April 7, 2010 |
Chad Billingsley said he felt he fixed the problems with his mechanics in the six weeks the Dodgers spent in Arizona for spring training. But he said that a final tuneup in Los Angeles last week is what got his head right. Billingsley, who will make his first start of the season in the Dodgers' series finale in Pittsburgh on Thursday, said that being roughed up by the Angels in the Freeway Series reinforced a message that Manager Joe Torre has been trying to deliver to him. "Pitchers, we have the tendency to give hitters too much credit," Billingsley said.
April 5, 2010 |
Andre Ethier was as unfortunate as Vicente Padilla was wild on Monday. A couple of feet here, a few inches there and the Dodgers could have celebrated opening day with a victory instead of the 11-5 defeat they suffered at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. "You know, that's the way my season goes," Ethier said. "I don't get cheap hits." The final box score indicated that Ethier went one for five with a double and a run, but failed to show the hard-hit balls that somehow ended up in Pirates gloves at critical junctures in the game.
April 25, 2010 |
— Manager Joe Torre had to laugh. The Dodgers pitched well. They didn't make any errors. "And we lost, 1-0," he said. The Dodgers dropped two of three games to the Washington Nationals, the last by a 1-0 margin on Sunday at Nationals Park, in the exact opposite way they dropped two of three in a series of high-scoring, error-filled contests in Cincinnati earlier in the week. The Dodgers' offense suddenly vanished over the weekend, scoring five runs over 31 total innings in Washington, including the 13 innings they played in a 4-3 win on Saturday.
April 12, 2010 |
Matt Kemp was ready to leave. So were his teammates, who quickly dressed and quietly made their way out of the clubhouse to board the team bus. "I'm ready to go home," Kemp said. "See my fans." The Dodgers' six-game trip to open the season almost felt like an extension of spring training, as Manager Joe Torre described it as a fact-finding mission and his players made the kind of mistakes that betrayed their reputations. What was dismissed at the start of the two-city trip as early-season rust turned into frustration by the end of the weeklong journey, which ended with a 6-5 defeat to the Florida Marlins on Sunday at a mostly empty Sun Life Stadium.
August 12, 2009 |
Dodgers hitting coach Don Mattingly said he has noticed that Manny Ramirez has fouled off more pitches down the first base line in recent games -- a sign that he's regaining his timing. "That means he's waiting longer, seeing the ball better," Mattingly said. Ramirez was two for four on Monday and had an RBI double and a two-run homer Tuesday. Mattingly said he was under the impression that Ramirez became overly home run conscious in the 15-game stretch from July 24 to Aug. 8 in which he hit .190.
March 28, 2010 |
For the second consecutive spring, Ronald Belisario reported to camp late because of visa problems — and this spring, he was five weeks late. Belisario refused to speak to reporters when he arrived from his native Venezuela at the Dodgers' spring training complex Saturday, saying he would wait until Sunday morning to do so. "I'm hungry," he said. "I'm tired." Anticipating the arrival of their hard-throwing reliever, the Dodgers placed him on the restricted list Friday, meaning they can leave him in extended spring training for as many as 30 days and remove him from the 40-man roster without the risk of losing him on waivers.
June 24, 2010 |
Joe Torre had seen enough. The Dodgers manager called a rare postgame, closed-door meeting with his club after their mistake-riddled, 2-1 loss to the Angels on Wednesday night. Players said Torre told them that the defending National League West champions couldn't continue making such game-changing miscues if they wanted to stay in contention again this year. "He just said we can't continue to beat ourselves," said Reed Johnson , who was running toward home to score the tying run in the ninth inning when Russell Martin was thrown out after overrunning second base — for the final out — before Johnson reached the plate.
March 30, 2010 |
Back in Phoenix, some of the players who weren't forced to board the 7:45 a.m. team bus expressed their relief of having avoided a four-hour round trip to the Cactus League's easternmost outpost. Only one projected starter was forced to make the trip here on Tuesday: James Loney . But Loney being Loney, there were no complaints from the first baseman, only the usual variety of quirky comments and smiles. A player once called "very left-handed" by former teammate Randy Wolf , Loney pointed out the positives of making the trip, among them that he was named the Dodgers' honorary captain by bench coach Bob Schaefer . Loney later learned he was a part of history.
May 11, 2010 |
Rookie John Ely plays baseball with the fervor of a Little League kid, seemingly always in motion, jumping across foul lines, directing infield traffic by pointing to each fly ball. But everything about Ely's pitching with the Dodgers, at least so far, has been strictly big league. The Illinois native, who turns 24 on Thursday, gave himself an early birthday present Tuesday night by notching his first major league victory in only his third start as the Dodgers rolled past the Arizona Diamondbacks, 13-3, at Chase Field.
August 22, 2009 |
Jonathan Broxton acknowledged that the wear and tear of the season is taking its toll on his mind and body. "We've played 120 games already," Broxton said. "You travel around. You pitch three nights in a row. You pitch four out of six days. It starts wearing on you." Before getting the save Friday night with a perfect ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs, Broxton had blown three of his last six save opportunities and gave up the deciding run in the Dodgers' 3-2 loss to St. Louis on Wednesday.