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2010 Los Angeles Dodgers

Posted By Cliff Corcoran On June 25, 2010 @ 8:00 pm In Cliff Corcoran,Series Preview | Comments Disabled

I’m pretty jazzed up for this weekend’s interleague set between the Yankees and Dodgers. Not just because of the familiar faces in the opposing dugout (yes, Joe Torre [1], but also Don Mattingly, who has also never been part of the Yankees’ opposition before tonight and who never wore another team’s uniform before following Torre to L.A. for the 2008 season, and former undesirables Manny Ramirez and Jeff Weaver, whose presence helps stir the emotional pot), but because it’s Yankees-Dodgers. This matchup was the greatest World Series rivalry in baseball history. From 1947 to 1956, the Yankees and Dodgers met in the World Series six times in ten years, and from 1977 to 1981 they met three more times in a five-year span. Altogether, the Yankees and Dodgers have played 11 World Series [2] against one another, the most of any paring in major league history, with the Yankees holding a 8-3 advantage in those Series.

Given that history, it’s shocking to me that this is just the second interleague meeting between the two teams and that they have yet to play an interleague game in the Bronx [3] (which means the the final dozen years of Yankee Stadium’s existence passed without such a matchup). Since the Dodgers come-from-behind victory in the 1981 World Series, the Yankees and Dodgers have played just one series, a three-game set in Chavez Ravine in mid-June of 2004 that the Dodgers took two games to one. The winning pitchers in that series were Brad Halsey for the Yankees in the middle game and Weaver (who, in his first Dodgers stint immediately following the Kevin Brown trade, beat Javy Vazquez in his first¬† stint with the Yankees) and the late Jose Lima for the Dodgers.

This year, Weaver is in the bullpen and Vazquez won’t pitch until the Yankees return home next week, but the matchup is even more compelling. Beyond that history and the familiar faces, this series pits the defending world champions against the team that lost the last two National League Championship Series. Say what you want about Joe Torre, but he has kept his postseason streak alive since leaving the Bronx.

I figured the Dodgers would make it 15 straight seasons for Torre before this season started, and though they got off to a slow start (13-17 and six games out of first place on May 8), they turned things around in a hurry with a nine-game winning streak, the start of a 23-7 run from May 9 to June 9 that put them a game ahead of the inexplicable Padres. They’ve only won three of their last 12 since then, however, and have fallen back to third place, three games behind San Diego. Included in that swoon has been a 1-5 performance against their local rivals in Anaheim and a three-game sweep at the hands of the surging Red Sox in Boston, where the return of Ramirez and old rival Torre added a similar charge of emotion.

The bad news for Yankee fans is that despite the Dodgers slide, Manny has been red-hot, hitting .421/.463/.711 with three homers in his last ten games (nine starts) and enters this game with a six-game hitting streak. The Dodgers are finally seeing some signs of life from Andre Ethier as well. Ethier was having an out-of-his-mind season before breaking a finger in batting practice in mid-May. He didn’t hit a lick upon returning on May 31, but has gone 5-for-13 with a pair of doubles in his last three games. The same goes for Matt Kemp, who slumped badly for most of June but went 4-for-13 with a double and a homer in those three games. The Dodgers also just got Rafael Furcal back in the lineup after he missed close to a week on bereavement leave.

The most favorable pitching matchup in this weekend’s series for the Yankees is tonight’s as CC Sabathia takes on Vicente Padilla. CC has been sharp in June, going 4-0 with a 2.48 ERA 28 strikeouts in 29 innings, a 3.11 K/BB and just two home runs allowed, both in his first start of the month. Padilla, meanwhile, has made just one start since April 22 due to a nerve irritation in his right forearm that shelved him for nearly two months. Padilla gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings at Fenway his last time out. In his last start against the Yankees, on June 2 of last year while he was still a Texas Ranger, he gave up seven runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Los Angeles Dodgers

2010 Record: 39-33 (.542)
2010 Pythagorean Record: 36-36 (.500)

2009 Record: 95-67 (.586)
2009 Pythagorean Record: 99-63 (.611)

Manager: Joe Torre
General Manager: Ned Colletti

Home Ballpark: Dodger Stadium

Bill James Park Indexes (2009):
LH Avg-97, LH HR-111
RH Avg-96, RH HR-84

Who’s replacing whom:

  • Blake DeWitt inherits Orlando Hudson’s playing time
  • Garret Anderson replaces Jim Thome, Jamie Hoffmann (minors), Xavier Paul (minors), Doug Mientkiewicz, and many more
  • Reed Johnson replaces Juan Pierre
  • Ronnie Belliard inherits Mark Loretta’s playing time
  • Jamey Carroll replaces Juan Castro
  • A.J. Ellis is filling in for Brad Asmus (DL)
  • John Ely replaces Randy Wolf
  • Vicente Padilla replaces the starts of Eric Stults, John Garland, Eric Milton, and Jason Schmidt
  • Charlie Haeger is filling in for Chad Billingsley (DL)
  • George Sherrill takes over Guillermo Mota’s innings
  • Hong-Chih Kuo takes over the innings of Brent Leach , Scott Elbert (both minors), and Will Ohman
  • Justin Miller is filling in for Cory Wade (DL)

25-man roster:

1B – James Loney (L)
2B – Blake DeWitt (L)
SS – Rafael Furcal (S)
3B – Casey Blake (R)
C – Russell Martin (R)
RF – Andre Ethier (L)
CF – Matt Kemp (R)
LF – Manny Ramirez (R)

Bench:

L – Garret Anderson (OF)
R – Ronnie Belliard (IF)
R – Reed Johnson (OF)
R – Jamey Carroll (IF)
R – A.J. Ellis (C)

Rotation:

L – Clayton Kershaw
R-  John Ely
R – Charlie Haeger
R – Vicente Padilla
R – Hiroki Kuroda

Bullpen:

R – Jonathan Broxton
R – Ronald Belisario
L – George Sherrill
R – Ramon Troncoso
L – Hong-Chih Kuo
R – Jeff Weaver
R – Justin Miller

15-man DL:

RHP – Chad Billingsley (groin)
RHP – Carlos Monasterios (blood blister on middle finger)

60-man DL:

RHP – Cory Wade (shoulder surgery rehab)
C – Brad Ausmus (pinched nerve in lower back)

Typical Lineup:

S – Rafael Furcal (SS)
R – Russell Martin (C)
L – Andre Ethier (RF)
R – Manny Ramirez (LF)
L – James Loney (1B)
R – Matt Kemp (CF)
R – Casey Blake (3B)
L – Blake DeWitt (2B)


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URL to article: http://www.bronxbanterblog.com/2010/06/25/2010-los-angeles-dodgers/

URLs in this post:

[1] Joe Torre: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/cliff_corcoran/06/25/joe.torre.yankees/index.html

[2] 11 World Series: http://www.futilityinfielder.com/wordpress/2010/06/a-thumbnail-guide-to-the-dodgers-yankees-fall-classics.shtml

[3] in the Bronx: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=11310

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