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Without Ethier, Dodgers Seek Perfect Week

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As the Dodgers look to sweep the Padres for their seventh straight win today, they won't have Andre Ethier in the lineup.  They hope his absence is a short one, and he's back in Los Angeles getting his fractured right pinky evaluated.  At the very least, for the immediate future Ethier won't be able to do the following:

  • Swing a bat
  • Portray Dr. Evil
  • Give the "hang loose" sign
  • Do the classic Magic Johnson and A.C. Green handshake from the Showtime days
  • Properly drink tea

Chad Billingsley gets the ball for the Dodgers, making his 15th career start against the Padres.  He is 8-4 with a 2.71 ERA in his career against the Padres, including 3-2 with a 2.77 ERA in San Diego.  He has allowed more than three runs in a start against San Diego just once, in 2008, when he allowed four runs.

Wade LeBlanc has made four of his 18 career starts against the Dodgers, and has alternated bad and good outings:

Wade LeBlanc Career Starts Against the Dodgers
Date Loc Score IP H R ER HR BB K
9/3/08 LA LA 6-4 4.0 8 5 5 2 3 1
9/9/08 SD LA 6-2 6.0 5 1 1 1 2 4
9/23/08 LA LA 10-1 2.2 7 7 7 1 4 0
9/4/09 LA SD 2-0 6.0 2 0 0 0 3 2
Totals - 6.27 ERA, 1.821 WHIP
18.2 22 13 13 4 12 7

Blake DeWitt has hit one of his 11 career home runs against LeBlanc.

Before yesterday's game, manager Joe Torre said he planned to give Russell Martin, Casey Blake, and Manny Ramirez the day off today.  But that was before Ethier's injury, so

Road Warriors

The Dodgers started this road trip with a 4-11 record away from Dodger Stadium, and stand today with a 9-11 road record, on the road to respectability.  In the last decade, the Dodgers have only had eight longer road winning streaks than their current stretch of five wins:

Longest Dodger Road Winning Streaks 2000-2009
Year Streak
2004 9 games
2000 7 games
2007 6 games
2006 6 games
2006 6 games
2003 6 games
2003 6 games
2001 6 games

Saving a Life

A great story emerged from the Dodgers' low Single A affiliate in Great Lakes earlier this week.  From today's Dodger game notes:

Dodger prospects Rafael Ynoa and Elisaul Pimentel are being praised in Midland, MI for their roles in saving a life earlier this week. The Dominican duo was passengers in a car en route to a doubleheader for the Single-A Great Lakes Loons on Sunday when a motorcyclist in front of them hit a turkey in the road and crashed. Ynoa, Pimentel and two others helped administer first aid until an ambulance arrived. The victim has recently come out of his coma and is starting to recover.

More details from the Midland Daily News:

"He lost control of the motorcycle," Ynoa said in an interview before Friday's Loons' game at Dow Diamond. "It was bad. I was so scared. We thought he was dead. We ran and we helped him."

Ynoa, a Loons' infielder, said the woman who was driving the car that he and Pimentel were riding in was a nurse, and she directed Ynoa and Pimentel on how to help her administer first aid to Whittington until the ambulance arrived. Ynoa knew only the nurse's first name, Nicole. Another woman, Mary Jo Beal, also came to Whittington's aid at the scene of the accident.

Other Notes

  • James Loney in May:  17 hits in 50 at-bats, five walks (after four in all of April), six doubles, three home runs, .640 slugging percentage, and 14 RBI in 13 games
  • Not that this is a surprise, but today's Dodger game notes list Ramon Ortiz as the starter Wednesday night at home against San Diego
  • Per the Elias Sports Bureau, Clayton Kershaw last night became the fifth Dodger since 1900 to have back-to-back starts of seven or more innings giving up three or fewer hits and one run or less.  The others: Sandy Koufax (1961), Don Sutton (1972), Orel Hershiser (1984), and Chan Ho Park (2000)
  • Matt Kemp and Jamey Carroll are similar players?  Chad Moriyama of Memories of Kevin Malone says yes, at least so far this season
  • The Dodgers annual Think Cure weekend will take place on Friday and Saturday, June 11 and 12, and include an online auction and continuous programming on both television and radio, all to promote awareness of and raise funds for cancer research.

Xeifrank's simulation of today's game is here.

Game Time: 1:05pm

TV: KCAL

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