Dodgers Dugout: Dodgers vs. Don Mattingly in the playoffs?
Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and because of this heat, I’m pretty sure the Earth has been torn from its orbit and is hurtling toward the sun.
On the way to a too-hot Monday.
-- The Dodgers won Sunday, thanks to two guys who are hitting below .200. First, Kiké Hernandez (.196) homers, then Yasmani Grandal (.184) draws a bases-loaded, walk-off walk.
--Grandal’s yearly batting averages since his rookie season in 2012: .297, .216, .225, .234, .184. But according to OPS+, this is the only season he has been a below-average hitter because he always draws a lot of walks. He has a career batting average of .234, but a career on-base percentage of .345. Of the 31 catchers with at least 1,000 plate appearances since 2001, Grandal is 23rd in batting average, but fourth in on-base percentage. A.J. Ellis is eighth in OB% in that span (.339).
--In his last 14 games, Justin Turner is hitting .340 with six homers and 14 RBIs.
--The Dodgers are on pace to go 86-76 this season. Last season they went 92-70.
--If the season had ended after Sunday’s game they would have qualified for the second wild card spot, and guess who they would have played? Don Mattingly’s Miami Marlins.
--The Dodgers are 13-18 against teams with a winning record and 25-15 against teams with a losing record.
--The Dodgers traded Zach Lee on Sunday, officially giving up on their 2010 first-round draft pick who was also twice named their minor-league pitcher of the year.
--Who will replace Mike Bolsinger in the rotation now that he has been sent to the minors? Probably Jharel Cotton or Frankie Montas, giving the Dodgers a rotation of Kershaw, Maeda, Kazmir, Urias and Cotton/Montas. Hyun-jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy are still at least a couple of weeks away from returning.
The magic number
Each week I will look at a uniform number a current Dodger is wearing and go through the history of that number with the Dodgers. When I was a kid and went to games, I was always curious who wore the number of my favorite players. Then again, I was a strange kid. For “best Dodgers to wear the number,” only the stats a player compiles while he was with the team and wearing that number count.
Next up is:
No. 25 (Will Venable)
Best Dodgers to wear No. 25: Hugh Casey (1939-42, 1946-48), Frank Howard (1958-64), Tommy John (1972-78).
Others to wear No. 25 with the Dodgers: Max Rosenfeld (1932-33), Les Munns (1934-35), Ed Brandt (1936), Johnny Cooney (1937), Kiki Cuyler (1938), Wes Flowers (1944), Don Lund (1945), Otho Nitcholas (1945), Chris Van Cuyk (1950-52), Bob Milliken (1953-54), Dick Smith (1965), Wes Covington (1966), Jim Campanis (1967-68), Joe Moeller (1969-71), Jerry Reuss (1979), Ted Power (1981-82), German Rivera (1983-84), Mariano Duncan (1985-89), Darrin Fletcher (1989-90), Dennis Cook (1990-91), Mike Piazza (1992), Tim Wallach (1993), Mike Busch (1995-96), Juan Castro (1997-98), Bobby Bonilla (1998), Dave Hansen (1999-2002), Rickey Henderson (2003), Mike Edwards (2005), Sandy Alomar (2006), Esteban Loaiza (2007), Andruw Jones (2008), Jim Thome (2009), Carl Crawford (2013).
What Vin Scully means to me
I asked you to tell me your best Vin Scully memory, and I got a lot of responses. I will publish selected ones in each newsletter. And keep emailing them to me.
Kyle Coffin: My entire family are Giants fans. Born in 1967, I was a complete and total momma’s boy until age 9. When I was 2, my parents divorced, and the next seven years mom stayed single, raising my sister and me. Mom then married the man who has since been “dad.” And he felt one of his missions in life was to toughen me up a bit. So he signed me up for Pony Baseball. And I was horrible. Never hit a fair ball all season. My teammates made fun of me.
Anyway, I hated baseball. That off-season was 1976, and my dad wanted me to start watching baseball with him on TV. Every time the Giants played the Dodgers, he’d get all riled up. They split their head-to-head series, but the Blue won 92 games that season while the Giants won 74.
Then a new kid my age – Todd Larson - moved in across the street from me. His family were avid Dodger fans, and his dad rigged his radio to pick up Vin every night. I hung out at their place all the time, so I was quickly indoctrinated and mesmerized by Vin. My friend signed up for Pony Baseball that year, so naturally, I thought I’d give it a try again. And guess what team we got on together? Yep, the Dodgers. I swear my dad tried for years for Pacific Grove’s Pony League Baseball Assn. to not have a Dodgers team, but to no avail.
In the third game, I came up with the bases loaded, last inning, two out and down two runs. And for the first time in my life, I made solid contact. Right back up the middle and through the center fielder’s legs. All three runners scored, I was mobbed.
When the Dodgers won it all in 1981, I was so obnoxious, Grandpa wanted to disown me, and Dad to this day has never bought me anything Blue.
Looking back I always whisper a little thank you to Mr. Larson for knowing how to rig a tiny radio clear enough to hear Vin from 400 miles away. Vin was the only Dodger I could name as a 9-year-old kid. And he’s still No. 1 today.
The TV situation
If you would like to complain about the Dodgers’ TV situation, you have three options: The Dodgers, Time Warner Cable and whatever local cable or satellite provider you have that doesn’t carry the Dodgers. Here’s who to contact:
For the Dodgers, click here or call (866) DODGERS ( 363-4377). (I hope you like form letters).
For Time Warner, click here.
For DirecTV, call (800) 531-5000 or click here.
For your local cable or satellite provider, consult your bill for the customer service number and for the website.
Clayton Kershaw talks about being a dad. Read all about it here.
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