Aaron Sele will be starting in place of Odalis Perez this afternoon. Perez is with his ailing mother, and Sele has been pitching very well in Las Vegas. I can't see this as a downgrade--at least not with the way Perez has been pitching this year. Incidentally, Sele becomes the 81st major leaguer to play for both the Dodgers and the Angels.
Ethier starts ahead of Repko again tonight. I'm starting to think that Grady Little likes to keep better starters on the bench to give him ammunition to make moves later in the game. I started to suspect this last night when I arrived at the park to find Olmedo Saenz starting at third base. There's nothing inherently strange about that, but he started Ramon Martinez ahead of him the night before to face a lefthanded starter. "Why?" I asked myself, "would he start him against the righty instead of the lefty. poor Olmedo is not being put in a position to succeed." Then it dawned on me: maybe Little wanted a right handed pinch hitter for later in the game.
I don't know what little was really thinking, and Saenz may have just needed some rest, but if this was truly his thinking, then I think he's wasting talent. Why save Saenz for a situation that may or may not materialize when you can virtually guarantee him at least two plate appearances against a lefty by starting him. Even if you do get to use him as a pinch hitter, the other manager can counter with a right-handed pitcher. And if he's saving Repko to be the energetic pinch runner to use in a close ballgame, then I'd say use him (with the way he's played all season) to get another run earlier so you won't need that pinch runner later.
Again, Little may not be thinking this way at all, and I'm not one to set up a flimsy argument just so I have the glory of knocking it down, but it is something to watch and think about. In fact, if a reporter bothered to ask him, I bet Grdy Little would give a candid response.
More enjoyably, Nomar had his second consecutive walk-off RBI last night. I was already on my way home with my exhausted children, but it was exciting even on the radio. As I have made obvious, I wanted the Dodgers to start the season with Choi at first (though I still wanted the team to acquire Nomar, I hadn't even considered him for first base). Despite this, I think he is turning out to be a key player for the team--even at first base. Those heroics, along with his energy, make him an inspiring player to watch. I imagine that his teammates feel the same, and that should be worth something during the tough times, like trying to end a five-game losing streak. Maybe they can get their first three-game winning streak today.
The Pitching Matchup:
Dave Bush (RHP, Brewers) vs. Aaron Sele (RHP, Dodgers)
For the (16-15) Milwaukee Brewers:
For your (14-17) Los Angeles Dodgers: