So there I am, listening to Wednesday’s game on the radio (because I don’t have Time Warner or Charter), when I hear the nine scariest words in the English language: “Chris Hatcher is warming up in the Dodgers bullpen.” Sure enough, in the eighth inning of a tie game, Don Mattingly brings in Hatcher, who promptly gives up a first-pitch single and a four-pitch walk. Mattingly then removes him from the game. But it’s too late. The next pitcher, Adam Liberatore, gives up a double, the Braves score twice and the Dodgers go on to lose.
Hatcher is now 1-4 with a 6.91 ERA, and the nice feeling of winning the first two games from the Braves is erased.
Why is Chris Hatcher still on this team? Why designate Sergio Santos for assignment, and not Hatcher? Why has Hatcher pitched in more games than any other Dodger? If anyone from the Dodgers is reading and can answer this, please email me and let me know. And please don’t tell me it’s because Hatcher is out of options and they don’t want him to go to another team because of his amazing potential.
The Dodgers made a puzzling deal on Wednesday, sending third baseman Juan Uribe and pitcher Chris Withrow to Atlanta for infielder Alberto Callaspo, left-hander Ian Thomas, right-hander Juan Jaime and left-hander Eric Stults, whom they promptly designated for assignment.
In essence, the Dodgers traded two good players for four not-so-good players. Uribe is off to a slow start with the bat, but he is great defensively and would have been an excellent late-inning replacement for mediocre defenders Justin Turner and Alex Guerrero. Also, we always heard about what a positive clubhouse influence Uribe was, particularly on Yasiel Puig. Isn’t that worth keeping him around? This was a bad trade. But thanks, Juan, for all the great memories, including your clutch home run in Game 4 of the 2013 NLDS.
Meet them in St. Louis
The Dodgers face their first big test of the season starting Friday, when they open a three-game series with the Cardinals in St. Louis.
The Dodgers haven’t faced many good teams so far this season. Their record has been built against teams that are below .500, as shown by this comparison:
Record vs. teams below .500: 26-11
Record vs. teams at or above .500: 2-7
The Cardinals are 31-16, the best record in baseball. The Dodgers don’t have to win all three games to make a statement, but they need to win two to show their nice start is more steak than sizzle.
The 20 greatest Dodgers
Our countdown continues with:
Your favorite Dodger
I recently asked Dodgers Dugout readers to send me their favorite Dodger and why. Some responses:
Sara Medina of La Puente: I remember my first favorite Dodger being Mike Piazza. That mullet/mustache combo won me over and was definitely swoon-worthy to me at the time. I was 10. Now, I gotta say Adrian Gonzalez is my favorite. Not only is he a hottie, but the man just exudes class. I hated him when he was on the Padres because I was going to college in San Diego at the time and his emotion-less face was all over my TV in every possible commercial. But he has always been such a classy and modest player who knows when to let loose without overdoing it.
John Semans of parts unknown: Bill Buckner. He was bold in the way he played the game when he was young with the Dodgers. The Dodgers version of Pete Rose.
Make sure to get tickets now for the July 11 game at Dodger Stadium. It’s Juan Uribe bobblehead doll night. As it says on the Dodgers website: "We are proceeding with our Juan Uribe Bobblehead promotion on July 11 .… There was no better teammate to have than Juan Uribe." Except for Alberto Callaspo, apparently.