So That’s How You Stop a 10-Game Losing Streak

…you play the Dodgers. Vicente Padilla was allowed to go just 59 pitches deep, allowing three runs in four innings, before Joe Torre decided to empty the bullpen. Ronald Belisario, George Sherrill, Octavio Dotel, Jonathan Broxton, & Kenley Jansen all paraded in in hopes of keeping the game close; other than Broxton, all did, particularly Jansen, who struck out the side. Broxton’s velocity was there tonight, but his control was once again off, unless he really meant to park meatballs down the middle. At least we don’t have to hear people say “it’s the pressure of the 9th inning” tonight, right?

As for the offense? Well, nine hits is nice enough, but once again they didn’t do anything with them. One of the two runs came off of a Scott Podsednik homer, which would have been impressive if it weren’t so terrifying that it increases his chances of being retained to lead off every day in 2011. Besides that, John Lindsey didn’t get to bat off the bench, but Ronnie Belliard, Jamey Carroll, Jay Gibbons, & Reed Johnson all did, and not a single one got on base.

Really, it’s the same old same old. The pitching was acceptable, and the offense was useless. There really can’t be any argument that this lineup is not the same without Manny; now, since I said it was time to let him go I can’t complain about that too much, but it’s time to admit that it’s not happening this year, and to start playing some of the new guys. (Well, it was time for that a month ago, but still).

Considering that (other than the sweep of the woeful Brewers) the Dodgers have lost two of three in each of the last four series against NL contenders (CIN, COL, PHI, SFG), we can at least hope they’ll split the next two.

******

Tony Jackson reports that Australian outfielder Trent Oeltjen will be called up from ABQ on Tuesday. He will be, I believe, the third fourth Australian to play for the Dodgers, after Luke Prokopec and Jeff Williams┬á(and Craig Shipley, who I initially omitted). Williams somehow managed to play in parts of four seasons for LA (1999-02) without my having any recollection of him at all, though that’s probably because he pitched in just 37 games in that time, and it overlapped with my college career, in which I paid little attention to the FOX-led Dodgers.

As for Oeltjen, he was signed by the Dodgers in July after being released from Milwaukee’s AAA club. Oeltjen’s had his share of success at the plate, putting up OPS of .823, .862, and .906 in AAA the last three seasons, spent with farm clubs of Arizona, Milwaukee and LA. Judging by the quotes from Brewers exec Gord Ash that I linked when he was signed, he’s a pretty lousy defensive outfielder, which is what’s holding him back from the majors. (Though it didn’t stop him from starting four games in CF for the DBacks last year). The outfield is pretty crowded right now, so I doubt he sees much of a chance, but he’s auditioning for a bench job in 2011, just like everyone else.

The 40-man roster is full, so unless there’s an unexpected DFA in store, I’d think that Xavier Paul is called up and placed on the 60-day DL, as he’s out for the season with a neck injury.

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