--RHP Jonathan Broxton's ongoing saga as closer is coming to a head. Broxton retired the first batter he faced Tuesday, then walked the next two on eight pitches. Manager Don Mattingly removed him at that point and was non-committal about whether he's still the closer. Broxton's velocity was down, his arm speed was down, and Mattingly admitted the inconsistency in velocity has him wondering if Broxton is healthy. Broxton has said over and over that he's fine physically and that he just can't explain why he's struggling to throw strikes.
--OF Marcus Thames was placed on the disabled list because of a strained right quad. Thames felt something pop when he came out of the batter's box in the sixth inning Monday and easily bounced into a double play. Thames underwent an MRI on Tuesday, and the Dodgers expect him to miss 4-6 weeks.
--OF Jay Gibbons was activated from the DL to take OF Marcus Thames' place. After seeing five different eye doctors, Gibbons finally found the right contacts to allow him to see. Gibbons admitted there were multiple times over the last month that he thought his career was over because he couldn't see well enough to play. Gibbons pinch hit in the seventh and struck out looking after a 10-pitch duel with Ryan Dempster.
--RHP Chad Billingsley ended up with a no-decision for the second straight start and fourth in the last five despite giving up just one run in seven inning. The only run he allowed was the first home run of the season by Carlos Pena, a first-pitch blast in the seventh.
--LF/1B Jerry Sands has nine hits so far in the majors, and six of them are doubles. The latest was a two-run double in the fifth inning Monday in the Dodgers' 5-2 win over the Cubs.
--LHP Clayton Kershaw made exactly 100 pitches Monday, moving his total to 623 on the year, tied with Houston's Bud Norris for seventh most in the league. He's averaging 3.87 pitches per plate appearance, the lowest of his career, and his 15.9 pitches per innings are a career low as well.
BY THE NUMBERS
C-271 -- Model of bat that's been used by Andre Ethier during his 29-game hitting streak, a black ash Louisville Slugger. The bats were brandished with the name "Kempman" because the model was previously used by teammate Matt Kemp. Despite having his own models available, Ethier has used the 34-inch, 31-ounce Kemp models for superstition. The bats even have Kemp's number (27) on the knob.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"I just want to be positive whenever I come into the clubhouse. Nobody wants somebody feeling sorry for himself, moping around. I want to bring some energy to the team. I'm the team cheerleader. I even have my pom-poms for the dugout." -- Third baseman Casey Blake, whose left arm will remain in a sling for another week. He will likely miss another month after having surgery to clean out the staph infection in his left elbow.
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