Dodgers Report: Javy Guerra

White Sox claim Guerra off waivers

March, 26, 2014
Mar 26
2:36
PM PT
CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox filled another hole in their bullpen Wednesday by claiming right-hander Javy Guerra off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The reliever, who has some experience as a closer, spent most of last season at Triple-A Albuquerque, where he posted a 3.66 ERA over 27 games, while recording 12 saves. He had shoulder surgery in November 2011 and dealt with a groin strain during spring training last year. During a brief nine-game stint with the Dodgers last season he had a 6.75 ERA.

This spring, the 28-year-old had a 2.25 ERA.

In 2011, Guerra took a turn as the Dodgers closer, saving 21 games in his rookie season with a 2.31 ERA. A year later he had a 2.60 ERA for the Dodgers and eight saves. Over his three big league seasons he has a 2.90 ERA.

The native of Denton, Texas was a fourth-round draft pick in 2004. A White Sox bullpen spot became available this past weekend when Mitchell Boggs was released after struggling during Cactus League games.

It isn’t out of the question that the White Sox could use Guerra at closer. That spot opened up when Addison Reed was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks this winter. Matt Lindstrom and Nate Jones were expected to battle for the closer role this spring, and while the competition continues, they were each slowed by early minor injuries.

Guerra is out of minor league options, so he is expected to make the Opening Day roster. With the move, the White Sox’s 40-man roster is at a full 40 players.

Dodgers bring up Peter Moylan

May, 31, 2013
5/31/13
4:04
PM PT
The Los Angeles Dodgers brought up reliever Peter Moylan from Triple-A Albuquerque on Friday and optioned Javy Guerra back to the minors.

According to MLB.com, Moylan had an out in his clause that he could have exercised Friday if he was not on the Dodgers' 25-man roster. Moylan, 34, was 20-9 with a 2.59 ERA in 295 games for the Atlanta Braves, but he was limited to eight games last season and is coming off shoulder surgery. The Dodgers signed him to a minor-league deal before spring training.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers transferred reliever Scott Elbert to the 60-day disabled list.

Moylan was 2-1 with a 3.52 ERA with Albuquerque.

The Dodgers allowed another veteran reliever to get away this spring and Kevin Gregg has a 0.63 ERA and six saves for the Chicago Cubs.

Javy Guerra returns to camp

March, 7, 2013
3/07/13
10:40
AM PT
It was a short walk, but a difficult one for Javy Guerra.

Mexico’s World Baseball Classic team dresses about 100 yards from the Dodgers’ spring training clubhouse at Camelback Ranch. Guerra had to return to the Dodgers Thursday, before the tournament even started, because of a rule that precludes players coming off winter surgery from participating.

Guerra doesn’t know whose decision it was, but it’s clear he wasn’t happy about the circumstances. Guerra grew up in Texas, but his father lives in Mexico and both his parents were born there.

“I flew out 10 people to come watch me play, but now I get to sit with them and watch the game,” Guerra said.

Guerra, fighting for a spot in the Dodgers’ bullpen, had knee surgery last June and shoulder surgery shortly after the season. Guerra was a late addition to the Mexican team after two other pitchers left the club.

He said he wasn’t at risk.

“That’s the crazy thing. I’m 100 percent going in there and I’m 100 percent coming back,” Guerra said.

 

Guerra the latest to undergo surgery

November, 2, 2012
11/02/12
5:41
PM PT
Reliever Javy Guerra underwent surgery on his right shoulder Friday, the Dodgers announced.

During the 25-minute procedure, Dr. Neal ElAttrache cleaned up bursitis in the A-C joint at the top of Guerra's shoulder, according to the team. Guerra will begin a throwing program in six weeks and be ready for spring training if all goes well.

The Dodgers have had a busy surgery season. Matt Kemp (shoulder), A.J. Ellis (knee), Kenley Jansen (irregular heartbeat) and Guerra have all undergone procedures. Outfielder Carl Crawford also will be coming off elbow surgery he underwent in June. In addition, the Dodgers have questions about the health of pitchers Ted Lilly (shoulder) and Chad Billingsley (elbow).

Guerra, 27, was 2-3 with a 2.60 ERA and eight saves for the Dodgers last year. He was supplanted as closer by Jansen, who was subsequently replaced by Brandon League. The Dodgers signed League to a three-year, $22.5 million contract extension earlier this week.

Grading the bullpen

October, 15, 2012
10/15/12
10:33
AM PT
The day after the Dodgers' season ended, somebody asked general manager Ned Colletti if he was counting on reliever Ronald Belisario being with the Dodgers at the beginning of spring training.

"I’m expecting Ronald to be there," Colletti said. "Ronald has told me to expect him there."

Belisario, you might recall, was late for three straight spring trainings while stuck in Venezuela, then missed all of 2011 after failing to obtain a visa. He missed the start of last year serving an unspecified drug suspension.

Being able to count on him next season would be big for Colletti and the Dodgers. If Belisario can avoid further turmoil and the Dodgers can hold onto perhaps their most crucial free agent, Brandon League, they could have a dominant relief group in 2013.

By the end of last season, you could see it shaping up. League got hot at an opportune time, with Kenley Jansen sidelined because he was taking blood thinners for a heart condition, and moved into the closer role in September. Belisario gave the Dodgers a shutdown seventh-inning pitcher and Jansen came back as good as new to hold down the eighth innings.

Led by that hard-throwing trio of late-inning relievers, the Dodgers bullpen had the fourth-best ERA in the National League last season. Of the three, Jansen might be the least of the Dodgers' worries. He is scheduled to undergo a catheter ablation for his irregular heartbeat next month, a procedure that cures the condition permanently in most cases.

Colletti listed holding onto League among his top three priorities for the off-season, along with strengthening the starting rotation and bench. Given the Dodgers' newfound financial muscle, holding onto League wouldn't seem to present a colossal challenge. He said he wanted to re-sign with the Dodgers, a team just 100 miles from his San Diego home and a relatively short flight from his native Hawaii.

It could come down to whether League and his agents are looking for the kind of deal experienced closers often get or whether they'll take the kind of package commanded by high-level setup pitchers. Take away 2011, his only full season as a closer, and he has just 23 saves over seven seasons. He turns 30 midway through spring training and he might prove to be a better value than an aging closer with declining velocity.

The Dodgers have said they're prepared to enter 2013 with Jansen as their closer if they can't hold onto League. Jansen, 25, was 25 of 32 in save opportunities and had a 2.35 ERA, so that hardly seems like a frightening possibility.

Another promising late development was the arrival of lefty Paco Rodriguez, who became the first player from the 2012 draft to make a major-league appearance. Rodriguez had a 1.35 ERA and 1.050 WHIP and hardly looked overwhelmed by the circumstances.

The emergence of Rodriguez would make it easier to lose Randy Choate, who tends to pitch to only one or two batters a game because he struggles against right-handed batters. Don Mattingly let Rodriguez pitch to 11 right-handed batters last year and they went 1-for-8 with three walks off him.

Once again, Jamey Wright could be looking for work next spring and might have to accept another minor-league deal, but Colletti said he'll explore bringing Wright back. He was a pleasant surprise, pitching 66 games with a 3.72 ERA, though his luck would appear to have been stout, judging by a 1.507 WHIP.

The Dodgers will continue to have jostling to do at the back end of their bullpen among a handful of young pitchers, but that's what spring training is for. Some of those pitchers have the ability to pitch themselves into more prominent roles. Javy Guerra looks like a candidate for a later-inning role, but he needs to get a better handle on his command (4.6 walks per nine innings).

There are some issues to sort through this winter, but 2012 laid a solid foundation.

Grade: A-
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers left-hander Ted Lilly has been shutdown for the year and will have surgery on his left shoulder next Friday. Former closer Javy Guerra isn't far behind him as he tries to return from an oblique injury.

It has been heading in this direction for both pitchers for a while now. The Dodgers finally made a call on Lilly on Thursday after his continued efforts to rehabilitate his shoulder and pitch without pain failed again. The Dodgers had hoped Lilly might return to pitch out of the bullpen later this season.

Dodgers trainer Sue Falsone said Lilly's surgery is just a minor clean-up of areas that have shown some wear and tear on MRIs and if all goes well, he should be able to throw again by January and on track for spring training.

"We're not expecting any large repairs of any kind," Falsone said. "Hopefully it's just a simple scope and clean-up."

The Dodgers are still holding out a faint hope Guerra can come back at some point, but manager Don Mattingly said Friday that "we're kind of running out of time."

Here's a look at tonight's lineup:

CARDINALS
  1. Jon Jay CF
  2. Carlos Beltran RF
  3. Matt Holliday LF
  4. Allen Craig 1B
  5. Yadier Molina C
  6. David Freese 3B
  7. Matt Carpenter 2B
  8. Pete Kozma SS
  9. Joe Kelly P

DODGERS
  1. Shane Victorino LF
  2. Andre Ethier RF
  3. Matt Kemp CF
  4. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
  5. Hanley Ramirez SS
  6. Luis Cruz 3B
  7. Nick Punto 2B
  8. A.J. Ellis C
  9. Chris Capuano P

3 up, 3 down: D-backs 4, Dodgers 0

August, 1, 2012
8/01/12
3:17
PM PT


LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have an Arizona problem.

Fresh off an emotional sweep of the San Francisco Giants up north, the Dodgers came home and played three of their flattest games of the season. After Wednesday's 4-0 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Dodgers have lost their last six games to Arizona and lead the Diamondbacks by just 1 1/2 games for second place in the NL West.

The Dodgers managed just 15 hits in the three games and gave up six Arizona home runs. Yeah, not a good midweek series.

The Good:

Working back. Getting Javy Guerra healthy and productive again could give the Dodgers a formidable bullpen. Since he came back after knee surgery, Guerra has pitched well in lower-stress situations. If he keeps going like this, the tension level might rise, which would be good for his career. Guerra, the Dodgers' former closer, got off to a shaky start when he hit Paul Goldschmidt -- who homered Monday and Tuesday -- with a pitch, but Guerra got out of trouble in the fifth and then cruised through the sixth and seventh. He has pitched scoreless relief in 20 of his last 24 appearances.

Beginnings. Hanley Ramirez has more value to the Dodgers if he can play shortstop, particularly while Dee Gordon is still walking around with his arm in a cast. Ramirez made his debut there, sliding over from third during a fifth-inning double switch. Ramirez began an inning-ending double play and looked fairly smooth. Perhaps he will feel comfortable enough to make it his permanent home before long.

Counterpoint. Patrick Corbin is a good argument against doing what the Dodgers just did, emptying out a chunk of their minor league talent to make a run at a 2012 title. The Angels didn't feel like Corbin was one of their core prospects either when they traded him for Dan Haren in 2010. Corbin, 22, has now made six starts for Arizona, four of them quality. He held the Dodgers to two hits over six innings, striking out five, Wednesday afternoon. Oh, and the Diamondbacks also got Tyler Skaggs in that Haren deal. He's only 20 and has a 2.08 ERA at Triple-A Reno.

The Bad:

Bench. Don Mattingly doesn't exactly have the most fearsome weapons at his disposal when he's trying to claw his way back in a close game. His first two guys off the bench were Juan Uribe, batting .196 at the time, and Tony Gwynn Jr., hitting .235. GM Ned Colletti did well to fill some gaping needs with four strong trades at the deadline, but you have to wonder whether there might be a waiver deal Colletti could swing this month to add a little much-needed depth to the offense.

Low Fife. You get a sense what kind of confidence a manager has in his pitcher by how he lets him work his way out of jams. As soon as a baserunner got on against Stephen Fife in the fifth inning, Mattingly came out of the dugout and asked for the ball. Fife has helped the Dodgers bridge a gap until Ted Lilly comes off the disabled list, but you get the sense the Dodgers want to limit his exposure as much as possible.

Fife pitched around a mess of trouble all afternoon, with multiple baserunners in the second, third and fourth innings.

New guys. It hasn't been a good introduction to L.A. for a few of the Dodgers' newest players. Lefty Randy Choate had been cruising all season, but he gave up a long home run to Arizona's powerful catcher, Miguel Montero, that sort of turned out the lights on the Dodgers' chances. Brandon League, also recently acquired in a trade, gave up a single to Goldschmidt, the first batter he faced, and Goldschmidt scored on the Montero home run. Shane Victorino, in his Dodgers debut, went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

Javy Guerra returns after father's surgery

July, 18, 2012
7/18/12
11:47
AM PT
Javy Guerra, who last pitched in the Dodgers' 2-1 win over the Padres on Friday night, returned Wednesday from a leave to be with his father, who was hospitalized in Mexico after suffering a heart attack Friday morning.

Guerra left the team Saturday to be with his father, who had open-heart surgery. To make room for Guerra, who was reinstated from the bereavement list, Stephen Fife was optioned to triple-A Albuquerque. Fife pitched six innings Tuesday night in his MLB debut, giving up giving up one run and four hits in the Dodgers' 3-2 loss to the Phillies.

“It’s good to have him back,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s one of our guys we can use later in the game so it’s good to have him back and it sounds like everything went well with his dad and he’s a little more at ease with everything that’s going on.”

Mattingly also gave Andre Ethier the day off against the Phillies and Cliff Lee, going with Tony Gwynn Jr. in right field and in the lead-off spot. Mattingly said nothing was wrong with Ethier, but he wanted to give him an extra day off, as he had earlier done with Matt Kemp after both came off the disabled list and returned to the lineup following the All-Star break. Considering the Dodgers are off tomorrow and don’t play again until Friday night in New York, Mattingly thought the extended rest would be good for Ethier.

“This almost gives him three days because it’s today, tomorrow and Friday is a night game so it’s a perfect opportunity for him and then Cliff is a guy he doesn’t see well,” Mattingly said. “It seemed like the right time. I was able to get Matt a day off coming back so today seemed like the right day for Andre.”

Here's a look at today's lineups:

PHILLIES

Jimmy Rollins SS

Shane Victorino CF

Chase Utley 2B

Carlos Ruiz C

Hunter Pence RF

Ty Wigginton 1B

Placido Polanco 3B

John Mayberry Jr. LF

Roy Halladay P

DODGERS

Tony Gwynn Jr. RF

Mark Ellis 2B

Matt Kemp CF

Juan Rivera 1B

Jerry Hairston Jr. LF

Juan Uribe 3B

Luis Cruz SS

A.J. Ellis C

Clayton Kershaw P

3 up, 3 down: Dodgers 2, Padres 1

July, 13, 2012
7/13/12
10:07
PM PT


LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers welcomed some good news starting the second half of the season, as both Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier returned to the lineup after stints long and short on the disabled list. And the good news is they won, squeaking by the visiting San Diego Padres Friday night at Dodger Stadium, 2-1.

It wasn't the sort of rollicking, thunderous statement game against a bad team fans might have wanted, but given their slide before the break it's best not to complain about any win for the Blue.

A win is a win is a win.

The Good:

Matt Kemp is back. It doesn't take a Ph.D candidate to understand his significance. Coming in to Friday's game, with only 121 of the team's 2,845 at-bats, Kemp had 12 of the team's 51 home runs. Despite missing 51 of the Dodgers' 87 games, Kemp was still third on the team in runs scored, with 30. Tonight, Kemp showed what the lineup had been missing. In his first at-bat -- wandering to the plate accompanied by "Return of the Mack" on the Ravine's PA system and soaking in a healthy ovation -- Kemp ripped a 2-2 fastball from Padres starter Clayton Richard to the wall in center. In his second trip, Kemp again hit the ball hard with a line drive single past short.

Clayton Kershaw. It wasn't his most dominant performance, and didn't come as easily as the scoreboard numbers might suggest. Kershaw needed 110 pitches navigating his six innings against a Padres squad posting the National League's lowest run total through the first half of the year. The '27 Yankees they ain't. (Not unless you compare them in the literal sense, since all those guys are dead and therefore a lot less productive than they were back in the day.) He walked three against six K's, and more than a few pitches seemed to squirt away on him. Still, the bottom line is this: San Diego only put one runner across the plate while Kershaw was out there, fueled by a double leading off the second by catcher Yasmani Grandal, and it was enough to get him his seventh win of the year.

The bullpen. The Dodgers rarely give their relievers much wiggle room, and tonight was no exception. But the combination of Javy Guerra, Ronald Bellisario, and Kenley Jansen performed nearly flawlessly following Kershaw to the mound. No walks, only one hit allowed. Jansen finished things in the ninth for his 16th save of the year.

The Bad:

Offense. Second (half) verse, same as the first. The Dodgers managed to squeak out a win, but again by the thinnest of margins, and again with almost no help from the sticks. Credit Tony Gwynn Jr. for laying down a great bunt pinch-hitting for Kershaw in the sixth, and Mark Ellis for capitalizing with his two-run blast to left putting the Dodgers ahead. Credit Kemp for his pair of hits, but in the end the Dodgers still only put six hits on the board, one of which was second inning Uribe grounder up the middle off the glove of shortstop Everth Cabrera that died in center and was generously scored a double. Their 0-for-3 mark with runners in scoring position suffered both for production and lack of opportunity.

The musical tastes of fans. I'm a child of the 80's and recognize the ability of "Livin' on a Prayer" to unite in song a crowd of people (particularly suburban white people like me), whether in the bar or at a baseball game. So when the bottom of the eighth rolled around and the Dodgers faithful had a chance to choose the between innings music, I understand why they went with Bon Jovi. But would it have killed them go away from the obvious and take Earth, Wind, and Fire's "Serpentine Fire?" If the Dodgers are going to succeed in the second half, everyone, players and fans alike, needs to start thinking outside the box.

Bad luck. Point No. 1 in this half of the post still applies, but the Dodgers did run into a little bad luck Friday night. Ellis was robbed on a spectacular diving catch by Cameron Maybin in the fifth inning, and Uribe followed with a hard liner to left (no, seriously) right at Carlos Quentin. In the seventh, after Gwynn started the inning with his bunt single, Jerry Hairston Jr. ripped a ball right back at Richard, who nearly snared it out of the air then forced Gwynn at second. In theory, at least, had the ball gone through the Dodgers would have had two runners on ahead of Ellis' homer. On a different night, maybe some of those balls and a few others find holes, and the Dodgers score a few more. Granted, this can be said of most games, but the bar for the Dodgers is pretty low, offensively.

3 up, 3 down: Dodgers 6, Astros 3

May, 26, 2012
5/26/12
11:12
PM PT


LOS ANGELES -- A.J. Ellis hit his first career walkoff home run, a three-run shot to left field off Houston Astros reliever Wilton Lopez with one out in the ninth, to lift the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-3 victory before 36,561 on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium, helping the Dodgers avoid what would have been their first three-game losing streak of the season.
The Dodgers improved baseball's best record to 31-15 and pushed their lead in the National League West to a season-high 7 1/2 games over the second-place San Francisco Giants.

THE GOOD

Streaking. Andre Ethier ran his current hitting streak to a season-high six games with a well-placed ground ball that just eluded diving Astros second baseman Jose Altuve in the first inning, then laced a double to the wall in left-center in the third. And then, in the eighth, Elian Herrera dropped a bloop single into shallow center, extending his hitting streak to eight games -- a feat made all the more remarkable by the fact Herrera was playing in his 10th major league game.

Working it.
In the fourth -- an inning in which, coincidentally or otherwise, the Dodgers scored twice to take their first lead -- Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis, second baseman Elian Herrera and left fielder Bobby Abreu combined to work Astros pitcher Bud Norris for 23 pitches in what became a 39-pitch frame for the Astros ace, pushing his pitch count to 106 by the end of that inning.

Bouncing back. Javy Guerra continued to shine since being removed from the closer role, pitching around a one-out double by Logan Schafer to complete a scoreless seventh inning. Since that fateful blown save on May 6 at Chicago, Guerra has now pitched nine scoreless innings, allowing six hits.

(Read full post)

3 up, 3 down: D-backs 5, Dodgers 1

May, 15, 2012
5/15/12
10:38
PM PT


LOS ANGELES -- Chad Billingsley had another rough outing, giving up four runs and eight hits over four-plus innings, and the Los Angeles Dodgers saw their five-game winning streak end in a 5-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks before 47,077 on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.

It was the second consecutive start in which Billingsley failed to record an out beyond the fourth inning. In his past three starts, the veteran right-hander is 0-2 with 6.43 ERA, this after he went 2-1 with a 2.64 ERA in his first five starts this season.

The Dodgers, playing with Matt Kemp, Juan Uribe and Juan Rivera all on the disabled list, never mounted much of an offensive threat against Diamondbacks lefty Wade Miley, who held them to a single run despite giving up eight hits over 6 2/3 innings.

The Dodgers (24-12) begin a two-game series in San Diego on Wednesday before returning home to start a three-game series with the world champion St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night.

The Good

Sliding hard but clean. Mark Ellis provided a textbook example of how to break up a double play in the bottom of the first. After his one-out single, Scott Van Slyke hit a hard bouncer back to the mound. Miley turned and fired to second for the force, but before second baseman Aaron Hill could even take the ball out of his glove for the relay throw, Ellis slid into him with such force that the ball popped out of Hill's glove. Second-base umpire Ted Barrett ruled, correctly, that Hill had held onto the ball long enough for the force, but Ellis' slide kept the inning alive for the Dodgers. Ellis also broke an 0-for-10 skid with three hits, including his second home run of the season off Miley in the sixth.

A perfect fit. Playing center field in a regular-season, major league game for the first time ever, Andre Ethier was outstanding, making a laser of a throw on the fly to third base to prevent Miley from going first to third on a single by Gerardo Parra in the fifth and making a diving catch of a sinking liner by Justin Upton to end the sixth, possibly saving a run.

Bouncing back. Although he hardly pitched a clean inning after relieving Billingsley with the bases loaded and nobody out in the fifth -- he gave up a run-scoring single to the first batter he faced, Jason Kubel -- Javy Guerra continued to pitch adequately since being removed last week from the closer's role. In four appearances since manager Don Mattingly reluctantly pulled the trigger, Guerra has pitched 3 2/3 innings while allowing no runs and three hits.

The Bad

The scenic route. In his first game in the majors this season, Jerry Sands, who was positioned way off the line in left, took a horrible route to a blooper by Kubel in the second inning. The ball fell about 10 feet inside the line and skipped past Sands to the wall, allowing Kubel to turn a single into a leadoff double and eventually score the Diamondbacks' first run of the game.

Mix in a strike. Billingsley followed Kubel's double by retiring the next two batters without Kubel advancing, then intentionally walked Hill to get to the pitcher. But that strategy went awry when Billingsley first threw a wild pitch on a strikeout of Miley, allowing Miley to reach and load the bases, then issued a bases-loaded walk to Parra, giving the Diamondbacks a 1-0 lead.

Thanks for stopping by. Elian Herrera's major league debut -- a pinch-hitting appearance in the bottom of the fifth -- was greeted with loud cheers, but only because it happened to coincide with the end of the Los Angeles Kings' playoff win over the Phoenix Coyotes. The switch-hitting Herrera, whose contract had been purchased from Triple-A Albuquerque on Monday, stepped in from the right side against Miley and popped to short before taking a seat for the remainder of the evening.

3 up, 3 down: Dodgers 2, Rockies 1

May, 12, 2012
5/12/12
8:51
PM PT


LOS ANGELES -- Four days after being roundly criticized for essentially blowing two late-inning rallies with sacrifice bunts that didn't lead to runs in a one-run loss to the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly called for another one in the bottom of the eighth inning on Saturday night. This one had a slightly different result.

After A.J. Ellis advanced James Loney to second following a leadoff single, Tony Gwynn delivered a pinch-hit single to bring Loney home from second with the winning run in the Dodgers' 2-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies before 33,735 on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium, leaving the fast-starting Dodgers with baseball's best record at 22-11.

Gwynn's timely hit made sure that a stellar performance by Aaron Harang wasn't wasted. The veteran right-hander pitched eight strong innings, allowing only four hits, although one of those was a game-tying, solo homer by Tyler Colvin in the seventh inning. Kenley Jansen finished off the heart of the Rockies order -- Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton -- in the ninth for his third save, his first in his first opportunity since Mattingly announced earlier this week that Jansen would take over the closer's role from Javy Guerra.

The Good

Web gem. For all the criticism he takes as a hitter, Loney continues to make the case that he is a potential Gold Glove first baseman. With a runner on third and one out in the third, he went to his knees to snare a smash by Marco Scutaro, then got up and fired home in plenty of time to cut down Wilin Rosario at the plate, keeping the game scoreless. The Rockies would leave the bases loaded that inning, making Loney's play loom all the larger.

Web gem II. For all the criticism he takes as a hitter, Juan Uribe continues to make the case that he is a more-than-adequate third baseman. He ended the top of the fourth by reaching over a railing in front of the Dodgers dugout to grab a foul pop by Colvin.

Rifle arm. Ellis threw out Rosario trying to steal second in the fifth inning on what was supposed to be sacrifice bunt -- Juan Nicasio failed to make contact with the pitch. Ellis has now thrown out a remarkable 45.5 percent (10 of 22) of the runners who have attempted to steal against the Dodgers this season with him behind the plate.

The Bad

One mistake. Chalk it up to the perils of poor run support, but Harang was cruising through a remarkable performance -- right up until he gave up a two-out, solo homer to Colvin in the seventh inning, tying the score at 1-1. Before that, Harang had given up just three hits and essentially had been dominating the Rockies despite the razor-thin lead.

Still struggling. Dee Gordon, who may not be long for the leadoff spot, continued to fail to get on base, striking out, grounding out and popping up in four at-bats. In the past three games, Gordon is 0-for-14 with five strikeouts, hardly what the Dodgers need from their leadoff man. The most likely replacement, if Mattingly is ready to make a switch, would be second baseman Mark Ellis, who now has a six-game hitting streak and began the day 10th in the National League in on-base percentage (.389).

Also still struggling. Matt Kemp hit the you-know-what out of two balls in a row in the fourth and seventh innings. Alas, both of them died in midair and wound up in Colvin's glove on the center-field warning track. Kemp is now hitless in his past 12 at-bats.

Dodgers finding ways

May, 11, 2012
5/11/12
7:33
AM PT
Tim LincecumMatt Kartozian/US PresswireTim Lincecum has struck out Matt Kemp 17 times. No other pitchers has more than 10 Ks against Kemp.


We look back at the Dodgers’ week starting May 4, with thanks again to Baseball-Reference.com

Dodgers stay in the park in beating Giants


The Dodgers took two of three games from the Giants, outscoring San Francisco 16 to 5 over the three-game series. They hadn’t outscored the Giants by 11 runs in a series since Sept. 18-20, 2009. The Dodgers did not hit a home run in this week’s series but did hit nine doubles and two triples. Dodgers pitching registered 27 strikeouts over the three games.

Coming through in a pinch

Tony Gwynn Jr.’s pinch-hit, bases loaded triple gave the Dodgers a lead they did not relinquish in Wednesday’s 6-2 win over the Giants. It was the first pinch-hit, bases-clearing triple for the Dodgers since June 12, 1973, when Steve Garvey came off the bench to deliver the hit. Like Gwynn’s triple, Garvey’s gave the Dodgers a lead they would not give up.

Scott Van Slyke made his major league debut in Wednesday’s win, delivering a pinch-hit RBI single in his first career plate appearance. The last Dodger with an RBI pinch hit in his major league debut was Bubba Crosby, who did so on May 29, 2003 in Colorado. No Dodger had done it at home since Carl Warwick on April 11, 1961, also in a game the Dodgers won 6-2.

Gwynn and Van Slyke combined to drive in four runs as pinch hitters Wednesday. The Dodgers entered play that day with two pinch-hit RBI all season. The four pinch-hit RBI matched last year’s season high (June 11 at Colorado). It was the first time the Dodgers had four pinch-hit RBI against the Giants since June 28, 1993, when Dave Hansen came off the bench to hit a walk-off grand slam to give the Dodgers a 4-0 win.

Kemp not a fan of Lincecum

Matt Kemp struck out three times Wednesday night, his first three-strikeout game of the season. All three strikeouts came against Tim Lincecum; it’s the first time one pitcher has struck out Kemp three times in a game since September 5, 2010 against the Giants’ Jonathan Sanchez.

Kemp has struck out 17 times in 42 career plate appearances against Lincecum. No pitcher has struck out Kemp more than 10 times (two pitchers have faced Kemp more than Lincecum has: Barry Zito and Ubaldo Jimenez). Kemp has just one extra-base hit, a double last season, against Lincecum.

(Read full post)

Mattingly turns to Jansen to close

April, 29, 2012
4/29/12
6:15
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- A few hours after telling the media for the umpteenth time that he doesn't plan to take the closer's job away from Javy Guerra and give it to Kenley Jansen, Mattingly called on Jansen to finish off Sunday's 2-0 victory over Washington.

"Really, it was a simple thing, (Jansen was) the freshest arm,'' Mattingly said. "Javy threw (22) pitches last night, less than 24 hours ago, so Kenley was the freshest.''

Guerra pitched once over the previous three days after taking a line drive to the face Wednesday night.

But after Jansen walked the first batter and went to a 2-0 count on the second one, prompting a visit from pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, Mattingly got both Guerra and lefty Scott Elbert up in the 'pen.

"(Jansen) was going to walk the house,'' Mattingly said. "Six straight balls.''

After Honeycutt's visit, though, Jansen calmed down and finished off the Nationals for his second save, although he did issue another walk with two outs.

"He basically was just trying to slow me down and get me to keep attacking the zone,'' Jansen said. "It was just one of those days when I couldn't find the zone early, but I battled through it.''

Guerra, meanwhile, said he felt much better after a one-on-one meeting in the morning with Mattingly. Mattingly told the media before the game that he was concerned on Saturday night that he didn't see Guerra's usual "swag,'' an assessment Guerra didn't dismiss.

"Honestly, if that is the way he feels I look out there, then I would like to know that from my manager right away,'' Guerra said. "I want to be the same way I was before, so maybe I need to be a little more cocky. It's a long season. It wasn't the line drive. That kind of thing will never affect me. It was more just trying to overdo what I need to do and trying to do too much out there.'' ...

As expected, the Dodgers optioned right-hander Nathan Eovaldi back to Double-A Chattanooga after the game. Eovaldi was recalled on Friday and sent to the bullpen, but he never appeared in a game. There was no corresponding roster move, but the team plans to activate reliever Todd Coffey from the 15-day disabled list before Monday night's game in Colorado.

Guerra still closing, but missing his mojo

April, 29, 2012
4/29/12
12:14
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly met privately with the team's closer, Javy Guerra, on Sunday morning, this in the wake of Guerra either blowing a save or allowing a tied game to be untied for the third consecutive appearance on Saturday night against the Washington Nationals.

Mattingly is not, however, ready to consider removing Guerra from the role, even after watching eighth-inning setup man Kenley Jansen basically blow away the Nationals in nailing down Friday night's win while Guerra was unavailable.

"I'm not happy with what has been happening,'' Mattingly said. "Obviously, you always look at things and talk about stuff. But just because Javy has had a couple of bad days, do we make a change? I look at it as 21 games in, what alternatives do we have and what happens if we make a change and it doesn't work out? Then what happens? Do we turn to Mac (Mike MacDougal)? (Josh) Linblom? Then does it become a tryout camp?''

Mattingly said the one thing that prompted him to have the meeting with Guerra after Saturday -- which was his first appearance since getting nailed in the right jaw by a line drive on Wednesday night against the Atlanta Braves -- was his body language.

"I didn't see the swag,'' Mattingly said.

Here's today's lineup, with a few of your typical Sunday, getaway, day-game-after-night-game substitutes sprinkled in.

Tony Gwynn, LF

Mark Ellis, 2B

Matt Kemp, CF

Andre Ethier, RF

Juan Uribe, 3B

James Loney, 1B

Justin Sellers, SS

Matt Treanor, C

Chris Capuano, LH

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Clayton Kershaw
WINS ERA SO IP
13 1.71 150 121
OTHER LEADERS
BAY. Puig .319
HRA. Gonzalez 15
RBIA. Gonzalez 71
RY. Puig 61
OPSY. Puig .958
ERAC. Kershaw 1.71
SOZ. Greinke 153