Dodgers Avoid Sweep And Potentially Lose Uribe In Great Day All Around

The Dodgers avoided a sweep with today’s 4-3 victory over Milwaukee, but they may be without their starting third baseman for a while:

Third baseman Juan Uribe was held out of Thursday’s lineup because of an injured left wrist, and he will be seen by a specialist in Houston on Friday, an indication that the club is concerned the injury — incurred during a slide — could be something serious.

Uribe did not start on Wednesday night because of pitching matchups, said manager Don Mattingly, who was informed during the game that Uribe would be unavailable.

“They said he can play defense but not bat,” said Mattingly before Thursday’s game. “I had him in there today. I didn’t hear about this until during the game. They told me he can’t swing. I was caught by surprise last night. [The Brewers'] team doctor will look at it today, and when we get to Houston tomorrow, they’ll have a specialist look at it, and we’ll make a decision from there, I guess.”

Usually, when you hear that a member of the regular lineup is dealing with a potentially serious injury in April, it’s cause for concern. On the other hand, usually you’re not talking about a player so unproductive that to lose him might actually be a benefit. (The side bet I made with a friend before the season, where I said that he would not hit more homers than millions he’ll earn – 21 – over the life of his Dodger contract is starting to look really good.)

While we don’t know yet how long Uribe may be out or even if he’ll hit the disabled list, for as long as he’s unavailable he’ll be replaced by some amalgamation of Jerry Hairston, Adam Kennedy, and possibly Justin Sellers. Hairston is the preferable option, since he actually has some offensive skill, made several great defensive plays today, and played third base every day down the stretch for a playoff Milwaukee team last season, but his versatility is valuable and so it’s not hard to see Don Mattingly wanting to play Kennedy there, even though Kennedy may actually be more useless than Uribe, who is at least a decent fielder at the position.

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But back to today’s game. Aaron Harang didn’t look great in allowing nine baserunners over six innings, but managed to avoid the crushing blow and left after six with a 4-3 lead, thanks to run-scoring hits by – wait for it – the heart of the Dodger order, including Matt Kemp‘s 7th homer of the season and singles by Juan Rivera & Andre Ethier. It was actually Matt Treanor who got the scoring started on a sacrifice fly in the second, but that was far from the most notable thing he did this afternoon; he actually led off the 4th inning with a triple – he was stranded – botched a bunt attempt in the 8th that got Hairston nailed at home, and threw a ball into center in the bottom of the inning.

Yet by far the most impressive and unexpected performance of the day was that of Jamey Wright, who entered in relief of Harang to start the 7th inning. Wright struck out Rickie Weeks, Nyjer Morgan & Ryan Braun to get through the inning, then started off the 8th by whiffing Aramis Ramirez & Corey Hart, making five straight strikeouts for the embattled Wright, who still has yet to allow a hit as a Dodger. Javy Guerra set down Milwaukee in an uneventful 9th for his sixth save, and the Dodgers have their tenth win of the season.

Ted Lilly kicks off the new series in Houston against J.A. Happ at 5:05pm PT tomorrow night.

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