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Category: Matt Guerrier

Who's the Dodgers' closer?

Scott-elbert_600

Who’s the Dodgers’ closer?

Manager Don Mattingly responded to the question with one of his own: “How do I know?”

Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo, Vicente Padilla and Kenley Jansen are on the disabled list.

Mattingly said that if his team has a ninth-inning lead, he is inclined to call on one of the pitchers recently promoted from the minors to close: Javy Guerra, Scott Elbert or Rubby De La Rosa.

Veterans Matt Guerrier and Mike MacDougal have been the Dodgers’ most consistent performers out of the bullpen, but Mattingly said he would like to continue using them in middle-relief roles. Mattingly pointed to how Guerrier and MacDougal have often entered games in the middle of innings with men on base and limited the damage.

“If one of our younger guys get in trouble, it’s nice to have a MacDougal or Guerrier right there to come in the middle of an inning and know where they’re at,” Mattingly said. “They know how to pitch in those situations.”

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-- Dylan Hernandez

Photo: Left-hander Scott Elbert will be among a group of relievers who could be used in a save situation while a handful of potential closers are on the disabled list. Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / US Presswire

Dodgers lose yet another tough one, 2-1, to Astros

Llrop7nc Just in case anyone thought the Dodgers could not come up with a new and inventive ways to lose, they offered Wednesday afternoon in Houston.

Astros catcher J.R. Towles entered the game with a staggering 0-for-32 streak. He'd have made a polar bear look hot.

But Wednesday he had three hits, none bigger than his single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to drive in the winning run in Houston's 2-1 victory.

The line-drive single came off reliever Matt Guerrier, the Dodgers' fourth pitcher of the game.

Brett Wallace doubled off the glove of Matt Kemp -- who appeared to slightly mistime his jump -- in deep center. Towles' single then fell in front of Kemp, whose throw to the plate was off-line, though it probably would not have been in time anyway.

It was another tough loss for the Dodgers, who don't seem to know any other kind.

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Mitchell, Castro spur Dodgers' most unlikely comeback victory, 6-4, over White Sox

Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Matt Kemp (27) is congratulated by infielder Jamey Carroll (14) after hitting a two-run home run during the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at US Cellular Field. Credit: Jerry Lai / US Presswire Maybe it was the eerie fog that enveloped U.S. Cellular Field, but something very strange happened for the Dodgers on Friday night.

They opened interleague play looking exactly like the sad team that continued to invent painful ways to lose. Had gone up in the first on a two-run homer by Matt Kemp and then crawled into a shell and seemed all set to meekly absorb a one-run defeat.

They were one out away from their latest loss when they sent unsung Russ Mitchell up against reliever Sergio Santos -- who had not allowed a run all season -- and he stunned the White Sox, if not the Dodgers, with a solo home run.

Mitchell was one for 14 until his home run.

And the bizarreness only continued in the 10th, when much-maligned Juan Castro fisted a soft little hit over first baseman Paul Konerko that landed just fair to drive in the go-ahead run and the Dodgers went on for a 6-4 victory.

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Dodgers place Padilla on DL; is there a closer in the house?

Photo: Vicente Padilla. Credit: Steve Mitchell / U.S. Presswire And for the Dodgers’ next closer …

Quick, somebody put a hand up.

That forearm soreness of Vicente Padilla’s became serious enough Thursday that the Dodgers put him on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 14 with radial nerve irritation.

To replace him, they called up Ramon Troncoso, again, from triple-A Albuquerque.

This is the same forearm Padilla had surgery on during spring training and forced him to miss the first three weeks of the season.

Shortly after he returned, however, closer Jonathan Broxton and Hong-Chih Kuo, the closer late last season, quickly went to the disabled list.

Padilla was elevated to closer, but threw 32 pitches Friday in his ninth appearance and his forearm became sore.

"It’s the same area, so it kind of relates to the same stuff,’’ Manager Don Mattingly said. ``He’s feeling a little better today, which is encouraging. But we’re on day six, and realistically we probably wouldn’t be able to use him again until day nine or 10, and then we’d have to give him a day off and we’re at day 12.

"It just makes sense for us to give him a chance to get healthy and try to deal with the long term."

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Vicente Padilla's stiff forearm latest blow to Dodgers' closing spot?

Photo: Dodgers closer Vicente Padilla throws a pitch during a game against the Florida Marlins on April 25. Credit: Steve Mitchell / U.S. Presswire And the bullpen doors opened in the ninth inning Tuesday, and out strode -- not the disabled Jonathan Broxton, not the disabled Hong-Chih Kuo, and not newbie closer Vicente Padilla -- but Matt Guerrier.

This closing business is getting to be risky stuff.

Padilla was not available, said manager Don Mattingly, because of forearm stiffness.

"He was a little stiff today," Mattingly said. "We feel like he’ll probably be ready (Wednesday)."

This would be, of course, the same forearm he had surgery on in the spring.

Mattingly sounded unconcerned, but dealing with all of these injuries and reports are new to him. Padilla’s arm was stiff and he hasn’t pitched since Friday.

"Stan [Conte, team trainer] said he thinks it wasn’t the same exact spot," Mattingly said.

Same arm, same forearm… same concern?

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Kemp provides the offense, Kuroda the pitching as Dodgers stop three-game skid with 3-0 victory

Photo: Matt Kemp watches his two-run home run clear the fence during the first inning of the Dodgers' 3-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday. Credit: Chris Carlson / Associated Press If hits are going to continue to be in short supply for the Dodgers, they had best make them count.

On a cool Tuesday night, they made their first hit the only one that mattered when Matt Kemp crushed a two-run homer in the first inning.

With right-hander Hiroki Kuroda again in complete command, the Dodgers made that little outburst hold up on the way to a 3-0 victory over the Brewers, snapping a three-game losing streak.

Kemp followed a two-out walk to Andre Ethier in the first inning by sending his team-high eighth home run over the right-field wall.

Milwaukee left-hander Randy Wolf shut the Dodgers down the rest of the night. The Dodgers finished with eight hits.

Kemp had been 0 for 10 when he hit his home run, and 0 for 5 with five strikeouts lifetime against Wolf.

Kuroda (5-3) threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings, holding the Brewers to six hits. He walked two and struck out seven.

It was his second consecutive strong outing. In his last two starts, Kuroda has pitched 14 2/3 innings without giving up a run, while striking out 15.

On a minor historic note, in the eighth inning he was called for the first balk of his four-year career.

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With Kershaw in command, Dodgers slip past Diamondbacks, 4-3

Photo: Clayton Kershaw delivers a pitch during Friday's 4-3 victory over the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks. Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / U.S. Presswire Clayton Kershaw, budding ace, was doing his old nervous dance early. Giving up hits, walking guys, throwing too many pitches.

Trouble for the Diamondbacks was, after that he looked like the more recent version of Kershaw, throwing nothing but blanks in his seven innings, as the Dodgers overcame a nervous ninth to take a 4-3 victory over Arizona before an announced crowd of 35,506.

After pitching out of early trouble, Kershaw retired his last 14 consecutive Diamondbacks. He struck out a season-high 11 on the night. He looked exactly like the ace the Dodgers believe he’s becoming.

The victory raised Kershaw’s record to 5-3 and lowered his ERA to 2.75.

Vicente Padilla gave up a pair of ninth-inning runs and was unable to earn the save. With two runners on, the Dodgers went to Kenley Jansen to get the last out, and he earned the first save of his year. Jansen struck out Melvin Mora on a 97-mph fastball for the final out.

It was not exactly an anomaly that Kershaw had to pitch out of trouble in two of the first three innings.

In the first, Chris Young and Mora led off with back-to-back doubles -- and the Diamondbacks failed to score. Mora’s was a blooper in shallow right that had first baseman James Loney and second baseman Aaron Miles run into each other, the ball going off Miles’ glove.

Young, having to hold halfway to second in case the ball was caught, could only advance to third. Kershaw then struck out Xavier Nady and Stephen Drew, and popped up Justin Upton.

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Plans awry, Dodgers bullpen tries to stay one step ahead of chaos

Lkym5cnc So much for the best-laid plans of mice and general managers.

When the Dodgers went into spring training, they were confident their rebuilt bullpen would be a 2011 strength. Had it all mapped out.

Maybe they were crossing their fingers on returning Jonathan Broxton as closer, but he was an All-Star coming off a bad half-season. And if he faltered, there was the nearly unhittable Hong-Chih Kuo.

Behind them, the hard-throwing Ronald Belisario. Vicente Padilla would return as the long man. Kenley Jansen was back off his lights-out rookie campaign.

Then there was new addition Matt Guerrier, and even Blake Hawksworth if needed for the middle innings.

Only six weeks into the season, the bullpen is completely upside down. Almost unrecognizable.

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Hiroki Kuroda leads Dodgers to 2-0 victory over Pirates

Sometimes a team does just enough. It doesn’t have to be jaw-dropping or awe-inspiring, but just enough to slip away with victory.

Which is the way the Dodgers went about it Wednesday night in Pittsburgh, riding a strong outing from Hiroki Kuroda and scratching together a couple of runs in the sixth inning to eke out a 2-0 victory over the Pirates.

Kuroda (4-3) shut the Pirates out in his seven innings, giving up three hits. He struck out eight and walked three.

With Hong-Chih Kuo placed on the disabled list with anxiety disorder prior to the game, the Dodgers picked up scoreless innings from Matt Guerrier in the eighth and Vicente Padilla in the ninth to close it.

For Padilla, the Dodgers’ current closer, it was his third save in as many opportunities.

Kuroda, who had allowed five runs in the 5 2/3 innings of his previous start, was in control from the outset. He was using all his pitches, consistently keeping the Pirates off balance.

He took a no-hitter into the fifth, when, with one out, former Angel Brandon Wood’s broken-bat blooper landed in front of left-fielder Jerry Sands for a single.

The Dodgers weren’t doing much more with Pirates left-hander Paul Maholm. The game was scoreless through five innings, Maholm holding the Dodgers to three singles when he committed one of those cardinal sins for pitchers -- walking the leadoff hitter.

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Matt Kemp's three-run home run ignites rare laugher for Dodgers, 10-3

Photo: Matt Kemp rounds the bases after hitting athree-run home run during the sixth inning of the Dodgers' 10-3 victory Tuesday over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Credit: Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press As formulas go, it’s nothing fancy. Basic stuff. Get strong starting pitching, play solid defense and count on the middle of the lineup to drive in enough runs to squeak out a victory.


It’s the 2011 Dodgers, and if their formula has been found lacking more than they’d like, it worked just fine Tuesday in a 10-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

It came together to leave the Dodgers with that rarest of rarities, a blowout victory.

Ted Lilly gave them the strong starting pitching, going six innings and holding Pittsburgh to two runs and four hits.

Andre Ethier ended a scoreless game in the top of the sixth inning with a line-drive single and Matt Kemp followed with a three-run home run.

Their offensive floodgates opened, the Dodgers added six runs, making it the first time in 14 games they scored more than five runs in a game.

Kevin Correia (5-3) matched Lilly (3-3) through five innings, before Jamey Carroll’s third hit ignited a two-out rally in the sixth. Aaron Miles followed with a bunt down the third base line that went for a hit.

 

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