The Dodgers entered the week reeling, with five losses in their previous six games, with their starting shortstop on the shelf with a broken hand. Then on Tuesday the team got word from the league office that third baseman Pedro Guerrero was suspended four days and fined $1,000 for throwing a bat at David Cone of the Mets.
But the Dodgers did just fine without their best hitter, as they scored 21 runs and went 4-0 in his absence. The team won five of six games during the week to reclaim first place in the National League West. The Dodgers lead the Astros by 1½ games in the division, a three-game improvement over last week.
Dodger Batter of the Week: There were three worthy candidates this week, but John Shelby takes the cake. He drove in the tying run and scored the winning run in the ninth inning in Philadelphia on Wednesday, then homered in a one-run win on Sunday in Montreal. Shelby hit .304/.429/.652 with five extra-base hits, five runs scored, five walks, and a steal during the week, and has hit .357/.419/.554 in 15 games since returning from the disabled list.
Honorable mention goes to Kirk Gibson, who hit .391 with four doubles, a home run, and two steals; and to Steve Sax, who homered twice on Saturday in Montreal.
Dodger Pitcher of the Week: Despite a nasty cut that caused the middle finger on his right hand to bleed, Tim Leary shook it off to blank the Phillies on Wednesday, allowing just one hit and two walks. It was the second straight shutout for Leary, who has a 19-inning scoreless streak. After going 3-11 with a 4.76 ERA for the Dodgers last season, the right-hander is 4-3 with a 2.45 ERA so far this year with 50 strikeouts and just nine walks.
"I'm pitching better than any time in my life. There's no comparison between this year and last year," the 29-year old told Sam McManis of the Los Angeles Times. "As long as my arm feels strong, it's just a matter of not making a stupid pitch. When you get a lead like tonight, that's a bonus. That helps your confidence."
Week 8 Record: 5-1
25 runs scored (4.17 per game)
15 runs allowed (2.50 per game)
.718 pythagorean winning percentage
Seasonal Record: 27-18
196 runs scored (4.36 per game)
148 runs allowed (3.29 per game)
.626 pythagorean winning percentage (28-17)
Well worth the wait: On Tuesday in Philadelphia, rain delayed the start of the game for 81 minutes. Then nearly four hours after that, the Dodgers held a 2-1 lead with one out in the 12th inning. The Phillies had runner Milt Thompson on third base and Luis Aguayo at the plate, looking to extend the game even longer, and it looked like they did. Aguayo laid down a squeeze bunt, and as Thompson scored the tying run the throw from Jesse Orosco hit Aguayo to put the winning run on second base.
Not so fast, said home plate umpire Randy Marsh. Per the Times:
But Marsh then ruled that Aguayo had interfered with the throw by running inside the base line. He motioned for Thompson to return to third and waved Aguayo off the field. Replays showed that Aguayo's left foot clearly was on the inside of the basepath--in fair territory.
Lee Elia, the Phillies' manager, strongly protested, to no avail.
"Any time the batter running between home and first interferes with a throw, no runs can score," Marsh said. "Lee actually sold his own case. Lee said (Aguayo) was straddling the line, and you can't do that. If you run with both feet on the line, that's OK. But the left side of his body was (in fair territory)."
Orosco recorded the final out to secure the 2-1 win.
- Wednesday: pitcher Ken Howell, who was outrighted on Sunday, May 22, cleared waivers and reported to Triple A Albuquerque.
- Tuesday, May 24: Dodgers 2, Phillies 1 (12)
- Wednesday, May 25: Dodgers 4, Phillies 0
- Thursday, May 26: Dodgers 10, Phillies 8
- Friday, May 27: Dodgers 5, Expos 2
- Saturday, May 28: Expos 3, Dodgers 2 (10)
- Sunday, May 29: Dodgers 2, Expos 1
Upcoming Week: The Dodgers run the George Foster Gauntlet, finishing up their nine-game road trip in New York before coming home for a weekend series against the Reds at Dodger Stadium.
Week 8 Stats