The Los Angeles Dodgers combined back-to-back wins(actually, it’s back-to-back-to-back wins, but who’s counting?) with back-to-back key injuries. First, there was catcher Russell Martin, who was placed on the 15-day DL on Tuesday with a hip injury. Sources are putting Martin on the shelf for at least three weeks while team doctors determine whether the former All-Star needs surgery. The loss of Martin isn’t particularly crucial, since he was struggling to hit better than .248 all season and has only five homers with 26 RBI.
Joining Martin on the DL will be a familiar face: Shortstop Rafael Furcal. Furcal was placed on the 15-day DL, retroactive to August 3rd, with a back injury today. Furcal’s bat, and even more so his speed, will be largely missed in the increasingly depleted Dodger lineup. Furcal was hitting .316 with eight homers, 39 RBI and 18 stolen bases despite missing nearly all of May with a hamstring issue. This will be Furcal’s second DL stint this season.
Speaking of frequent DL inhabitants, the team is still waiting for the return of slugging left fielder Manny Ramirez. Ramirez is nursing a calf injury since July 21st and the team was hopeful he’d be back by early August. Depending on how his workouts go over the next week in Arizona, Man-Ram will either be returning to the lineup sometime in the middle of the month or, more likely, the end of August.
The absence of Ramirez, Furcal and Martin haven’t kept the Dodgers from winning three straight. After taking two of three from the Nationals, the Dodgers went into “The City of Brotherly Love” and handed the Phillies a 15-9 shellacking last night. Tonight is the second game of the three-game series and the pitching matchup calls for Chad Billingsley vs. recently-acquired Phils hurler Roy Oswalt. Oswalt is still searching for his first win in a Phillies uniform after coming over in a four-player trade on July 31st. He’s 6-13 with a 3.50 ERA. Billingsley, on the other hand, is 9-6 with a 3.82 ERA but is coming off a start last week against the Padres where he gave up three in seven innings in a 5-0 loss to division-leading San Diego. In tomorrow’s finale, the Dodgers will trot out ace Clayton Kershaw against Joe Blanton.
After the Dodgers finish up in Philly, they travel to the A-T-L for a four-game series with the NL East-leading Braves. The Dodgers could use a good showing after dropping the ball against San Diego and San Francisco last week. They currently sit seven games out of the first-place Padres in the NL West, yet only 4.5 back in the NL Wild Card, which has three teams tied for the lead as well as the slumping Phils a game ahead of L.A.
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.