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Dodgers reliever Javy Guerra sets his own beat

DODGERS FYI

The rookie hasn't allowed a run in his last six appearances and is perfect in seven save chances. He isn't ready to claim the closer role for himself, though.

July 24, 2011|By Baxter Holmes
  • Dodgers pitcher Javy Guerra, who played for double-A Chattanooga before making his major league debut May 15, hasn't allowed a run in his last six appearances.
Dodgers pitcher Javy Guerra, who played for double-A Chattanooga before… (Thearon W. Henderson / Getty…)

In the ninth inning Sunday at Dodger Stadium, the in-house stereo blared Danzig's 1988 heavy metal jingle "Mother" while Javy Guerra hustled from the bullpen to the mound.

The song has existed almost as long as the Dodgers' 25-year-old rookie reliever.

He knows it but didn't request it. It's not his choice as a walkout song; in fact, he doesn't know what song he would want played.

But he didn't notice any music playing for him Sunday. Why? "I was just zoned in," he said.

A perfectly pitched ninth inning later, the Dodgers won, 3-1, against Washington.

Guerra, who played for double-A Chattanooga before making his major league debut May 15, is perfect in seven save chances. He hasn't allowed a run in his last six appearances.

Zoned in, indeed.

"For a rookie, he shows a lot of maturity out there," said starter Chad Billingsley, who picked up his ninth win.

Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly noted how Guerra has developed fast, and that he displays uncanny calm under pressure.

The key instance Mattingly and Billingsley pointed to was Guerra's getting out of a bases-loaded, no-out mess against San Diego on July 8, a game the Dodgers won.

"He may be turning it up on the inside, but you don't see it on the outside," Mattingly said.

Guerra shrugged that off. He said he's just trying not to let the game get ahead of him.

Does he feel as if he's the team's closer, that a video montage featuring a walkout song will soon be his? He won't say.

"I just get up and toss whenever I am asked," Guerra said.

Noticing Robinson

Mattingly said outfielder Trayvon Robinson, who was batting .303 entering Sunday and has hit 26 home runs in 95 games for triple-A Albuquerque, will join the Dodgers this season.

"Trayvon's got good numbers," Mattingly said.

"We're obviously going to see him at some point this year."

It's unlikely they will see Robinson, 23, any time soon, since the Dodgers' every-day outfield lineup is all but set with Tony Gwynn Jr. and Juan Rivera sharing left field, Andre Ethier in right and Matt Kemp in center.

A call-up for Robinson is more likely in early September, when teams can expand their rosters to 40 players.

Robinson was drafted by the Dodgers in the 10th round in 2005, and Mattingly managed him last fall in the Arizona Fall League.

Uribe update

Second baseman Juan Uribe left Saturday's game after re-aggravating a lower abdominal injury that landed him on the disabled list in May.

But Uribe, who sat out 14 games with that injury, won't go back on the disabled list yet.

"I'm hoping it's a one- or two-day thing," Mattingly said.

baxter.holmes@latimes.com

twitter.com/baxterholmes

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