James Loney & The Threepeat

James Loney is closing in on a trivial oddity.

Now that the Dodgers are eliminated, all we are left with is trivial statistical pursuits.

However you rate James Loney's season at the plate, he has a chance to accomplish quite a rare feat. In 2008 and 2009, Loney hit 13 home runs and drove in 90 runs. This season, he is sitting on nine home runs and 81 RBI. He needs four home runs and nine RBI over the final nine games to match those numbers for the third straight season. It may seem like a long shot, but this Dodger road trip just might be the thing for Loney.

Stadium
G
PA
HR
RBI
BA/OBP/SLG
Chase Field
31
133
7
21
.439/.481/.675
Coors Field
34
139
5
41
.331/.381/.551

To put this in perspective, Loney has 18 home runs in 315 career games at Dodger Stadium, and 12 home runs in 65 games in the two parks on this road trip.

In addition, Loney needs 38 plate appearances over the final nine games to hit 651 plate appearances for the third year in a row. In the 127-year history of the Dodgers, only Tom Niedenfuer, with four plate appearances each year from 1982 to 1984, has had the exact same number of plate appearances, three seasons in a row. Loney is one of only four Dodgers to have the same number of PA in back-to-back seasons:

Player
PA
Years
Steve Garvey
696
1976-77
James Loney
651
2008-09
Johnny Butler
577
1926-27
Cookie Lavagetto
523
1940-41
minimum 100 PA

Garvey, not surprisingly, was nearly a metronome when it came to his numbers. From 1976 to 1979, Garvey put up 696, 696, 689, and 697 plate appearances.

Clause Osteen came so close to have three straight seasons with the same number of plate appearances, fitting a 99-PA season in 1971 in between seasons of exactly 100 PA.

Clayton Kershaw gets the call tonight to open the series in Arizona. He has 196 1/3 innings on the season, and will likely tonight become the sixth LA Dodger 22 or younger to pitch 200 innings in a season. Kerhsaw has faced the Diamondbacks twice this season, allowing two runs in 11 innings, winning both games.

Barry Enright had a great start to his career this season, going 6-2 with a 2.45 ERA in his first 12 starts. But Enright and his 5.03 strikeouts-per-nine turned into a pumpkin during his last three outings, allowing 17 runs in 12 2/3 innings. In those last three starts, he has allowed a whopping nine home runs, with four walks and two strikeouts.

In other words, expect the Dodgers to get shutout tonight.

Get your guesses in for Xeifrank's simulation contest here.

Game Time:  6:40 p.m.

TV:  KCAL

Baseball Reference Preview | Box Score | Gameday

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