The Dodgers MASH Unit Continues to Ravage
This is getting ridiculous. The Dodgers have used the disabled list 19 times this season after announcing this morning that Ted Lilly was going back on it for the third time, this time with a neck strain.
Notable others currently on the disabled list:
Carl Crawford — left hamstring strain
Matt Kemp — right hamstring strain
A.J. Ellis — left oblique strain
Chris Capuano — left shoulder latissimus strain
Manager Don Mattingly told reporters that Kemp had a setback after working out this morning. "He felt a little something," Mattingly said.
For those not on the disabled list: Hanley Ramirez after feeling something in his hamstring on June 5 has been held out of the starting lineup ever since. Although he has been used as a pinch hitter since then, Ramirez went to get an MRI Sunday morning results still pending.
Andre Ethier was seen limping out of the Dodgers clubhouse yesterday after fouling a ball off of his foot. Although Mattingly reassured reporters before the game that giving Ethier a day off was merely just that, that soon changed.
"He tried to swing earlier in the day and wasn't able to do it," Mattingly said. "I don't know where we'll be tomorrow."
Nick Punto is still feeling the effects of a bone bruise in his back after getting steamrolled at second base by the Angels Erick Aybar on May 27. Although he hasn't gone on the disabled list his performance has suffered since. Batting .327 to that point, Punto has since batted .138 in the nine games he's played since seven of which he started.
I guess we know why Mattingly has resorted to thinking about using Clayton Kershaw as a pinch runner Friday night and actually using him in that spot last night.
Over the winter the Dodgers completely upgraded the Dodgers workout space and decked it out with state-of-the-art equipment. Hell, they now even have a quiet room. Yet they're getting injured on an almost record pace.
The results of this? "I played with two extras today and a backup catcher," Mattingly said after the game. "I didn't have Andre. I didn't have Hanley. You can't play in a National League game like that."
An obviously frustrated Mattingly stressed that if a player cannot play, they have to go on the disabled list rather than wait several days to see what happens. "If you play short in this league, you're just giving games away."
So with Lilly on the disabled list again, that paved the way for Matt Magill to try and atone for his nine-walk four-homer outing in Colorado last Sunday. It didn't look good in the first inning after getting leadoff batter Andrelton Simmons to strike out swinging. He walked Jason Heyward and Justin Upton on nine pitches, and it really did look like Colorado all over again.
After missing with two pitches to Freddie Freeman, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt had a confab with Magill. Magill promptly got Freeman to fly out to left field and got Evan Gattis to ground to second to escape the jam.
Then the Dodgers had the perfect opportunity to stick the dagger. Yasiel Puig and Nick Punto led off the bottom of the first inning with singles off of Braves starter Mike Minor, and Adrian Gonzalez walked to load the bases.
Although Scott Van Slyke fought off Minor after getting in a 0-2 hole, he grounded into a fielder's choice on the ninth pitch of the at-bat Puig getting called out at the plate.
After Luis Cruz struck out, Skip Schumaker singled home Punto to give the Dodgers the 1-0 lead and extending his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games. But Tim Federowicz popped out to first baseman Freddie Freeman in foul territory to end the inning.
To review, the Dodgers had the bases loaded with no one out and only managed to score one run.
"If you can get a couple of hits there, you can break that game open," Mattingly said. "At least give yourself a little bit of a cushion."
You knew that was going to bite the Dodgers in the ass.
Although Magill was able to dodge the bullet after giving up a leadoff walk to Dan Uggla in the second inning, everything came to a head in the third inning. A one-out walk to Heyward, an error by first baseman Adrian Gonzalez on Justin Upton's tricky infield grounder that initially looked to be going foul but stayed in and a single to Freeman loaded the bases.
The Braves made sure they capitalized on their opportunity.
Gattis hit a sacrifice fly, and Dan Uggla hit a three-run homer that landed in the Dodger bullpen. And just like that the Braves had the 4-1 lead.
In the fourth inning the Braves loaded the bases again with walks to Miner and Upton and a single to Heyward. Freeman cleared the bases with a double, a 7-1 lead ending Magill's day.
Uggla with his 18th multi-homer game hit a solo shot into the left field pavilion off of Ronald Belisario to lead off the fifth inning giving the Braves the 8-1 lead, the margin of victory.
"I'm not giving myself a chance to win games," Magill said in frustration.
Magill has given up 15 walks in his last two games and 28 in the 27 2/3 innings he's pitched in the Majors. Both Adam Wainwright and Bartolo Colon have a combined 13 walks given up in 173 1/3 innings pitched. He did admit that some of his problems come from not having a consistent throwing schedule from going back and forth from the Majors to Minors, but he didn't want to use that as an excuse.
"When they need you here, you've got to make sacrifices," Magill said.
He's at a loss as to why his control has eluded him. "It's been a long season. Every other season I've been pretty good with the fastball command, so it's new to me. I'm trying to get through it as fast as I can and get back to where I know I can be. I know I can get guys out, so I've got to take it from here."
From here the Dodgers see the Arizona Diamondbacks for three games to end their homestand. Having used an NL-high 59 lineups, we'll see how the injury landscape figure in to tomorrow's lineup.