October 2009

Torre Shuffles Batting Order

Manager Joe Torre has the same eight position players starting Sunday night in Game 3 of the NLCS, but he’s juggled the batting order against Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee from the one he used in Game 1 against lefty Cole Hamels.

He left Rafael Furcal first and Russell Martin eighth, but moved everybody else around. Ronnie Belliard moved from seventh to second; Andre Ethier, Manny Ramirez and Matt Kemp moved down one slot each from second, third and fourth to third, fourth and fifth; and he moved James Loney ahead of Casey Blake, the pair now sixth and seventh.

This gets Belliard, 3-for-8 in the first two games, nearer the top of the order while moving down Blake, 1-for-8. — Ken Gurnick 

Injured Kuroda Out of First Round

Starter Hiroki Kuroda has a herniation of his cervical spine and will not pitch in the first round of the playoffs, Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Friday. Torre said Vicente Padilla will start Sunday’s regular-season finale and will be considered for the starting rotation for the first round of playoffs. He said Chad Billingsley and Jon Garland remain in the mix for the four starters and no decision on who joins Randy Wolf and Clayton Kershaw will be made until an opponent is determined. Kuroda last pitched Monday in Pittsburgh, allowing seven runs, but didn’t complain about neck pain until running in the outfield Tuesday in San Diego. — Ken Gurnick