Dodgers Inside Pitch -- Pre-All-Star Break

You wouldn't have guessed it by his on-field actions when he was taken out of the Memorial Day game in Atlanta, but Brad Penny claims he's going to the All-Star Game for the first time because he has grown up as a pitcher.

"I'm getting a little more mature, I guess," said Penny, who was chosen to start the game for the National League. "When I was a young pitcher, I thought I could blow it by anybody. I still can -- if you set the guy up right."

That "less is more" learning curve is just one factor in Penny's emergence during the first half of this season. Peace of mind from putting his 2004 nerve injury further in the past is another.

As a result, he is throwing his breaking ball with more confidence and has resurrected a split-finger pitch at times this season to add another element for hitters to worry about.

Asked the key to Penny's 10-2 record at the break, Dodgers manager Grady Little said: "I wasn't around before (to see Penny in 2004 or 2005), but I'd have to say it's getting command of his fastball and being able to throw it for strikes when he wants to. Everything is a factor when a guy is going as good as Brad's been going."

That includes luck. Four of Penny's 10 victories came in games he left after just five innings.

Notes, Quotes
OF Kenny Lofton (right hamstring) and 2B Jeff Kent (strained oblique muscle) were both out of the lineup Sunday. For Kent, it was the sixth consecutive game he'd missed with the injury to his left side. But Dodgers manager Grady Little said he expects to have both players available when the schedule resumes after the All-Star break.

RHP Eric Gagne underwent surgery to remove a piece of the herniated disc in his lower back Saturday. The surgery was performed by Dr. Robert Watkins, who did a similar procedure on then-Dodgers RHP Kevin Brown in 2002.

Gagne was to remain hospitalized through the weekend and begin physical therapy in three weeks. "Our goal is to have him ready for spring training," Dodgers trainer Stan Johnston said.

That training camp might not be the Dodgers'. The Dodgers are almost certain to buy out the option year of Gagne's contract, which would pay him $12 million in 2007.

Futures Game-- The Dodgers had three representatives in Sunday's All-Star Futures Game in Pittsburgh -- Jacksonville manager John Shoemaker and World Team starters 3B Joel Guzman and SS Chin-lung Hu. Guzman (playing in the game for the second time in three years) struck out in each of his two at-bats. Hu had an RBI double in three at-bats and knocked in a run.

1B Nomar Garciaparra made it through Sunday's game against the Giants without hearing the score --- of the World Cup final between Italy and France. A big soccer fan (and married to former soccer star Mia Hamm), Garciaparra TiVoed Sunday's game that started two hours before the Dodgers-Giants game time.

The final score was announced to the Dodger Stadium crowd but Garciaparra was warned and avoided the announcement. When asked after the game if he knew the Cup final score, Garciaparra said, "Nope" and quickly walked away.

RHP Brad Penny made just the second relief appearance of his major league career Sunday, six years to the day after his first one. Penny pitched to three batters, retiring only one. Dodgers manager Grady Little wanted to get him some work before the All-Star break since Penny will go nine days between starts for the Dodgers.

By the Numbers: 63 -- The number of home runs Barry Bonds has hit against the Dodgers, including 28 in Los Angeles.

Quote to Note: "We didn't expect to go the whole year without seeing one, and he gave us a glimpse of what he's been doing all these years." -- Dodgers manager Grady Little, on the home run hit by Barry Bonds Friday night.

Medical Watch
RHP Yhency Brazoban had "Tommy John" ligament-replacement surgery. He will not pitch again this season.

OF Jayson Werth had wrist surgery in November, and the pins were removed in January. He remains out indefinitely.

RHP Eric Gagne underwent a second surgery on his right elbow April 7, and he returned to the active roster on May 30. When he felt pain again, he went back on the disabled list retroactive to June 7. On July 5, he was hospitalized due to a herniated disc in his back. He had surgery to repair the disc on July 8, and he will miss the rest of the season.

OF Ricky Ledee was placed on the disabled list May 2 because of a torn groin muscle. He began a rehab assignment with Double-A Jacksonville on July 5.

CF Jason Repko went on the disabled list May 10 with a sprained left ankle. He took batting practice June 20 but still was only able to jog at half-speed. He's expected to start a rehab assignment after the All-Star break.

3B Bill Mueller was placed on the 15-day disabled list May 12 because of a sore right knee. He had arthroscopic surgery May 15, and general manager Ned Colletti said in late June that he'd be surprised if Mueller played again this year.

RHP Brett Tomko went on the disabled list retroactive to June 24 with a strained oblique muscle in his left side. He threw on the side July 6, and he might be able to throw on the mound after the All-Star break.

2B Jeff Kent was scratched from the lineup July 4 due to soreness in his left side. He didn't play July 5-9. He's expected to return to the lineup after the All-Star break.

OF Kenny Lofton sat out July 5 with a sore hamstring, but he was back in the starting lineup July 6. On July 7, he left the game with the same sore hamstring, and he didn't play July 8-9. He's expected to return to the lineup after the All-Star break.
  Latest Dodger Lineup

1. Rafael Furcal, SS
                  ba ab   r  h   2b 3b hr bi  sb
Last Game       .250   4  1   1   0  0  0  0   0
Last 7 Games    .393  28  4  11   1  0  0  3   4
Season          .267 356 63  95  12  2  4 29  21

2. Cesar Izturis, 3B
                  ba  ab  r   h  2b 3b hr bi sb
Last Game       .250   4  1   1  1  0  0  1   0
Last 7 Games    .355  31  4  11  3  1  0  6   0
Season          .286  70  8  20  3  1  0  7   0

3. Nomar Garciaparra, 1b
                  ba  ab  r  h  2b 3b hr  bi  sb
Last Game       .250   4  1  1   0  0  0   0   0
Last 7 Games    .333  27  7  9   1  0  1   6   0
Season          .358 268 55 96  24  1 11  53   3

4. Andre Ethier, LF
                  ba ab   r  h  2b 3b hr  bi  sb
Last Game       .000   1  0  0   0  0  0   1   1
Last 7 Games    .500  22  4 11   2  1  1  10   2
Season          .352 165 24 58  10  2  6  32   3

5. Matthew Kemp, CF
                  ba ab   r  h  2b 3b hr bi  sb
Last Game       .000   4  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Last 7 Games    .190  21  4  4   1  0  0  2   1
Season          .281 121 25 34   6  0    21   5

6. Jose Cruz, RF
                  ba ab  r   h  2b 3b hr  bi  sb
Last Game       .667   3  0  2   0  1  0   1   0
Last 7 Games    .462  13  2  6   1  1  0   2   0
Season          .245 192 33 47  14  1  4  16   5

7. Ramon Martinez, 2B
                  ba  ab  r   h  2b 3b hr  bi  sb
Last Game       .000   3  0   0   0  0  0  0    0
Last 7 Games    .273  22  3   6   1  0  0  3    0
Season          .328 122 17  40   6  1     1   20     

8. Russell Martin, C
                 ba  ab    r  h  2b 3b hr  bi sb
Last Game       .333   3   0   1   1  0  0  0  0
Last 7 Games    .300  20   5   6   3  1  0  1  0
Season          .289 187  28  54  12  3  4 35  3

   Roster Players

Sandy Alomar Jr., C
                  ba  ab   r   h  2b 3b h  bi sb
Last Game       .000    1  0   0   0  0  0  0  0
Last 7 Games    .273   11  0   3   1  0  0  1  0   
Season          .339   59  3  20   5  0  0  9  0  

J.D. Drew, RF
                 ba   ab   r  h 2b 3b h  b   sb
Last Game       .000    1  0  0  0 0  0   0   0
Last 7 Games    .364   22  8  8  4 0  0   3   0 
Season          .287  275 46 79 16 4  9  50   2

Toby Hall, DH
                 ba  ab  r  h  2b 3b hr  bi  sb
Last Game      .600   5  1  3   0  0  0   3   0
Last 7 Games   .261  23  1  6   1  0  0   4   0
Season         .400  10  1  4   0  0  0   3   0

Jeff Kent, 2B
                ba   ab  r  h  2b 3b hr  bi  sb
Last Game     .400    5  0  2   0  0  0   1   0
Last 7 Games  .296   27  3  8   0  0  2   6   0
Season        .273  22  36 60  13  1  9  43   1

Kenny Lofton, DH
                ba   ab  r h   2b 3b hr bi   sb
Last Game      .000   0  0  0   0  0  0   0   0
Last 7 Games   .348  23  6  8   2  0  0   4   1
Season         .296 240 40 71   7  0  7  20  15

Olmedo Saenz, DH
                ba   ab  r  h  2b 3b hr  bi  sb
Last Game      .000   1  0  0   0  0  0   0   0
Last 7 Games   .231  13  1  3   2  0  1   5   0
Season         .298 124 20 37  12  0  7  35   0

PITCHERS

Danys Baez, P  
                  era  w-l sv  gm  in  h  bb  k
Last Game        0.00  0-0  0   1   1  0   0  1     
Last 3 Games     0.00  1-0  0   3   3  1   1  1
Season           3.83  5-4  9  41  45 46   9 26

Joe Beimel, 
                 era   w-l sv  gm  in  h  bb  k
Last Game        0.00  0-0  0   1   1  1   0  0                     
Last 3 Games     2.70  0-0  0   3   3  3   0  0
Season           3.27  2-1  1  28  33 34   7 10

Chad Billingsley, P
                  era  w-l  sv  gm  in  h  bb  k
Last Game        6.75  0-0   0   1   5  2   4  5
Last 3 Games     6.35  0-2   0   3  17 17  15 10
Season           5.27  0-2   0   5  27 28  21 14

Jonathan Broxton, P
                  era  w-l  sv  gm  in  h  bb  k
Last Game       27.00  0-0   0   1   1  0   1  1
Last 3 Games     9.00  0-0   0   3   4  0   4  3
Season           3.47  1-0   0  31  36  31 17 43

Giovanni Carrara, P
                 era   w-l sv  gm  in  h  bb   k
Last Game        0.00  0-0  0   1   1  0   0   1
Last 3 Games     1.93  0-0  0   3   5  3   2   5
Season           1.93  0-0  0   3   5  3   2   5

Derek Lowe,
                  era  w-l sv  gm  in  h  bb   k
Last Game       13.49  0-1  0   1  5   8   3   2
Last 3 Games     0.80  1-2  0   3  15  27  7   7
Season           3.88  7-5  0  19 121 11  39  61

Brad Penny, P
                   era w-l sv  gm  in  h  bb   k  
Last Game        0.00  0-0  0   1   1  1   1   0
Last 3 Games     1.88  2-0  0   3  14 15   2  12
Season           2.91 10-2  0  19 108 103 28  82

Odalis Perez, P
                 era  w-l  sv gm  in   h  bb   k
Last Game       0.00  0-0   0  1   1   0   0   0     
Last 3 Games    5.58  0-1   0  3  10  16   0   4
Season          6.67  4-3   0 16  54  83  13  31

Takashi Saito, P
                  era  w-  sv  gm  in  h  bb   k
Last Game        0.00  0-0  1   1   1  0   0   1    
Last 3 Games     8.11  0-0  3   3   3  3   3   5
Season           2.14  3-2  8  38  42 25  11  57

Aaron Sele, P
                 era   w-l sv  gm  in  h  bb   k
Last Game        1.50  1-0  0   1   6  4   2   7
Last 3 Games     3.65  2-0  0   3  12 14   3  12
Season           2.91  6-2  0  12  65 64  20  38

Brett Tomko, P
                 era  w-l sv gm  in   h  bb  k
Last Game       0.00  1-0  0  1   5   2   0  1
Last 3 Games    7.90  1-2  0  3  14  17   3  3
Season          5.12  6-6  0 15  82  95  20 47

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