On the Mason & Ireland radio show on ESPN 710, reporter A. Martinez for weeks has discounted the Dodgers' hot start, even before the Manny Ramirez suspension, because they have played the "inferior" NL West almost exclusively. He has cited this week as the beginning of the real challenge for the Dodgers, as they finally play "real" teams in Phildelphia, Florida, and the Mets over their next nine games.
Tonight Clayton Kershaw takes the mound for the Dodgers, and will be opposed by old friend Chan Ho Park. It appears the clock has struck midnight for Park, as he has been tagged for a 6.67 ERA (and 5.95 FIP) in the early going, with opposing batters hititng a robust .284/.372/.510 against him.
A few Dodger notes:
- Juan Pierre has started nine games this season, and he has a hit in every one of them, with six multi-hit games. As a starter, he is hitting .500/.553/.618 with eight runs scored. As Pierre told Ken Gurnick, "I realized that there's things I can't control. The only thing I can control is the way I perform and if I hustle and all that. So that's what I focus on."
- Get your JuanPierreWood t-shirts here
- Alex Remington of Yahoo's BIg League Stew profiled some struggling shortstops, including Rafael Furcal, about whom Remington noted, "he's not getting robbed or unlucky. He's just honestly hitting terribly."
- Even though Russell Martin homered in Game 1 of last year's NLDS, his regular season homerless streak is now at 55 games (that he started), the eighth longest streak by an LA Dodger catcher.
- Jason Schmidt will be making a rehab start in San Bernardino tonight, and I will be there. You can listen to the 7:05pm game online here.
- Joe Torre was a guest on ESPN Radio's "Tirico and Van Pelt Show" today. You can listen to the 14-minute interview here.
- Billy Witz had a story in the NY Times on the Dodgers' young corps of Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, James Loney, and Russell Martin, and I found this excerpt from Ethier interesting, if not a tad bitter:
“There’s no commitment to anyone, especially the young guys,” said Ethier, who watched the Dodgers stick with Andruw Jones, baseball’s biggest free-agent bust last season, while he played part time.
“It’s not like we’re under a system where you can mess up for two or three months and they’re going to stick with you and say, ‘Oh, he’s our guy.’ They’ll either find somebody internally or get somebody to replace you. There is a lot of pressure to win right now.”
Josh Rawitch of the Dodgers gives us the lineup:
Get your guesses in for "Just A Bit Outside" here.