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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
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Rough Weekend, You Betcha
2006-09-18 11:36
by Jon Weisman

Three last-inning bullpen losses in six games with Takashi Saito sitting them all out is tough to take, but I won't fault Dodger manager Grady Little for not using Saito in the third loss Sunday. Derek Lowe was outstanding for seven innings, Joe Beimel was an appropriate choice for the left-handed eighth, and Jonathan Broxton made sense for the ninth if you accept the Dodgers not knowing he was tipping his slider, a postgame realization that Broxton revealed to the media.

San Diego's pitchers won Sunday's game - the Dodger pitchers didn't lose it.

Other musings:

  • Why the same populace that was forced to endure Oscar Robles batting third in 2005 is now subjected to Julio Lugo in the No. 3 spot in 2006 is something for human rights watchers to investigate.

    Lugo is capable of something. He hit a little bit with Tampa Bay and has drawn a walk or knocked a single occasionally in Los Angeles. But the fact that he may be a good-hitting shortstop for some other team in 2007 does not make him a No. 3 hitter in a pennant race in 2006. He hasn't even shown the power to hit a loud double.

    I've taken a stand in not wanting to give batting orders more importance than they deserve - the only comment I've made all year, I think, was about the Ramon Martinez incident. But Little's faith in Lugo is unjustified. Whatever you think of Jeff Kent or J.D. Drew, they shouldn't be pushed aside for Lugo.

    Nomar Garciaparra, who could have pinch-hit Sunday with the tiebreaking run on base in the seventh inning but instead held off until the ninth, is expected to return to the starting lineup as soon as tonight, so that Lugo will return to his third-base platoon and when he plays, bat in either the second slot or lower down.

  • Take this with a grain of Morton's, but Andre Ethier's swings just looked a little late to me Sunday. I don't think there was much wrong with his strike zone judgment - just his timing.

  • The Dodgers flashed "She is gone!" on the left-field scoreboard after Russell Martin's game-tying homer in the seventh. I admire the spirit, but I think that hallowed phrase should be as retired as Sandy Koufax's 32, not brought out for a homer that is a galaxy removed from Kirk Gibson's.

  • When Trevor Hoffman entered the game to protect San Diego's 2-1 lead, I had little hope of Dodger magic. When the free-swinging Garciaparra, of all people, worked the count to 3-2, I perked up. But then he struck out. But then Rafael Furcal walked, and I thought, stolen base, Kenny Lofton single, maybe this could happen. Nope.

    Mostly, I wondered whether Little would allow Lugo to make the last out, whether he believed so much in Lugo or hoped so much for his redemption as to give him a final at-bat with first place on the line. O Lmedo Saenz, Where Art Thou?

  • Comments (141)
    Show/Hide Comments 1-50
    2006-09-18 11:46:27
    1.   Jez
    As per the "She is gone" comment, it seems like the Dodger organization is constantly trying to evoke victorious memories (e.g. the recent1981 celebration) in a bid to stir fan sentiment and, of course, ticket sales. When will they realize that winning will be the only thing to stir people's emotions? Of course, this is a general comment as the front office has been generally attentive to on the field needs this year, as opposed to others. I'm just saying I think they should reel it in a bit and only take the celebrations out of the closet when absolutely necessary.
    2006-09-18 11:52:13
    2.   Xeifrank
    1.5 behind or 1/2 ahead, that is the question. vr, Xei
    2006-09-18 11:56:30
    3.   blue22
    1 - I see nothing wrong with trying to connect the Dodgers history and tradition to the current fan experience. It's a cynical mind that jumps to the conclusion that it's done with underhanded intentions.
    2006-09-18 12:00:26
    4.   Greg S
    Patially carrying over from the last thread but appropriate here... Exactly which bullpen/Saito moves (other than the Chicago tie-game) do people disagree with?

    I also liked Broxton in the 8th yesterday and think he is becoing something special. Actually, I whole heartedly agree with everything Jon wrote today, especially about Lugo. I still understand the pick up but I think it's time to stop counting on him and using him in the 3 spot over Drew make no sense to me at all.

    3- Underhanded intentions? He didn't say that. It's just that there are certain things that you don't trot out every day. Like the Stadium Bunting.

    2006-09-18 12:07:28
    5.   blue22
    4 - More directly responding to 1, not Jon's comment.

    Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the '81 champs as a way of stimulating season ticket sales? Of course that's probably a small factor, but the Dodgers have a ton of history. What's wrong with embracing it as a way of connecting present to the past?

    2006-09-18 12:09:55
    6.   Greg S
    Sorry, you were responding to 1 and not to Jon's comment as I read it. My bad. I agree that they not only can but should celebrate the 25th Anniversary and their history in general.
    2006-09-18 12:11:55
    7.   StolenMonkey86
    Jonathan Broxton made sense for the ninth if you accept the Dodgers not knowing he was tipping his slider
    At least he realized there was something wrong. I don't know how long it will take to fix that, though.

    I know he throws a splitter, and I guess he could try that on the Padres to mix things up a bit before his slider is back.

    2006-09-18 12:14:09
    8.   Jez
    3- I don't think connecting celebrations to ticket sales is being cynical, as the Dodgers promoted it to the nth degree hoping to draw as many people as they could. (As an aside, and with all due respect, I don't necessarily think that cynicism and being underhanded are correlated.) It was a great idea and I am not speaking so much of that as I am, in this case, of Jon's mention of "She is gone." All I am saying is that I don't want the Dodger's history to be cheapened just for the sake of rousing fans to cheer for an event that, in the scheme of things doesn't loom all that large for the present, past or future. When an event like that comes along (and I sincerely hope it does, and soon) we will all know that we are in the midst of it and then, I believe, will it be appropriate to bring out our illustrious history for all to see.
    2006-09-18 12:15:55
    9.   Strike4
    "She is gone" had been a frequent Vin phrase for many years. At the risk of dating myself, its retirement hadn't even occurred to me. Certainly the '88 call was a classic, but it's unfortunate if the phrase has become idolized.
    2006-09-18 12:18:14
    10.   Bob Timmermann
    The Cardinals held a ceremony yesterday to retire Bruce Sutter's number.

    However, his number was already retired since he wore 42 with the Cardinals. And Sutter played just four seasons with the Cardinals. But I'm sure it wasn't cynical.

    2006-09-18 12:21:14
    11.   bhsportsguy
    The only thing I would say about yesterday was the plan on who could possibly pitch more than one inning.

    Since the pitcher's spot was due up in the bottom of the 9th, the decision has to based on which pitcher you were planning to throw out there in 10th.

    If you think that you are only going to use Saito for one inning, why not use him in the 9th, once you get to the bottom of the 9th with the score tied, it forces Bochy to perhaps save Hoffman for that "save" situation which may never show up and since he already used his best setup guys, he would have to use some other guys that we can maybe scratch out a run.

    Other than that, I had no problems with Broxton pitching.

    2006-09-18 12:25:20
    12.   Jon Weisman
    11 - I thought about that.
    2006-09-18 12:30:42
    13.   goblue1
    I like the idea of Saito in the 9th and not have to face Hoffman at all. But Broxton is one of our bullpen horses- so im not really going to question that move, which in my opinion, is rearranging deck chairs on Grittle's managerial Titanic.
    2006-09-18 12:31:38
    14.   Bob Timmermann
    Bochy rarely uses Hoffman on the road in a tie game. The Padres would have sent out Seanez and Cassidy and Adkins in some order before Hoffman.

    I think Lugo would have batted in the bottom of the 9th since he is 4 for 4 against Hoffman in his career.

    2006-09-18 12:38:45
    15.   Bob Timmermann
    As for 14 take out "rarely" and replace it with "never".

    Hoffman has not once appeared on the road in a tied game for San Diego this season.

    2006-09-18 12:45:59
    16.   Bob Timmermann
    Trevor Hoffman's last appearance in a tied game on the road.

    August 11, 2002 in Cincinnati

    2006-09-18 13:08:26
    17.   Xeifrank
    4. I think there have been numerous comments with numerous descriptions of how many innings Saito has been used and in which situations. You should be pitching your best relief pitcher in the highest leverage situation (within reason). Grady Little has done a poor job of doing that this month. It's his job to do so, not ours. I still think Little is a huge improvement on last years manager. If this were a pass/no pass class, I'd give him a pass. A letter grade? Probably a C+/B-. Graded on a curve? Probably an A-.
    vr, Xei
    vr, Xei
    2006-09-18 13:20:16
    18.   Greg S
    17 Okay, so in the last month, when did Grady NOT use Saito when he should have (other than the one game in Chicago)? Can you check the game log and point to more than 1 or 2 games?
    2006-09-18 13:24:32
    19.   Sam DC
    Ooooh Greg you are just itching to argue this out. Good luck.

    Meanwhile, all losses count the same and yet I guess they don't as the end gets nigh, since the significance of losing to the Padres tonight is much clearer than it was during a game in May, and opporunities to win back a loss are much fewer. So is it fair to call tonight the biggest game of the year? I think so, even knowing that, depending on how things break, bigger games still may be yet to come.

    But I could argue the either way too.

    2006-09-18 13:25:49
    20.   bhsportsguy
    For all of us who had to watch the Mariners/Royals game for a while, here is the LA Times version of what went wrong.

    2006-09-18 13:29:51
    21.   Greg S
    I'm really really not. I'm just trying to avoid it becoming accepted dogma that Grady consistently mis-uses Saito. I really don't think there's backup for that. Jon has said he thinks he should be used in tie games on the road. But what else? What was the mis-use that had at least some (many?) upset with Grady's moves?
    2006-09-18 13:30:36
    22.   Xeifrank
    18. As I already pointed out in the last thread of the last four games that the Dodgers lost by 2 or fewer runs Saito pitched 0 innings. But he did manage to pitch in a couple of the blowout wins. I will leave the further researching (as to avoid rules #4 and #8) of the game logs to you. :) I am just pointing out facts. Everyone is free to draw their own conclusions
    vr, Xei
    2006-09-18 13:31:02
    23.   bhsportsguy
    The only thing that gives me hope is that the Padres have been basically a .500 team for the last 2 1/2 months aside from playing the Dodgers so regardless of what happens today, I would expect them to run off and hide.

    But, I do think for the Dodgers, a big statement could be made by winning today and not giving the Padres any momentum for their final two weeks.

    I will be there, 6 game winning streak in hand and going to my second Padre game, I went last Friday. I have to decide if I need to double up by going to Subway first, my Subway sandwich before a game winning streak is 4 games. That sounds so stupid but when something works, well we shall see.

    2006-09-18 13:31:07
    24.   gibsonhobbs88
    9 - You are so right. That call is not exclusive to Gibby's Homer, he has used that since I started listening to the Master since the 60's. I see nothing wrong in celebrating the past, expecially WS championship anniversaries like 20th or 25th, ect. I did wish Vin would have acknowledged the three players that couldn't be there because of their employment with other MLB clubs, i.e. Lopes, Baker and Hooton. Even a quick blurb about each and that they couldn't be there because they are currently working for Cubs, ect... All three played huge parts at some point in that 81 season.

    BTW, a note to depress us further or give us some hope after tonight depending if your a 1/2 glass full or empty type of person. Take away the Cards and Padres and we are 74-51 against the rest of baseball and take away our interleague play 5-10, we are 69-41 against the other 13 NL teams.

    2006-09-18 13:32:14
    25.   Xeifrank
    My 2 year old daughter is now famous. :) She is the one banging on the drum like instrument. vr, Xei
    2006-09-18 13:32:48
    26.   bhsportsguy
    23 I would not expect them to run off and hide.
    2006-09-18 13:35:45
    27.   gibsonhobbs88
    23 - Please do whatever is necessary to get some good karma. We are facing the "Dodger destroyer" tonight. In addition, you don't know if we get Good Penny or Bad Penny and even if we get good Penny, if we can't score more than a couple runs, it may not matter. Also, lookout, The Pirates just swept the Mets in Shea over the weekend, so they are riding a little high wave at this point and they have nothing to lose.
    2006-09-18 13:36:37
    28.   bhsportsguy
    12 Its a tough call but I think in tie games going to top of the ninth, the home team should use its closer because you guarantee that the visiting team will have to pitch two innings once you close out the top of the inning. Now maybe Grady liked the prospect of Saito pitching to all the LHs rather than Broxton but and you can't really criticize Grady for putting Broxton in, he has been as reliable as any setup guy in the league and if they lose it after the 9th well so be it. I just think he was trying to save Saito and maybe use him for two innings but we will never know now.
    2006-09-18 13:37:53
    29.   bhsportsguy
    27 I did see Penny pitch a good game in his last start at Dodger Stadium, hopefully he can keep his pitchcount down, at least it will be a cool night, temp wise.
    2006-09-18 13:38:10
    30.   Greg S
    22. I will try to avoid those rule violations myself by going to lunch now. =) I did take a look at the game log and going by memory, I just don't see where things could have logically been done differently (on the bringing him in side of the ledger). I think that the fact that we lost by 2 runs or less does not necessarily mean Saito should have pitched. Ok, lunch!
    2006-09-18 13:38:55
    31.   bhsportsguy
    And finally, for the first time this year, I do not have any mixed feelings with a Peavy start, my fantasy got eliminated from the playoffs yesterday so he can now go out and get shelled.
    2006-09-18 13:39:07
    32.   Sam DC
    21 I hope it's clear that my comment was in good spirits and a little tongue in cheek.
    2006-09-18 13:39:58
    33.   bhsportsguy
    30 I too will stop bringing up reliever strategy from this point on.
    2006-09-18 13:40:41
    34.   bhsportsguy
    19 Sam, what's the talk in DC about resigning Soriano?
    2006-09-18 13:41:01
    35.   Xeifrank
    30. haha. My last point is that you pitch your best pitchers in the higest leverage situations. With Saito in the past 2-3 weeks that has not been the case. That is the managers job to figure out how to use him and when the results are tallied up, for us to analyze them. The tallies are in... and they don't look too good. vr, Xei
    2006-09-18 13:42:05
    36.   Marty
    I thought this was funny from Deadspin:
    Forget About It Jake, It's Mission Hills. Chinatown, LA Confidential, Hollywoodland, The Black Dahlia ... when the heck are they going to make a film based in San Diego? Plently of interesting things happen in San Diego; they don't call it "Enron by the Sea" for nothing. Well, until then, residents will have to be content with the grand spectacle that is the Padres, who are now in first place in the NL West after their 2-1 win over the Dodgers on Sunday. San Diego is 13-4 against LA this season after Terrmel Sledge singled home the winning run in the ninth, with Trevor Hoffman earning his 475th career save. The Dodgers are now in second place, a half-game back, as Grady Little whispers the words "Rollo Tomasi" and slumps to the dugout floor.
    2006-09-18 13:42:47
    37.   ToyCannon
    Nice prospect breakdown of Milton Bradley over at
    2006-09-18 13:44:36
    38.   gibsonhobbs88
    29 - For me, tonight, I might watch MNF and just check in on the game tonight. I don't know if my heat can take it if they lose another to the Padres tonight. Also my opponent in fantasy football has Hines Ward and Heath Miller and the Pittsburgh defense in our head to head match. I lead by 37 points so barring some incredible games on their behalf's I should hold on and win.
    2006-09-18 13:45:57
    39.   dkminnick
    I concur with Jon. My friends are all sick of hearing me complain about Lugo in the three hole.
    2006-09-18 13:45:59
    40.   gibsonhobbs88
    38 - I meant my "heart" not "heat". See, I'm already unnerved and it's still 5 1/2 hours before game time!
    2006-09-18 13:46:13
    41.   Jacob L
    Coupla thoughts -

    1. I blame myself for the loss yesterday. I went to the game, for what will almost certainly be the last time this year. Once again, I end the season below .500 in games attended in a year in which the Dodgers are well over .500 at home. Jacob L - jinxing Dodger home games since 2002. I'm confident that bhsportsguy, and apparently, Subway, will turn it around for us tonight.

    2. I've discussed here before something I call the "Chad Kreuter Phenomenon." It involves me launching into a spirited critique of a given Dodger player's ability, humanity, and relative good looks, followed immediately by said player doing something big to help the team win. The catch is I have to mean it; I cannot intentionally badmouth a player in order to bring about the big hit. Anyway, the Kreuter Phenomenon was invoked on Friday for Julio Lugo, when he got his big RBI. Unfortunately, that just resulted in my railing on Mr. Lugo yesterday (along the same lines as Jon's post) to be a tad bit too self-conscious, and obviously, to no avail.

    2006-09-18 13:50:30
    42.   ToyCannon
    I was at the game yesterday and seeing Lugo bat 3rd just ruffled me in so many ways. If the kid is hitting like he did in TB where he hit more then a "little" then I could understand but after so many at bats to be batting the worse hitter in the lineup in the important 3 hole is really unforgivable. I've been happy with Little, but his Sept performance is lacking. The one thing he seemed to do all year is give a player enough rope, when the player hung himself he moved on. He has yet to move on with Lugo. The guy may be a veteran but this is the first time he's playing games in Sept that mean something and he has been unable to meet the challenge.

    Russ Martin is a rock.

    2006-09-18 13:50:53
    43.   sanchez101
    I always wonder how people can blame the pitchers when the offense scores 1 run. If the pitching staff + defense allows 2 runs, they are putting the team in a position to win and thats all you can really ask of them. I have a hard time blaming a guy thats allowed 1 run in a month. I dont see anyone blaming LSU's defense for they're 6-3 loss last saturday, football understands this why doesnt baseball. Is it because W-L records go to the pitchers?
    2006-09-18 13:51:56
    44.   bhsportsguy
    I guess I better go get a subway sandwich then.
    2006-09-18 13:54:15
    45.   sanchez101
    I'll be at the game tonite. LA's 6-2 in my last 6 games at Dodger Stadium, which includes the Lima playoff game and a couple big victories against the G'ints, including the Finley walk-off GS in 2004. Hopefully that portends good things. On the other hand, both loss have come to San Diego ... both this season. Ugh.
    2006-09-18 13:55:40
    46.   bhsportsguy
    43 I don't blame the pitchers at all, while the losses in Chicago were due to some unfortunate pitches, yesterday was a game where no one could score (frankly aside from Chad's hiccup, 5 out of the six starters have pitched well).

    This is why I tend to give the advantage for the rest of the season to the Dodgers because their offense has been more consistent.

    But hopefully, as Raffy apparently said on the radio today, the team will just try to stay within itself and have good at bats against Jake and Penny can pitch well in his biggest game thus far as a Dodger.

    2006-09-18 13:58:52
    47.   Jacob L
    O.K. then. It looks like all our good omens are going tonight. I'm not going anywhere near the park except for the fact that I live kinda near the park, but you know what I mean.

    I'm sure this has been discussed, but its interesting to me to compare Steve Finley ca. 04, who was said at the time to be the best deadline rental in recent history to Julio Lugo, who may be the worst. That's lots of ways to argue that, but I'd be curious what the DT Greek Chorus has to say.

    2006-09-18 14:03:34
    48.   sanchez101
    46. I don't think I agree with the assessment that the offense is consistent at all, or that its more consistent than SD. Then again, I think consitency is overrated. The division will go to the team that wins the most games between today and the end of the season; how and why the winner will achieve those victories has yet to be seen. Thats what make baseball so fascinating.

    On a different issue, aside from SoCal bragging rights, how much does winning the division even matter? Im not even sure I care whether the Dodgers win the division or wild card, as long as they can make the playoffs so McCourt doesnt purge the FO again. The end result will be something like 2004, just replace the Cards with the Mets. I'd consider 2005 a success as long as they make the playoffs.

    2006-09-18 14:07:06
    49.   bhsportsguy
    My home game log for 2006:

    Opening Day - Loss
    Chicago - Maddux begins his unbeaten streak at Dodger Stadium.
    Anaheim - 5 run first, capped by Ethier homer, first win.
    Philadelphia - Baez blowup - now 1-3
    Philadelphia - Blowout win Kemp hits homers in back to back games
    Pittsburgh - Complete sweep, back to .500
    Cardinals - Close loss, but a loss nonetheless, 3-4
    Nationals - First game in new field box seats and first Subway game, Chad wins going away, 4-4
    Nationals - Cesar gets a hit in his final at bat as a Dodger as they win it in the late innings.
    Rockies - Dodgers win their 11th in a row as Maddux makes his debut as a Dodger
    Reds - Penny pitches well, game gets close in the end but another win.
    Reds - Maddux shows his bat, glove and arm and the Dodgers hit 3 homers in the 8th as they sweep the Reds/
    Padres - Maddux 1 hits the Padres and Lugo and Anderson make contributions to the victory.

    Since this is the start of a game every other day, I hope the streak continues but this has been fun, Josh reports another sell-out so for everyone going tonight be there early to get you fleece blanket.

    2006-09-18 14:09:39
    50.   Xeifrank
    On the bright side if we win tonight, it will be a split and we will be in the same place we started the four game series vs San Diego, only our magic number will have been reduced by four. vr, Xei
    Show/Hide Comments 51-100
    2006-09-18 14:10:20
    51.   JoeyP
    Lugo is doing his best to one-up Jeromy Burnitz for worst Dodger mid-season acquisition. That is from a hitting side.

    From a pitching side, the all-time honor might go to Mark Hendrickson (worst starting pitcher acquired during mid-season). In Hendrickson's defense, the Dodgers havent acquired many pitchers mid-season.

    James Baldwin, Dave Mlicki, John Tudor, Brad Penny, and a few others I've forgotten are the competition.

    2006-09-18 14:12:38
    52.   blue22
    48 - LA is only 1 game up in the Wild Card. It's hardly a lock that LA makes the playoffs at all.
    2006-09-18 14:14:23
    53.   bhsportsguy
    51 As to that, Maddux might turn out among the best mid-season acquistions ever.
    2006-09-18 14:15:20
    54.   Sam DC
    Another nice post from Josh.
    2006-09-18 14:17:24
    55.   JoeyP
    53-- Very true.
    2006-09-18 14:20:19
    56.   Jacob L
    51 Rick Honeycutt comes to mind, and he did pretty well, as I recall.
    2006-09-18 14:22:01
    57.   RELX
    Grady does seem to have lost a bit of his "flexible thinking" if it can be called that, as the season has progressed and bullpen roles have become more defined. One of the things I liked about him earlier in the season was that he seemed to go against the book more often--i.e., letting hot relievers pitch more than one inning, not being rigid with the definition of closer, etc. Since the emerge of Saito, he seems to have adapted a more inflexible line of thinking. I had no problem with him using Broxton in the ninth, but the more interesting question is, who would we have seen had the game remained tied into the 10th? Saito? Tomko? To my thinking, in important late season games, you should use your bullpen in descending order, from best to worst. Saito, Broxton, Tomko, Beimel, then your pick of Carrara, Hendrickson, whoever. I would never use someone like Hamulack at all, unless we have reached very extra innings--he's been horrible all year.
    2006-09-18 14:23:45
    58.   Jacob L
    56 Responding to myself (as usual) - by "did pretty well" I meant "stunk the joint up." When it only takes 30 seconds to look something up, I should do so before posting.
    2006-09-18 14:26:46
    59.   still bevens
    This might not be accurate, but the last couple games Ive been to have been either a blowout loss or a good win. I was at the Hendrickson-Marlins implosion, the Maddux game involving the suicide squeeze, and this past Saturday's game. Hopefully this one will bring us back to equilibrium. I should also note that I was at the last Peavy/Penny confrontation and that was a humiliating loss. Maybe I shouldnt go tonight..? =)
    2006-09-18 14:29:44
    60.   ScoobyGoo
    i'm planning on going to the game tonight but it's been a while since i've gone to a dodger game without tickets already in you all think if i show up early enough there'll still be seats through the ticket office or is it time to get my bargaining face on for the scalpers?
    2006-09-18 14:29:45
    61.   bhsportsguy
    60 Penny should brushback Peavy in his first at bat tonight.
    2006-09-18 14:31:02
    62.   bhsportsguy
    60 Josh announced that the game is sold out, I would try to get their early and get tickets from the guys out in front but be prepared to pay, so get your game face on.
    2006-09-18 14:31:09
    63.   regfairfield
    My last ditch effort to get tickets for tonight was foiled when ticketmaster decided to only have tickets worth 400 dollars for sale.
    2006-09-18 14:31:25
    64.   Jacob L
    60 I believe the game is sold out.
    2006-09-18 14:32:20
    65.   regfairfield
    60 Yeah, scalpers are well versed in supply in demand, so prepare to pay 3-4 times more than face value.

    Occassionally you can find one that's bad at math, but that's more luck than anything.

    2006-09-18 14:39:27
    66.   bhsportsguy
    65 This series will end up being second only to two 4-game sets against the Giants in 1962 and 1963 in terms of attendance, however back then they measured folks in the chairs not tickets sold but there was one series that had over 218,000 and another over 214,000. With a little over 163,000 so far and a sell out tonight, they will move somewhere in between or maybe even slightly above those figures.

    BTW- Tonight is Chinese American Community night so perhaps I should pick up some dumplings or at least get something from Panda Express.

    2006-09-18 14:39:47
    67.   Sam DC
    So, did everyone take the poll at "What was Ned Colletti's best trade?"

    I also note that Nate appears to have voted 7 times in the "Who is the Dodgers' best prospect" poll at True Blue LA. Or at least that's how many votes Clay Kershaw has received.

    2006-09-18 14:45:06
    68.   overkill94
    60 Instead of having to deal with scalpers at the game, I recommend going on ebay and getting some tickets. You should be able to get some pretty cheap since it's so close to gametime and usually they can just e-mail you the tickets.
    2006-09-18 15:05:48
    69.   das411
    Don't scalpers also tend to bottom out their prices once the game has actually started too? Might be worth considering, especially given that horrible LA traffic you guys are famous for ;)
    2006-09-18 15:11:56
    70.   StolenMonkey86
    67 - yep. Ethier seemed like the easy choice.
    2006-09-18 15:19:29
    71.   Greg S
    I've got seats in the front row behind the dugout tonight. Only bad news is, they're behind the Padres dugout. I wish I were the type to yell horrible demoralizing things at players but alas, I have a moral problem with that. =(
    2006-09-18 15:20:54
    72.   Uncle Miltie
    37- I'm glad that John honored my request. Nice read.
    51- James Baldwin wasn't too bad. I'm sure he was better than Hendrickson. Evans didn't give up much to get him.
    2006-09-18 15:27:41
    73.   Jacob L
    66 I thought we had agreed you were getting Subway tonight. I would never, under normal circumstances, advocate Subway over some good dumplings, but we need a win big time.

    71 Get over it, Greg. These are not nice people, these Padres of whom you speak.

    2006-09-18 15:29:03
    74.   bhsportsguy
    73 Yes, I will get Subway, any suggestions.
    2006-09-18 15:36:45
    75.   Jacob L
    No. I don't like Subway.
    2006-09-18 15:39:15
    76.   bhsportsguy
    Apparently Andre needs another day off or at least see another team besides the Padres.

    Furcal, SS
    Lofton, CF
    Garciaparra, 1B
    Kent, 2B
    Drew, RF
    Martin, C
    Anderson, LF
    Betemit, 3B
    Penny, P

    When was the last time Martin batted this high up in the line up? I do like Anderson because he has had some good swings since he has been here.

    2006-09-18 15:49:56
    77.   underdog
    I'm happy with that line-up (no Lugo, plus Ethier does need more rest - I agree with Jon, his swings look late, which is a sign of fatigue). A good line-up on paper - now let's see if they can hit in reality and get their butts back in first place! I'll be watching it nervously on my computer tonight.
    2006-09-18 15:54:15
    78.   Greg Brock
    What's the big deal? It's only the most important game of the season, against an absolute Dodger-killer, while starting a pitcher who's games range from brilliant to infuriating.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    2006-09-18 15:58:15
    79.   Bob Timmermann
    What could possibli go wrong?

    Funny, I've never made that mistake before....

    2006-09-18 16:00:23
    80.   Greg Brock
    79 Don't sweat it...

    Evrybody makes missstakes.

    2006-09-18 16:04:11
    81.   Jon Weisman
    77 - But I wasn't advocating for Ethier to rest, you understand.
    2006-09-18 16:10:03
    82.   Marty
    Hey Bob, I understand there was some shenanigans going on over at the library today.
    2006-09-18 16:10:19
    83.   Bob Timmermann
    I guess my "Simpsons" reference was too subtle there.
    2006-09-18 16:11:16
    84.   Bob Timmermann

    I was not allowed to go view the shenanigans.

    2006-09-18 16:12:32
    85.   Bob Timmermann
    It's come to this:

    Cubs lead the Phillies 3-0 on an Aramis Ramirez homer in the first inning. Still no one out!

    2006-09-18 16:15:26
    86.   Jon Weisman
    85 - In a wild-card race that was so probable, the possible has happened!

    See - now I've exploited history for nefarious purposes.

    2006-09-18 16:18:32
    87.   Marty
    Shenanigans was the name of a bar across the street from the first paper I worked at, The Glendale News-Press. It was so dark it would take your eyes 20 minutes to adjust. They made incredibly strong drinks. One publisher we had would go over there and order 2 beers at a time for himself.
    2006-09-18 16:20:38
    88.   Greg Brock
    83 That reference is so subtle that I can't find it anywhere.

    And I missed a Simpsons reference. I can't believe it. Shame.

    2006-09-18 16:22:39
    89.   Bob Timmermann
    Pilot: We're now approaching our final destination, Itchy and Scratchy
    Land: the amusement park of the future where nothing can possi-
    blye go wrong.
    [everyone looks worried]
    Er, possi_bly_ go wrong. Heh, that's the first thing that's ever
    gone wrong.
    -- Second, actually, the first being that nothing could go wrong, "Itchy
    and Scratchy Land"

    Episode 2F01 "Itchy and Scratchy Land"

    2006-09-18 16:26:12
    90.   Greg Brock
    89 Ah, yes, the episode with the personalized liscence plates, and all Bart can find is "Bort"

    Shame on me.

    2006-09-18 16:27:50
    91.   Bob Timmermann
    "Sometimes I wish I could just crawl into a hole and hide."
    "OK, throw her in the hole!"
    2006-09-18 16:30:15
    92.   bigcpa
    Food for thought... Dodgers are still on pace to score 800 runs for only the 2nd time in Los Angeles. Also on pace to allow 746 runs, only 9 fewer than 2005. That shocks me considering we're 4th in the NL in team ERA at 4.21. Last year's 4.38 put us 12th in the NL. Major down year for NL pitching.
    2006-09-18 16:32:54
    93.   Greg Brock
    92 Major down year for the NL in general, I would say.
    2006-09-18 16:37:36
    94.   bhsportsguy
    Ramirez decides to be fair, first inning in Philly, hits a 3 run homer, 3-0 Cubbies in the 3rd.
    2006-09-18 16:38:18
    95.   underdog
    81 No, I figured that. I just agreed with your observation. Not being a hitting coach, either, I can't really say what to prescribe for it but I do know that a lot of scouts do believe first-year players used to playing the shorter minor league seasons wear down at at this point in the year and he does have a tired swing right now. But maybe he just needs to keep playing - sort of like an athlete gets a second wind in a (soccer or basketball) game after playing through the fatigue. Either (Ethier) way the Dodgers really need him if they're going to make an impact.
    2006-09-18 16:38:21
    96.   Bob Timmermann
    Juan Pierre for president!
    2006-09-18 16:38:50
    97.   overkill94
    Muscle man Juan Pierre just knocked one out of the park to make it 4-0.

    I never really cared much about the wild card race until I realized we only led it by 1 game. Boo Phillies!

    2006-09-18 16:40:44
    98.   Greg Brock
    2006-09-18 16:41:27
    99.   Bob Timmermann
    Aramis Ramirez for Proconsul!
    2006-09-18 16:43:16
    100.   blue22
    97 - And I've been rooting for the Phillies/Marlins in the WC this whole time, so that eventual NL West winner LA could play the Cardinals in the 1st round.

    Maybe LA should just win tonight (and continue to do so), so that it's a bit clearer on who to root for in other games.

    Show/Hide Comments 101-150
    2006-09-18 16:44:22
    101.   Bob Timmermann
    To me, there's a storm.

    I'm looking for a port.

    I'm not picky.

    2006-09-18 16:44:46
    102.   blue22
    100 - Wait, that's not how it works. Nevermind, I can't remember why I wanted the Phillies/Marlins to win.

    Time to go home.

    2006-09-18 16:48:59
    103.   Bob Timmermann
    The Phillies winning the wild card would benefit the Dodgers only if they won the West and had a better record than the Cardinals.

    That's going to be tough since the Padres play the Cardinals three more times.

    2006-09-18 16:49:13
    104.   JoeyP
    Cant believe Little doesnt flip Drew and Nomar.

    Drew batting 5th doesnt give the Dodgers the best chance at winning, although against Peavy it probably doesnt matter.

    2006-09-18 16:52:03
    105.   Greg Brock
    Mets up 2-0, looking to finally clinch. Phillies doing their part as well.
    2006-09-18 16:58:17
    106.   Bob Timmermann
    JD Drew is 0 for 12 in his career against Jake Peavy.

    The only Dodger with a modicum of success against Peavy is Furcal.

    2006-09-18 16:59:05
    107.   thinkingblue
    Wow, a panicky, overreacting article by Bill Plaschke. Shocker.
    2006-09-18 17:01:44
    108.   Disabled List
    I currently have no cable tv.

    Do I go to a friend's place and watch MNF, the Mets clinch, and catch the last few innings of the Dodger game at home later on, or do I stay home and watch "Studio 60" and the entire Dodger game on

    Decisions, decisions.

    2006-09-18 17:04:02
    109.   bigcpa
    107 Highlight was the blatant use of Jon's catch phrase "You do the math."
    2006-09-18 17:07:31
    110.   scooplew
    Tomorrow is the 80th birthday of my boyhood hero, Hall of Famer Duke Snider, the all-time club leader in home runs and runs batted in. He ranks high in many other categories as well. Among other things, a victory tonight would allow "The Dook" to wake up tomorrow with the Dodgers in first place.
    2006-09-18 17:08:24
    111.   Marty
    90 That reminds me that the nametag I had for the "new employee" meeting I went to 9 years ago at my current job read "Mary"
    2006-09-18 17:11:24
    112.   Bob Timmermann
    Aramis Ramirez for Emperor and Pope!
    2006-09-18 17:11:49
    113.   JoeyP
    You'd think Aramis Ramirez would get more respect. Afterall, he's the only hitter the Cubs have.

    However, apparently Brett Tomko, Jon Lieber, and Eude Brito think they can get him out.

    2006-09-18 17:11:57
    114.   Jon Weisman
    111 - LOL
    2006-09-18 17:12:38
    115.   Greg Brock
    112 Jesus Pagan has to be Pope.

    Though, currently, it's not a highly safe position to be in.

    2006-09-18 17:15:41
    116.   overkill94
    115 Is that Angel's brother?
    2006-09-18 17:17:55
    117.   scooplew
    I am feeling strangely confident about tonight's game.
    2006-09-18 17:19:20
    118.   Greg Brock
    116 Yes, it is.

    Or, I'm a moron. Go with option #2.

    2006-09-18 17:21:48
    119.   Bob Timmermann

    Strange. Strange indeed.

    I'm normally as optimistic as the next guy, but I'm wallowing in the depths of depression over the state of the Dodgers tonight.

    Not that I'm going to be upset greatly if the Dodgers lose. But I would not describe my mood as "sanguine".

    2006-09-18 17:22:28
    120.   Sam DC
    Would you consider yourself Peaved perhaps?
    2006-09-18 17:22:32
    121.   Bob Timmermann
    Bob's current mood: saturnine.
    2006-09-18 17:26:10
    122.   Greg Brock
    Jose Valentin with his second homer of the game. 3-0 Mets.

    We used to have a Jose Valentin. He wasn't this guy.

    2006-09-18 17:26:25
    123.   Bob Timmermann
    Cubs 8
    Phillies 6

    Grand slam from old friend Jose Hernandez to make the game tighter.

    2006-09-18 17:27:30
    124.   underdog
    116 115 Are those the guys who started that spiritual belief? I always liked those people. Fun to have around. Not like those damned druids who are always making out with trees and such.
    2006-09-18 17:27:40
    125.   JoeyP
    Sean friend of the Dodgers.
    2006-09-18 17:29:42
    126.   scooplew
    Speaking of Jose Pagan, on April 30, 1961, the game in which Willie Mays hit four home runs, Pagan, remarkably, hit two homers. He hit only five for the entire year. In that game, the Giants also got one home each from Orlando Cepeda and Felipe Alou. Hank Aaron had a pair for the Braves. There were seven home runs by future Hall of Famers (Mays, Aaron and Cepeda). I wonder if that is a record.
    2006-09-18 17:30:35
    127.   underdog
    Um, did anyone else notice that there was just a triple play in that White Sox-Tigers game?

    "C. Guillen lined into triple play third to second, M. Thames out at second, M. Ordonez out at first."

    Go Tigers.

    2006-09-18 17:30:57
    128.   scooplew
    I should have said speaking of Pagans.
    2006-09-18 17:31:13
    129.   Bob Timmermann
    I would bet on a game involving the New York Yankees for that record.
    2006-09-18 17:31:23
    130.   overkill94
    Holy crap, Iguchi turned a triple play against Detroit. How many of those do you get in a year, 2? 3? Doesn't look like it was unassisted though.
    2006-09-18 17:31:27
    131.   bhsportsguy
    123 One of the more interesting facts about this season and I try to explain it below, I don't recall at any time the Dodgers coming back from a deficit of more than 3 runs.

    Part of it has to do with the starters, they either pitch well enough to get to the bullpen or they fail and the team gets to far behind. Secondly, this team doesn't hit home runs and despite what Steve Lyons says, it is easier to come back when you can score a bunch on one swing. Finally, outside of Broxton and Saito, the bullpen has been in constant flux so they have not been the kind of pen who gets the ball in the 5th or 6th and holds the other team down.

    2006-09-18 17:31:45
    132.   Bob Timmermann
    It was mentioned on Bad Altitude. Mark posted it right away.
    2006-09-18 17:31:58
    133.   Sam DC
    Do you have a new word yet, Bob?


    2006-09-18 17:32:27
    134.   Greg Brock
    127 The White Sox went from completely irrelevant to extremely hateable in record time.
    2006-09-18 17:34:01
    135.   underdog
    132 Ah yes, I see that - blogging faster than the speed of sound.

    Yeah, I really don't like the White Sox. I enjoyed them last year but found Ozzie and his hijinx quickly tiresome this time around.

    2006-09-18 17:34:26
    136.   Sam DC
    EEEEK -- Ryan Howard up with two on. Run, run, avert the children, bundle your eyes!


    2006-09-18 17:35:48
    137.   Sam DC
    (Dusts himself off)

    Three pitch strikeout, of course. No problem.

    2006-09-18 17:36:06
    138.   overkill94
    Pfsht, no big thing, struck Howard out like it was his job.
    2006-09-18 17:36:25
    139.   bhsportsguy
    Okay, I'm off to Subway, I'll check back in about 5 or so hours. I expect to see 350 plus posts on the game thread.
    2006-09-18 17:40:05
    140.   Jon Weisman
    131 - Well, the Dodgers fell behind 8-1 on Opening Day and lost 11-10. So it took them all of one game to show some backbone.

    But generally, they have been good at getting leads - I don't know that they should be penalized for that, even if they blow some of them. They may be a poor comeback team but a good lead-getting team.

    2006-09-18 17:43:55
    141.   Jon Weisman
    Game thread is open.

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