Results tagged ‘ Dodgers ’

Lee-to-Dodgers deal is off

Tired of waiting for an answer from Astros first baseman Carlos Lee whether he would waive his limited no-trade clause, the Dodgers have pulled their trade offer, according a baseball source.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow didn’t return a message seeking comment.

Lee said following Sunday’s game against the Cubs that he still hadn’t made a decision on whether to accept the trade, though several of his teammates believed the slugger wanted to stay with the Astros. Lee was pulled into manager Brad Mills’ office upon his arrival at Wrigley Field for a closed-door meeting and left with the club for Pittsburgh on Sunday night.

Lee said Saturday he was informed by Luhnow he would be sent to Dodgers in a trade if he approved the deal. Lee, in the final year of six-year, $100-million contract, has a limited no-trade clause and would have to waive it to be sent to Los Angeles. He has given the Astros a list of 14 teams to which his contract may not be assigned (he had the ability to change that list at the end of last year). The limited no-trade supersedes his 10-5 rights to veto any trade.

Brian McTaggart

Lee still hasn’t made a decision

Carlos Lee said Sunday morning he still hadn’t made a decision on whether to accept a trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers, though several of his teammates believe the slugger wants to stay with the Astros. Lee was pulled into manager Brad Mills’ office upon his arrival at Wrigley Field for a closed-door meeting.

When approached by the media at his locker prior to the game, Lee said he hasn’t made a decision.

After going 0-for-4 and hitting into a double play in the Astros’ 3-2 loss to the Cubs on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field, Lee admitted the weight of trying to decide whether to accept the trade to the Dodgers or stay in Houston has been difficult.

And that’s what prompted Mills to talk to him

“I just wanted to talk to him about a few things, being in the lineup today and so forth,” Mills said. “I kind of wanted to see where his head was and making sure he’s focused. This is a big decision he has to make, and I want to allow him the opportunity to make that. But he felt he wanted to play and wanted to be in the lineup and that wouldn’t affect us.”

Lee said Saturday he was informed by general manager Jeff Luhnow he would be sent to Dodgers in a trade if he approved the deal. Lee, in the final year of six-year, $100-million contract, has a limited no-trade clause and would have to waive it to be sent to Los Angeles.

Lee’s limited no-trade clause means he has to give the Astros a list of 14 teams to which his contract may not be assigned (he had the ability to change that list at the end of last year). The limited no-trade supersedes his 10-5 rights to veto any trade.

He entered play Sunday hitting .285 with five homers and 29 RBIs, but had yet to hit a home run on the road this year.

 

Lee expects to decide by Sunday to accept trade

Astros first baseman Carlos Lee expects to make a decision by Sunday whether he’ll accept a proposed trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

After going 0-for-4 and hitting into a double play in the Astros’ 3-2 loss to the Cubs on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field, Lee admitted the weight of trying to decide whether to accept the trade to the Dodgers or stay in Houston has been difficult.

“That’s why I’ll probably decide by tomorrow. Either I’m going or not,” he said. “I’m going to sit down and talk to my wife tonight.”

Lee said prior to the game he was briefed by general manager Jeff Luhnow about the situation earlier in the day. Lee has a limited no-trade clause and said he would have to approve a trade to the Dodgers.

“I met with Jeff this morning and he told me what’s going on and let’s see what happens,” Lee said.

Lee did confirm the Dodgers have made an offer for the 36-year slugger who was hitting .285 with five homers and 29 RBIs this year. His power numbers have dropped off dramatically – he hasn’t any homers on the road – from earlier in his career, but he’s struck out only 17 times in 242 at-bats and could flourish in a better lineup.

“L.A. has made an offer,” Lee said. “I just told Jeff I want to see my options. I just want to wait and see what my options are.”

Luhnow said Saturday he has a policy not to discuss trades.

“The information you guys have learned from Carlos, that’s fine,” he said. “But I’m not going to add anything to that at this point.”

When Lee signed his six-year, $100-million deal with the Astros the day after Thanksgiving in 2006, the team one was year removed from the World Series and identified him as the big bat it needed to help get the team over the top. He delivered in his first three years with Houston, hitting .305 with an average of 29 homers and 107 RBIs.

Over the next few years, however, the Astros began cutting payroll and were hampered by an overall lack of talent in the Minor Leagues. Management realized it needed to rebuild, and Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt were traded for prospects in 2010. Young stars Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence followed in 2011.

Lee’s limited no-trade clause means he has to give the Astros a list of 14 teams to which his contract may not be assigned (he had the ability to change that list at the end of last year). The limited no-trade supersedes his 10-5 rights to veto any trade.

Lee, who has about $9 million remaining on his contract this season, has deep business ties in Texas and owns and operates a large ranch not far from Houston. When asked if he’d like to finish out the season in Houston or go to a contending club, Lee said that consideration would factor into his decision.

“That’s one of the things I have to think about,” he said. “There ain’t much I can tell you right now.”

One of the players that could be set to come to Houston in a potential deal is Dodgers pitching prospect Garrett Gould, who was scratched Friday from his scheduled start for Class A Rancho Cucamonga.

Astros-Dodgers preview

The Astros (21-23) go for four wins in a row tonight with a tough assignment against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers, who have the best home record in Major League Baseball. Here are some notes:

  • Los Angeles took the first two games between these teams in 2012, but Houston won the last one, 12-0, on April 22. The 12 runs were the most Houston has ever scored when shutting out the Dodgers.
  • Houston hits the road coming off a successful home stand where it won six of eight games, including the last three. The Astros will be looking to snap their four-game losing skid. They have scored a total of eight runs in those losses.
  • After hitting .254 as a team in April, the Dodgers are at .286 so far this month, which is the second highest in the majors.
  • Lucas Harrell is 3-0 with a 2.31 ERA at home this season, but 0-3 with a 5.60 ERA on the road. He is still looking for his first career road victory (0-4, 5.27 ERA).
  • Clayton Kershaw is allowing 6.13 hits per nine inning spitched this season – tied for sixth lowest among starting pitchers (minimum 3.09 BFP/team G).
  • Elian Herrera’s .346 (9-for-26) average since his MLB debut on May 15 is the third-highest by any rookie in the Majors (minimum 25 at-bats). He enters this weekend with a five-game hitting streak.
  • The Astros have lost the last four games at Dodger Stadium, getting outscored 15-1 in that time. In that span, the Astros have been out-homered 5-0 and have posted a 3.33 ERA, compared to 0.32 for the Dodgers.
  • Both the Astros and Dodgers have shown marked improvement in their win percentage when compared with last season. The Orioles have the biggest improvement in winning percentage from 2011 to 2012 (plus-.196), followed by the Dodgers (plus-.173) and the Astros (plus-.131).
  • The Dodgers are off to one of their best starts through 44 games since moving to Southern California in 1958. With the next chart as a barometer, there’s a pretty good chance Los Angeles will win the NL West – not to mention reach the World Series. The Dodgers’ best record through 44 games is 33-11, done five times in franchise history: 1888 (Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers), 1899 (Brooklyn Superbas), 1952, 1955 and 1977.
  • Lucas Harrell will be facing the Dodgers for the first time tonight, hoping that his defense can play a little better behind him than it has thus far in 2012. Harrell has allowed seven unearned runs, which is the most among NL pitchers. Dodgers pitchers Chad Billingsley and Ted Lilly have each allowed six unearned runs. The Astros have committed at least one error in each of Harrell’s last six starts.
  • Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie has committed four errors this year, all with Lucas Harrell on the mound.
  • We may see more than a few hits by Carlos Lee in this series with the way he’s batted on the road over the last five-plus weeks. He’s hitting .410 on the road since April 19, which is the third-highest in the Majors in that span (minimum 40 plate appearances).
  • Lee strikes out every 19.1 plate appearances, which is the best ratio in the Major Leagues. Second is Marco Scutaro (16.3). Lee has struck out just nine times this season.
  • The pitcher most likely to retire Lee in this series (strikeout or not) will be on the hill for the Dodgers in Game 1. Clayton Kershaw has been the NL’s best pitcher since the beginning of last season – especially when taking the mound at Dodger Stadium. He ranks first at home in the Majors in wins (15), ERA (1.67) and opponents’ batting average (.191) since the start of the 2011 season. Kershaw is 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA in two career starts vs. the Astros at Dodger Stadium.

Astros return home to face Dodgers

The Astros (5-8) send J.A. Happ to the mound tonight at Minute Maid Park to face the Dodgers. Here is the lineup:

ASTROS

CF Justin Maxwell

2B Jose Altuve

LF J.D. Martinez

1B Carlos Lee

3B Chris Johnson

SS Jed Lowrie

RF Brian Bogusevic

C Chris Snyder

LHP J.A. Happ

Check out this pregame notes:

  • The Dodgers have won four in a row against the Astros, who have scored a total of one run in those four games with only 17 hits (The Astros had 17 hits on Thursday against the Nationals). The Dodgers have outscored the Astros, 15-1, in their last four meetings.
  • The Dodgers have outscored their opponents, 14-3 in the first inning this year, which continued a trend from last year. The Dodgers’ plus-48 run differential in all of last season and the first two weeks of this year is the largest in the Majors.
  • The Dodgers are 8-1 when scoring first this year.
  • The Astros have lost six games in which they’ve blown a lead this year, which is tied with the Cubs for the most in the Majors.
  • Astros second baseman Jose Altuve has been on fire the first two weeks of the season, hitting .348. That’s the highest batting average for players in the Majors whose primary position is second base.
  • Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp are the third pair of teammates in the live-ball era to each collect 18-plus RBIs in their team’s first 13 games. What bodes very well for Ethier and the Dodgers is that half of his RBI have come off left-handed pitching; he had just 13 RBIs off southpaws all season in 2011 and his ninth (and 10th) did not come until June 28.
  • Since returning from the Minor Leagues last year, J.A. Happ is 3-1 with a 2.76 ERA. He was 4-14 with a 6.26 ERA in 22 last year prior to getting sent to Triple-A.
  • Dodgers starter Ted Lilly is 7-3 lifetime versus the Astros — though he has not beaten them since Sept. 2, 2009 — and only three active starters have a lower career ERA against them — Adam Wainwright (1.56), Jake Peavy (2.31) and Chris Carpenter (2.62).
  • Carlos Lee has 54 career plate appearances against Lilly, most among active players, and Lilly has never struck him out; that is the most times that any active hitter has faced any active pitcher without being fanned.

Astros’ lineup for Wednesday

The Astros finish up their series with the Dodgers this afternoonat Minute Maid Park. Aneury Rodriguez (0-2, 5.72 ERA) starts for the Astros against Dodgers left-hander Ted Lilly (3-4, 4.71 ERA).

Here is the Astros’ lineup:

CF Michael Bourn

SS Angel Sanchez

RF Hunter Pence

LF Carlos Lee

3B Chris Johnson

1B Brett Wallace

2B Bill Hall

C J.R. Towles

P Aneury Rodriguez

Astros postgame notes from Tuesday

The Astros sure let one get away Tuesday, with second baseman Bill Hall committing a costly error with two outs in the third inning. Instead of escaping the inning, starter J.A. Happ gave up a grand slam homer to Jerry Sands that gave the Dodgers a 5-0 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

The Dodgers sent down the final 12 batters of the game after the Astros had loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth to win, 5-4.

“It’s always unfortunate when the next guy comes up and hits the grand slam after you make an error,” Hallsaid. “[Happ] knows I’m out there playing my heart out, and I know he’s out there pitching his heart out. But sometimes the other team gets the best of you, and they got the best of us today.”

Here are some postgame notes:

  • The Astros have had 11 of their last 13 games decided by three runs or less, and nine games in that span decided by two runs or less.
  • LHP J.A. Happ suffered a tough-luck loss despite lowering his ERA to 4.99 to 5.30. He gave up only three hits and one earned run in five innings, but a grand slam homer accounted for four unearned runs.
  • Happ has allowed three earned runs or less in five of his last six starts, posting a 3.67 ERA in that span, which covers 34 1/3 innings.
  • The Astros’ bullpen threw four scoreless innings in relief of Happ. Since blowing a save in Atlanta on May 17, the bullpen has combined to throw 19 innings, allowing earned run in that span.
  • RF Hunter Pence had two doubles, giving him six straight multi-hit games and seven of his last eight. He is the 19th player in franchise history to have multiple hits in at least six straight games (Brett Wallace did it earlier this season).
  • 1B Carlos Lee went 1-for-3 with two RBIs. In 18 games in May, he’s hitting .314 with two homer sand 10 RBIs. He hit .194 in April.

Astros-Dodgers lineups

Here are the lineups for Tuesday’s Astros-Dodgers game:

ASTROS

CF Michael Bourn

SS Clint Barmes

RF Hunter Pence

LF Carlos Lee

1B Brett Wallace

3B Chris Johnson

2B Bill Hall

C Humberto Quintero

LHP J.A. Happ

DODGERS

SS Rafael Furcal

2B Jamey Carroll

1B James Loney

CF Matt Kemp

RF Jerry Sands

C Dioner Navarro

LF Jay Gibbons

3B Aaron Miles

RHP Chad Billingsley

Astros-Dodgers preview

The Astros, coming off a nice series win in Toronto, return home for six games, beginning tonight against the Dodgers at Minute Maid Park. Left-hander Clayton Kershaw starts for the Dodgers against Bud Norris.

  • Bud Norris is 7-1 in 13 starts at Minute Maid Park since last year’s All-Star break. Over that time he’s surrendered the major’s lowest opponent batting average at home (.178).
  • Brett Wallace is one of only three Astros to ever have at least a .400 batting average through the first 22 home games o the season. He’s hitting .406 at home this year.
  • Hunter Pence’s 23 hits with RISP are ht emost by Astros player at this point of the season since 1974.
  • Chris Johnson is hitting .400 (12-for-30) since May 11, averaging one RBI per every 3.3 at-bats. Prior to May 11, he was hitting .181.
  • Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw’s 10 wins in May since 2009 are the most in the NL in that month.
  • Dodgers IF Jamey Carroll can afford to take as many pitches as he does (64.1 percent of pitches taken), considering his success with two strikes. His leads the Majors with 27 two-strike hits.
  • The Dodgers have left 359 men on base, which is the third-most in the Majors. And they have a .214 batting average with men in scoring position, the lowest in the Majors.

Here is the Astros’ lineup:

CF Michael Bourn

SS Clint Barmes

RF Hunter Pence

1B Carlos Lee

LF Jason Michaels

3B Chris Johnson

2B Bill Hall

C Humberto Quintero

RHP Bud Norris

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