Dodgers Now
All the news on the Boys in Blue
Could the Dodgers' Dan Haren really walk away from $10 million?

Nobody walks away from $10 million. I mean, nobody on this planet. Nobody who isn’t being chased by guys in white coats or just returned by aliens.

But Dan Haren might. He might not, too, he just doesn’t know and doesn’t figure to know until after the postseason.

Understand, Monday night Haren earned $10 million. He hit the 180-inning mark for the season, which automatically vested his option to pitch in 2015 for a cool $10 mil.

Unless, of course, he decides to retire. He’s 34, has pitched in the majors for 12 years, has earned over $70 million and is married with two young children.

“I think I’ve earned the right to wait until the end of the season and take a deep breath, see where my family’s at and go from there,” Haren said. “I think I’ve pitched good enough to deserve that.”

Haren has started a team-high 31 games for the Dodgers, going 13-11 with a 4.03 ERA. He has been particularly effective recently, going 3-1 with a 1.89 ERA in his last six starts.

Monday night he allowed a...

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Dodgers can't keep the offense rolling, lose to Giants in 13 innings

Remember, all previous scripts are rendered useless when the Dodgers and Giants meet with something on the line. Unless they call for the unexpected and slightly unbelievable.

The Giants dragged into town Monday, fresh off being swept by the Padres and finding themselves 4½ games behind the Dodgers in the NL West division race in the final week of the season.

Naturally, the Giants won Monday, even if it took 13 innings and several missed opportunities before finally downing the Dodgers, 5-2, before baseball’s biggest crowd of the season, 53,500.

The loss cut the Dodgers’ lead in the National League West to 3 1/2 games and kept their magic number for clinching the division at three games.

The Dodgers, a regular offensive juggernaut during their 10-game road trip, returned home to manage four hits in 13 innings.

The Giants finally won it against Kevin Correia when pinch-hitter Andre Susac singled in Brandon Belt with the go-ahead run. Gregor Blanco, who had started the night’s scoring...

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Dodgers' Don Mattingly has managed egos as well as games this season

The Dodgers have spent only four days out of first place since July 3, yet Manager Don Mattingly said this season has, in some ways, been more difficult than last year, when the Dodgers entered July in last place.

"We’ve had a little more turmoil back and forth. A lot of things that happened behind closed doors and stuff that’s going on that has just been tedious this year," he said. "But it’s what the job [is]."

Mattingly didn't go into specifics -- but then he really didn't have to. Early in the season, when the Dodgers had four healthy outfielders, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier didn't hide their disappointment over limited playing time. And though Kemp played himself back into the everyday lineup with a blistering second half, Ethier has only nine at-bats this month -- fewer than Scott Van Slyke, Joc Pederson and even pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

Mattingly has also had to manage the health and ego of Hanley Ramirez while dealing with Yasiel Puig's frequent brain cramps, both on and off the...

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Should you believe in a Dodgers offense reborn against Cubs, Rockies?

Easy now, buckaroo, deep breaths and all. Don’t go getting too excited. Yes, it looks good for the Dodgers. Sure, the division race could be over by Tuesday. And no question they are now hitting as originally designed.

Yet caution remains the wise mode, the gut-out-every-game approach. The Giants arrive at Dodger Stadium tonight, and they’re reeling, but they're still the Giants, and history says all kinds of weird things could yet happen.

There certainly is reason to be wary over the Dodgers' sudden offensive might. They have averaged 8.3 runs in their last nine games while beating up on the Rockies and Cubs.

But after all, they are the Rockies and Cubs, the two worst teams in the National League not named Diamondbacks.

Teams are supposed to hit against the Cubs and Rockies. The Cubs have baseball’s No. 21-ranked pitching staff (3.95 ERA), which looks pretty good to the dead-last Rockies (4.84).

Teams are really supposed to hit against the Cubs and Rockies in their ballparks. They are...

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The best Dodgers team of all time is: 1963

The 1963 Dodgers were the winners of a Times reader poll to determine the best Dodgers team of all time, surviving a three-week tournament and defeating the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers in the final round.

The 1963 Dodgers finished the season 99-63 and became the first team to sweep the New York Yankees in the World Series. They were led by Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax (25-5, 1.88) and Don Drysdale (19-17, 2.63) on the mound, while on offense, Frank Howard (.273, 28, 64) and Tommy Davis (.326, 16, 88) provided the power with Maury Wills (.302, 40 steals) wreaking havoc on the bases.

Full results of the tournament:

First Round

1955 Dodgers d. 1985 Dodgers, 85%-15%

1963 Dodgers d. 2009 Dodgers, 95%-5%

1965 Dodgers d. 1978 Dodgers, 69%-31%

1988 Dodgers d. 1966 Dodgers, 51%-49%

1981 Dodgers d. 1920 Brooklyn Robins, 82%-18%

1977 Dodgers d, 1959 Dodgers, 53%-47%

1953 Dodgers d. 1951 Dodgers, 86%-14%

1974 Dodgers d. 1949 Dodgers, 53%-47%

Second Round

1955 Dodgers d. 1974 Dodgers, 86%-14%

1963 Dodgers...

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Dodgers' 8-5 win over Chicago Cubs is pure relief

How routine. Just another Dodgers victory, just another game that reduced their magic number for clinching the division to four games.

Of course, they used all their relievers in their final road game of the season, and it wasn’t by choice.

But they meshed together six pitchers and another strong dose of offense to down the Cubs, 8-5, on Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Expanded September rosters, what a thing.

Six was actually two fewer pitchers than they’d used the day before, so all things considered, the Dodgers had to be happy with their makeshift pitching group.

With Hyun-Jin Ryu out with a sore shoulder, Jamey Wright, Carlos Frias, Chris Perez, Paco Rodriguez, Pedro Baez and Kenley Jansen combined to “hold” the Cubs to five runs on eight hits.

Perez (1-3) may have done the most to boost his playoff roster chances, retiring all four batters he faced. He was credited with the victory, his first as a Dodger and first since Aug. 14, 2013. Jansen pitched a scoreless, if shaky,...

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Is J.P. Howell raising concern at exactly the wrong time for Dodgers?

The Dodgers are undergoing their “all hands on deck” experiment Sunday in Chicago. Sure, it’s disconcerting that a team going into the final week of the season and trying to win its division should be forced into this situation.

Perhaps more troubling down the road is the condition of their best reliever not named Kenley Jansen – J.P. Howell.

Howell has been remarkably consistent all season (2.27 ERA, 1.13 WHIP), or at least until his last two outings. Having pitched the last two days and struggling, he presumably will be one reliever not available in today’s “bullpen” start.

Howell gave up six earned runs in the last two days – equaling his entire season output – adding to the concern he may be wearing down. And with a bullpen this shaky, that’s a very real concern.

The left-hander has appeared in 66 games, despite going nine games between appearances until Friday. And that was out of previous concern he was being overworked. It's the fifth time in his last six seasons he's appeared...

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Dodgers lose an absolute crusher as bullpen gives it away, 8-7

About that bullpen start. This is a good idea?

Things were looking good for the Dodgers on Saturday afternoon. Powered by a pair of Adrian Gonzalez home runs, they led 6-1 after three innings and carried a 7-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh.

At which point, the earth opened up and swallowed the team whole, or at least the veterans in the bullpen.

The result was a stunning 8-7 loss to the Cubs at a wet Wrigley Field, a blow that took the air right out of the Dodgers and cut their lead in the National League West to three games, with the Giants still scheduled to play Saturday night in San Diego.

It was the Dodgers’ most crushing defeat of the season, a feel-good win turned into nervous time with only seven games left in the regular season. One inning from reducing their magic number for clinching the division to five, they were instead offering the Giants fresh hope.

The Cubs scored four times off reliever J.P. Howell in the seventh inning to pull within one run and then got a...

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Yasiel Puig shares thoughts on training partner Jorge Soler

Yasiel Puig made a spectacular diving catch in left-center field Saturday on a would-be extra-base hit by Jorge Soler and doubled off Chris Coghlan at second base to end a fifth-inning threat by the Chicago Cubs.

The play, which preserved the Dodgers’ 6-2 advantage, should give Puig and Soler something to talk about.

The Cuban outfielders are friends and live near each other in Miami in the offseason.

“Before spring training, we worked out together,” Puig said in Spanish.

Soler and Puig came to the United States around the same time. Soler inked a nine-year, $30-million deal with the Cubs in June 2012. Later that month, Puig signed a seven-year, $42-million contract with the Dodgers.

At the time, Soler was widely viewed as the superior prospect.

Soler, now 22, has been a source of considerable excitement since the Cubs promoted him to the major leagues last month.

He went into Saturday batting .361 with five home runs and 18 runs batted in in 17 games.

“He’s doing very good work,” Puig...

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Clayton Kershaw won't be part of Dodgers bullpen game Sunday

If the Dodges have a bullpen game Sunday in their series finale against the Chicago Cubs, Clayton Kershaw won’t be part of it, Manager Don Mattingly said.

The Dodgers are expected to use a series of relievers to get through that game, provided they don’t completely exhaust their bullpen Saturday.

Asked if Kershaw could pitch an inning Sunday instead of throwing a bullpen session, Mattingly shook his head no.

“You guys trying to get rid of me?" Mattingly said.

Mattingly laughed and noted that he was close to his off-season residence in Evansville, Ind.

Imagining what Dodgers upper management would tell him if he used Kershaw under such circumstances, Mattingly said, “We’ll drop you off at the American terminal and send your stuff to you later.”

Kershaw pitched Friday and won his 20th game.

If the Dodgers don’t have enough rested relievers for a bullpen game, Dan Haren would start Sunday.

The rotation is a man short because of a shoulder injury to Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Ryu played catch Saturday and is...

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Clayton Kershaw first to 20 wins as Dodgers roll over Cubs, 14-5

Remember, they all count the same now. The works of art, those that are uglier than sin and the what-exactly-was-that-again victory?

If anyone having trouble with what to make of the Dodgers’ 14-5 victory over the Cubs on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field had only to know this -- it was a victory and it reduced their magic number to clinching the division to seven games.

The Dodgers have eight regular-season games left, three against the second-place Giants. They have now clinched at least a tie for a playoff spot.

Friday’s afternoon affair saw Clayton Kershaw become baseball’s first 20-game winner, even with his worst outing in four months.

It saw catcher A.J. Ellis, who had hit exactly one home run in 321 plate appearances all season, hit two in as many appearances Friday and drive in four runs off his new favorite pitcher, rookie reliever Eric Jokisch. And, yes, the wind was blowing out.

It saw Yasiel Puig, who had gone 35 consecutive games without a home run, hit his second in four...

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Is Don Mattingly's frustration with Hanley Ramirez injuries rising?

Reading between the lines, don’t you love it? Can be dangerous. Fraught with trouble if you get it wrong, very insightful if you get it right.

These skills become required when the subject, for whatever reason, is hesitant to come straight out and say what he’s thinking yet can’t help hinting at it.

Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly has all the usual reasons for not wanting to criticize a player, but you have to wonder if he’s about had it with Hanley Ramirez and his injury of the week.

Ramirez sat out two games this week with a sore something. Oh, yeah, an elbow. In the last two seasons, he’s now missed games with a troubled elbow, hand, thumb, shoulder, calf, hamstring, oblique, back, ribs, and it’s quite possible I’m forgetting a few.

He returned to the lineup Thursday and, after the game, Mattingly was asked how Ramirez came out of it.

“He seemed OK,” Mattingly said. “At this point, if a guy says he’s good to go, he’s good to go. It can’t be a gray area. You’re in or you’re out. There...

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