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Leading Off

Leading Off

The daily True Blue LA podcast, Monday through Friday, hosted by Eric Stephen, bringing you Dodgers news and notes in short bursts every weekday morning.

Dodgers rewind: Andy Pafko

Andy Pafko was a five-time All-Star with the Cubs who played for the Dodgers in 1951 and 1952. He was a key contributor on a World Series team as well as a team vying for the pennant, and famously was in left field watching Bobby Thomson’s pennant-winning home run for the Giants in 1951.

Previewing Dodgers-Padres & looking ahead to the NLDS

The Dodgers play their final road series of the regular season, battling the Padres for three games at Petco Park in San Diego. The Padres are in a fight for a wild card spot, and are one of a few teams who could potentially play the Padres in the National League Division Series.

Dodgers pitching questions heading into October

Recapping an eventful weekend at Dodger Stadium, including Albert Pujols hitting his 700th homer, Andre Jackson’s three-inning save, and the Dodgers clinching the No. 1 seed in the National League. Plus, Dustin May and Blake Treinen won’t pitch again in the regular season, which might affect their availability for the playoffs.

Craig Kimbrel’s struggles as Dodgers closer

Craig Kimbrel allowed a go-ahead home run Thursday night in a game the Dodgers came back to win anyway. But manager Dave Roberts was as publicly critical of a player as he gets, saying "We’ve got to have our best guys at the back end" when asked about Kimbrel’s bullpen role.

Concerns about Dustin May & Dodgers pitching unknowns

Dustin May was bad for the third start out of his last four, and has been erratic in his first six starts back from Tommy John surgery, with an abnormally high walk rate and poor command. He joins a growing list of Dodgers pitching unknowns as they get ready for October, with question marks surrounding Tony Gonsolin, Blake Treinen.

Dodgers rewind: Johnny Rutherford

A look back at Dodgers pitcher Johnny Rutherford, who pitched one season in the majors in 1952 and started and won the pennant-clinching game for Brooklyn that season.

Leading Off: Kershaw, Dodgers earn bye into NLDS

The Dodgers won their 102nd game and clinched a bye into the National League Division Series. Clayton Kershaw will be one of the beneficiaries of that extra rest, after his 10 strikeouts in six innings earned the win in Monday’s series opener against Arizona.

Dodgers sweep Giants, set team record for road wins

A sweep in San Francisco closed out the Dodgers’ season series over the Giants at 15-4, their most wins ever in one year against the Giants. Along the way Los Angeles won both their 100th and 101st game of the season, and set a franchise record with 52 road wins.

Dodgers rewind: Greg Shanahan

A look back at Greg Shanahan, a right-hander who pitched two years for the Dodgers in the 1970s.

Rare rest for The Big Three

Freddie Freeman sat out the day after the Dodgers clinched the division, his first time not starting a game in 2022 after 141 straight. Lineup mainstays Trea Turner, Mookie Betts, and Justin Turner all sat out the final in Arizona, which the Dodgers nearly won, but lost on a walk-off home run

Dodgers are NL West champs, again

The Dodgers clinched their ninth National League West division crown in 10 years, with Clayton Kershaw pitching seven scoreless innings Tuesday, his fourth excellent clinching game performance during this run. Plus a look at why this is the best Dodgers team of the last decade, and poised to do damage in October.

Tyler Anderson’s magnificent season

Appreciating Tyler Anderson’s career season, helping the Dodgers to a 10th consecutive playoff berth with consistent pitching from the veteran left-hander. Plus Cody Bellinger hits a big double after confusing Chippendale and Chip ‘n’ Dale, and Mookie Betts sets a franchise home run record.

Turnaround for Justin Turner

Justin Turner has been one of the best hitters in baseball for the last two and a half months, after making some mechanical adjustments to his swing in June. The Dodgers’ third baseman and designated hitter hit two home runs Sunday in San Diego to help clinch LA’s 10th consecutive postseason appearance.

Dodgers rewind: Rick Rhoden

A look back at former pitcher Rick Rhoden, one of the best Dodgers draft picks of the 1970s, and someone who after his pitching days turned to professional golf.

Justin Turner and Max Muncy on fire

Justin Turner and Max Muncy both homered on Wednesday, and have been hitting well for some time, adding even more depth to a strong Dodgers lineup. Also, Clayton Kershaw looks healthy in his second start off the injured list, and he accurately described how the team is approaching September.

Craig Kimbrel lets it go

Craig Kimbrel has pitched incredibly well since switching to Let It Go from Frozen as his entrance music, coincidence or not. He saved a home-run-fueled Dodgers win on Tuesday. Plus news on Tony Gonsolin suffering a setback, and Julio Urías pitching for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic.

Podcast: Heaney homers & position players pitching

The Dodgers’ Andrew Heaney is in a terrible stretch of allowing home runs, with 10 hit against him over his last four starts. Plus, a recap on various rehabbing players, and thoughts on position players pitching.

Dodgers rewind: Goody Rosen

Looking back at Goody Rosen, the first Canadian-born Jewish player in major league history, who made an All-Star team for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945.

Dodgers fall to Mets, Kershaw returns, Gonsolin has a setback

Clayton Kershaw looked very good in his return from the injured list after missing four weeks with low back pain, though the Dodgers lost to the Mets for a second straight day, dropping their first series since July. A look at the pitching injury situation as the club comes back home to host the Padres.

Podcast: Dodgers come up just short

Jacob deGrom looked dominant and held the Dodgers to one run over seven innings, thanks in part to a great catch by Brandon Nimmo to rob Justin Turner of a home run. The Mets only scored two off Tyler Anderson, but it was enough in Game 2 of the series in New York.

Dodgers find relief against Mets

The Dodgers beat the Mets in the opener of an exciting series between two postseason teams, but the cast of characters, especially in the bullpen, was a little different than usual. Also, Gavin Lux had a big game, Evan Phillips has a hidden perfect game, and LA will add Clayton Kershaw and Miguel Vargas on Thursday.

Dodgers-Mets preview, with Amazin’ Avenue

A preview of the three-game series between the division-leading Dodgers and division-leading Mets, owners of the top two records in the National League, and on a potential collision course for October. Plus, the importance of a team and ownership group remembering and celebrating its past.

Podcast: Tony Gonsolin lands on the injured list

Tony Gonsolin, in the midst of his greatest season, and coming up on a professional career high in innings, was placed on the 15-day injured list with right forearm inflammation. The National League ERA leader is expected to possibly miss only two starts.

Dodgers rewind: Jack Fimple

A look back at Jack Fimple who made his major league debut with the Dodgers in a pennant race, and by his second day in the majors was the everyday catcher for the rest of the season on a division winner.

Mailbag: Dodgers postseason pitching plans, Max Muncy’s contract

Looking ahead to the Dodgers pitching plans for the postseason, both for the rotation and bullpen, with six weeks or so to work it all out. Plus, thoughts on Max Muncy’s contract extension, Justin Turner’s pending club option, and plans for Miguel Vargas in 2023.

A 2023 without Walker Buehler

Walker Buehler had his second Tommy John surgery as well as flexor tendon repair, which not only knocks him out for 2022, but 2023 as well. We look at the Dodgers next year without Buehler, as well as the 2023 schedule, which was just released by MLB.

Podcast: Max Muncy gets a new contract

The Dodgers signed Max Muncy to a $13.5 million contract for 2023, the same salary that was in his club option. The new deal also included a $10 million club option for 2024 plus potential for $4 million more in incentives. Muncy is the third Dodger to sign an extension for 2023-24 during this 2022 season.

Dodgers rewind: Jim Lefebvre

A look back at second baseman Jim Lefebvre, the 1965 NL Rookie of the Year for the World Series-winning Dodgers, part of the first all-switch-hitting infield in MLB history, and who played for Los Angeles for eight seasons, and later managed three major league teams.

Dustin May returns in style

Dustin May was electric in his first start back from Tommy John surgery, and now has six weeks to determine what his role will be for the Dodgers during the postseason. He’ll have company, with Clayton Kershaw, Blake Treinen, and Brusdar Graterol all due back in the next two weeks, augmenting an already deep team.

Kimbrel gets back on the beam

One night after blowing his fourth save in as many chances with a one-run lead, Craig Kimbrel closed out a one-run Dodgers win on Wednesday against the Brewers with a scoreless ninth inning. Also, props to David Vassegh, who injured himself on the slide in Milwaukee but did not miss a beat despite a broken wrist and six cracked ribs.

Buehler’s season is over, Bellinger gets a ‘reset’

Walker Buehler is out for the 2022 season after elbow surgery. We look at what that means in the short term and long term for both the Dodgers and Buehler. Also, a slumping Cody Bellinger was benched for a few days for a "reset" after a recent slump and a rough season at the plate.

Leading Off: Streaking Dodgers, Dustin May nears return

The Dodgers ran their winning streak to 12 games before a loss on Sunday. We take time to appreciate all those wins in such a short amount of time, plus Max Muncy is red hot and Dustin May is almost all the way back from Tommy John surgery.

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