Dodgers @ Diamondbacks April 12, 2013: At Least There’s Still Kershaw

April 12, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

chasefieldAs we’re still waiting on the fallout from the Zack Greinke / Carlos Quentin situation, the cold reality of baseball is this: there’s always another game to play, this time against an Arizona Diamondbacks club with an identical 6-3 record as the Dodgers, and Greinke wasn’t going to be pitching tonight anyway.

We’ve yet to hear about possible suspensions for Jerry Hairston, Matt Kemp, or anyone else, so Don Mattingly has everyone at his disposal tonight — including Juan Uribe, in the lineup and batting fifth. Even if or when a possible ban comes down, appeals are almost guaranteed, so it’s not likely that we’ll have to worry about a limited roster any time soon. Greinke’s already been placed on the disabled list, as we’ll see Shawn Tolleson for the first time this year, but Tolleson’s stay is likely very short — he’s almost certainly going to be replaced by Ted Lilly in the next few days. It remains to be seen whether Lilly or Chris Capuano gets the start when Greinke’s turn comes up next week.

In the meantime, it’s a good thing that Clayton Kershaw is going tonight, because Greinke’s short outing combined with some one-pitch appearances means that the bullpen could stand for a relaxing evening.  At the very least, I imagine Ronald Belisario isn’t available tonight.

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Speaking of Kershaw, you’ll notice in the lineup to the right that Gerardo Parra is in the lineup, hitting seventh and playing right field. You might remember that back in 2011

On July 31, Gerardo Parra hit two dingers in Dodger Stadium, the second of which was a bomb off of Hong-Chih Kuo that Parra longingly admired. On Tuesday, after Kuo unleashed a rocket towards Parra’s head – and with Kuo’s control problems this year, who the hell knows if that was intentional or not – Parra took Kuo deep again, once again took his sweet time to watch it, and was on the receiving end of some verbal abuse from Clayton Kershaw and A.J. Ellis.

Got all that? So as you’ve no doubt heard, Kershaw, working on a one-hit shutout in the fifth on Wednesday (with the one hit, of course, being from Parra), nailed Parra on the elbow and was immediately ejected by home plate umpire Bill Welke, along with Dodger manager Don Mattingly. Now, I hardly need to recap for you what came next: the Dodgers insisted that it wasn’t intentional, because why would Kershaw do something that would so obviously get him tossed out of the game and impact his Cy Young chances, and because Parra was leaning over the plate and did little to avoid the pitch. The Diamondbacks insisted it was, because of the history with Parra and because Kershaw’s been so good that it’s hard to argue it was a coincidence that the ball just got away from him with Parra, of all people, hitting.

A pitcher wrongly accused of throwing a division rival in a situation where it obviously makes no sense? Why, I never. Not tonight, Clayton. Not tonight.


Speaking of situations with parallels, my piece for ESPN Insider this week is about a Los Angeles team who just lost an ace pitcher to a broken bone. Of course, I’m talking about Jered Weaver and how the Angels are in really, really big trouble, despite their massive payroll. Let’s hope that’s where the comparisons end — check it out here.


Here’s a fun minor league signing, via Matt Eddy at Baseball America: 32-year-old Sean Burroughs, who was the regular third baseman in San Diego between 2002-05 and then was out of baseball entirely before resurfacing with Arizona in 2011. Last year, he got two hits in 18 plate appearances for Minnesota, but spent most of his year with Triple-A Rochester, playing the infield corners with a .675 OPS. No word yet on where he’ll land in the organization, but I’m guessing he didn’t sign to go back to Double-A for the first time in thirteen years.


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