Beltré Does It Again to Dodgers

When Dodgers GM Paul DePodesta fumbled the ball and failed to re-sign Adrian Beltré following his mega-2004 season, most fans said they would miss him. Now they can't wait for him to get out of town after leading Seattle to a second victory, this one by an 8-5 margin, with a tie-breaking two-run double in the ninth. The top five in the L.A. lineup were 2-for-21.

The bullpen, led by Danys Baez, served up pitches that the Mariners gratefully smacked into the far corners of Dodger Stadium late in the game, but he wasn't alone in providing hittable fare. Jonathan Broxton couldn't get an out in the seventh and teamed with Baez to give up six runs in the seventh and eighth innings.

In a masterpiece of understatement, Manager Grady Little said, "Right now we're not seeing any consistency."

But no matter how you say it, the Dodger pitching staff is in disarray with the starters working sometimes only five and the bullpen taking turns getting hammered.

Rookie Chad Billingsley drew his second start and did well, giving up two runs but using 97 pitches before leaving after five innings.

He was saved by a diving catch by Olmedo Saenz in the first inning and escaped from a couple more scrapes during his time on the mound.

In the previous two night's Brad Penny struggled through six not so strong innings and on Sunday evening Aaron Sele left after four.

Broxton gave up a pinch-homer leading off the seventh after a four-run bottom of the sixth pulled the Dodgers back into the lead. Baez worked his way out of that only to charged with four runs in 1.1 innings, including a game-winning two-run double by that man Beltré.

Olmedo Saenz checked in with a two-run homer (#6) of his own, Ramon Martinez had a two-run double and Russell Martin singled home a run for a 5-2 lead but the pitching staff was unable to protect it.

The result was a seven loss in eight games and the decent to a 35-34 record and third place in the N.L. West.

Cesar Izturis took over at short for the struggling Rafael Furcal over the final three innings and made a sparkling play in the hole, nailing the runner with a long throw. He added a single in his only at-bat. Furcal was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and is batting .248 with a team-high 49 strikeouts.

Derek Lowe will attempt to stop the freefall when he opposes Felix Hernandez (7-6, 5.02) tonight in the final game of the series.
  Score by innings
Seattle  001 100 240-8
Dodgers  010 004 000-5

  Dodgers      ab r h bi ave
Furcal, SS      4 0 0 0 .248
  Baez, P       0 0 0 0 .000
  Kuo, P        0 0 0 0 .000
  Ethier, PH    1 0 0 0 .292
Lofton, CF      5 0 0 0 .303
Garciaparra, 1B 4 1 1 0 .361
Drew, RF        4 0 0 0 .270
Kent, 2B        4 1 1 0 .273
Saenz, 3B       3 1 2 2 .299
  Broxton, P    0 0 0 0 .000
  Izturis, SS   1 0 1 0 1.000
Kemp, LF        3 1 2 0 .333
Martin, C       3 1 1 1 .304
Billingsley, P  1 0 0 0 .500
  Cruz, PH      1 0 0 0 .229
  Beimel, P     0 0 0 0 .000
  Martinez, 3B  2 0 1 2 .344
    Totals     36 5  9 5
    Seattle    37 8 14 7

  Errors- none. 2B- Martinez 
(5). HR- Saenz (6). RBI- Martin 
(28), Saenz 2 (30), Martinez 2 
(15). LOB- Seattle 11, Los 
Angeles 6. DP- (Martin, Kent 
and Garciaparra).

  Dodgers     in h r-er bb so era
Billingsley  5.0 5  2-2  4 1 3.48
Beimel       1.0 0  0-0  0 0 4.12
Broxton      0.0 3  2-2  0 0 3.38
Baez (L,4-4) 1.1 6  4-4  0 0 4.06
Kuo          1.2 0  0-0  2 3 5.91
  T- 3:03. Att- 40, 419.
Izturis Up, Aybar Down-- When Izturis came off he disabled list the Dodgers optioned Willy Aybar back to Las Vegas. Some believe he is being showcased in an attempt to land a starting pitcher but if he hits, he may be kept around to help an offense that suddenly is struggling.

Aybar was sent down for a couple of reasons- a]manager Grady Little felt he needed 12 pitchers to get by and they way they have been pitching keeps you from criticizing that very much, b] Little wasn't satisfied with Aybar's fielding at third base and c] Izturis is getting paid some $8 million a year. Much like Perez, when you make that kind of money, the organization will find some way to use.

An interesting study by Lee Sinins, of Baseball Encyclopedia.com, leads him to feel that Izturis will hurt the team by becoming the every day 3B. He uses these figures for his argument-
year   age  rcaa  oba  slug   ops 
2004   24   -8   .330  .381  .710  
2005   25  -23   .302  .322  .624
  (rcaa - runs created above average)
 
       total  rcaa   oba  slug   ops 
Career        -100  .295  .338  .633
lg ave           0  .340  .430  .770  
pos ave        -59  .318  .387  .705  
Izturis ranks 2nd or 3rd from the bottom in Dodgers history on each of the all-time OBA, SLG and OPS vs. the league average (minimum 2000 plate appearances)-
  On-base average       diff  player  league                              
 1   Bill Bergen       -.139   .184   .323  
 2   Otto Miller       -.057   .275   .332  
 3   Cesar Izturis     -.044   .296   .340  
 4   Ivy Olson         -.036   .295   .332  
 5   Steve Yeager      -.033   .299   .332  
 6   Alex Cora         -.028   .314   .342  
 7   Wally Gilbert     -.024   .337   .361  
 8   Billy Cox         -.022   .320   .343  
 9   George Cutshaw    -.02    .303   .325  
10  Bill Russell       -.021   .310   .331  

  Slugging              diff  player  league                   
 1   Bill Bergen       -.147   .187   .334  
 2   Cesar Izturis     -.095   .335   .430  
 3   Alex Cora         -.085   .351   .436  
 4   Jose Offerman     -.081   .325   .406  
 5   Wally Gilbert     -.079   .356   .436  
 6   Maury Wills       -.065   .332   .398  
 7   Otto Miller       -.057   .308   .365  
 8   Jim Gilliam       -.056   .355   .412  
 9   Bill Russell      -.051   .338   .388  
10  Mark Grudzielanek  -.048   .389   .437  

  On-base+slugging     diff   player  league        
 1  Bill Bergen        -.286   .372   .658  
 2  Cesar Izturis      -.140   .631   .771  
 3  Otto Miller        -.114   .583   .696  
 4  Alex Cora          -.113   .666   .778  
 5  Wally Gilbert      -.103   .693   .796  
 6  Ivy Olson          -.083   .620   .703  
 7  Bill Russell       -.072   .648   .720  
 8  Jose Offerman      -.071   .669   .740  
 9  Mark Grudzielanek  -.065   .717   .782  
10 Steve Yeager        -.063   .657   .720  

(Difference is between players average and league average).
Dodger Blue Notes-- Brett Tomko will miss his start tonight became he bruised left foot when he fouled a batting-practice pitch off it Wednesday. He will start Friday against Pittsburgh but if the injury is not healed, Odalis Perez is get the nod. … Dodgers prospects Joel Guzman and Chin Lung Hu were named Wednesday to the roster of the World Team for the eighth annual XM Satellite Radio All-Star Futures Game, pitting American players against those from other countries. It will be played July 9 in Pittsburgh. John Shoemaker, manager of the Dodgers' Double-A Jacksonville affiliate, will be a coach for the World Team. The 21-year-old Guzman is from the Dominican Republic, and the 21-year-old Hu is from Taiwan.

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