Dodgers Now

Steve Dilbeck and The Times' Dodgers reporters
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Category: Russell Mitchell

If that was farewell, Hiroki Kuroda made it a winner, 7-2


His neck hurts, he’s 36 years old, on a middling team and very possibly playing his final season in the majors.

And Hiroki Kuroda is still here, still soldiering on, still fighting the aches and disappointments and pains of age to take his turn in the Dodgers rotation every five days.

Kuroda was back at it Friday night, after a recent MRI exam showed no new damage to his old bulging disk, still mixing his plethora of pitches with effective results.

In what may have been his final start in Los Angeles, Kuroda went six strong innings to lead the Dodgers to a 7-2 victory over the Pirates before an announced crowd of 41,148.

Kuroda (12-16) allowed two runs (one earned), while holding the Pirates to five hits and a pair of walks. He struck out seven. Kuroda will become a free agent at the end of the season.

He fell behind in the second inning after giving up a single and a walk, when rookie Dee Gordon’s throw to first base sailed wide for a run-scoring error.

The Dodgers tied the score in the bottom of the inning on back-to-back doubles by Jerry Sands and Rod Barajas, and took the lead with a pair of runs in the third.

Gordon singled and stole second, and Justin Sellers walked before Matt Kemp’s hit scored Gordon. Juan Rivera beat out a potential double-play relay to first base to allow Sellers to score and put the Dodgers ahead, 3-2.

The Pirates got one back in the top of the sixth inning on an Alex Presley solo home run, but the Dodgers came back in the bottom of the inning to score four times –- three on a pinch-hit home run by James Loney.

Russ Mitchell, Jamey Carroll and Aaron Miles each singled to start the bottom of the sixth inning. A Gordon groundout scored Mitchell before Loney launched a two-out, full-count offering from reliever Chris Resop into the right-field pavilion.

Loney had been one for 10 as a pitch-hitter this season, without an RBI.


Dodgers-Pirates box score

McCourt seeks court's approval to sell TV rights

Dodgers seek permission to hire a public-relations firm

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda delivers a pitch against the Pirates on Friday night at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Kelvin Kuo / US Presswire

Dodgers call up infielder Russ Mitchell, activate Dee Gordon

Photo: Dee Gordon. Credit: Jayne Kamin / U.S. Presswire.   

It was moving day Thursday, though more is certainly expected to come.

Before their afternoon game at Pittsburgh (currently threatened by rain), the Dodgers called up infielder Russ Mitchell and left-hander Dana Eveland from triple-A Albuquerque, and activated shortstop Dee Gordon from the disabled list. Gordon is in the starting lineup against the Pirates

None of the moves was unexpected -– Eveland is scheduled to start Thursday against the Pirates.

Mitchell was briefly up earlier this season, but hit only .115 (3 for 26). He hit .143 when called up last September. At Albuquerque the corner infielder was batting .283 with 16 homers and 69 RBI.

Mitchell will wear No.47 and Eveland No.37.

Rosters can be expanded on Sept. 1, and additional players are expected to be called up as their minor-league seasons end next week.


Dodgers stay hot with 4-2 win over Padres

Reliever Scott Elbert proves he's a keeper

Trade deadline comes and goes by Jamey Carroll stays

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dee Gordon. Credit: Jayne Kamin / U.S. Presswire.

It's Matt Kemp and the Dukes: Ethier, Barajas held out of lineup, but remain off crowded DL

Lloggjnc Andre Ethier, who told reporters in Houston he wasn’t that sore when he awoke Monday, is nonetheless not in the Dodgers’ lineup against the Astros.

"Dodgers lineup" being something of a loose phrase these days.

Presenting your Los Angeles Dodgers’ May 23rd starting lineup:

Shortstop Rafael Furcal, second baseman Aaron Miles, first baseman James Loney, center fielder Matt Kemp, right fielder Jay Gibbons, left fielder Jerry Sands, catcher Dioner Navarro, third baseman Russ Mitchell and pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

We'll give you a moment in case you need fanning.

Let’s put the lineup another way, with their batting averages: Furcal (.161), Miles (.286), Loney (.240), Kemp (.316), Gibbons (.194), Sands (.241), Navarro (.115), Mitchell (.091) and Kershaw (.211).

Don’t think it’s a good thing when Kershaw has a higher average than four starters.

Continue reading »

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.

Continue reading »

Has there ever been a worse bench than Dodgers' current group?

Llfiv6nc Worst. Bench. Ever.

Not just for the Dodgers, not even for baseball. In the entire history of mankind, has there ever been a more uninspiring bench in any sport than the current unit of the Dodgers?

Right now, any time Don Mattingly has to go to his bench, it’s time to cover the eyes. Bodies with numbers on the back.

His bench options Wednesday were Tony Gwynn Jr. (.224), Jerry Sands (.200), Dioner Navarro (.158), Russ Mitchell (.000) and Juan Castro (.000). Among them, they have one home run.

With four position players on the disabled list (Casey Blake, Rafael Furcal, Marcus Thames and Hector Gimenez), what’s been left behind is almost unwatchable. These days, Mattingly best have a pretty good reason to even look to his bench.

Continue reading »

Dodgers call up Juan Castro, send Ivan DeJesus to triple-A

Castro Juan Castro is back, and I’m going way out on a limb here to declare it’s not because of his bat.

As a hitter, Castro is -- well, not really sure how to sum that up. Not good, doesn’t quite do the trick.

He has a reliable glove, however, and can play shortstop, second and third. And since Don Mattingly couldn’t find a way to play Ivan DeJesus Jr., DeJesus was returned to triple-A Albuquerque to make room for Castro.

"Ivan needs to play," Mattingly said. "It’s not going to do him any good to play once every five, six days. He needs to play.

"Juan gives us a guy who can play short, who can play third, who can play second. Until we can get [Rafael Furcal] back and get ourselves kind of back to full strength, Juan gives you that shortstop that you’re comfortable with. He’s kind of the right guy for what we need."

What they need is a utility infielder, since the two guys who were signed to fill that role -- Jamey Carroll and Aaron Miles -- are mostly starting with injuries to Casey Blake and Furcal.

"It’s a good feeling when somebody wants you, and somebody likes you," Castro said. "I’m just happy to be back here."

Back, as in this his fourth stint with the Dodgers. It's the sixth time they've called him up overall. The Dodgers' fascination with Castro goes back to 1991 when he first signed as a free agent and Clayton Kershaw was 3 years old. Castro turns 39 next month.

"I look young," he said.

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Dodgers Web musings: Long before Kuo's struggles, there was Steve Blass

This is not an encouraging story for Hong-Chih Kuo, and there are plenty of those out there.

But ESPN/LA's Tony Jackson talked to ex-Pirates pitcher Steve Blass, who suffered the same kind of sudden, unexplainable inability to throw a ball where he wanted that has landed Kuo on the disabled list with an anxiety disorder.

Blass lost control in 1973, in what was such a classic case of the "yips’’ it is now often called the Steve Blass Disease.

Blass, unfortunately, never did recover.

"I never fully understood what happened,’’ he said. "But I was lucky in that it was toward the back of a career in which I already had done far more than I ever dreamed of. I tell people if that happened to me today, I would just go to Harvard Medical School and say, 'Fix me.' But that was a different era.’’

Also on the Web:

-- The Orange County Register’s Landon Hall talks to a clinical psychologist to discuss Kuo and how his stress compares to the rest of us in the workplace.

-- The Times’ Bill Shaikin reports on Commissioner Bud Selig’s meeting with the press Thursday in New York, where he denies MLB is dragging its feet on the investigation of the Dodgers’ finances.

-- Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman came away from the meetings convinced Frank McCourt is a solitary figure among other owners and is running out of time.

--  Selig’s monitor, Tom Schieffer, tells the Associated Press that  are composed of 26 interlocking companies and calls his task "daunting,’’ with video.

Continue reading »

Dodgers fall, 5-1, to Cubs

Los Angeles Dodgers starter Ted Lilly pitches to the Chicago Cubs in the second inning of a game in L.A. Wednesday. Credit: Reed Saxon / AP
For those who still find Phoenix still too far a trip to take in a spring training game, the Dodgers offered Wednesday afternoon.

Warm weather, a bunch of players you barely heard of and a crowd that almost could be counted one by one.

That the Dodgers turned this into a 5-1 loss to the Cubs was about as stunning as "McCourts buy mansion."

The Dodgers lineup wasn’t helped when Andre Ethier and his hitting streak was scrapped with a sore elbow. Only one Dodger in the starting lineup had a batting average of more than .250 -- Matt Kemp at .364.

Then it got worse when Juan Uribe was hit by a pitch in the fourth and left the game shortly afterward with a bruise. [Update at 4:33 p.m.: The Dodgers said X-rays on the hand were negative and they expect Uribe to be able to play in their next game Friday in New York.]

At the point, the Dodgers lineup read: Tony Gwynn Jr., (left), Aaron Miles (second), Jay Gibbons (right), Kemp (center), Jamey Carroll (short), James Loney (first), Dioner Navarro (catcher), Russell Mitchell (third) and Ted Lilly (pitcher).

Those poor Cubbies, it’s amazing they found the courage to take the field.

Continue reading »

Casey Blake expected to be out at least six weeks

Lk2zkxnc Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday and is expected to be out for at least six weeks after undergoing surgery Thursday morning for a staph infection on his left elbow, Dodgers team trainer Stan Conte said. 

The Dodgers called up infielder Russell Mitchell from triple-A Albuquerque and Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said Juan Uribe will be his primary third baseman.

Blake is scheduled to be released from the hospital Saturday, and his arm will be in a sling for up to 10 days, Mattingly said, adding he wants Blake to be around the team as soon as that is possible. 

Said Conte: "He’s got an incision on the back of his elbow that we have to take very good care of because that’s still open to the outside world, so he won’t be able to do anything for about 10 days.

"So after that," Conte said, "if everything is going well and there’s no recurrence of the infection, etc., then we’ll start moving him along. I think the magic number that we’re throwing out here is six weeks to return to the major leagues." 

Conte said they're still not sure how the infection came about. 

"Everyone is racking their brain on why this happened," Conte said. "The only theory we have is that he did bump his elbow at some point, he didn't recall it, it caused some swelling and the swelling became infected very, very quickly. 

"He has had a history -- five, six, seven years ago -- of having olecranon bursitis, but it wasn't infected, so I don't know if this is somehow related to that," Conte added. "We don't know." 

Continue reading »

Casey Blake expected to return to the disabled list

Casey Blake
appears to be headed back to the 15-day disabled list.

Blake was admitted to a Miami-area hospital early Tuesday morning with a fever, confirming the Dodgers’ fears that his swollen left elbow is infected. Manager Don Mattingly said he was told by trainer Stan Conte that Blake could be sidelined for four weeks.

"It's one of those situations you can't play around with," Mattingly said.

Asked about how Blake's elbow would be treated, Mattingly said doctors might "open it up and flush it out."

Mattingly said he didn't know exactly what "open it up" entailed.

Blake didn't make himself available to reporters before the Dodgers' series finale against the Florida Marlins on Wednesday. He also forbade Conte from explaining the details of his infection.

If Blake is moved to the disabled list, Mattingly said he could be replaced on the active roster by Russ Mitchell, who hit .143 in 15 games as a September call-up last season. Mitchell is hitting .214 for triple-A Albuquerque.

-- Dylan Hernandez in Miami

Photo: Casey Blake. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times


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