Dodgers Dugout: Bullpen blues

Dodgers Dugout: Bullpen blues
Juan Nicasio (Doug Pensinger / Getty Images)

Hi, welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and please don't tell me who won the Tonys, I recorded them to watch when I'm having trouble falling asleep.

Bullpen blues


I know the Dodgers are in first place, but Sunday's game pointed out, once again, the team's Achilles' heel: the bullpen. Do you feel comfortable when anyone other than Kenley Jansen comes in to relieve? On Sunday Adam Liberatore and Juan Nicasio blew a 2-1 lead for a 4-2 loss. Nicasio is a career starter who was signed before the season to be the long man out of the bullpen. Liberatore is a 28-year-old career minor leaguer. So another strong effort by Zack Greinke goes to waste, and the Dodgers lose three of four to the St. Louis Cardinals.

More bullpen

Let's take a look at the rest of the bullpen. After a strong start, Yimi Garcia has an ERA of 9.00 in his last 12 games. J.P. Howell is solid, but can get out only lefties, apparently. Chris Hatcher is Chris Hatcher. Paco Rodriguez is on the DL. Joel Peralta is on the DL. Pedro Baez is on the DL. Overall, the bullpen is 11-11 with a 3.23 ERA. The Cardinals' bullpen is 13-5 with a 2.02 ERA. It's time to find some different solutions in the bullpen, because what the Dodgers have isn't working.

He's fine

Don't look now, but in his last three starts, Clayton Kershaw is 3-0 with an 0.82 ERA, giving up 10 hits and three walks and striking out 28 in 22 innings.

Hollywood Stars

I went to Saturday's game against the Cardinals, which was preceded by "Hollywood Stars Night," when celebrities play a softball game on the Dodger Stadium field before the game. And I use the word "celebrities" loosely, because it wasn't exactly Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep out there. It was fun to watch, though, particularly when Mark McGwire pinch-hit for Larry King. With the crowd oohing, McGwire hit a drive to center that was caught by Landon Donovan. If only McGwire had some sort of supplement he could take to add a few extra feet to his distance.

Where are you going, Minnie?

Minnie Driver sang the national anthem before the real game Saturday, and afterward made her way down my aisle and sat about 15 rows in front of me. She left in the fourth inning.

This date in Dodgers history

June 8, 1955: The Dodgers send a rookie left-hander by the name of Tom Lasorda to the minors to make room for another rookie left-hander: Sandy Koufax.

June 8, 1968: Don Drysdale's scoreless streak ends at a record 58 2/3 consecutive innings when Tony Taylor of the Phillies is driven in by Howie Bedell, Bedell's only RBI for the season.

June 12, 2005: Hee-Seop Choi hits three homers against Minnesota pitcher Brad Radke in the Dodgers' 4-3 victory.


June 13, 1973: Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Ron Cey and Bill Russell are in the lineup together for the first time in a 16-3 loss to the Phillies. They will go on to play as a unit until 1981.

The two greatest Dodgers of all time

Well, the countdown is over, and in a vote by more than 14,000 readers of, the two greatest Dodgers of all time are Sandy Koufax and Jackie Robinson. You can review the top 20 here. I can't believe Lance Rautzhan didn't make the list.

Favorite Dodgers

More readers respond with their favorite Dodgers.

Margaret Barrero of Duarte: Mike Scioscia! I used to keep a tape recorder next to the TV just in case he was interviewed on the pre- or post-game shows. My plan as a 14-year-old girl was to marry him!

Wendy Miller of parts unknown: Just way too hard to pick a favorite. As a kid Steve Yeager was my favorite and now Kersh is my favorite. In between would be Karros, Brett Butler, Piazza, Billy Ashley (don't judge!), Jeff Kent, Paul Lo Duca, Russell Martin ... and of course before my time but still favorites would be Koufax, Jackie Robinson, Campy, Lasorda. And the best Dodger of all, but non-player, Vin!

Dodgers Dugout night at the Stadium

Some of you have emailed and asked about a bunch of us attending a game together this summer. So what say you, Dodgers Dugout subscribers? Do you want to go to a game with me, with a special surprise guest or two thrown in? If we could get 30 of you to say yes, we can rent out a suite at a game and watch in style. Email me if you are interested and I will put together a plan.

Uh oh

After "Chris Hatcher is now pitching," the five scariest words for Dodgers fans is "Brandon League is now pitching." Well, we may be hearing that again soon, because League is making rehab appearances with Class A Rancho Cucamonga this week.

And finally

Even celebrities are unhappy with the inability to watch the Dodgers on TV. They sound off 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