Hey... We scored a run.
Last night the Dodgers played their first game after clinching their fourth consecutive division championship and lost... Not that I'm fretting, or anything.
The Dodgers are in the midst of preparing for the division series against the Nationals, so the outcome of the last five games of the regular season are less important than setting up the club for success in October. Per Doug Padilla at ESPN:
Manager Dave Roberts did start nearly all of his regulars in the first game after clinching the National League West on Sunday, but starter Kenta Maeda only went four innings, as did left fielder Andrew Toles and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.Below are more links to check out:
"As you saw tonight, I normally wouldn't have taken Toles out as early as I did, but I want to get Andre [Ethier] some at-bats, and it was nice to see him get that last at-bat and get a walk and have a competitive three at-bats," Roberts said. "Toles will start tomorrow, and we'll see how the game plays out. And Adrian had a sinus infection, so that's why he came out of the game."
It's not as if the Dodgers do not care about playing host to the Nationals for the opening two games of the NLDS, plus a potential deciding Game 5. But post-clinch baseball is usually different from the version that preceded it.
- This Day in Dodgers Baseball: In 1988 Orel Hershiser broke Don Drysdale Major League record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched at 59. He threw ten scoreless innings against the Padres in San Diego. In 1997 Mike Piazza set the Los Angeles Dodgers record for home runs at 40.
- Happy Birthday, Todd Worrell and Jerry Sands!
- Podcast: Dodger’s historian Mark Langill talks about the incomparable life and career of Vin Scully with Colin Gunderson at the "Love of Baseball" podcast (Link Here).
- With regards to the upcoming NLDS playoff series against the Nationals, Washington may be down by three significant players. Starting catcher Wilson Ramos has a torn ACL (via a tweet by CSN Nationals), starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg is unlikely to pitch during the series due to elbow soreness (via Chase Hughes at CSN Mid-Atlantic) and slugging second baseman Daniel Murphy might sit out the series due to a sore butt (via Jonathan Lehman at the New York Post). BTW, their biggest star, Bryce Harper, jammed his hand on Sunday, but is expected to be ready for the playoffs.
- As for the Dodgers playoff starting pitching roster, we got some info on that too. Via Ken Gurnick at MLB.com; "Dodgers set rotation for Games 1-3 of NLDS: After Kershaw, Hill and Maeda, Urias is a possibility for fourth spot."
Kershaw will pitch Game 1 on Oct. 7, Hill Game 2 on Oct. 8 and Maeda Game 3 on Oct. 10. Roberts would not name a Game 4 starter but said 20-year-old rookie Julio Urias is "on the table." Urias makes his third start of September on Thursday night in San Diego.
Kershaw, whose scheduled start on Saturday in San Francisco is his fifth since returning from 2 1/2 months on the disabled list (herniated disk), will have six days until he opens the series with the Nationals. Kershaw said he was given the choice of pitching Friday or Saturday and chose Saturday because he didn't want to go a full week between starts.
- Gurnick at MLB.com also tells us that Yasiel Puig will be in the postseason:
"Yasiel has self-admitted he's grown," said Roberts. "It's tough to humble yourself and check your ego and go to Oklahoma City and be a Minor League player, but he did that and he learned from it and earned the right to be a Major League player. We talk about it being a privilege to be a Major League player. I think to his credit, he really understands what that means. He's done a lot to help us win a lot of baseball games. He'll be on the postseason roster, and he's earned it."
- I totally missed this. Via Stephen Douglas at The Big Lead; "Dodgers Win Division, Remind Rookie Julio Urias He's Too Young to Drink."
- Via Daniel Starkand at Dodger Blue; "Vin Scully Signed Nolan Arenado’s 40th-Home Run Bat." Check out the signed bat on the right, via @Rockies on twitter.
- Via Doug Padilla at ESPN; "Dodgers' Charlie Culberson on a ride to remember."
“Yeah, it was a big deal,” he said. “It was the biggest hit, the biggest deal of my baseball career, and I’m definitely happy to have had that chance to be there.”
- I love that the game is expanding; especially to areas known for great cricket players. There will no doubt be some future Major Leaguers unearthed as time goes by. Via Lindsey Adler at Deadspin; "Pakistan’s National Baseball Team Just Wants You To Know They Exist."
* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Like Dodgers Blue Heaven on facebook *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *