The Dodgers were playing the Braves in Atlanta, and it was on TV! It's the first time I've been able to actually watch the Dodgers play since the first week of the season. (Lately, it seems like ESPN is only showing Red Sox games during the week.) They won 12-5. It was an actual laugher, the Braves making three bush league errors in the first inning, highlighted by Renteria's no-look flip of a ball over Giles head on what could've been a double play. Oops. The Dodgers continue to play well, but the injuries continue to pile up. Drew's had a sore shoulder (but did play today), and Kent is day-to-day with a sprained wrist. With only three healthy outfielders, Neddy had to go so far as to call up star prospect Matt Kemp from Jacksonville. Kemp is talented (.929 OPS at Jax), but very raw (only 48 games at AA). He struck out in his first three big league at bats yesterday, and has had some adventures in the outfield, but he had a good game at the plate today (3-7 after two games). Right now, there are almost always three rookies in the line up, and yesterday there were four, something very rare for contending teams. Fortunately, the rooks have been playing well.
Meanwhile, Brad Penny was staked to a 7-0 lead after two, and couldn't get out of the fifth inning. After Grady Little pulled him, he proceeded to do his best "Hulk smash" impression in the dugout, pounding a defenseless water jug with a bat while screaming obscenities at Grady and pitching coach, Rick Honeycutt. Brad, buddy, it ain't their fault you gave up six consecutive hits before Grady came and got you. Get a frelling out, why doncha. I'm getting worried that something's wrong with Penny, more than just the back stiffness that's been cited. He hasn't been able to get to the seventh inning in any of his starts in May, and he's rarely even gotten to the sixth. He had neither velocity nor command today. This is the nominal ace of the staff. (And now that I've read the game wrap story on mlb.com, it appears his shoulder is hurting. Oy.)
There is some good injury news for a change. Eric Gagne pitched in his second successful rehab game today, and it's possible he'll be activated in a couple of days. That would be a nice lift.
After the game, it became clear that the threatened thunderstorms weren't coming, so I took the Univega down to the bike path for a ride. I did about nine miles. I'd planned to do more, but the upper end of my right quad began aching not long after I started. Don't know why, and there was no residual pain when I stopped pedaling. I did remember to wear my knee brace, so no pain there, at least. The bike is in about as perfect shape as it can be right now. It just had a tune-up, the computer is working again, and I installed a better saddle today. (I have a whole spiel about bike saddles coming, but right now I'm getting sleepy, so it'll have to wait until tomorrow.)