HOUSTON -- Converted from catcher to pitcher during the 2009 season, 22-year-old Kenley Jansen has been remarkable in his role as a setup man for the Dodgers.
Jansen earned his first Major League win in Saturday's 6-3 win at Houston, lowering his ERA to 0.96.
"I just have fun with the game," said Jansen (1-0). "That's how I've been doing [it]. Just come every day and have fun, and be aggressive.
In 18 games this season, Jansen has 29 strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings. Opponents are batting only .143 (9-for-63).
"Even though they know the fastball is coming, there's late life on it," said Dodgers manager Joe Torre. "Even though they may not be overpowering at times, they're the toughest ones to read. It doesn't matter, lefty, righty, he gets a lot of swings and misses."
Torre can see the 6-foot-5, 257-pound Jansen in a closer's role some day. Jansen still has to build his arm strength up.
"He was protected this year," said Torre. "I think he only repeated one time in back-to-back games. It will be a process. He certainly has the size, and he seems to bounce back."
Jansen sees his future as a closer too.
"I want to be a pitcher like [the Yankees'] Mariano Rivera," said Jansen. "That's my goal, to be like that one day."
Sunday lineup includes five without homers
HOUSTON -- You can tell the Los Angeles Dodgers aren't in a pennant race. Check out Sunday's starting lineup against the Astros.
Including starting pitcher Carlos Monasterios, five players had not homered this season in the Major Leagues. The nine players had a combined 36 home runs.
The four homerless position players were leadoff hitter Trent Oeltjen in center, third baseman Russ Mitchell batting sixth, shortstop Chin-Lung Hu batting seventh and catcher Brad Ausmus batting eighth.
Right fielder Andre Ethier, who has 21 home runs, was batting third; first baseman James Loney, with 9 homers, was batting fifth; cleanup hitter and left fielder Jay Gibbons has 4 homers; and second baseman Ryan Theriot, batting second, has 2 home runs.
The Dodgers were getting a look at some of their younger players and making sure their regular position players will be available to play against contending teams in their division.
"In all fairness to the teams that are competing, that we line up our best guys against the teams that are in contention," said Dodgers manager Joe Torre. "When you are dealing [with] where we are at and the teams that are still alive, when you are talking about San Diego, San Francisco and Colorado, I think for the good of the game you have to do that."
Torre: Padilla would be welcome in '11
HOUSTON -- Joe Torre has had no issues with right-hander Vicente Padilla and would recommend bringing the 32-year-old veteran back next season.
Padilla, who will be a free agent after the season, was scheduled to be Sunday's starting pitcher at Houston. But on Saturday, he felt pain from a bulging disk in his neck that had put him on the disabled list from Aug. 16-Sept. 3, and will be shelved for the remainder of the season.
"I don't know what's going to happen next year, but I've certainly enjoyed the time he's been here," said Torre.
Padilla, the Dodgers' Opening Day starter, was signed for the last two months of last season. This year, he compiled a 6-5 record with a 4.07 ERA in 95 innings.
"When we got him about a year ago, there were so many stories that followed him," said Torre. "But he's been a good teammate.
"I don't think there's anybody who doesn't like what he does. It's tough to find stuff like he has. When he gets out there he can still do it. He knows what he's doing. He has not been a [negative] issue baseball-wise. I like him."
Wallach discusses Lindsey's debut
HOUSTON -- Triple-A Albuquerque manager Tim Wallach joined the team in Houston on Friday and will spend the remainder of the season as a Dodgers coach.
Wallach coached 33-year-old John Lindsey, who after 16 seasons in the Minors, made his Major League debut this week and made his first start on Saturday against the Astros.
"As far as letting him know that he was going to the big leagues, it's the best thing I've gotten to do in the two years here," said Wallach. "There's a lot of tough things you have to do at times, but those are things you look forward to."
It's been easy to spot Lindsey in the Dodgers' clubhouse. He's been grinning from ear-to-ear all series.
"He doesn't seem to be affected by it at all," said Wallach. "He still has the same smile he had when he was playing for me. Maybe a little bigger."
Torre: Today's umps have a quicker trigger
HOUSTON -- When he was a player in the 1960s and '70s, Joe Torre said umpires then would let players and managers vent more than present-day umpires. Now, it seems umpires have a quick trigger to eject players and managers.
In the first inning of Saturday's 6-3 win in Houston, the Dodgers' manager was tossed from the game by home-plate umpire Paul Emmel. Torre disagreed with Emmel calling third baseman Casey Blake out looking at strike three. Shouting from the dugout, Torre was ejected.
It was Torre's second ejection this season, his fourth in three years in Los Angeles, and 65th time in his 29-year managerial career.
Torre understands that umpires are under pressure, but that they shouldn't be so quick to eject players or managers.
"They misread the response of players when an out is called or a strike is called," said Torre. "There's a point where [the umpire] should say, 'That's enough,' but they should give them more rope. People pay money to see the players."
From his office in the clubhouse, Torre watched the remainder of the game on television.
"I watched the game, and after innings I was checking on the [U.S. Open] tennis," said Torre.
But Torre missed the men's semifinal match in which Roger Federer lost to Novak Djokovic.
"I should have gotten thrown out before the game," said Torre. "I would have been able to watch it."
Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.