We've paid in hell since Moscow burned,
As Cossacks tear us piece by piece,
Our dead are strewn a hundred leagues,
Though death would be a sweet release.
-- Mark Knopfler
The Dodger season is beginning to resemble Napoleon's retreat from Moscow. Yesterday's game was a truly depressing thing. Of the eight position players the Dodgers started against the Rockies, only two were playing in the majors this time last year, and neither was a starter at the time. The disabled list is long, and getting longer everyday. Izturis was added to it the other day, and Jeff Kent is sitting out a few games trying to avoid the same. Still, the Dodgers spotted Derek Lowe to a 5-0 lead through four.
Then things get ugly. Fielding miscues by Robles, Perez, and Saenz cost them two runs in the fifth. DLowe gives up home runs to Todd Helton and Brad Hawpe in the sixth. Helton's was a monster shot to the upper deck. It all falls apart in the bottom of the seventh. With the Dodgers clinging to a 5-4 lead, DLowe walks the first batter on four pitches, and Tracy pulls him for Gio Carrara. There's a sacrifice bunt, then Gio hits a batter. The next man up gets a hit, driving in the tying run. Then something happened that I don't remember ever seeing before. With the left-handed Helton due up, Tracy comes out to get Carrara, and signals the bullpen to for lefty Kelly Wunsch. Wunsch throws one last warm up pitch in the pen, his spikes catch as he lands, and he sprains his ankle. He can't go. He was announced, though, so Carrara can't stay. Duaner Sanchez is unavailable, because he's having trouble breathing in the thin air at Coors Field. Tracy has to go with rookie Franquelis Osoria, a righty to face Helton. Two pitches later it's 8-5, and the Dodgers are done.
Wunsch's injury is apparently the same as Curt Schilling suffered last year, so it's likely he's done for the year. He's the 18th Dodger to go on the DL this season. The butcher's bill is a long one. Darren Dreifort, Eric Gagne, and Paul Bako are all out for the season. Dreifort will probably never play again, and it's likely Bako has played his last game with the Dodgers. JD Drew won't be seen again until September, if at all. Jose Valentin is due in August. Ricky Ledee is about ready to start rehabbing, while Milton Bradley finally seems to be making some progress. Izturis is going to miss the All-Star game, and some time after that. Wilson Alvarez will probably be activated off the DL to take Wunsch's spot in the pen, with Scott Erickson once again managing to avoid the dreaded DFA. Kent is nursing a sore hamstring, but he thinks he caught it early enough that he won't have to go on the DL. Of course, that's what Izturis thought, too. Saenz is also a little scuffed up, but he'll stay in the line up for now, platooning with Choi.
It's a pretty sad thing when one of your relievers is second on the team in wins. Carrara is 6-3. Only Weaver (7-7) has more wins right now. It used to happen once in awhile in the old days. Elroy Face went 18-1 out of the pen to lead '59 Pirates, but relievers were used differently back then. Closers didn't only come in for save situations.
DLowe dropped to 5-9 yesterday, and has yet to win a game on the road. The most puzzling/disturbing thing going on with him is his home run rate. In the past, even in his worst years, he rarely gave up home runs. That was one of the reasons DePo went and got him. He still doesn't give up many fly balls, but it seems like the one's he does all reach the seats. He's given up fifteen in less than half a season. Last year he gave up fifteen for the entire year.
Jon at Dodger Thoughts posted this look at the salaries of last Wednesday's starting line-up. Somewhere along the way the Dodgers have turned into the Pirates.
$316,000 Oscar Robles
$316,000 Mike Edwards
$337,000 Jayson Werth
$351,500 Hee-Seop Choi
$320,500 Antonio Perez
$339,000 Jason Phillips
$327,000 Jason Grabowski
$316,000 Jason Repko
The Washington Post did a nice story on Vin Scully the other day.
I was a little surprised when DePo released Alex Cora over the winter. Cora played well last year, but the Kent signing and the emergence of Antonio Perez meant there was no spot for him to play. In retrospect, DePo made the right decision. Cora signed with Cleveland, but didn't play at all well. Yesterday he was traded to the Sox, and was in the line up last night, striking out twice in the lead off spot. At least he didn't get picked off second base with the bases loaded and two outs. That was Trot Nixon.
Finally, I had to post this gem I found at DT.
After missing 54 games with an ankle injury suffered on a slide at home, Jose Vidro of Washington returned Tuesday - and had to slide at home.
"I tried to get my legs up, my knee up, so that I wouldn't get anything stuck out there," Vidro told The Associated Press. "But it was so exciting. You don't know how much this means to me. I almost cried. I'm not going to lie. I was so emotional. I love this game. I love to be out there, put my uniform on."
Jose Vidro is my new favorite player.