969 and 1978 driving to night games at Anaheim Stadium, listening to a Dodgers road game.

"So in a way I was going to school listening to how well he did a game," Enberg said. "It’s very easy when you’re young to try to copy, so the challenge for me was to be myself and yet learn from how well he reported the game, and yet not be him. And that was not easy. When you listen, Al Michaels has a little bit of Scully in him, and I probably in some way or another do, and we all have Red Barber in us because Barber was his mentor."

12 Years Later, It Still Sucks

Just hours after Frank Sinatra died, the news broke, slowly -- over my Earthlink dial-up modem -- that the Dodgers were trading the greatest hitting catcher of all-time to the Marlins.  The trade became official on May 15, 1998:  Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile to Florida for Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla, Charles Johnson, Jim Eisenreich, and Manuel Barrios.  It was the defining moment of the Fox ownership, a baseball deal not made by baseball people.  From Jason Reid of the LA Times:

The trade was brokered by team President Bob Graziano, who had been a longtime aide to former Dodger owner Peter O'Malley. Cut out of the transaction, sources said, were veteran Dodger policymakers Fred Claire, Tom Lasorda and O'Malley. Chase Carey, chairman and chief executive of Fox Television, also played an active role in the early stages of the deal and made Graziano his point man to close the transaction.

The deal violated two of my Rules to Live By®:  (1) Don't let television executives make baseball transactions, and (2) Don't trade Hall-of-Famers.  Twelve years later, Piazza wants to go into the Hall as a Met, and Dodger fans are left to wonder, what if?

Notes

  • Dodger batters have drawn 136 walks this season, and are on pace for 629 walks on the season.  The Dodgers last season had 607 walks, the fourth highest franchise total since moving to Los Angeles.
  • Dodger pitchers have issued 147 walks this season, and are on pace for 680 walks on the season, which would be the highest total in the 127-year history of the franchise.  The 1946 club issued 671 walks (in 156 games).
  • Through the first four games of the road trip, Dodger relievers have faced 50 batters.  They have allowed five singles, a double, and five walks, while striking out 15.  Opposing batters are hitting .136/.220/.159 against the bullpen this week.
  • Andre Ethier has eight hits in 15 at-bat against Kevin Correia, including two doubles and a triple, and is hitting .533/.611/.800 against him in his career
  • On the other end of the spectrum, Russell Martin has just one hit in 14 at-bats against Correia, hitting .071/.188/.071

Xeifrank's simulation of today's game is here.

Game Time: 5:35pm

TV: KCAL

Baseball Reference Preview | Box Score | Gameday

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