Dodgers Inside Pitch - September 16

   Dodgers manager Grady Little didn't come out and say that he's beginning to lose confidence in right-handed pitcher Esteban Loaiza. He really didn't say anything. At least not right away. Little had just finished sitting through a three-hour contest Sunday, a portion of which was spent watching Loaiza walk a career-high seven batters

Does Little have enough confidence in Loaiza to let him make his next scheduled start?

   "We'll see," Little said after a noticeably long pause. "He'd due to pitch again on Friday and I don't really foresee any changes."

   The lack of changes might have more to do with the Dodgers' limited options, rather than confidence in Loaiza. Little isn't sure that any of the team's relief pitchers are stretched out enough to be able to make a start in Loaiza's place.

   "That's what our concern would be, and I really don't know what our other options would be at this point," Little said sternly.

   Loaiza came up with one solution. Rather than pitch the way he did in his loss to the Diamondbacks on Sunday, he'll try a different approach.

   The day before, right-hander Derek Lowe used the Diamondbacks' aggressive approach at the plate to his advantage. Loaiza likes to nibble at the corners and get hitters to swing at pitches that are out of the strike zone.

Unfortunately, the Diamondbacks were too smart for that one.

   "I pitched against these guys (Sunday) and I'm pitching against them in Arizona and now I have a little bit of positive stuff going into my next outing," Loaiza said. "Hopefully my next outing in Arizona will change and I'll go seven and we'll win the game and go from there. I'm doing the best job possible to win. I know I want to win as much as they (teammates) do, and I want to do everything the right way."

   With only two scheduled starts remaining, he'd better hurry.

DBacks 6, Dodgers 1: Right-handed pitcher Esteban Loaiza walked a career-high seven batters on the way to his second consecutive loss as a Dodger. Ironically, one of his pitches that found the strike zone was the one that ended up beating him. Catcher Chris Snyder hit a three-run home run in the second inning to give the Diamondbacks all of the runs they needed to avoid a three-game sweep. Shortstop Rafael Furcal supplied the Dodgers with their only run, hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning.

Notes & Quotes
   --SS Rafael Furcal has 25 stolen bases this season, but 12 have come in September. The veteran shortstop has advanced to the playoffs in every season since joining the big leagues, and he doesn't want to see that streak end. He is playing with a left ankle that he sprained in spring training and continues to be swollen. "Right now, I'm feeling a lot better," he said. "My ankle feels good for two days, and the next five days, it's unbelievable. Even when I'm walking in my house, it hurts. Right now, it's starting to feel better. This is the time of year when I don't let it bother me. If it bothers me, I'll go on the DL. I want to be here now and play as hard as I can."

   --RHP Jonathan Broxton pitched one-third of an inning in Sunday's game for his 78th appearance of the season. Not only does that rank second in the majors, but it puts him in sixth place in Dodgers' franchise history, one behind Duaner Sanchez (2005).

   --INF Mark Sweeney hit a pinch-hit single in the ninth inning on Sunday. It was his league-leading 21st pinch-hit of the season. Sweeney is batting .318 (21-for-66) as a pinch-hitter this season.

   --C Russell Martin might not agree with the decision, but he will go through a stretch of three games while only playing in one. Martin was given the day off on Sunday and is not expected to play in both games of a day-night doubleheader on Tuesday in Colorado. "I'll play every day if I could," Martin said. "I have an old-school mentality. Strap it on and go play."

   --LHP Joe Beimel has played in 76 games this season, surpassing Scott Radinsky (1997) for second place in franchise history among left-handers. Beimel is four appearances shy of catching Tom Martin, who appeared in 80 games in 2003.

By the Numb3rs; 16 -- The number of victories by RHP Brad Penny after beating the Diamondbacks on Friday. The 16 victories equal a career high, which he set last season.

Quote to Note: "I think Saito is one of the great stories in baseball since the day he showed up in Vero Beach and pitched his way onto the club. He has pitched really well, and he pitches efficiently. He shows the great value of throwing strikes. Most of the time, he is ahead in the count, and that is a good lesson for all.''" -- Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti.

*M*A*S*H* 4077 Report
   3B Andy LaRoche (back pain) sat out from Sept. 6-13. He was a pinch hitter on Sept. 14 and was back in the lineup Sept. 16.

   RHP Derek Lowe (bruised right hand) missed his Sept. 12 start, but he was back on the mound Sept. 15 and pitched seven strong innings.

   LHP Randy Wolf (tender left shoulder) went on the disabled list July 4. He pitched on a rehab assignment July 25 but emerged with more shoulder irritation. He had season-ending surgery Sept. 5.

   OF Jason Repko (torn left hamstring) opened the season on the disabled list. He had surgery March 28 and is expected to be out for the season. He was moved to the 60-day disabled list Aug. 29.

   LHP Hong-Chih Kuo (sore left elbow) went on the disabled list retroactive to July 1. He had arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone chip from his left elbow July 25. He was transferred to the 60-day DL on Sept. 4, and he is out for the season.

   RHP Chin-hui Tsao (strained right shoulder) went on the disabled list July 15. He was ready to start a throwing program in early August, but renewed pain put those plans on hold.

   RHP Jason Schmidt (sore right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 17. He underwent exploratory surgery on June 20, and a torn labrum was discovered. He was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on Aug. 13 and will miss the rest of the season.

   RHP Yhency Brazoban (strained right shoulder) went on the disabled list June 1. He cut short a throwing session June 15, and he was subsequently diagnosed with a torn labrum. He underwent surgery June 22 and is out for the season.