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Dodgers Dugout: This is an important week for the Dodgers

Dodgers Dugout: This is an important week for the Dodgers
Fernando Valenzuela in 1984. (Los Angeles Times)

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell and I really don’t like those Matthew McConaughey Carl’s Jr. commercials.

Important week ahead

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The Dodgers swept the Padres, which can be looked at in one of two ways: 1) It’s the Padres, so no big deal, or 2) The Dodgers did what they needed to do, and that shouldn’t be downplayed just because of who they played.

Before the Padres (three games) and Texas (two games) series began, I told myself that the Dodgers needed to win four of the five games to get back into the flow of things. Now it would be great to win all five.

And let’s hope the Dodgers don’t look past the Rangers toward the big weekend series with Arizona. I don’t think they will, even though I am about to.

The Diamondbacks series this weekend is key. Lose all four, and the season is all but over. Win three of four or sweep Arizona, and that will take away almost all the bad taste August has left in everyone’s mouth. So, I’m not going to bog you down with a lot of stats, or go negative or positive. Next week at this time we will know a lot more about whether this team will make the postseason or not. I think they are about to go on one of their streaks where they win 12 of 14 games and will be in the driver’s seat of the division soon. In the meantime, grab your lucky rabbit’s foot, avoid those black cats, and if the Dodgers are leading, stay where you are. If you get up and move, we will know who to blame.

Retired numbers

I asked readers to vote in a poll on which two numbers the Dodgers should retire next, and here are the results, with 41,830 ballots cast.

Fernando Valenzuela, 50.06%

Gil Hodges, 35.38%

Don Newcombe, 34.04%

Orel Hershiser, 28.44%

Maury Wills, 26.24%

Steve Garvey, 14.78%

Mike Piazza, 7.98%

Other: 3,06%

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The top vote-getters among others was “None, only Hall of Famers should have their number retired.” Also, 10 people voted for Duke Snider, even though his number is already retired. Way to pay attention, people.

I think the Dodgers should retire the numbers of Fernando and Don Newcombe next season, and I’ll explain why in a future newsletter.

The new guys

Since joining the Dodgers here’s how the new guys are doing:

Brian Dozier, .232/.366/.415/112 OPS+

Manny Machado, .266/.348/.469/120

John Axford, 16.20 ERA, on disabled list with broken leg

More KTLA games

For those of you who live in the L.A. area and are unable to see Dodgers games on TV, there are two more games that will be televised on KTLA Channel 5. Those games are:

Friday vs. Arizona, 7 p.m.

Sept. 4 vs. New York Mets, 7 p.m.

Meanwhile, there is no agreement between DirecTV and Spectrum SportsNet coming in the near future.

These names seem familiar

What recently departed Dodgers are doing around the league:

Charlie Culberson, Braves, .288/.332/.504, 122 OPS+.

Brandon McCarthy, Braves, 6-3, 4.92 ERA (on the 60-day DL with right knee tendinitis).

Yu Darvish, Cubs, 1-3, 4.95 ERA (on 60-day DL and out for the season with an elbow injury)

Curtis Granderson, Blue Jays, .241/.342/.431, 113 OPS+

Brandon Morrow, Cubs, 0-0, 22 saves, 1.47 ERA (on 10-day DL with right biceps tendinitis)

Tony Watson, Giants, 4-5, 2.73 ERA

Chris Hatcher, A's, 3-2, 4.24 ERA, Designated for assignment, removed from 40-man roster and sent to triple-A Nashville. 0-1, 3.86 ERA with Nashville.

Luis Avilan, Phillies (traded from White Sox to Phillies last week), 2-1, 3.83 ERA, two saves

Trayce Thompson, White Sox, .117/.162/.211 (removed from 40-man roster and sent to minors). Hitting .199/.274/.340 for triple-A Charlotte.

Wilmer Font, Rays, 2-3, 5.93 ERA (on 60-day DL with a lat strain)

Sergio Romo, Rays, 3-3, 3.24 ERA, 18 saves.

Logan Forsythe, Twins, .337/.409/.386, 118 OPS+

Up next

Tuesday, 5 p.m.: Dodgers (Walker Buehler, 6-4, 2.96 ERA) at Texas (Ariel Jurado, 2-3, 6.40 ERA)

Wednesday, 5 p.m.: Dodgers (Alex Wood, 7-6, 3.60 ERA) at Texas (Mike Minor, 10-6, 4.40 ERA)

And finally

Stan Williams believes blowing the 1962 pennant has made him an outcast with the Dodgers. Read all about it here.

Have a comment or something you'd like to see in a future Dodgers newsletter? Email me and follow me on Twitter: @latimeshouston.

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