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For Randy Wolf, wins don't come easily

In 17 starts, the veteran left-hander has 11 no-decisions. But the Dodgers have won 8 of those 11.

July 02, 2009|Jim Peltz

Dodgers starting pitcher Randy Wolf is 3-3 this season with a 3.61 earned-run average, but there's another notable statistic: He has 11 no-decisions in 17 starts.

Wolf said that's probably his career high at this point in a season -- "I don't think I've had more than 12 in a season, maybe 13" -- and he acknowledged that it briefly left him a bit frustrated.

"As a starting pitcher you can have like a 6.00 ERA but if you have 15, 20 wins you're looked at as a great pitcher," said the veteran left-hander from Canoga Park. "But if you have like 10, 11 wins and you have a 2.50 ERA they look at you like there's something wrong.

"Unfortunately in our job sometimes perception is reality, so I was getting a little frustrated," said Wolf, 32, who hasn't won since he beat the Chicago Cubs, 2-1, on May 28. "Then I realized that does me absolutely no good and you can't get caught up in that."

Wolf takes solace from knowing that he often kept the Dodgers close in the games in which he had no decision.

Indeed, the Dodgers have won eight of those 11 games.

The latest came Monday against the Colorado Rockies, when Wolf left with the score tied, 2-2.

Wolf, in fact, drove in the Dodgers' two runs with a bases-loaded single, and the Dodgers won in the 13th inning, 4-2, on a home run by Andre Ethier.

Wolf said this season reminds him of pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2002, "which was by far my best year" in terms of his command even though his record was 11-9.

"The next year I made the All-Star team and won 16 games," he said. "I wasn't pitching nearly as well, but I happened to get a lot of wins. And people said in 2003, 'Oh, this is your breakout year,' and I said, 'In 2002, I pitched way better, way better.' It's just one of those things."

Wolf's next start is Saturday against the Padres in San Diego.

"The only thing I can do is go out there and pitch the best I possibly can and give the team a chance to win, and hopefully at the end of the game there's a 'W' next to my name," Wolf said.

Getting focused

Maybe they don't have Ted Williams' exceptional vision, but the Dodgers' Matt Kemp and James Loney make do despite being nearsighted.

Both routinely wear glasses in the Dodgers' clubhouse, then switch to contact lenses once they take the field, with Loney at first base and Kemp in center field.

Kemp said he has astigmatism and has worn glasses since junior high school.

Loney said he started wearing glasses in high school.

Do the contact lenses ever both Loney, especially on a windy day or when he's sliding through the dirt?

"It's not too bad because I wear ones that I throw away every day," he said.

Short hops

Left-handed pitcher Eric Stults will continue his rehabilitation from a thumb injury with the club's triple-A Albuquerque team, Manager Joe Torre said. . . . Asked if left fielder Manny Ramirez would again bat third in the lineup when he returns from his suspension Friday in San Diego, followed by Ethier in the cleanup spot, Torre said "my guess is that's probably what we'll do. I haven't sat down and put it on paper yet." . . . Closer Jonathan Broxton is averaging 14.82 strikeouts per nine innings, tops in the major leagues.

Times staff writer Bill Shaikin contributed to this report.


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