If you were like me, you spent Independence Day weekend getting away from the world, enjoying the sun and firing up the grill. However, while you and I were on vacation, Major League Baseball was not. Here are some things you may have missed in Dodger Land over the 4th of July weekend:
* The Dodgers dispatched of the Arizona Diamondbacks, taking two of three and giving them five wins in their last six games. After getting manhandled to the tune of 12-5 in the first game, the Dodgers came back in the second game to pummel Arizona 14-1. Closer Jonathan Broxton saw his first action in nearly a week after his collapse against the Yankees last Sunday. Broxton allowed the D’Backs only run, giving up a 9th inning solo homer to Chris Young. The Dodgers closer came back on Sunday to shut the door in a 3-1 win and get his first save since June 9th. Chad Billingsley put on a solid performance in Sunday’s show, going six strong, giving up one run and striking out eight. Matt Kemp homered in both Los Angeles wins and Andre Ethier hit just his second homer since his May 31 return from the DL with a solo shot off of Rodrigo Lopez in the 4th inning of Saturday’s game. The Dodgers still sit 3.5 games back of San Diego in the NL West and start a three-game series against the Florida Marlins tonight.
*Speaking of Ethier, the right fielder got his first-ever All-Star nod as he was voted to start in right at the the July 13th All-Star Game in Anaheim. Ethier’s hitting .320(2nd in the NL) with 13 homers and 49 RBIs so far this season. Joining Ethier in Anaheim next week will be closer Jonathan Broxton. This will be Broxton’s second All-Star appearance. Broxton is 8th in the NL with 17 and is 3-0 with a 2.02 ERA and 52 strikeouts(tied for 2nd among closers with the Braves’ Billy Wagner and Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez). Oddly enough, the Dodgers have more All-Stars than division-leading San Diego, who have only one in first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Padres closer Heath Bell, the major league leader in saves, is among the candidates for the final vote-in All-Star but is currently behind Reds first baseman Joey Votto.
*Finally, in a move expected for about a week, the Dodgers placed left fielder Manny Ramirez on the 15-day DL on Friday with a hamstring injury. Man-Ram injured his hammy in the first inning of Tuesday’s showdown with the Giants after his right foot made contact with the glove of Giants shortstop Edgar Renteria in a play at second base. It’s the second time Ramirez has been shelved after missing time back in April with a calf strain. The Dodgers once again called up outfielder Xavier Paul to replace Ramirez for the time being. Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Ramirez was feeling better but didn’t want to take any chances as the Dodgers try to make yet another second-half push for the postseason.
About the Author
Written by Dave Leonardis
Born and raised in New Jersey, I've been writing since I was 10 and blogging since I was 18. I'm a huge sports nerd, following football, baseball and basketball in particular in close detail. My style is very upfront. I don't pull punches and I'm not shy about criticizing anything I feel deserves a proper tongue-lashing. If you're looking for someone who says what he wants, when he wants, then look no further than this guy right here.