Dodgers Now

Steve Dilbeck and The Times' Dodgers reporters
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Category: John Lindsey

Dodgers' Web musings: This could be good for Tim Wallach -- USA Today reports over half of teams could be looking for new manager in offseason

Tim Wallach is primed and ready to become a major-league manager, but was passed over -- as it turned out, before the season began -- to become the next Dodgers manager.

But Wallach, the ex-Dodger who's spent the last two seasons managing the Dodgers' triple-A Albuquerque team, could find another team or two calling this offseason.

USA Today's Bob Nightengale estimates there could be as many as 16 teams looking for a new manager this offseason.

"It's going to be a circus," Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane told Nightengale.

Elsewhere on the Web:

-- The Dodgers may yet lose Wallach, but they will not be losing one of their assistant general managers to the Diamondbacks.

Both Logan White and DeJon Watson both received phone calls informing them that they had not made the finals of the Diamondback's search for a new general manager.

ESPN/LA.com's Tony Jackson gets a reaction from both.

-- The Riverside Press-Enterprise's David Lassen writes that newbie reliever Kenley Jensen, who was a catching prospect just over a year ago, has the makings of a closer.

-- Yahoosports.com's Tim Brown says that if the judge doesn't rule the Dodgers are jointly owned by both McCourts -- likely forcing a sale -- don't expect Major League Baseball to force a sale. Brown said MLB is stuck in a bed of its own making when it approved the highly leveraged purchase.

-- The New York Times' Bill Witz profiles Joshua Fisher, the 24-year-old University of Minnesota law student whose site DodgerDivorce.com has made him one of the go-to experts on the McCourts' divorce.

-- SportsIllustrated.com's Lee Jenkins writes that the last shred of dignity was peeled away from the Dodgers' facade when Torre resigned.

--  MikeSciociastragicillness.com wants to see 16-year minor-league vet John Lindsey get more playing time the last two weeks of the season.

-- ESPN/LA.com's Ramona Shelburne said that some may question Don Mattingly's hire as the next Dodgers manager because of his lack of experience, but no one should question his work ethic.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Rookie Carlos Monasterios remains overmatched in Dodgers' 7-4 loss to Astros

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Carlos Monasterios was supposed to be a middle-innings relief guy. A youngster who had barely pitched above the Class-A level, the Dodgers planned to use him judiciously.

A Rule Five draftee the Dodgers either had to keep on their roster all season or return to the Phillies, Monasterios has been used much differently than anticipated. Failure to identify a fifth starter during the first half and injuries have seen him start 12 games this season, with very mixed results.

Next season should be a very different experience for Monasterios. No longer obligated to be kept on the 25-man roster, he figures to spend his season at triple-A Albuquerque.

Sunday may have been his last start of the season, and it was a struggle from the very beginning in the 7-4 loss to the Astros.

Monasterios lasted only 1 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits and a pair of walks. The Astros scored all four runs against him in a first inning that saw him throw 39 pitches, without allowing a walk.

Even with Jay Gibbons continuing to make his case for being a regular member of the Dodgers next season with a three-run homer and James Loney tripling and scoring on Russ Mitchell’s sacrifice fly to tie it, the Dodgers couldn’t hold on.

The Astros completed the scoring with three doubles in the fifth of reliever Ramon Troncoso (1-3) to score two, and a solo home run from Carlos Lee off Octavio Dotel in the eighth.

There was a bit of good news for the Dodgers. Sixteen years in the making, John Lindsey pinch hit with one out in the fifth and collected the first hit of his major-league career with a single to left.

The good-natured Lindsey has been the sweet aspect to the Dodgers' dismal September, but after loading the bases, he was left at third. Still, nothing on this planet could erase his smile as he joined teammates in the dugout.

Gustavo Chacin pitched only a third of an inning, but picked up the victory for the Astros to go to 3-2.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers catcher Brad Ausmus and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt talk to pitcher Carlos Monasterios in the first inning Sunday. Credit: Steve Campbell / Associated Press

Dodgers can't say they never catch a break after 6-3 victory over Astros

Torre_300 When a team is mired in losing, everything on the planet can feel like it’s aligned against them. Bad bounces, bloop hits, missed calls, managerial moves, pregame food.

The Dodgers, of course, know all about losing this season. Losing in every which kind of way.

But they can no longer claim the breaks always go against them. Not after Saturday night in Houston. Not after the Astros handed them the game with three bizarre runs in the ninth.

The Dodgers happily accepted the gifts and went on to a 6-3 victory, leaving the Astros to curse the fates. Or at least some really bad defense.

The game was tied 3-3 in the ninth when pinch-hitter Trent Oeltjen drew a leadoff walk from closer Brandon Lyon. Such an innocent beginning.

Reed Johnson’s sacrifice bunt rolled up the first-base line. First baseman Brett Wallace watched the ball start to roll foul, but scooped it up while it was still on the line. And Johnson was safe at first.

A.J. Ellis then bunted to the left of the mound, Lyon fielded it and threw it to Galveston. Both Oeltjen and Johnson scored, and Ellis ended up at third.

The Dodgers had two runs and hadn’t hit the ball more than 15 feet.

Tim Byrdak took over for Lyon, and pinch-hitter James Loney greeted him with a run-scoring double.

Hong-Chih Kuo came on to finish it off in the bottom of the ninth and earn his ninth save.

Things started off promisingly enough for the Dodgers.

Well, except for perhaps that first-inning ejection of manager Joe Torre. He was apparently tossed by homeplate umpire Paul Emmel for complaining about a called third strike on Casey Blake.

Which turned the team over to Don Mattingly, all refreshed on that one-visit-to-the-mound rule.

Right-hander John Ely -- making his first starter since July 10 -- early on more resembled the pitcher the Dodgers saw in his first seven starts (3-2, 2.54 ERA), and less the one seen in his next seven (1-5, 7.49).

And as an added bonus, the Dodgers showed some actual signs of offense.

They scored three times in the fourth against Wandy Rodriquez, starting with Blake’s leadoff home run. It was his 15th home run of the season.

Jay Gibbons then bounced a hit up the middle, advanced to second on a groundout by John Lindsey -- making his first major-league start -- and scored on a single by Johnson.

Johnson took second on a delayed steal and scored on a basehit by Ellis to leave the Dodgers up 3-0.

The Astros got one back in the bottom of the inning when Michael Bourn hit another ball into that coffin corner in left-center that has been giving Gibbons nightmares the past two nights.

Gibbons couldn’t come down with the drive that bounced off the wall and toward center-fielder Matt Kemp. Bourn rounded second but stumbled and fell. It ended up not mattering, however, because Kemp suffered one of his defensive brain cramps, holding the ball … and holding it … and holding it, as Bourn got to his feet and ran to third ahead of Kemp’s belated throw.

Jeff Keppinger’s single up the middle scored Bourn for Houston’s first run.

The Astros got two more to tie it in the fifth. Wallace led off with a solo home run. Angel Sanchez and Jason Castro singled, Rodriquez’ sacrifice bunt advanced the runners and Sanchez scored on Bourn’s groundout to third.

Ely left after throwing six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and one walk. He struck out four.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers Manager Joe Torre argues with home plate umpire Paul Emmel after Emmel tossed him from Saturday's game. Credit: Pat Sullivan / Associated Press

Dodgers stumble to their sixth consecutive loss, fall to Astros, 3-2

Not enough can go right for the Dodgers right now.

Not when Ted Lilly again pitches well. Not when they jump out to an early 2-0 lead on an Andre Ethier home run. Not even when 16-year minor leaguer John Lindsey finally gets his first major league at-bat.

Somehow they find a way to lose, again. Manage to turn a promising game into another forgettable loss.

This time Lilly made one mistake and Chris Johnson crushed it for three-run homer to lead the Astros to a 3-2 victory Thursday, handing the Dodgers their sixth consecutive defeat.

That matched their season high for consecutive losses, though it’s the fourth time they’ve managed to accomplish the ignoble feat.

After Jamey Carroll was safe on a throwing error, Ethier hit his first home run in 14 games, jumping on a Bud Norris fastball in the first inning to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.

Lilly then went to work, and for the most part was cruising. Lilly will become a free agent in the offseason, would like to remain with the Dodgers and is essentially pitching for a new contract.

Through five innings, he held the Astros to four hits. It seemed like old times for Lilly, who had won his last seven decisions against Houston.

In the sixth, though, he wobbled and the Astros took advantage.

Hunter Pence slapped a single to lead off the inning and Carlos Lee walked. Lilly got Jason Michaels to fly to shallow right.

Johnson had struck out in his first two at-bats against Lilly, who almost caught him looking at a close pitch that took the count full. But after fouling off a couple of pitches, Johnson drilled the three-run homer into the rafters in left. It was measured at 417 feet.

Lilly (8-10 overall, 5-2 as a Dodger) finished the night having allowed the three runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out six.

Lindsey hit for Lilly to start the seventh, but after 16 years of waiting, his first at-bat was uneventful, flying out routinely to center.

The Dodgers, however, proceeded to load the bases against reliever Gustavo Chacin with one out on a Scott Podsednik walk, Carroll single and walk to Ethier.

And still they couldn’t score. James Loney popped up to short, and right-hander Mark Melancon came on to get pinch-hitter Jay Gibbons to bounce out to first.

Norris, who came in with a 6-8 record and 5.35 ERA -- he had had given up five runs in each of his last two starts -- picked up the victory. He allowed the two runs on three hits. He walked four and struck out seven.

There was one bit of good news for the Dodgers. When A.J. Ellis threw out Jason Bourgeois attempting to steal in the seventh, it marked the end of 40 consecutive stolen base attempts against the Dodgers.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Dodgers' Web doings: Oh, the pain of John Lindsey's near debut

Was that just tortuous, watching John Lindsey strolling up to the plate for his first at-bat after 16 years in the minors … only to be called back by Joe Torre?

After Lindsey was announced as a pinch-hitter Wednesday, the Padres made a pitching change and Torre then called on left-hander Andre Ethier. Who promptly hit into a double play.

Lindsey was goodhearted about his near debut, writes MLB.com's Ken Gurnick, though many on the Web were harsh on Torre for teasing the 33-year-old outfielder in a lost season.

The Dodgers, however, feel they have an obligation to the teams still in the race to try to win every game against a contender. Lindsey figures to get his debut in the four-game series beginning tonight in Houston. The Dodgers have flown his family in.

MikeSciosciastragicillness.com thinks that regardless of the situation, Torre should have let Lindsey bat. MemoriesofKevinMalone.com’s Chad Moriyama thinks it was the only reason left to watch the game and doesn’t buy the obligation-to-other-teams bit.

Also on the Web:

-- Yahoosports.com’s Tim Brown takes a sympathetic look at Torre’s situation with the Dodgers and his looming announcement on whether he will return to manage the team next season.

-- The Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth notes that Thursday is the 45th anniversary of Sandy Koufax’s perfect game, a 1-0 victory that set an MLB record for fewest hits in a game -- one by Lou Johnson.

-- SportsIllustrated.com’s Lee Jenkins offers an insightful look at the dysfunctional ownership of Frank and Jamie McCourt, which includes a glimpse of how Peter O’Malley views the painful proceedings: "It’s embarrassing."

-- ESPN/LA.com’s Tony Jackson thinks that how the Dodgers finish their final 22 games will have effect on how they are remembered, and they should show some pride.

And ESPN.com’s Tim Kurkjian thinks the Dodgers are in a position to determine the outcome of the National League West winner.

-- Expanding the postseason to include two wild-card teams would add more credence to actually winning your division, argue both SportsIllustrated.com’s Tom Verducci and ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark.

-- Steve Dilbeck

The incredible shrinking Dodgers lose fifth straight, shut out for 16th time in 4-0 loss to Padres

They’re caught in a dark, swirling spiral now. Nothing to grab onto, nothing seemingly within their power. A dead-looking team lost in a vortex of losing.

The Dodgers dropped their fifth consecutive game, lost to a pitcher making just his second major league start, lost 4-0 to the Padres on Wednesday night while managing just three hits.

The Dodgers were shut out for the 16th time this season, a major league high, and dropped 11 games back of the Padres in the National League West. They have 22 games remaining.

The Padres’ season was threatening to get away from them, their lead down to one game after losing 10 in a row.

Then the Dodgers came south, and they could hardly do a thing wrong.

The Dodgers lost the opener to an emergency starter, Tim Stauffer, the second game to ace Mat Latos, who was too sick to start the opener, and then Wednesday to rookie Cory Luebke, who spent most of the season at the double-A level.

Chad Billingsley pitched better than his numbers indicated (four runs in 5 1/3 innings), the victim of bunts and miscues, and the Dodgers’ nightly ineptness at the plate.

The Dodgers managed just two hits in the six innings Luebke pitched. They never really came close to scoring, which is becoming a familiar refrain. In their last four games, the Dodgers have scored three  runs total.

The Padres opened the scoring with a run in the third after Dodger second baseman Ryan Theriot double-pumped on a routine grounder by Luis Durango, the speedy outfielder beating the throw for an infield hit.

Durango stole second and scored on single up the middle from Miguel Tejada.

It remained a 1-0 game until the Padres scored three more in the sixth.

Will Venable blooped a hit over shortstop Rafael Furcal, and when Everth Cabrera laid down a perfect bunt, Billingsley had nowhere to go with the throw. That looked good to pinch-hitter David Eckstein, who placed another perfect bunt down for a hit to load the bases.

Durango then sliced a single to left to score two and Adrian Gonzalez drove in one more with a sacrifice fly to center.

That ended the night for Billingsley (11-9), who allowed the four runs on six hits and five walks. He struck out six.

Luebke made his major league debut last week against the Rockies, going five innings and taking a 4-3 loss to the Rockies.

Against L.A., however, the 6-foot-4 left-hander might as well have been Randy Johnson. He walked one and struck out seven in his six shutout innings.

In the eighth inning, the Dodgers had runners at first and second with one out when John Lindsey was announced as a pinch hitter. Lindsey spent 16 years in the minors until being called up Sunday.

When the Padres switched to right-handed reliever Luke Gregerson, Lindsey was called back, his debut put off another day. Andre Ethier then hit his first pitch into an inning-ending double play.

And the spiral continued.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Dodgers call up five from triple-A Albuquerque -- including John Lindsey after 16 seasons in the minors

They were five names scribbled on a crumpled piece of paper. Joe Torre sat in the dugout Sunday, scanned the list and read them off, one by one ...

John Ely, Jon Link, John Lindsey, Chin-lung Hu and Russell Mitchell.

They are the next wave of September call-ups who will be joining the Dodgers from triple-A Albuquerque on Monday in San Diego.

One name stopped everyone for a moment -- Lindsey.

"Now there's a great story," Torre said.

For Lindsey, Monday will mark the apex of a journey most would have given up on years ago, countless rejections ago.

Lindsey has spent 16 years in the minor leagues without getting a sniff of the majors. No current player has spent more time in the minors without so much as a September call-up.

But Lindsey, 33, a first baseman/designated hitter, finally earned his call-up by leading the Pacific Coast League in hitting (.356) and slugging percentage (.663). He also had 25 home runs and 97 RBIs.

Originally drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 1995, he has bounced around seven times between different organizations, including a 2006 stint with the independent New Jersey Jackals. To that point, he’d never played above double A.

Lindsey was ready to give up on his baseball dream after his time with the Jackals, and he returned to his home in Hattiesburg, Miss. He enrolled in the local community college and began making plans for life after baseball.

But a call from Lorenzo Bundy, a former Rockies instructor but then the manager of the Dodgers' triple-A team in Las Vegas, convinced him to give it another try.

Now, after four seasons at triple A -- including one with the Florida Marlins' affiliate last season -- Lindsey will finally get to walk into a clubhouse as a major leaguer.

Monday also will mark the first trip to the majors for Mitchell. A third baseman, he joined Lindsey on the all-PCL team. A 15th-round pick by the Dodgers in 2003, he hit .315 with 23 home runs, 38 doubles and 86 RBIs in his first year at triple A.

-- Steve Dilbeck

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