The Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t let the distraction of being taken over by Major League Baseball affect them for one game.
The Dodgers will try for another win since the stunning announcement of MLB’s takeover in the wake of their owners’ bitter divorce when they complete a four-game set Thursday against the Atlanta Braves.
Owner Frank McCourt and ex-wife Jamie McCourt have been in the news for their infighting after the couple filed for divorce following 30 years of marriage in October 2009. That led commissioner Bud Selig to tell Frank McCourt on Wednesday he will appoint a MLB representative to oversee all aspects of the business and the day-to-day operations of the club.
“There was a lot going on, a lot for our guys to deal with - to answer all those questions,” first-year manager Don Mattingly said. “But I really feel like it shouldn’t have an effect on us as a club. We’ve got to come out and do the things we always do and just go about our business.”
General manager Ned Colletti held a closed-door meeting with the players before Wednesday’s game to assure them that Selig’s move doesn’t affect their jobs on the field.
“I ain’t got nothing to do with that,” said center fielder Matt Kemp(notes), who leads the majors with a .426 batting average. “Our responsibility is just to play baseball and win as many games as we can. We can’t really worry about off-the-field issues.”
Jon Garland(notes) showed that the news didn’t affect him as he pitched a four-hitter in a 6-1 victory Wednesday. Los Angeles (9-10) was 3 for 15 with runners in scoring position in splitting the first two games of the series before going 4 for 6 in the third game.
Andre Ethier(notes) had three hits, including his 100th career homer, to extend his hitting streak to a major league-best 17 games - the longest by a Dodger since Kemp’s 19-game stretch in 2008. Ethier is hitting .415 during his run.
Chipper Jones(notes) is 1 for 13 and Jason Heyward(notes) 0 for 13 in this set for Atlanta (8-11), which has scored five runs in the three games outside of its eight-run outburst in the ninth inning in Tuesday’s 10-1 win.
Dodgers starters have a 1.21 ERA in this series, and Clayton Kershaw(notes) (2-2, 2.96 ERA) is next in line. He’s alternated wins and losses in his first four outings, and allowed five runs over 4 2-3 innings Saturday in a 9-2 loss to St. Louis.
The left-hander has no record and a 1.98 ERA in two starts against the Braves.
He’ll be opposed by Jair Jurrjens(notes) (1-0, 0.00), making his second start after an outstanding season debut. Jurrjens returned from the disabled list (strained right oblique) and allowed two hits over seven innings Saturday in a 4-0 victory over the New York Mets.
“It’s a good feeling being able to help your team,” Jurrjens said. “It’s exciting being back out there. It’s fun, and I hope it continues the rest of the season.”
The right-hander is 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA in five career starts against the Dodgers. Ethier is 4 for 9 with six walks against him and Kemp 4 for 11.