The Dodger lineup today features four reserves against the Giants and Tim Lincecum:
Manager Joe Torre feels very comfortable using his reserves, saying before the game he's not concerned with who is pitching that day, but rather with the long term plans of the team. Torre said the plan was for Manny Ramirez to rest either today or tomorrow anyway, and last night's right calf tightness made the decision easy. Manny's calf has bothered him since Pittsburgh, and he felt tightness last night running to first base. The plan is for Manny to play tomorrow afternoon, provided he doesn't experience any problems with the calf.
Garret Anderson is starting in left field for Manny today, and is approaching it just like any other day. He said in his new role as a part-time player there isn't much difference in how he prepares every day, other than taking more batting practice. "I just have to prepare myself to play each day," Anderson said, "and if I'm not in the starting lineup, I just have to be ready to play." Both Anderson and Torre are pleased with how hard he is hitting the ball, even though his numbers don't yet show results (he's hitting .211/.238/.263 so far, but with a 25% line drive rate). Anderson said he enjoyed his time in Atlanta and wouldn't have opposed an opportunity to return to the Braves this season, but he's happy to be home in Los Angeles.
Both Anderson and Jamey Carroll, also in today's lineup, expressed the party line on today's approach to Tim Lincecum. Carroll said the key to Lincecum is "to force him to pitch in the strike zone," while Anderson agreed, saying "he still has to throw it over the plate at some point." Torre said the key to facing Lincecum is not to try to beat him, but rather outlast him, and beat the relievers that follow him, not that it's an easy task. "He's not afraid to throw any pitch at any time," said Torre, "he just dares you to beat him."
- Torre said the reports on Ronald Belisario are good, and that both he and Hong-Chih Kuo are expected to be with the club "at some point" on the upcoming road trip
- Jamey Carroll does indeed have a different glove for each position he plays, although he doesn't always use the designated shortstop glove while playing the position, as he is today. "I just use whichever glove feels more comfortable to me," he said.
- Torre expressed concern over Russ Ortiz's performance in the ninth inning last night, specifically his inability to throw strikes with a huge lead, saying "It's a concern when you don't hit your spots." Although Torre wouldn't specifically address this, Ortiz is a prime candidate to be released to open up a roster spot for Hong-Chih Kuo's return from the disabled list next week.
- Torre didn't think Vicente Padilla's beaning of Aaron Rowand Friday night was intentional. The Giants had scored two runs in the fifth inning, and had another on base with one out when Rowand was hit in the helmet with a fastball from Padilla. "If you're going to make a statement, that's not the time to do it," Torre said, although he also understood that given Padilla's history it might be perceived as intentional. Still, Torre noted nobody in the Giants' dugout looked as if they thought it was intentional, and no warnings were issued by the umpires.
Jeff Weaver, who is tied with Ramon Troncoso for most appearances on the team with seven, is adjusting to his new role as a short reliever rather than a starter or long reliever. I informed him of his prowess with the bases loaded (one hit in 22 at-bats dating back to 2009) and Weaver said in those situations he uses the hitters' aggressiveness against them. "I make pitches in zones I feel I can get them out," Weaver said, "and I try to get them out as quickly as possible."