Saturday, March 23, 2013

Dodger Spring Training Notes - March 23, 2013

Hyun-Jin Ryu -
From the Dodgers -

Chicago White Sox (11-10-4) vs. LOS ANGELES DODGERS (10-15-3)
Saturday, March 23, 2013 – 7:05 p.m. | Camelback Ranch – Glendale
LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (1-2, 4.41) vs. RHP Jake Peavy (0-1, 9.00)
Spring Game 29 | Home Game 15
TV: KCAL | Radio: KTNQ

RANCH RIVALRY: The Dodgers meet their Camelback Ranch – Glendale neighbors, the Chicago White Sox, for the third and final time this spring after losing, 9-0, to the South Siders in their Cactus League opener on Feb. 23 and tying, 2-2, on Feb. 24. The two clubs have met during the regular season in four of the last five years and the White Sox hold a 12-6 advantage in the all-time series. Los Angeles, however, still holds the ultimate trump card over Chicago by virtue of its victory in the 1959 World Series, the Dodgers’ first championship on the West Coast.

         One of the members of that World Series team, Maury Wills, is still a presence at Dodger Spring Training at Camelback Ranch. Wills, 80, serves as a baserunning and bunting coach, holding court daily at “Maury’s Pit,” located near the Dodger batting cages.

DOWNER: Cincinnati rallied for three runs in the top of the ninth off Josh Wall to score a 6-5 win over Los Angeles yesterday, snapping the Dodgers’ three-game winning streak. Luis Cruz knocked in four of the Dodgers’ five runs with a pair of home runs off Reds’ starter Mike Leake, hitting a three-run homer in the first inning and a towering solo shot in the fourth inning. Clayton Kershaw struck out eight and allowed three runs (two earned) in 6.0 innings.

         Los Angeles had an injury scare in the fifth inning, when Yasiel Puig had the wind knocked out of him while attempting a diving catch in left-center
field. Luckily, Puig was okay and is available to play in tonight’s game. Before being removed from the game, the 22-year-old went 1-for-2 with a double, hitting safely for the sixth consecutive game. Puig is batting .750 (12-for-16) during the run, which began on March 15, and is batting .520 overall. Puig has 26 hits for the spring, which tie Philadelphia’s Domonic Brown for the most among big leaguers.

         Also yesterday, Ted Lilly pitched 5.0 scoreless innings in a Triple-A game against Brewers minor leaguers. Lilly’s pitching line: 5.0 innings pitched, two hits, one walk, three strikeouts, 59 pitches.

LEADERBOARD: The Dodgers lead all National League clubs this spring with a .349 on-base percentage and rank fourth with a .283 team batting average. Los Angeles also leads all Major League clubs with 34 steals, led by Dee Gordon’s NL-best seven steals, and all NL teams with 90 walks, paced by Dee Gordon’s nine (T-3rd, NL).

         On the hill, Los Angeles leads all Major League clubs with 230 strikeouts in 242.1 innings this spring, led by Clayton Kershaw, who ranks second among National League pitchers with 28 Ks.

IN THE FIELD: Carl Crawford will play in the field for the first time this spring tonight against the White Sox, starting in left field and batting leadoff. Crawford has previously played in four games this spring as the designated hitter, going 3-for-13 (.231) with a steal, a run scored, and two RBI.

         Luis Cruz will make his second start of the spring at shortstop this evening. Cruz has appeared in 66 big league games (58 starts) at shortstop, committing five errors in 536.2 career innings, good for a .983 fielding percentage.
LEGENDARY: Dodger Special Advisor to the Chairman Don Newcombe will throw a ceremonial first pitch prior to tonight’s game against the White Sox after he and “Sweet” Lou Johnson addressed the team during their meeting this afternoon. Newcombe pitched for the Dodgers for eight seasons (1949-1951, 1954-1958), made four All-Star appearances (1949, 1950, 1951, 1955), was the NL Rookie of the Year in 1949, won the Cy Young Award in 1956 and was selected as the National League’s MVP in 1956.

ON THE MOUND: Hyun-Jin Ryu will make his sixth Cactus League appearance (fifth start) after allowing just one run on three hits in 5.2 innings on Sunday against the Brewers. Ryu struck out a spring-high six batters in that outing, while walking two.

         Earlier today, Chad Billingsley pitched in a minor league game on the backfields against the Indians. Billingsley threw 92 pitches in 4.2 innings, allowed two runs on four hits, walked four, struck out seven and threw one wild pitch.

HOME SICK:  The Dodgers will return to Southern California on Thursday for a split squad exhibition game at The Epicenter against the Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes at 6:05 p.m. and a contest against the Angels in Anaheim for the first game of the three-game exhibition Freeway Series set for 7:05 p.m. at Angel Stadium. The Freeway Series continues Friday with a 7:10 p.m. game at Dodger Stadium and wraps next Saturday with a 6:05 p.m. game in Anaheim.

         The split squad of Dodgers heading to Rancho Cucamonga, headlined by Adrian Gonzalez and Luis Cruz, will be managed by Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda. Tickets to the exhibition game can be purchased at www.rcquakes.com.

ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE: While many NCAA tournament brackets have been spoiled already due to a plethora of upsets, Dodger alma maters survived and advanced yesterday with Chris Capuano’s Duke Blue Devils knocking off Albany, Mark Ellis and Paco Rodriguez’s Florida Gators taking down Northwestern State, Aaron Harang’s San Diego State Aztecs beating Oklahoma and Tim Federowicz and Sue Falsone’s North Carolina Tar Heels moving on after a tussle with Villanova. All four schools will be back in action tomorrow with a Sweet 16 berth on the line.

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