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Dodgers-Phillies LiveBlog 6/6/09
Dodger staffers wearing the new zip code of Dodgertown. LAist/Jimmy Bramlett
On this day Dodger manager Joe Torre is only undecided about one thing: which horse to bet on in the Belmont Stakes.
While he is sending Hiroki Kuroda to the mound in his second start since coming off the disabled list, he spent most of the time pregame talking about his bullpen. When asked what the most pleasant surprise he's had this season he responded, "I think it's [Ramon] Troncoso.
"Pitching being such a huge part of many one run games as we've played, if you don't really talk about pitching being the key I don't know when you'd do that."
Of course the question of whether or not the Dodgers need to pick up another veteran arm he said, "You could be asking that question of any manager in the major league."
"To me pitching is probably the area you need the most depth because something is going to happen that you don't want to have happen. You know we lost Kuroda after game one, and we obviously held it together without him. But you can never have too much on the pitching side."
Before the game, the Dodgers also had a press conference officially unveiling the Dodgertown zip code of 90090. The folks in the picture above will be responding personally to all the letters sent to Dodgertown.
For the Dodgers Mark Loretta and Juan Castro will be starting in the place of Casey Blake and Rafael Furcal and will be batting seventh and eighth in the line up.
One final thing before the liveblog starts, so we don't incur the wrath of Vin Scully again I must mention that today marks the 65th anniversary of DDay, the storming of the beaches in Normandy.
Post GameTwo games and two walk offs for Andre Ethier, today's walk off being a solo shot.
"I was looking and watching Victorino," Ethier said about his blast to center. "And I saw him jump up, it was a good feeling."
Ethier had been in a slump that coincided with Manny Ramirez's suspension early in May. Manager Joe Torre noted that Ethier's at-bats in the last four to five games have been much improved.
"The confidence has always been there," Ethier said about his at-bats. "I think it's just going up there and swinging at the right pitches and trying to stay in the at-bat and know what they're trying to do to you in certain situations. And use that confidence to not be overly aggressive but be aggressive at the right time."
The Dodgers are now 39-19, 20 games over .500.
Bottom of the 12th
WALK OFF HOMER BY ETHIER!!!!!!!
And I'm also thinking now how pissed my family will be for being late. Oh well. I guess that's the way the cookies crumble.
The longer this game goes, the happier I am that tomorrow's game is a night game.
By the way, I'm now using a second scoring card for this game.
Top of the 12thThe Dodgers have retired 13 Philies in a row.
Did you know that you can score two free tickets with four fill ups at 76? The scoreboard told me so!
Because the Philllies are out of position players, pitcher Chad Durbin had to hit.
Bottom of the 11th1-2-3 inning for the Phils. The lights are coming on in the Stadium.
Wade will hit with two outs.
After hemming and hawing it looks like Ausmus will bat for Wade. We'll see after this batter.
Top of the 11thThe Dodgers have now retired 11 straight batters since the intentional walk to Ibanez in the eighth.
Torre's going to the mound after Wade pitched a strike to Feliz. What's the dilly-yo?
A badly needed pee break. Oof. And my heart just sunk watching Howard hit that to the wall.
Bottom of the 10thKemp now has another chance to extend his 10-game hitting streak. So far he's 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Chad Durbin will come in to pitch against Kemp for the righty-on-righty matchup.
Loney has another chance to get a four-hit game.
I like that they're not telling Martin to sac bunt. It's just not right in this situation.
If I were Torre, I'd go for the double steal here.
The Dodgers now have first and second on with no outs. Rally anyone?
By the way both teams are 4-1 in extra inning games.
Hudson on with a single and Ethier to bat. They just replayed his walk-off double from last night.
Top of the 10thUtley ran into the ball which is an automatic out. How do I score that?
What's left of the crowd is into it now. They are on their feet with two strikes to Utley.
Never mind. He used mostly fastball to get Werth.
Broxton is using the slider a lot today. That was an 87 mph slider that got Victorino fooled.
The only position player left is Brad Ausmus for the Dodgers, the back up catcher.
Bottom of the 9thFurcal is getting a standing ovation as he's coming onto the field.
Man. I could have sworn the umpire called that an out. If the Dodgers don't score from here on out, the Phillies are screwed.
By the way, that is Lidge's sixth blown save of the season.
First career pinch hit home run for Furcal.
Werth caught the ball. It's not a home run. Actually it was. I thought the first base umpire signaled it was an out.
Rafael Furcal is pinch hitting for Castro.
It looks like Casey Blake will pinch hit for the pitcher's spot.
Castro getting picked off in the seventh inning is the biggest play of this game so far.
Rollins is staying in the game playing short. Brad Lidge is coming into close the game. And with that the Phillies are out of position players. Manuel is hoping that this doesn't go to extras.
Top of the 9thJimmy Rollins is on deck pinch hitting for Ryan Madson.
There's a guy somewhere yelling out to the Phillies batters when they swing. That's quite annoying. I want to dump my water on him.
Bottom of the 8thWith Matt Kemp striking out, people are streaming into the parking lot. Haven't they learned from the last two games? Really?
And with that caught line drive to left field, Loney missed having his third four-hit game of his career.
Someone right below me got nailed in the arm by Martin's foul ball. Doesn't look pretty.
How the hell did Ethier lay off that last pitch for a walk? Great plate discipline. He's been working the Phillies pitchers all game.
Chan Ho Park is warming up in the Phillies bullpen.
Top of the 8thAnd Castro recovered the ball in time to throw Feliz out.
Martin saved a wild pitch right there. He's been getting beat up recently with these balls hitting the dirt.
Pedro Feliz is .345 with RISP. Let's see what happens.
And they're intentionally walking Ibanez.
Howard is 0-for-4 today with one strike out.
Bottom of the 7th0-for-4 with RISP.
Also Hudson is 0 for his last 13.
The Dodgers are 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.
And Pierre singled making Castro's pick off that much more crucial.
The Fox guy next to me said, "Oh my goodness gracious," channeling his inner Suzy Waldman when Castro got picked off.
And Castro just got picked off. HORRIBLE base running by the veteran.
The crowd is feeling this rally right now. It's not crazy, but you can tell they're in it. Especially after that second strike call.
Does anybody know when Romero was reinstated after his 50 game suspension?
JC Romero is replacing Clay Condrey after 1/3 innings.
Back-to-back singles by Castro and pinch hitter Jamie Hoffman. The Dodgers are getting a rally going.
Top of the 7th
Stairs hit a two-RBI single to right field. He advanced to second on the throw and to third on a Russell Martin's throwing error.
The crowd or on their feet.
Hudson caught a tricky fly ball halfway in the outfield for the second out which forced Raul Ibanez to stay at third. The crowd went nuts on that play. Now Matt Stairs is pinch hitting for Blanton. Remember the NLCS anyone?
Belisario is not looking good. He short hopped Bruntlett's sac bunt to Loney at first. Could have been an error.
Ronald Belisario now replaces Kuroda who pitched a good game.
Bottom of the 6thThe Dodgers are 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.
I can't believe they gave Kemp the green light on a 3-0 count.
That's the second at-bat in a row for Loney he hit the first pitch for a single.
Blanton walked Martin on his 100th pitch.
I think Ethier wants to hurt someone with those foul balls he's hitting. I'm ready to duck.
I'm starting to get sleepy. Is it nap time?
Top of the 6th Dodger fans cheering Kuroda on on a 1-2 count with two outs. Howard strikes out swinging and the crowd explodes! Phillies are 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position.
The Dodgers are holding Werth at third and Utley at first with Castro and Hudson playing the shift at normal depth.
Walk to Utley with a wild pitch allowing Werth to advance to third. Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt talking to Kuroda and the infielders. Deciding whether they're going to play normal depth or in.
That was centimeters from being fair.
Jayson Werth singled to left after an eight-pitch at bat. I miss him as a Dodger. Hopefully he doesn't steal home today.
This is a mug only a mother could love. AP Photo/Tom Mihalek
Man. Joe Blanton is one ugly fool. Yeesh.
Bottom of the 5th The Dodgers are now 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position.
Kuroda did his job getting Castro into scoring position. Let's see if Pierre can cash him in.
Fox's scorer next to me was right about the pitch count. I stand corrected.
And the "Phillies Suck" chants have started in the LF pavilion.
Top of the 5th Another great defensive play by the Dodgers. Hudson smothers the ball on the ground hit by Carlos Ruiz, gets up and throws the ball high to Loney. Loney made a jumping catch and tagged the base just in time to get the charging Ruiz out. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel took umbrage and had a discussion with first base umpire Tony Randazzo. Manuel looked like he accepted the explanation.
It's amazing Kuroda is pitching as well as he has despite only getting 7-of-17 first pitch strikes in and getting a three-ball count on four batters.
And Pedro Feliz just broke up the no hit bid by Kuroda by hitting a single up the middle.
Oh dear god the wave. Ugh.
Bottom of the 4th To summarize, Ethier hits the ball out to right field for the game's only score. Kuroda is pitching a gem of a game only giving up two walks. The Dodgers lead 1-0.
And Kemp strikes out looking to end the inning.
Loney just stole second. I can't believe that.
Blanton is starting to have a little trouble this second time around the order. That's two hits so far this inning.
Andre Ethier has found his form again. He tattooed that ball to the right field bleachers for his 8th homer of the season. That woke up the crowd.
Orlando Hudson with that flyout to left center is now 0 for his last 12.
Top of the 4th Kuroda gave up his second walk of the day to Chase Utley. Howard at bat the shift is on again, but Castro and Loretta are in their "normal" positions. He promptly hits into a double play into the shift.
Had an argument with the Fox official scorer on the number of pitches Blanton has thrown. He has him throwing one pitch more than I do and the Dodgers scorer does.
Bottom of the 3rd Another 1-2-3 inning for Blanton. Hopefully this game goes by quickly. I have a family function to attend at 6:30.
Wow. Kuroda had a nine-pitch at bat which ended in a swing strike on a slider down and out. But what an exciting at-bat even though it was essentially useless.
Top of the 3rd Loney caught a scorching grounder down the right field line and slid to first to record the out against Victorino. What a play! The crowd appreciated it also.
Victorino has gotten the most boos so far. More than Lauren Conrad and more than Ryan Howard amazingly enough.
Phillies fans in the left field pavilion are egging on the crowd there. Idiots. Why must people ask for trouble?
Kuroda just walked Jason Bruntlet who had been hitting .159.
Bottom of the 2nd The Dodgers just commemorated Maury Wills by giving him a replica basepad.
Ken Levine and Josh Suchon of KABC were having an intense debate as to how to score a play during that Dodger shift on Howard if Loretta would have fielded the ball. I hope they got that straightened out.
Pee break! I tend to pee a lot here in the Dodger press box. I don't know why that is. Oh and Martin struck out looking on an ugly ugly pitch.
Top of the 2nd And Kuroda gets a ground out by Pedro Feliz that made a huge hop to Castro. Castro jumped up to get it.
These flyouts Kuroda is getting is a bit worrysome. Two strikeouts, two fly outs. That's living dangerously.
Le Shift is on for Howard. Then they moved Loretta to the second base side making him essentially the shortstop with Castro playing his normal position. Howard pops up to left center.
Bottom of the 1st Joe Blanton responded with a 1-2-3 inning of his own throwing only 12 pitches. A quick 11 minute inning.
Orlando Hudson also grounded to Howard. This could be a fast game if the pitching continues like this.
Juan Pierre grounded weakly to Ryan Howard. It looks like he's starting to come down to earth a little.
Top of the 1st 1-2-3 inning for Kuroda with a strikeout and two flyouts. It took him only 11 pitches. The fastball looks great, and the slider really deceived Werth who usually has good plate discipline. Let's see if he can continue this.
Kuroda caught Jayson Werth looking. He's looking great to start out the game.
The Flyin' Hawaiian leads off the game. Sidenote: there's an awful lot of red in the stands at Dodger Stadium. After serving an 89 mph fastball for a strike, Kuroda gets Victorino to pop out to the right field wall.