Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The White Sox played without Manager Rick Renteria, who had surgery Friday to repair the rotator cuff in his right shoulder. Bench coach Joe McEwing managed in Renteria’s absence. Renteria is expected to miss the series and return on Tuesday, when the White Sox host the Royals for a three-game set.“He’s doing well, he’s doing really well. Everything went according to plan. He’s recovering now. Our thoughts and prayers were there. Making sure everything went well. They took good care of him. He’s coming out of it now and resting well,” McEwing said before the game.TROUT UPDATETrout is listed as day-to-day. “I’ve been dealing with it for a little bit now. I’ve been trying to play through it, just really sore,” Trout said. “I was grinding through it in the third and fourth inning and it just got to the point where it affected how I was running.” Trout said he will try to play on Saturday.TRAINER’S ROOMOhtani (Tommy John surgery) will not throw this week as had been scheduled. He remains available as a hitter. … Infielder Tommy La Stella (broken right tibia) took part in live batting practice in Anaheim on Thursday and could return to the active roster next week. … First baseman Albert Pujols was out of the starting lineup on Friday because of an illness. “He came out of the game sick (at Oakland on Thursday night). He was still sick during the night. We can use him to pinch-hit, but we don’t want him standing out there the whole game,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. … White Sox infielder/outfielder Luery García will miss the entire series against the Angels as he mourns the death of his grandmother. Garcia returned to his native Santiago, in the Dominican Republic, in the wake of his grandmother’s death.More to come on this story. PreviousThe Angels’ Shohei Ohtani beats the throw to third for a triple during the seventh inning of Friday’s game against the White Sox in Chicago. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)Angels starting pitcher Dillon Peters throws to the plate during the second inning of Friday’s game against the White Sox in Chicago. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsChicago White Sox’s Tim Anderson hits a two-run home run off Los Angeles Angels’ Dillon Peters during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Dillon Peters delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)Chicago White Sox’s Jose Abreu hits an RBI-double during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)Chicago White Sox’s Tim Anderson (7) celebrates in the dugout after scoring during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – SEPTEMBER 06: Justin Upton #8 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim breaks his bat in the second inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 06, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Lucas Giolito delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – SEPTEMBER 06: Luis Rengifo #4 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim celebrates in the dugout with teammates after scoring in the third inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 06, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – SEPTEMBER 06: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hits a double in the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 06, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani runs the bases after hitting a double against the Chicago White Sox during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)Los Angeles Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun catches a ball hit by Chicago White Sox’s Yoan Moncada during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Dillon Peters delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – SEPTEMBER 06: Tim Anderson #7 of the Chicago White Sox hits a two-run home run in the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 06, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Dillon Peters (52) looks on after Chicago White Sox’s Tim Anderson (7) hit a two-run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – SEPTEMBER 06: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hits a triple in the seventh inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 06, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – SEPTEMBER 06: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim advances to home plate to score in the seventh inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 06, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – SEPTEMBER 06: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim celebrates in the dugout with teammates after scoring in the seventh inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 06, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)Los Angeles Angels second baseman Luis Rengifo (4) lays on top of Chicago White Sox’s Adam Engel after forcing Engel out during the seventh inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)The Angels’ Brian Goodwin hits a two-run home run to tie the score during the eighth inning of Friday’s game against the White Sox in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)White Sox pitcher Aaron Bummer looks on as the Angels’ Brian Goodwin rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run that tied the score during the eighth inning of Friday’s game in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)The Angels’ Brian Goodwin celebrates in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run to tie the score during the eighth inning of Friday’s game against the White Sox in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)The Angels’ Justin Upton celebrates in the dugout after hitting a go-ahead home run during the ninth inning of Friday’s game against the White Sox in Chicago. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Hansel Robles celebrates at the end of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)Los Angeles Angels catcher Kevan Smith, left, and relief pitcher Hansel Robles (57) celebrate at the end of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani beats the throw to third for a triple during the seventh inning of Friday’s game against the White Sox in Chicago. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)NextShow Caption1 of 25The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani beats the throw to third for a triple during the seventh inning of Friday’s game against the White Sox in Chicago. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)ExpandCHICAGO — Brian Goodwin left his mark on a game, just as Mike Trout has done so often for the Angels.Goodwin’s two-run homer in the eighth inning tied the score, and Justin Upton hit a solo shot in the ninth that proved to be the winner as the Angels rallied to beat the Chicago White Sox 5-4 on Friday night, snapping a four-game losing streak.Chicago led 4-2 with one out in the top of the eighth before reliever Aaron Bummer walked pinch-hitter Taylor Ward. Goodwin followed with a two-run homer that ruined a quality start by White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito.Goodwin had replaced Trout in the fifth inning, when the two-time AL MVP left the game with right toe discomfort. “Brad (Ausmus) picked the right guy,” Trout said.On the first pitch in the ninth inning, Upton hit his 12th homer of the season, off closer Alex Colomé (4-3), to give the Angels the lead.Angels reliever Hansel Robles pitched a perfect final two innings for the win and improved to 5-0.Luis Rengifo led off the third with his seventh homer of the season for the Angels, who bounced back after blowing a five-run lead in the seventh inning against Oakland on Thursday night.The White Sox have lost nine of 11.Tim Anderson, who was 2 for 4, is bidding to become the first White Sox player to win the AL batting title since Frank Thomas in 1997. Anderson entered the game with a one-point lead over DJ LeMahieu. Anderson moved increased his average to .333. LeMahieu was hitless in three at-bats, dropping his average to .329.“It would be a huge accomplishment. I mean, we made it this far, so why not give it a shot? I just got to keep being consistent and having fun with it and let the rest take care of itself,” Anderson said.Giolito allowed two runs on three hits in seven innings, but he didn’t figure in the decision. He struck out six and walked one. Giolito has 216 strikeouts this, the third-most in a season for the White Sox behind Chris Sale and Ed Walsh.“I’m happy about tonight because I didn’t feel my best. I felt out of sync, but I was able to kind of battle and grind through it and make the adjustments to turn it into a quality start,” Giolito said.Anderson and Yoán Moncada hit back-to-back singles off Angels starter Dillion Peters in the first inning, and José Abreu followed with an RBI double. Moncada scored on Eloy Jiménez’s groundout, giving the White Sox a 2-0 lead.After Peters allowed a leadoff walk to Adam Engel in the fifth, Anderson extended Chicago’s lead to 4-1 with his 16th home run of the season. Anderson watched from just outside the batter’s box as the ball flew over the left-field fence.Peters allowed four runs on six hits 4-1/3 innings, striking out three and walking three.Shohei Ohtani tripled and scored in the seventh inning.Related Articles Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield “It’s not easy. You know what you miss whenever Mike is not in the lineup,” Goodwin said. “It brings everything to the table. It’s not really for me to fill his shoes, but it’s just … go out and do what I’m supposed to do, play my game, produce.“I’ve been in pretty much a similar situation all year, so I can’t say I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to prepare for it. Whenever the chance presents itself, then just got to take advantage.”Goodwin has been reliable for the Angels all season.“He’s come up huge for us a number of times,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “He’s done an outstanding job for us. This is a guy we picked up two days before the season started and he’s become an intricate part of our team both offensively and defensively.”Despite the injury, Trout was able to appreciate the late-inning heroics. Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter
With Allen Iverson’s infamous tirade about practice getting major play upon him getting his number retired by the Philadelphia 76ers, its worth noting the Clippers practice about as little as any team in the league.And it doesn’t appear to be holding them back anyway.So Iverson, meet Rivers, who in a peculiar kind way actually agrees with your view on practice.Don’t misunderstand, when the Clippers work, they work hard. When it’s time to practice, they get after it.It’s just that Rivers understands the big picture of a season, that sacrificing some practice time to preserve the legs and energy of his team is tradeoff he happily makes.“We put in time when we need to put in time,” Rivers said. “We put a lot of time in our shoot-arounds. When we do practice, we practice hard. But I believe in legs, and I think over the long haul, I just think it turns out better.”Which is why you’ll often see Rivers cancel a scheduled practice the day after a game, or whenever, for that matter.“When I think we should, it’s usually because there is slippage of some kind and I think we need to be in the gym,” Rivers said. “Other than that I think the rest is more important.”Crawford backAfter missing the previous three games with a strained calf, Jamal Crawford returned for the Clippers on Saturday against the Atlanta Hawks.Crawford was back in his more customary role coming off the bench.“I don’t think he’ll play a lot of minutes, but he’ll play.” Rivers said.Meanwhile, Jared Dudley was sidelined with back spasms. And yet, all three arrived at a similar place statistically at the same exact time. “There aren’t three guys that can be more different than those three,” Rivers marveled “There’s not anything similar about any of them, which is amazing. And it’s another lesson that you can do things similar but in different ways.”Through 63 games, Griffin is averaging a career-high 24.4 points to go along with 9.7 rebounds and 3.6 assist. He and Minnesota’s Kevin Love were the only players to average at least 30 points and 10 rebounds in the month of February.“It just tells you how great Blake is,” Rivers said. “He’s awful young to be reaching milestones.”Talking practice? There might not be three more different basketball players than Blake Griffin, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Charles Barkley, but with a few more rebounds Griffin is about to create an interesting link among the trio.Heading in Saturday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks at Staples Center, Griffin needed 19 more rebounds to join Abdul-Jabbar and Barkley as the only three players to reach 6,000 points, 3,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists by the end of their fourth season.“Wow, that’s impressive,” said Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who played against Barkley and Abdul-Jabbar.Most intriguing to Rivers is how distinctly different the trio play the game, with Abdul-Jabbar a 7-foot back-to-the-basket center, Barkley a 6-5 undersized — length anyway — power forward and Griffin an explosive 6-9 power forward. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The Clippers improved to 2-1 on their four-game road trip. The Bulls lost for the third time in their last 10 games.Los Angeles jumped to a 26-18 lead in the first quarter in which Paul scored eight points and Jordan grabbed nine rebounds. But with Paul on the bench at the start of the second period, Chicago went on a 12-2 run to go up 30-28. Mirotic had eight of his 11 points in the quarter.The Bulls’ Jimmy Butler sprained his left elbow when he ran into Jordan’s pick early in the third period and sat out the rest of the game. The Clippers’ Matt Barnes left after he injured his right hamstring on a steal attempt early in the second quarter but started the second half.TIP-INSClippers: Jordan played his 300th consecutive game. “I don’t think he has missed a practice since I’ve had him, which is even more impressive,” coach Doc Rivers said. … F Blake Griffin (right elbow surgery) sat out a ninth consecutive game. The Clippers have a 6-3 record with C-F Spencer Hawes as his replacement in the starting lineup. … Rivers remembered former New York Knicks F Anthony Mason as a “great teammate.” Mason died of a heart ailment at 48. “He was so tough and so loyal,” Rivers said. “We had a pretty crazy group when you think about Anthony Mason and John Starks and Greg Anthony and Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley and Anthony Bonner all on one team. I was the saint on that team.” Bulls: Rose (right knee surgery) and Tai Gibson (sprained left ankle) were inactive while F Pau Gasol (illness) returned after a one-game absence. … A moment of silence was observed for Chicago baseball star Minnie Minoso, the first black player in White Sox history. … The home team wore its red Los Bulls uniforms as part of the league’s annual Latin nights program.UP NEXTClippers: Visit Minnesota on Monday night.Bulls: Host Washington on Tuesday night. CHICAGO >> DeAndre Jordan had 26 rebounds and Chris Paul scored 28 points Sunday, leading the Los Angeles Clippers to a 96-86 victory over the Chicago Bulls.Los Angeles trailed 86-85 when Jamal Crawford made a 3-pointer with 8:02 left. The Clippers never trailed the rest of the way. After a scoreless first half, Crawford scored 16 points in the final two quarters.The Clippers extended their winning streak to five in a row in Chicago, the longest in franchise history. They haven’t lost there since Dec. 17, 2008.Bulls rookie reserve Nikola Mirotic scored a career-high 29 points. He accounted for all but one of his team’s 17 points in the fourth quarter. Brooks finished with 14 points and Joakim Noah had 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Live updates from Game 6 of the NBA Western Conference Semifinals series between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Houston Rockets from Los Angeles News Group staff at Staples Center, including Clippers beat writer Robert Morales and sports columnists Vincent Bonsignore and Mark Whicker.Viewing on mobile? Click here.
LOS ANGELES — Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors got together in the same place on the same night again, but – Shocker! – that wasn’t the only resonant reunion on Monday.Former Wichita State teammates Landry Shamet and Fred VanVleet also got another crack at each other as pros, facing off for the third time, but for the first time since Shamet was traded to the Clippers in February.VanVleet, who was a senior when Shamet was a freshman, helped persuade Shamet to trust himself enough to turn pro after two full seasons at Wichita State.“He was like an older brother, someone to give me some good insight, someone who’d been through it,” Shamet said. “My last year at Wichita State, he was someone who … I could talk to. Especially in a decision-making time, when I had to figure out what I wanted to do, he was real helpful.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Shamet’s decision to take his talents to the NBA proved a better bet than even VanVleet predicted: After being drafted 26th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2017, Shamet immediately worked himself into the rotation there, benefiting from the tutelage of veteran sharpshooter JJ Redick.Then, after being included in a deadline deal for Tobias Harris, Shamet found himself in the Clippers’ starting lineup, making big shots for L.A. He finished his first professional season with 167 3-pointers, fourth-most on the all-time rookie list, and he was named to the NBA All-Rookie second team“Oh man, it’s so beautiful,” VanVleet said of Shamet’s quick impact. “I’m a little jealous; his career took off so fast for him. Even in Philly, they put him in a great spot for him, he got to learn under JJ and then coming out here and he’s a starter, a star-caliber player.”A star-caliber player who’s now playing with a couple of the game’s biggest stars – one of whom VanVleet has some special history with.“I talked to him when Kawhi made his decision and just told him he’s gonna have a really fun year,” said VanVleet, who was one of the heroes on last season’s Raptors team that won the franchise’s first NBA title “It’s a big year for him, so he’ll have a lot of opportunities to showcase what he can do. He’s gonna have a lot of open shots this year as I did last year, and he’s in a great spot, so I’m really happy for Landry.” Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters From Clippers coach Doc Rivers’ perspective, VanVleet is a good guy to have in your corner.“He’s just a tough little dude,” Rivers said. “Wichita State guys, to me, tend to turn out that way – mentally tough, very serious about winning and the game, and just seems like that’s the makeup from that program. And he brings that.”NICE SURPRISEA contingent of Clippers joined team owner Steve Ballmer for a short trip north to surprise new Clippers star Paul George on Sunday, when the former Fresno State star was at his alma mater to have his No. 24 jersey retired at halftime of the Bulldogs’ 77-74 victory over Winthrop.“It was really cool, a bunch of us went up, flew up, the second jersey being retired there, it was cool to show him love like that,” Shamet said.The Clippers made the trip to Fresno on Ballmer’s plane, Rivers said, kidding that his own plane “was broke.” Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum VanVleet joked that that was all the advice Shamet could expect from him now: “No more advice. Those days are over with.”That’s not true, of course. The friendship forged at Wichita State endures.“He’s the type of guy who helps people,” Shamet. “He’s always going to be a good person, someone I know I can hit up whenever if I need something.”Related Articles
“He’s been great because he’s pitched well pretty much every time out,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s kind of solidified that fourth guy for us and that’s where we had been searching. Ricky came in and basically gave us another guy.”Nolasco kept the Rockies off balance by pitching inside with his fastball and then mixing in his slider.“The ball would be there and it dropped at the last second. It had late movement,” the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado said. “I would say he is a pretty darn good pitcher.”The Dodgers’ deep pitching staff has been complemented by the team’s depth among position players, which was tested again in the absence of Puig, who was rested a day after aggravating a right knee strain. He remains day to day.Crawford went 3 for 5 and Nick Punto added four singles to help bolster the offense. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “We have tons of talent in this room,” Nolasco said. “Veterans, young guys, to be able to give a couple guys breathers and have other guys step up is huge. Everybody comes in ready to play and when you have depth like that, it’s huge for the team.”Jhoulys Chacin (13-8) allowed four runs in seven innings in losing to the Dodgers for the first time in four starts this season.Down two runs, the Rockies pulled within one when pinch-hitter Josh Rutledge, batting for Carlos Gonzalez, led off the eighth with a drive off reliever Paco Rodriguez that reached the bleachers in left. Rodriguez walked Dexter Fowler and was relieved by Ronald Belisario.After D.J. LeMahieu sacrificed, Belisario got Troy Tulowitzki to line out to short and Fowler was doubled off second when he was caught off the bag.The Dodgers came back to load the bases with two outs in the ninth against reliever Rex Brothers. Mark Ellis hit a fly ball that kicked off the glove of retreating left fielder Charlie Culberson for an error leading to three unearned runs.“I was expecting to be closer to the ball,” Culberson said. “I got there quicker than expected and missed it.”Chris Withrow got the final out for his first save.The Dodgers opened a 3-0 lead in the second, loading the bases on Andre Ethier’s double, Ellis’ walk and Skip Schumaker’s infield single. Tim Federowicz drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly and after Nolasco moved the runners up with another sacrifice, Crawford came through with a two-run single to left.Adrian Gonzalez put the Dodgers up 4-0 with a sacrifice fly in the fifth.Nolasco had allowed only one hit before Charlie Blackmon doubled with two outs in the fifth. Chacin followed with an RBI single to right.The Rockies pulled within two after LeMahieu doubled to start the sixth, took third when left fielder Crawford bobbled LeMahieu’s liner for an error and scored on Tulowitzki’s groundout. DENVER >> The Dodgers are reaping the benefits from the most productive run of Ricky Nolasco’s career.Nolasco pitched six strong innings, Carl Crawford had a two-run single among three hits to spark the offense in the absence of injured catalyst Yasiel Puig, and the NL West-leading Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 7-4 on Tuesday night for their sixth straight win.“Being in this chase right now, to be able to pitch my best, at this time, is big for me and for the team,” Nolasco said.Nolasco (12-9) allowed two runs and five hits in improving to 7-1 with a 2.27 ERA in his 11 starts since coming to the Dodgers on July 6 in a trade with Miami. He struck out five and walked one.
Ramirez has played the game long enough to not use an amoeba-shaped strike zone as an excuse. But it’s difficult to adapt after falling behind 0-1 in each of his three at-bats, he admitted later. Hunter Wendelstedt ultimately rang Ramirez up on a called strike three in the first inning and Lee got him to wave through a 91-mph fastball for strike three in the seventh.“I can’t miss those pitches,” he said.Ramirez wasn’t the only Dodger batter who looked foolish Monday. Lee (3-2) struck out 10, walked none and scattered four harmless singles. Between Matt Kemp’s single in the second inning and Tim Federowicz’s in the eighth, Lee retired 20 consecutive batters.As a lesson in command, Monday’s performance was nothing new for Lee, a four-time all-star who won his 142nd career game. He led the National League in strikeout-to-walk ratio each of the last two seasons. In five games this season, he’s walked two batters and struck out 38.“That’s definitely something I take pride in,” Lee said. “I really focus a lot on working ahead in the count and trying to make them earn their way on base. I’ve made a conscious effort over the past few years to make that one of my priorities and it’s going to continue to be that way.” Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez leaned back in the recliner at his locker stall Monday night, speaking from the heart without using words.“He was throwing a lot of strikes,” Ramirez said of Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee. Ramirez made a pair of quote marks with his hands, and deployed a knowing grin, to emphasize the word “strikes.”Indeed, of the 113 pitches Lee threw in eight shutout innings, only 30 were called balls. That’s tough to beat and the Dodgers didn’t come close in a 7-0 loss before an announced crowd of 37,715 at Dodger Stadium. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, has seen Lee evolve since his early years with the Cleveland Indians.“You’re seeing still more of an evolution this year more than the past,” he said. “More changeups, he uses his curveball different ways, he’s always thrown the baseball where he wanted it to but it looks like he’s using more pitches now. He usually was pretty simple, beat you with stuff and location. Now using more pitches, not throwing quite as hard, but obviously we see that doesn’t matter a whole lot. “He’s always been tough.”On Monday, he was fortunate as well.Dodgers starter Paul Maholm (0-2) simply couldn’t find the edges of Wendelstedt’s strike zone. He threw three pitches around the knees to the first batter of the game, Tony Gwynn Jr., that were all called balls. Gwynn walked.The next batter, Jimmy Rollins, dropped a single into right-center field off the glove of a diving Yasiel Puig. With one out, Carlos Ruiz cleared the bases with a two-run single after getting ahead in the count 3-1.Ruiz added a two-run home run off Jose Dominguez in the ninth inning. The Phillies’ catcher entered the game with no RBIs on the season and finished with four.Where were the edges of Wendelstedt’s strike zone?“Not where I was throwing them,” Maholm quipped.Like Ramirez, he’s played the game too long to use that as an excuse.“The strike zone was the least of my worries,” Maholm said. “I never made the adjustments I needed to get deeper and further into the game.”The left-hander lasted five innings and allowed eight hits, five runs, four earned runs, walked three batters and struck out two.The Phillies led 2-0 when Howard faced Maholm in the fifth inning with a runner on base. Howard planted a towering home run over the fence in center field — a difficult task on a typically cool, breezy night — and the Dodgers trailed 4-0. Maholm allowed one more run before the inning ended when he overthrew first base on a comebacker to the mound, giving the Phillies a 5-0 lead.The Dodgers’ only scoring threat came in the first inning.Batting leadoff, Puig smoked the first pitch he saw off Howard’s glove into right field for a single. A fly ball to the center field warning track by Justin Turner allowed Puig to tag up and take second base standing up.With two outs, Puig was still at second base when Adrian Gonzalez came to bat. The Phillies’ infielders employed the usual Gonzalez shift, stacking the right side and stranding second baseman Chase Utley up the middle.Gonzalez stroked a ground ball the opposite way but couldn’t fool the shift. Utley charged, scooped, and held the baseball as Puig — head down — rounded third base and did not stop. About a third of the way to home plate, Puig finally looked up but his fate was sealed. He was fooled. The crowd was not. Their oohs and aahs turned to groans as Utley threw to the catcher Ruiz, who ran down Puig and tagged him on the back. It was another lesson in humility learned the hard way, on a night that demanded mastery of baseball’s details.Gonzalez was credited with a single on the play, extending his hitting streak to 16 games. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
Maybe the reminder wasn’t needed, but stretches like these are why the Dodgers invested six years and $147 million in Greinke back in December 2012. The stretch actually goes back to last season. Greinke’s last loss coincidentally came against the Brewers, his former team, on August 9, 2014. Since then he is 10-0 with a 1.30 ERA.Other than the changeup Greinke is using more since the second half of last season, he hesitated to say anything has carried over from last year.“I pitched really well at the end of the year last year and this year’s been going pretty good since then also,” he said. “My changeup has been huge, it really has, to help against lefties and I’ve been using that against righties now to keep them off-balance a little bit.”Each win pushes the Dodgers closer to October baseball; potentially, it also pushes Greinke closer to free agency. He can opt out of his contract at the end of this season. The better Greinke pitches, and the longer he remains healthy, the more money he figures to command on the open market. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error But that decision is months away. No Cy Young Award votes will be cast before September. For now, Greinke’s consistency is not a thing to be scrutinized. This cast of Dodgers has seen almost every player step into and out of the limelight at some point. Several players have been placed on the disabled list and eventually, maybe next week, one will be activated.The only player who’s been more consistent than Greinke is arguably Gonzalez, who has a hit in 20 of the 24 games he’s started. His seventh-inning home run was his ninth this season, which matched Todd Frazier for the National League lead. His .361 batting average is third in the NL and only Giancarlo Stanton has more RBIs.The Dodgers took a 3-1 lead in the sixth inning on Turner’s fourth home run of the season. Turner finished 3 for 4 with four RBIs.The home runs by Rollins and Gonzalez gave the Dodgers a 7-1 lead in the seventh inning. For Rollins, it was his third home run of the season and it ended a streak of 13 consecutive at-bats without a hit.Milwaukee scored first. Aramis Ramirez singled with one out in the second inning and scored when Joc Pederson appeared to lose a ball in the lights in deep left-center with two outs.Dodgers relievers Pedro Baez and Daniel Coulombe finished the eighth and ninth innings, respectively. Coulombe allowed a run in his 2015 debut.Greinke gave his teammates plenty of margin for error.“He executed his game plan,” said catcher Yasmani Grandal ‑ something the Dodgers, and all of baseball, can take for granted. MILWAUKEE >> Zack Greinke’s spring training began with an injection in his right elbow. Questions about his stamina followed him throughout camp. One month into the regular season, Greinke is the Dodgers’ leader in innings pitched, earned-run average and wins (5-0). Absent the Clayton Kershaw of 2014 ‑ he’s been merely good so far, not historically dominant ‑ Greinke is for all intents and purposes the Dodgers’ staff ace at the moment.In an 8-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday, Greinke allowed just two hits and one unearned run in 7 2/3 innings. He threw in a double for good measure, but the home runs by Justin Turner, Jimmy Rollins and Adrian Gonzalez already had Greinke destined for the win column.“I think people know within baseball circles how good Zack is,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He may get overlooked because he’s a little quieter, and really what Clayton’s been doing over the last four or five years has really been off the charts. Anybody that’s here would really get overlooked.”
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “I don’t want to be expecting,” Mattingly said. “I always look at it like, we win with this club right here; right as it stands, we can win. That’s the way I look at it. I think any time you say you would be disappointed if you don’t get something, that means you’re saying you don’t like the guys that you have.”That’s not happening, Mattingly said.“And I really don’t want to be that guy saying, ‘I don’t like my club,’” he said. “I like my club and I think we’re capable the way we stand. That being said, always there’s rumors and speculation and like everybody else, you look at it and you wonder what’s going on.”Right fielder Yasiel Puig’s name has surfaced in trade rumors. But Mattingly said no one has come to him to say a deal with Puig might be in the works. He wouldn’t rule it out, though.“I kind of feel like everybody’s always available, if you really look at it,” Mattingly said. “But there has been no talk between the front office and me saying, ‘Well, we’re going to do this (with Puig),’ or, ‘We’re trying to do this.’” Puig had played in just 53 of 100 games before Tuesday because of hamstring issues. He was batting just .253 with six home runs and 22 RBIs in 194 at-bats. He hit .296 with 16 home runs and 69 RBIs in 2014. The Dodgers are one of many teams interested in Phillies right-hander Cole Hamels, who this past Saturday threw a no-hitter against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.In Tuesday’s game, Gray allowed the Dodgers only three hits. He struck out nine and walked just one in moving to 11-4 on the season and lowering his ERA to 2.16. He threw 110 pitches.Brett Anderson (5-6) took the loss. He allowed two earned runs on five hits, struck out two and walked one.The first-place Dodgers (56-45) have lost three in a row, but were able to retain their half-game lead over the San Francisco Giants in the NL West. The Giants were defeated by Milwaukee 5-2.Oakland (45-56) snapped a four-game losing streak. The A’s got on the scoreboard in the first inning on an RBI groundout by Billy Butler. Josh Reddick hit a home run — his 13th — to right field in the top of the seventh inning for a 2-0 A’s lead.Gray retired the first 11 Dodgers before Adrian Gonzalez doubled to right with two outs in the fourth inning. He went nowhere. Alberto Callaspo took Gray near the right-field fence before Reddick hauled in his drive for the final out of the fifth.Howie Kendrick singled leading off the bottom of the seventh, but could get no further than second base, Gray striking out Puig on a 94-mph fastball for the third out.Kendrick, who had two of the three Dodger hits, came to the Dodgers this season in a trade with the Angels. While with the Angels, Kendrick got to know Gray well.“He just does what he normally does,” Kendrick said. “He gets guys out. He’s working quick, and he did his job. He kept us off the board. … He threw a lot of strikes. We hit some balls hard right at guys, but the guy’s one of the best pitchers in the league and he got outs when he needed them.“He didn’t really have many guys on base; I think he walked one.”For Anderson, it was his first start since coming out of his most recent start — July 21 at Atlanta — in the third inning with irritation in his left Achilles. He was late covering first on a potential double-play ball in the first inning, but he was otherwise pleased with his work.“Unfortunately,” Anderson said, “it wasn’t enough against an All-Star pitcher and one of the best pitchers in the game.” The non-waiver trade deadline for Major League Baseball is Friday at 1 p.m. Pacific time. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly would rather focus on the task at hand, which Tuesday was an interleague game against the Oakland A’s. But he couldn’t get away from the hoopla this time of the season creates.Before the Dodgers went out and were defeated 2-0 by Sonny Gray and the A’s before 50,182 at Dodger Stadium, Mattingly fielded the inevitable questions. Since the Dodgers are on the lookout for another starting pitcher, he was queried as to whether he’d be bummed out if one didn’t make his way to L.A.• Photos: Dodgers lose 2-0 at home to OaklandNot surprisingly, he was careful in his response.
Maeda differs from Blanton, Morrow and Koehler in an important way, however. His predecessors’ careers as starting pitchers had played out. The 30-year-old Maeda has made it clear to the Dodgers that he still sees himself as a starter and Friedman said the Dodgers affirmed to Maeda that they also see him returning to the starting rotation at some point in the future – though not likely this year.Maeda has financial reasons to be reluctant to make the move. He will take a paycut by moving to the bullpen.Maeda’s incentive-laden contract includes a relatively low base salary of $3 million annually and a series of bonuses tied to games started and innings pitched that are weighted to life as a starting pitcher. In 2016, he made $8.9 million in bonuses alone. Last year, he added $4.9 million to his base salary. This year, he has reached only $2.65 million in bonuses and figures to add another $500,000 in innings bonus at most while pitching out of the bullpen.Maeda declined to answer any questions about the financial hit he will be taking by moving to the bullpen. The Dodgers could adjust his contract to include bonuses more relevant to a reliever but not until the offseason (and with the approval of the players’ union and MLB).“We have a lot of respect for Kenta and have had a lot of open and honest discussions, starting in Colorado,” Friedman said. “To his credit, his mindset is he wants to get back to and win the World Series this year and I think he fully understands our thought process and appreciates what we did in 2016 and 2017 (to get him to bonus markers) and knows that this was not financially motivated whatsoever.”UP NEXTPadres (LHP Clayton Richard, 7-10, 5.11 ERA) at Dodgers (LHP Rich Hill, 5-4, 3.73 ERA), Friday, 7:10 p.m., SportsNet LA (where available)Kenta Maeda’s success out of the bullpen last October and the ability to shift him from the rotation to a relief role again this month was one of the reasons the Dodgers didn’t more urgently pursue bullpen help at the non-waiver trade deadline. How that move plays out could be the difference between the team winning the NL West or missing the postseason entirely. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) LOS ANGELES — It is the decision that might have doomed the Dodgers’ season.As the trade deadline approached a month ago, bullpen help was clearly the team’s greatest need. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and GM Farhan Zaidi have both acknowledged this. But the team chose to spend its resources – seven prospects, one big-league player and the limited space the Dodgers had left under the luxury-tax threshold – on offense, trading for infielders Manny Machado and Brian Dozier and adding only John Axford to the bullpen (for 3-1/3 innings before a fractured leg bone sent him to the DL).The bullpen has only become a larger and more costly deficiency in the weeks since the non-waiver trade deadline passed. So the question has grown more important – why didn’t the Dodgers do more to address it at the deadline?“Obviously, relievers were front of mind for us and something we spent a lot of time on with other teams, trying to line up on a guy or guys that made sense,” Friedman said earlier this week. “At that time, as we looked ahead to the guys we were going to get back from injury … as we looked ahead to our starters who might end up in the bullpen as we got guys back from injury, that put us in position to be selective. So we had certain guys identified. We were aggressive targeting. It just didn’t line up – which is when we switched gears to Dozier and had the idea let’s make our offense better which in turn will relieve some pressure when we can tack on runs. “Our whole point is looking forward. We should feel good that it will come together and be good,” Friedman said of the Dodgers’ bullpen.Kenta Maeda is one of the in-house reasons the Dodgers are optimistic that a functional bullpen can be assembled out of the current dysfunctional mess.A key tool in Friedman’s largely successful past history of bullpen-building has been the ability to identify and acquire “conversion candidates” – starting pitchers who can be even more successful as relievers. Joe Blanton and Brandon Morrow were those guys in the Dodgers’ bullpen the past two seasons. They hoped Tom Koehler would be that guy this season (but a spring shoulder injury scuttled his season).Maeda checks a lot of those same boxes.“I think having an out pitch is critical. In Kenta’s case, he has two with the split(-fingered changeup) and the slider,” Friedman said of what he looks for in a conversion candidate. “And then one unknown is whether the velocity will play up or not. Everyone assumes it will with everybody, but it doesn’t tend to happen.“He’s a really good major-league starting pitcher. When you take a guy who is a good major-league starting pitcher and shorten him up, we think he can be even better in that role. So we think the ceiling is really high for what he can do in that role.”Maeda’s velocity does play up in a relief role, as was obvious last fall when he moved to the bullpen during the postseason.“Can he? Absolutely,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said when asked if Maeda could finally be the replacement for Morrow his bullpen has lacked all season.“One part of it is the ability to get lefties and righties out. That speaks to his pitch mix. The other part of it is having been a starter and being able to prepare for hitters and the ability to throw a strike when you need to – you’re talking about command, which all starters have to have. He checks that box.”Related Articles Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco “That hasn’t materialized as often. But we’re confident as you look at the back of the baseball card and the history of these guys that will come.”Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.The Dodgers’ offense has scored 11, 12 and 21 runs in games over the past three weeks. But it has also scored three or fewer in 11 of the past 18 games (and lost 10 of those 11).And Friedman and Zaidi are not guilty of ignoring the bullpen. During the season, they have made multiple moves in search of useful pieces, acquiring Dylan Floro, Zac Rosscup, Erik Goeddel and Daniel Hudson.Those small moves have not been enough.Friedman would not talk in specifics about the “targeting” of relievers at the deadline. But the Dodgers believed they could set “a high bar” and focused on only a small handful of relievers they believed would be an upgrade over their in-house options. That narrow group is believed to have included Raisel Iglesias of the Reds, Kyle Barraclough of the Marlins and Brad Hand of the Padres with one or two others. Only Hand changed teams and the likelihood of the Padres trading Hand within the division was low.