A Night of Ups and Downs

Good news: the Dodgers have won 11 of 14, making them arguably the hottest team in the bigs.

Good news: Hey, remember when Clayton Kershaw was “regressing”? Yeah, me neither. Kershaw worked through the 7th (so at least that’ll make Joe Torre happy, right?) allowing just three hits and two walks while striking out seven. Once again, had some slight difficulties in the first and then mowed down everyone afterwards.

Good news: after a monumentally disastrous April, the bullpen has really turned it around, as Ramon Troncoso and Jonathan Broxton each turned in a perfect inning to back up Kershaw.  Hell, even George Sherrill has had four scoreless outings in a row.

Good news: the Dodgers are just three games out of first place, with the chance to pull within two tomorrow.

Good news: the fact that Rafael Furcal has had a setback hasn’t hurt as badly as you’d think, since Jamey Carroll has apparently turned into a player. He’s still got zero range at short, but after a two-hit night he’s got hits in eight of his last nine games, and has the OBP nearly up to .400. I still don’t like the two-year deal, but he’s proving himself worthwhile for now.

Bad news: There’s no getting around the obvious, and that’s that all the good news from tonight is overwhelmed by the news that Andre Ethier fractured his right pinky in batting practice, and is headed back to Los Angeles to see a hand specialist. Nothing’s been confirmed, but you’d have to think that a broken finger isn’t something a hitter can play through. The original report that Xavier Paul was pulled from his AAA game in the 3rd inning seemed to point towards his recall to the bigs, but news has since come that he was pulled because he was “hit by a throw”.

What we do know is that neither Ethier or Paul is going to be with the Dodgers tomorrow, and since the Padres are starting lefty Wade LeBlanc, Reed Johnson is almost certain to get the start. Let’s not get overexcited about Garret Anderson‘s triple today; Padres outfield Oscar Salazar slipped and fell on the warning track.

We’ll have to wait until we hear more about Ethier’s finger, but since it’s been confirmed he has a fracture I’d have to say signs are pointing heavily towards him headed to the DL. I suppose that would mean Anderson has bought himself a stay of execution if that’s the case, but the good news is that if Paul’s fit to play, they probably wouldn’t recall him to let him ride the bench, just judging by what we saw when Manny was on the DL.

This situation seems to change by the moment… but more tomorrow.