Torre knows what to expect from Halos
Dodgers (21-19) at Angels (24-19), Friday, 7:05 p.m. PT
In general, Joe Torre said his toughest transition from the Yankees to the Dodgers is getting to know the opposition in a new league.
But already knowing the opposition from his old league for the upcoming Interleague Freeway Series with the Angels isn't making Friday night's opener any more comfortable for Torre.
"I'm never comfortable watching that team," said Torre, whose Yankees were tormented by the speedy Angels. "They have too many weapons they come at you with in a lot of different ways."
Torre wasn't encouraged any further when he heard of the Dodgers' recent Interleague problems. For example, they were 5-10 in Interleague games last year and are 4-23 in road Interleague games over the past four years. They've lost their last five in Anaheim and eight of nine there.
Torre speaks as highly of Angels manager Mike Scioscia as any counterpart.
"Mike's done a great job," said Torre. "He has a plan, he's very well-prepared. They have a personality as to how they play the game. As a catcher, he knows what type of club is hard to deal with. Like with Minnesota, he's conditioning the organization how to play the game. He encourages guys not to worry about making mistakes. Be aggressive, be aggressive, be aggressive.
"Sometimes it looks careless. But for the most part, playing against his club, you know that no matter the score, they're going to come at you all the time. And he has a feel for good matchups with his people in the bullpen."
Torre said he wasn't sure who would serve as his designated hitter, although Juan Pierre was a leading candidate because it would allow Torre to upgrade the outfield defensively without losing Pierre's leadoff ability in the absence of Rafael Furcal.
On Friday, Torre and Scioscia will film a public service announcement encouraging all baseball fans throughout Southern California to donate blood in support of the annual Freeway Series Blood Drive.
Interleague by the numbers: 85-91 overall, 5-10 in 2007
Record vs. Angels: 27-35, 1-5 in 2007
All-time Club Interleague Play Leaders:
Batting average: Eric Karros, .286
Home runs: Eric Karros, 25
RBIs: Eric Karros, 52
Wins: Darren Dreifort, 7
ERA: Ismail Valdez, 2.72
2008 Interleague Schedule
May 16-18: Angels
June 13-15: Detroit
June 20-22: Cleveland
June 24-26: White Sox
June 27-29: Angels
LAD: RHP Hiroki Kuroda (1-2, 3.59 ERA)
Hiroki Kuroda rebounded from his shortest start of the season (3 1/3 innings) to keep the Astros hitless through 6 2/3 on Sunday. When the Dodgers desperately needed a starting pitcher to pitch well and go deep in the game, Kuroda did just that, striking out a career-high five batters. Nonetheless, it's been nearly six weeks since his only win. LAA: LHP Joe Saunders (6-1, 2.48 ERA)
The southpaw is coming off his first loss of the season, in which he scattered one run over six innings, but the Angels' bats were unable to generate any offense. Saunders struggled early, allowing a pair of walks and the lone run in the opening inning, but settled down for five scoreless frames after that. Tidbits
Corey Wade pitched a scoreless ninth inning and lowered his ERA to 1.69. ... Pierre had two hits, raising his average to .298. ... Russell Martin also had two hits, raising his average to .309. ... The Dodgers and Nomar Garciaparra are bringing back Carne Asada Sunday on June 22 after the Dodgers host the Cleveland Indians in a 1:10 p.m. PT game. Garciaparra created the event last year in a continued effort to give back to the community in which he was raised and in celebration of his Mexican-American heritage.
Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.
Official game notes On television
KCAL On radio
KABC 790, KHJ 930 (Español) Up next
Saturday: Dodgers (Chan Ho Park, 1-0, 2.16) at Angels (Ervin Santana, 6-0, 2.63), 12:55 p.m. PT
Sunday: Dodgers (Brad Penny, 5-4, 5.09) at Angels (Jered Weaver, 2-5, 4.86), 12:35 p.m. PT
Monday: Dodgers (Derek Lowe, 2-3, 4.62) vs. Reds (Bronson Arroyo, 2-4, 6.08), 7:10 p.m. PT
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.