General view of Dodger Stadium Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Blue Hope


Today the Dodgers played their final exhibition game before opening day. With their first game of the 2012 regular season tomorrow, the Dodgers announced the opening day roster. Before I get into today’s afternoon affair with the Halos, let’s review the Dodgers opening day 25-man roster. There isn’t any real surprises. Other than Hawksworth, Rubby, and Lilly’s rusty neck, the Dodgers have remained relatively healthy through this spring (knock on wood). The Dodgers announced today that Justin Sellers has made the roster, as did pitcher Josh Lindblom. Meanwhile Luis Cruz and Josh Fields were re-assigned to their respective minor league camps. The Dodgers putting Sellers on the roster is the wise move. Sellers can play second third and short, and he plays them all very well. This way the Dodgers don’t have to play Hairston at short if something should happen to Dee Gordon. Lindblom will be in the bullpen until April 14th when Ted Lilly returns from the DL because of his rusty neck. Lindblom has options so he would be sent back down unless Lilly’s neck remains rusty.  Here is the Dodgers 2012 opening day roster:

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher

Starting lineup

1. Dee Gordon-SS
2. Mark Ellis-2B
3. Matt Kemp-CF
4. Andre Ethier-RF
5. Juan Rivera-LF
6. James Loney-1B
7. Juan Uribe-3B
8. A.J. Ellis-C

 

The Starting Rotation

1.Clayton Kershaw-LHP
2. Chad Billingsley-RHP
3.Ted Lilly-LHP
4.Chris Capuano-LHP
5.Aaron Harang-RHP

 

The Bullpen

Javy Guerra-CL-RHP
Kenley Jansen-RHP
Scott Elbert-LHP
Todd Coffey-RHP
Matt Guerrier-RHP
Mike MacDougal (Dougie)-RHP
Jamey Wright-RHP

 

The Bench

Matt Treanor-C
Jerry Hairston Jr.-OF/IF
Justin Sellers-IF
Adam Kennedy-IF
Tony Gywnn Jr. -OF

 

Today’s game was so crapulent I don’t even want to cover it. I think Manager Don Mattingly’s only real concern today was to make it through the game without any of the Major Leaguers getting hurt. The last thing you want is someone getting hurt a day before opening day. Of course Mattingly left Ethier in one at-bat too long, and we saw the second Dodger hit by an Angel pitcher in as many days. Yes Baseball is back!

The pitching match-up featured Angels newly acquired lefty C.J. Wilson going against the Dodgers flame-throwing rookie Nathan Eovaldi. We saw Eovaldi impress last season while filling in admirably. He started the game hot by whiffing the first two Angel hitters he faced. Then this guy named Albert Pujols launched a 97 MPH Eovaldi fastball into the loge section of Dodger Stadium. We think the ball is still orbiting out in space somewhere. That is his seventh home run of the spring. I can’t remember the last player to hit a home run into the loge section of Dodger Stadium. I think Adam Dunn did it a couple of years ago. If anyone can remember please let me know. Thank god we only play the Angels six times. Eovaldi whiffs Torii Hunter to end the frame. The Angels scored another run in the top of the second inning when Mark Trumbo launched a pitch halfway up the left field bleachers in left center field. Needless to say things didn’t get much better after that.

In the third, Ethier is hit by a C.J. Wilson pitch in the elbow. Ethier mutters and swears under his breath all the way to first base. He is taken out for a pinch runner but he should be ok. We also received good news on A.J. Ellis, who was hit by an Earvin Santana pitch last night. Ellis was fine, and it is just a bruise. Reports said he was icing his arm after the game.

The Angels added two more runs in the fourth inning on a two-run shot from outfield prospect Ryan Langerhans. He had hit 22 home runs last year for the Angels triple-AAA team. That made it a 4-0 game. The Angels added three more runs in the fifth inning. Jorge Cantu hit a home, and Ryan Langerhans also had a two-run single in the fifth.

Nathan Eovaldi would last 4.1 innings allowing 5 earned runs off eight hits and whiffing five. His opponent C.J. Wilson, who I must admit is very good, went 4 innings, allowing no runs five hits, two walks, and whiffing five batters as well. Wilson was relieved by Jason Isringhousen, and Eovaldi was relieved by Fernando Nieve. As expected with the final exhibition game before opening day, all of the minor leaguers were put into the game. The Dodgers did get a run in the bottom of the 7th inning on a Luis Nunez single, a Josh Fields force out, and a Tim Federowicz RBI single. That made the score 7-1 Angels. Hey at least we didn’t get shutout. The Dodgers would add two more runs in the bottom of the eighth. With David Carpenter on the mound for the Halos, Matt Angle walks, there is a force out, and then an RBI single from you guessed who…Luis Nunez. The Dodgers would go on to lose the last game of the freeway series by a score of 8-3. The Dodgers had 11 hits on the day. The Dodgers finish their cactus league schedule with a record of 15-15, and four ties.

The Angels will come home to play the Royals on Friday, and the Dodgers go to San Diego tomorrow. Tomorrow’s game is on at 4:05 PM, with the pregame at 3:35 PM on Prime Ticket. The pitching match-ups will be Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers, and the Padres will counter with Edinson Volquez.

We will return to our regularly scheduled game-capping tomorrow. We will have the pregame recap up tomorrow with starting lineups. Starting tomorrow we will be recapping every game. Don’t forget to join us for Opening Day 2012! Stacie and I will also be tweeting live from Dodger Stadium Opening Day on April 10th, so you don’t want to miss that. I swear Opening Day should be a national holiday!

Also check out the first game of the season tonight on ESPN. The Marlins host the Cardinals in their new ballpark. So have fun laughing at the Marlins ugly looking uniforms and checking out their gaudy expensive new stadium!

In honor of Opening Day, I will be releasing the final post in our Top Ten DS Moments of all time. I think we all know what the number one moment will be. No surprise of course. Below I will tell you why we all should be thankful on Opening Day this season. ….so read on!

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Are Dodger fans the Chosen ones? I think so. There is no other way I can think of to describe our situation. We have emerged from the ownership mess with our two franchise players locked up for at least the next three seasons. Matt Kemp was signed to a wonderfully deserved 8-year 160 million dollar contract extension, while Clayton Kershaw was signed for the next two years, buying out two of his three remaining arbitration seasons. Matt Kemp wont be a free agent again until after the year 2019, and Kershaw is under team control through 2014. One of the most beloved Los Angeles sports figures now owns the Dodgers and I am confident won’t waste any time in turning the Dodgers back into a winning team. We should be thanking our lucky stars….

It could have been way worse. We should be thanking the Baseball gods that we still have our franchise players. It could have been way worse. Take the New York Mets situation. Their situation is somewhat similar to ours. The Mets have a shady owner, or owners, some kind of scandal involving a Ponzi scheme, and shady operations of the team’s finances, or lack of.

Bud Selig has already been hounded to start working on resolving the Met’s mess. Poor Bud, one mess at a time. The Mets are way worse than us. I actually feel sorry for Mets fans. Their only star player Jose Reyes jumped ship for Miami, their top starting pitcher former Cy Young winner Johan Santana hasn’t pitched since 2010, David Wright is entering his walk year, and their pitching is weak. The Mets don’t have a Matt Kemp or a Clayton Kershaw. Who do they have to draw fans into the ballpark? David Wright, and a bunch of question marks. Carlos Beltran is gone, and K-rod (Francisco Rodriguez) is long gone.  I am sure Selig will have to move and step up to help the Mets.

Otherwise we should pretty much be thanking our lucky stars, we locked up Bison, and Kershaw is under team control for another few years. Can you imagine how bad things would be if the Dodgers had not locked up Kemp? We would have to go through the entire season having to hear annoying questions about whether Kemp would be staying, or if the Dodgers had enough cash to lock him up, and ughh..I can’t continue writing this out. Just the thought of it makes my stomach churn. Thank god. Imagine if we didn’t have Kershaw, and his total domination over all opponents. Or even worse……gulp…..Vinny….. (I’ll shut up now)

I think somehow, someway, the Baseball gods have blessed Dodger fans. We are blessed to have come out of all this mess with our two franchise players. Yes, we know the Dodgers are going to have problems scoring runs again, but none of us should be complaining at all. We have a whole year of Dodger Baseball ahead of us. A whole year of Bison slams and Kershaw whiffs. A whole year of listening to Vinny’s beautiful voice. The Dodgers are the crown jewel of Baseball, we have the best position player in the National League, the most dominating pitcher, the greatest broadcaster in sports history, and the most beautiful ball park in Baseball. Yes we are truly blessed to be Dodger fans.

Hold your head up high Dodger fans. The ownership mess is over, and a whole new exciting era of Dodger Baseball is beginning. The Dodgers head into the 2012 season armed with new Magical ownership, solid pitching, better defense, a Bison, and maybe most important, hope. See, we have things the Mets fans don’t have. I hope for their sake, Bud is able to clean up that mess.

Regardless of all that, tomorrow is Opening Day. I am so excited I find myself barely able to sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it is the excitement that only a Dodger Blue man can feel at the beginning of a long journey that’s conclusion is unknown……

Join us Dodger fans, as we begin our journey of documenting another exciting Los Angeles Dodger Baseball Season. Keep hope alive Dodger fans! I hope the Dodgers can make it to the World Series. I hope the Dodgers can win it all….I hope……Happy Opening Day everyone! Go Blue!

Tags: Andre Ethier Dodgers Featured Matt Kemp Nathan Eovaldi Popular Spring Training