Dodgers Now

Steve Dilbeck and The Times' Dodgers reporters
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Category: Blake DeWitt

Done deal: Dodgers get Ted Lilly, Ryan Theriot from Cubs [Updated]

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The Dodgers finally got their pitcher on Saturday, acquiring left-hander Ted Lilly from the Chicago Cubs with less than two hours remaining before the trade deadline.

The Dodgers also acquired infielder Ryan Theriot, who will replace Blake DeWitt at second base. The Dodgers traded DeWitt and minor league pitchers Brett Wallach -- the son of triple-A Albuquerque manager Tim Wallach -- and Kyle Smit to Chicago. The Cubs also are believed to have sent $2.5 million toward the $4.87 million owed to Lilly and Theriot for the balance of the season.

[UPDATED, 1:21 p.m.: The Dodgers also acquired reliever Octavio Dotel from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for minor league pitcher James MacDonald and outfielder Andrew Lambo. Dotel, 36, is 2-2 with a 4.28 ERA. Lambo, who graduated from Newbury Park High School, was suspended 50 games earlier this season for violating baseball's drug policy.]

Lilly, 34, is 3-8 with a 3.69 earned-run average this season. He has not won since June 29. He last pitched at Dodger Stadium on July 9, when the Dodgers shelled him for seven runs in 3 2/3 innings. He has started three games since then, giving up four runs in 20 innings, with five walks and 24 strikeouts.

Theriot, 30, was the Cubs' starting shortstop for the last two seasons and the first month of this one, but lost his job to rookie Starlin Castro. He has played second base since then. In 2007, he made cameo appearances in 2007 at third base, left field and right field.

Theriot is batting .284 with one home run, with an on-base percentage of .320 and a slugging percentage of .327.

DeWitt, 24, a former first-round draft pick, is batting .270 with one home run, with an on-base percentage of .352 and a slugging percentage of .371. He has struggled at times defensively -- he came up as a third baseman -- and the Dodgers had started veterans Jamey Carroll and Ronnie Belliard a combined 25 times at second base this season.

Baseball America ranked Wallach as the Dodgers' No. 20 prospect at the start of the season. He was the Dodgers' third-round draft pick last year, and he was 6-0 with a 3.72 ERA at Class A Great Lakes.

-- Dylan Hernandez and Bill Shaikin

Photo: Ted Lilly. Paul Beaty / Associated Press

Dodgers trade Blake DeWitt to Chicago Cubs

The Dodgers told infielder Blake DeWitt a few moments ago that he had been traded to the Chicago Cubs.

"I'm definitely a little surprised it happened," DeWitt said.

The Dodgers have not announced a trade, but they are believed to be acquiring pitcher Ted Lilly and infielder Ryan Theriot from the Cubs. Theriot would replace DeWitt at second base.

-- Dylan Hernandez and Bill Shaikin

Dodgers score more than two runs! And it still isn't enough, as Giants hang on for 6-5 victory

The Dodgers, all tired of that Marvin Gaye routine -- it takes two / to make a dream come true -- actually managed to score five runs Friday.

The Dodgers had been acting like two runs was some kind of unofficial ceiling to their offense.

So the good news is they scraped together some runs Friday. Alas, the bonus runs still weren’t enough, the Dodgers losing again as the Giants came back behind Aubrey Huff and Tim Lincecum to drop the Dodgers, 6-5.

The Dodgers are averaging two runs per game in their 15 games since the All-Star break. And were stuck there again until scoring three late runs in the ninth.

This is not a pattern. It’s an official downward spiral. It’s offensive implosion.

With the victory, the Giants raised their record to 59-45 and pulled within 2 ½ games of the Padres in the National League West. With the loss, the Dodgers fell to 54-49 and remain seven games back of the Padres.

Things started well enough for the Dodgers, with Russell Martin collecting his first career hit off Lincecum to score Casey Blake in the second.

The Giants tied it in the bottom of the inning on a Juan Uribe solo home run.

Rafael Furcal did the same for the Dodgers to lead off the third, but then they blew a nice opportunity to expand their lead.

Andre Either singled and James Loney doubled him to third, still with no outs. Matt Kemp followed with a bouncer to Uribe at short, and for some reason Ethier broke for home. He was thrown out by 10 feet.

Lincecum hit Blake with a pitch for the second time, loading the bases, but Blake DeWitt struck out and Martin bounced out to first. The Dodgers’ offense had peaked.

The Giants regained the lead for good with a two-out rally against Carlos Monasterios in the bottom of the inning. Andres Torres singled and Freddy Sanchez did the same to center.

Only Kemp made a lazy throw to Furcal, the ball bouncing in the dirt and past Furcal for an error that allowed the runners to advance.

Huff then drilled a two-run double off the wall in center, and the Giants were back on top.

The Giants had scored one more than two, which is about all it takes to beat the Dodgers these days.

The Giants added two more anyway in the sixth, Huff scoring on a Pat Burrell double off Jeff Weaver. Pablo Sandoval doubled in yet another.

Huff added a solo homer in the seventh.

It looked like the Dodgers were going to end the night with only two runs yet again, but at least they showed some late fight.

They scored three times in the ninth. Scott Podsednik tripled in one run and then scored on a wild pitch. Kemp singled in a last run to pull the Dodgers within one, but Chris Ray got Blake to bounce out to earn his first save as a Giant.

Lincecum (11-4) went seven innings for the Giants, allowing his two runs on seven hits. He struck out nine.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Dodgers' offense continues to shrink by the game, as they fall to Padres, 6-1

Some day, the Dodgers will score more than a couple of runs in a game. Not Wednesday though. Not much at all, lately.

The Dodgers had been winning in spite of an anemic offense, but this time their woeful lack of production was too much to overcome. That despite another solid starting effort by Hiroki Kuroda.

Wednesday it resulted in a 6-1 loss to the Padres, the Dodgers falling to six back of San Diego in the National League West.

The Dodgers went so meekly that after Jamey Carroll singled in their only run in the third inning, they never got another hit. They never got another baserunner. The last 19 Dodgers were retired in order.

The Dodgers have averaged only 2.15 runs in their 13 games since the All-Star break. They’ve scored more than two runs just once in their last seven games, and in the one exception they scored only three.

The Dodgers picked up their run in the third off Padres left-hander Clayton Richard after Blake DeWitt singled with one out.

After Kuroda struck out, Rafael Furcal walked. Carroll, perhaps starting in left for the last time in a while after the Dodgers acquired outfielder Scott Podsednik, gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead by lining a single to center.

For a long time, it appeared 1-0 might hold up. At least the way the Dodgers' rotation had been going.

Coming in, the Dodgers’ starters had a 1.09 ERA in their last 10 games. Kuroda shut the Padres out the first five innings Wednesday, extending the staff’s overall scoreless streak to 30 innings and his own scoreless streak to 15.

But in the sixth it came undone for Kuroda, or at least undone enough. Tony Gwynn Jr. pinch-hit for Richard, singled and stole second. Chris Denorfia walked and Adrian Gonzalez looped a hit in front of Matt Kemp in center to score Gywnn with the tying run.

Chase Headley walked to load the bases and Nick Hundley’s fly to right was deep enough to bring Denorfia in with the go-ahead run.

The Dodgers trailed 2-1, and with the combination of the way their offense and the Padres’ bullpen has been going, a one-run lead looked fairly imposing.

Just to play it safe, the Padres added two more in the seventh on an RBI double by Jerry Hairston Jr. and RBI single by Denorfia.

On a roll now, the Padres added two more in the eighth on a Hairston single off Travis Schlichting.

Kuroda (8-9) went six-plus innings, giving up three runs, four hits and two walks. He struck out five.

The Padres' vaunted bullpen performed as advertised, four relievers shutting the Dodgers down over the last three innings. It's not like that has been some mean trick of late.

The Dodgers finished with four hits.


-- Steve Dilbeck

Vicente Padilla gives Dodgers another strong start, but this time it's not enough as Mets win, 6-1

Dodgers1_300 This time, strong starting pitching wasn’t enough for the Dodgers.

Vicente Padilla (pictured at right) gave them a third consecutive outstanding start, but was outpitched by the Mets’ Johan Santana. All that before the Dodgers bullpen imploded.

So the Dodgers' mini-winning streak was snapped at two, the Mets rolling on to a 6-1 victory Friday that returned the Dodgers to six games behind the San Diego Padres in the National League West.

There was little more that Padilla could have done. Save for one pitch to Ike Davis, he was just as masterful as starters Chad Billingsley and Hiroki Kuroda had been before him.

Padilla went seven innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits. He struck out six and did not walk a batter. Fifty-five of his 77 pitchers were strikes. During one stretch, he retired 17 consecutive Mets.

Padilla (4-3) was simply continuing his recent string of strong outings. In his last six starts, he has a 1.30 earned-run average.

The Mets, however, got to him for an unearned run in the first.

Jose Reyes led off the game with a double. Luis Castillo was able to beat out a bunt for a single to put runners on the corners.

Padilla struck out Angel Pagan and David Wright, but on the latter Castillo took off for second. When catcher Russell Martin fired to second, Reyes broke for home.

Martin’s throw was on line and Pagan would have been out for an inning-ending double play … except Dodgers second baseman Blake DeWitt dropped the ball for an error.

There was nothing unearned about the Mets’ second run. Padilla tried to throw one of those slow, looping curveballs past Davis and the first baseman waited patiently and rocketed it into the left-field pavilion for his 14th home run.

With Mets outfielders making a series of outstanding catches, Santana had the game in control for New York.

Like Padilla, Santana (8-5) wasn’t messing around, consistently throwing strikes. He gave up one run on five hits in his seven innings. Of his 98 pitches, 74 were strikes.

The only run the Dodgers scratched together off Santana came in the fifth when Martin led off with a double, advanced to second on a DeWitt groundout and scored on Jamey Carroll’s flyout to shallow right.

After the starters called it a night with the Mets clinging to a 2-1 lead, New York broke the game open against the Dodgers' bullpen.

Manager Joe Torre utilized four different relievers, all of whom struggled. Jeff Weaver walked two and James McDonald allowed a sacrifice fly and an intentional walk.

New left-handed specialist Jack Taschner then looked a lot like the old left-handed specialist (George Sherrill), walking the left-handed Davis.

Travis Schlichting’s first pitch was then lined by Jason Bay for a bases-clearing double.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Clayton Kershaw, Joe Torre and Bob Schaefer draw suspensions

Clayton Kershaw received a five-game suspension for intentionally throwing at Aaron Rowand of the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night, the commissioner's office announced.

Manager Joe Torre and bench coach Bob Schaefer were also disciplined, as each drew a one-game suspension for their actions in that same game.

Kershaw has elected to file an appeal, meaning his suspension will be suspended until the process is complete.

Torre, who was punished because Kershaw threw at Rowand after both benches were warned, will serve his suspension Wednesday night when the Dodgers conclude their three-game series against the Giants.

Schaefer, who was thrown out of Tuesday's game for arguing that Danny Bautista should have been ejected for throwing at Russell Martin's head, is expected to serve his suspension on Thursday when the Dodgers open a four-game series against the New York Mets.

-- Dylan Hernandez

As if the rivalry needed more juice: Giants win a wild one, 7-5, as Dodgers' losing streak hits six

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Just when things were almost approaching -- yawn -- ordinary in these little Dodgers-Giants affairs, along came Tuesday night.

There were hit batters and ejections, raised tempers and acting managerial stumbles, not to mention a dramatic 7-5 comeback by the Giants that ultimately extended the Dodgers' losing streak to six games.

Rivalry renewed, or at least refreshed.

After an almost routine Giants victory the previous night, Tuesday was tense and unexpected, full of history and grudges and pitches with intent and one big comeback.

Unexpected, like the Dodgers chasing Giants ace Tim Lincecum with their five runs in just 4 2/3 innings.

The Dodgers let it be known early this wasn’t going to be a typical Lincecum night. They opened the scoring in the first on an Xavier Paul double and an Andre Ethier two-run homer.

The Dodgers made it a 5-1 game in the third with a single by Blake DeWitt and a double by Casey Blake each driving in a run.

And then things got interesting.

(First some quick background: The two teams met here on April 16, Matt Kemp hitting a home run against Todd Wellemeyer and then getting buzzed with a Wellemeyer fastball at the head in his next at-bat. Vicente Padilla later hit Aaron Rowan with a pitch that broke two of his cheek bones and sent him to the disabled list.)

So with one out in the bottom of the fifth Tuesday, Lincecum throws an inside pitch to Kemp that had him bailing out of the batter's box. The next pitch hit Kemp in the ribs.

Continue reading »

Those weren't kisses Dodger Vicente Padilla was throwing to Marlon Byrd

Nothing like a little baseball love to send you into the break.

Or did you miss that I-love-you-too pitch that Vicente Padilla introduced to Marlon Byrd’s back in the seventh inning?

Or the response from rookie Andrew Cashner, currently the most popular Cubbie in the Chicago clubhouse, who hit Blake DeWitt in the thigh in the eighth?

Old-school, hard-nosed baseball, served with a touch of personal history.

Padilla was picked up by the Dodgers last season after being released by the Rangers, who among other things, were fed up with his head-hunting. Which as DeWitt can tell you, usually leads to retaliation.

When Padilla was released, several Rangers did not conceal their joy. And Byrd, then his Texas teammate, wasn’t shy about it.

"About time," said Byrd. "It's absolutely a positive for this team. We have to get rid of the negatives to make a positive, and I believe this is a huge positive for this team."

Added Byrd: "You have to be a good teammate. You have to help teach younger guys the right things. He wasn't a positive influence on the young guys. You started questioning his character and about how much he cared."

All a prelude to Sunday in the seventh inning. The Dodgers were leading 7-0, when Ryan Theriot doubled for only the Cubs’ second hit.

Which brought up Byrd, Padilla’s old buddy. Byrd,  who happened to be seven for nine against the Dodgers in the first two games of the series. Byrd, who was promptly hit in the back.

Byrd walked slowly to first, eying Padilla.

"When a guy is throwing a two-hit shutout and he’s pinpoint all day long, and you get hit with a four-seamer, you have to question it sometimes," Byrd said. "That’s why I looked at him and smiled."

Cubs reliever Bob Howry did not hit a Dodger in the bottom of the seventh, but when Cashner started the eighth, he hit the Dodgers’ first batter, DeWitt.

No one doubted that Cashner, who was later high-fived in the Cubs dugout, had intentionally nailed DeWitt in retaliation for Byrd.

Not plate umpire Jerry Layne, who immediately warned Cashner and both dugouts. Not Dodgers manager Joe Torre or DeWitt. And apparently not Byrd.

Cashner’s "a great teammate," Byrd said. "You’ve got to love him. A rookie throwing hard, and he has pinpoint accuracy too."

DeWitt simply walked to first.

"It’s part of the game," he said. "You accept it as player and go on."

Torre was also certain the pitch was intentional.

"Yeah, I think so because a guy who doesn’t throw as hard was warming up in the bullpen, and they changed to a guy who throws hard," he said. "That’s a pretty good indication."

As for Padilla, he claimed he was unaware of Byrd’s previous disparaging remarks.

"I don’t really read the papers," Padilla said.

Padilla is also unaware there is an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

For now, there were just a lot of knowing smiles in the Dodgers clubhouse. Padilla has mostly been on good behavior as a Dodger. He’s hit six batters this season, one more than Clayton Kershaw.

Padilla, however, was on the disabled list and has started half as many games as Kershaw.

The Dodgers have to make sure Padilla doesn’t lapse into any old, bad habits. That can prove tough love.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Apparently Diamondbacks believe it is better to give than receive, as Dodgers roll to 14-1 victory

Kemp_300 The gifts came from everywhere, off hands and gloves, from an umpire’s mistake and a center fielder’s failed attempt at a Willie Mays catch.

Gifts so numerous that even when the Dodgers did a Keystone Kops routine on the bases, it did not matter one iota.

The Diamondbacks were in such a giving mood Saturday, the Dodgers scored six runs in an absolutely ridiculous second inning and not one was earned.

The Dodgers weren’t about to re-gift, either, rolling to an 14-1 victory over the Diamondbacks that showed newbie manager Kirk Gibson how the other half lives.

With Clayton Kershaw throwing blanks, it was all way too much for the deflated Diamondbacks, who committed five errors in the first three innings. They finished with a team-record six errors, three by ex-Dodger Tony Abreu.

The game turned in the second, beginning with an innocent single by James Loney.

Which was about the end of anything routine. Casey Blake followed with a bouncer to first baseman Rusty Ryal, who made a nice stop and then dropped the ball and threw it away for an error.

Xavier Paul, just called up when Manny Ramirez was placed on the disabled list, then walked to load the bases on three balls when home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman lost track of the count.

Struggling Russell Martin struck out, but Blake DeWitt singled to score one. Kershaw then hit a bouncer to Abreu that possibly could have been a double play, except he dropped it for an error.

Hot-hitting Rafael Furcal -- who has multiple hits in seven consecutive games -- sent a drive to deep center. Chris Young ran straight back and tried to make a Mays-esque over-the-head catch, but dropped it.

Two more scored, not that the fun was done. Kershaw, who had rounded second, apparently thought Young made the catch and starting running back to first. Where he was promptly passed on the bases by the sprinting Furcal, who was immediately out.

Matt Kemp then homered to score two more, and it was 6-0 Dodgers.

The Dodgers added one more unearned run when the Diamondbacks committed errors on three consecutive plays. Those Diamondbacks, generous to a fault.

The Dodgers finally added a couple of earned runs off Rodrigo Lopez in the fourth when both Furcal and Andre Ethier hit solo home runs.

They scored two more in the fifth on a DeWitt single and a throwing error by Abreu.

And on it went. They scored three more in the sixth, two on a Paul single and one on a Martin sacrifice fly. Yes, things were so crazy, even Martin drove in a run.

Meanwhile, Kershaw (8-4) kept turning the Diamondbacks away. He threw 5 2/3 shut-out innings, allowing four hits and two walks, while striking out eight. He did, however, throw 105 pitches.

Travis Schlichting, just called up Saturday to replace Ramon Troncoso, threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Jonathan Broxton lost the shutout in the ninth when he gave up a solo home run to Mark Reynolds, the first homer he's allowed this season.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Matt Kemp points to the sky after hitting a two-run home run in the second inning. Credit: Rick Scuteri / Associated Press.

Dodgers, Hiroki Kuroda make Kirk Gibson an easy winner in his managerial debut with 12-5 victory

Kirk Gibson, greatest manager in the history of the universe.

Hiroki Kuroda, suddenly struggling starting pitcher?

For one night, all things were possible, although Kuroda suddenly doing his Ramon Ortiz imitation might have had a little something to do with Gibson looking like a genius in his managerial debut.

Certainly, Kuroda was not anywhere near his usual game in Friday’s 12-5 loss to the Diamondbacks in Phoenix.

Unless you count giving up six earned runs in less than two innings to be typical Kuroda.

The right-hander couldn’t get out of the second inning, getting pounded with eight hits and allowing two walks.

The only thing that makes it a slight concern, is this was Kuroda’s second consecutive poor outing. He also struggled in his last start against the Yankees, and in his last two starts he has a 12.86 ERA and has allowed 15 hits in seven innings.

After sweeping the Giants, the Dodgers had every right to believe they’d come to Phoenix and continue their newfound winning ways. They were 5-1 against last-place Arizona coming into Friday.

The Diamondbacks organization was so fed up with losing that on Thursday both manager A.J. Hinch and General Manager Josh Byrnes were fired. That’s always a confusing double play. Was the trouble the bad players the GM provided or the poor performance the manager got out of them?

Gibson, the legendary hero who gave the 1988 World Series champion Dodgers their signature moment with his ninth-inning, pinch-hit home run in Game 1, had been Arizona’s bench coach before being named interim manager.

The Diamondbacks responded quickly Friday, scoring three runs in each of the first two innings to chase Kuroda (7-6).

Jeff Weaver followed and gave up another three runs in third.

The Dodgers showed some life against eight-walks, no-hit Edwin Jackson. They scored four runs off Jackson, two on a Blake DeWitt base hit in the second, one in the third on a James Loney single, and one more in the fifth on another Loney single.

Jackson had thrown 149 pitches in his no-hitter against Tampa Bay in his last start, so after five innings Friday, Gibson went to his bullpen to hold the lead.

Which normally would be like trying to hold nitroglycerin on a roller coaster.

The bullpen had already blown eight leads inherited from starters, but that was way back before Gibson was the manager.

Four relievers held the Dodgers to one additional run, Chris Young added a three-run homer in the seventh to finish with five RBI, and Gibson was a perfect 1-0 as a manager.

-- Steve Dilbeck
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